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Moving boat to new slip. Dockline Questions.

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by pateco, May 14, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    After three years at my current dock, I am moving my boat to a new slip. Currently I am side docking to a dock behind a residence.
    old dock.JPG
    The Stargazer is the sailboat on the left with the blue bimini. I have two mooring whips, bow, stern, and two spring lines.

    My new dock is a a slip with two dolphins and a half pier. With two cleats on the seawall.

    New slip.JPG
    My boat is going where the one with the blue canvas is above. below are a couple of pics of it empty.
    2018-05-12 14.55.09.jpg 2018-05-12 14.55.28.jpg

    I have drawn up a rough diagram of the slip with a sailboat in it.
    dock diagram 1.jpg
    I am trying to figure out the best way to tie her in this new slip, and am looking for suggestions.

    Below are examples of how two of the sailboats belonging to fellow sailing club members have configured their bow lines in this same location.
    2018-05-12 15.24.23.jpg 2018-05-12 15.24.31.jpg 2018-05-12 15.24.38.jpg

    The line that crosses the bow is a large U shape tied two both dolphins and running forward. it is supported by the two bow lines that are tied to the cleats on the seawall I am considering something similar, but looking for suggestions. When the boat was originally in Baltimore, the PO had a similar configuration except he had a large bumper attached to the line that crosses the bow.

    These are the only two sailboats tied this way at this location. Most of the rest have bow line from seawall cleats, stern lines from the dolphins, and one spring line from the dolphin in between the two half piers. Below is a google earth screen capture of a couple of the other sailboats at this location
    new slip example.JPG

    Fire away with your suggestions.:biggrin:
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  2. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    583 posts, 115 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Won't boarding be a pain bow in first? All the sailboats in finger piers at our marina are backed in by the stern.
     


  3. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    There are a couple of sailboats stern in, but not many. The issue is that this is not a standard marina, but half pier slips coming off of a concrete sea wall. The water depth near the wall is substantially shallower than it is a few feet off of the wall. Bottoming the rudder is a major concern. From my observations, boarding a sailboat at the side from near the end of the half pier will not be difficult. Some of the boats do have small plastic step stools for high tide conditions. You can see from this photo that the starboard side of the bow comes very close to the end of the pier.
    2018-05-12 15.24.31.jpg
     


  4. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,962 posts, 231 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    The view is always better when you go bow in. Not so much the sidewalk gawkers but on a bulkhead like that, most of the folks at our marina go bow in. I've wandered around a bit and the only thing evident is that everyone ties up with spring lines to the pilings to ensure the boat won't move forward.
     


  5. John T1594

    John T1594

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    744 posts, 24 likes
    Hunter 340
    US Forked River, NJ H340
    We kept or boat (2000 H340) in an almost identical slip for many years, although our finger pier was on the port side of the boat when bow in. We went bow in because of the water depth near the end of the slip and the ease in docking the boat. We did not use any of the complex bridle slings to keep the boat centered and the bow off the dock. Basically we had one bow line on each side (uncrossed). We used aft spring lines on each side, one secured to the bow cleats and one to the mid-boat cleat. We did not need any forward spring lines because the bow lines kept the boat from moving backward and out of the slip. We had one uncrossed stern line tied from pilings to the stern cleats on each side.

    Regarding getting on and off the boat: we had a gate cut into the life-lines on the side facing the finger pier. We just had the lines cut and pelican hooks installed (see photo). We also used a wooden step to board the boat when the tide was at flood.

    You may need an additional slip-long line and fender to keep your boat neighbor off your boat.
    Boat in slip.JPG Deck portside.JPG
     


  6. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,065 posts, 162 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    Where I grew up in New Jersey virtually all sailboats went in bow first to those types of slips. Here in Maryland everyone is stern-in (except us). The view certainly is better and it's still manageable to get the boat close enough to the finger peir to get off.

    In terms of how to tie up in that kind of slip - the U shaped bridle you took pictures of looks easy do dock single handed, but it also looks like a lot of chafe points so I wouldn't rely on it. I'd just put a line from the bow cleat to each dock cleat, one from each piling to each stern cleat, and a spring from an aft piling to a midship cleat. For the port bow line you'll probably want two marked lengths - one when you're at the boat and want to be close to the pier, and one when you're away and want to ensure the boat can't rub.
     


    pateco likes this.
  7. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    Has anyone used these TideMinders?
    tideminder balls.jpg
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  8. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    83 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Lake Pueblo
    not to hijack the thread but I do find this interesting.
    At our marina most of the sailboats in bow first are the ones that are there for the "marina atmosphere" and rarely actually are seen out on the water.
    we dock stern first because it gives us a better view while sitting in the cockpit.
     


  9. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    That is interesting, as the ones stern first here are those that don't look like they have moved in years, and the bow first ones are those I see sailing every weekend. Different location, different preferences.
     


    LloydB likes this.
  10. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    4,451 posts, 646 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    I would have expected just the opposite as I see "marina atmosphere" as sitting closer to the gangway and greeting passerby's. Bow first says to me "we want our privacy".
    That dock arrangement would drive me crazy. We have fingers on each side. But then, this is Kansas, not one of those highly crowded marina spots.
     


  11. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    I agree it is not what I would prefer, but the rent is good for the area, I will have 8 feet of water, (no more getting stuck at the dock), and it saves me almost 2 hours on the ICW every time I sail since it eliminates four bridge openings, two going out, and two coming back.
     


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  12. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,275 posts, 501 likes
    Pearson 530
    XX where ever we are anchored
    I like the longest spring lines I can manage, fore and aft on both sides, if possible. I'll pull them tight against each other at mid-tide, or in a lot of tide a bit of slack. This will keep her pretty much in the same place in the slip at all tides. Then throw on a couple of bow and stern lines and adjust them over a complete tide cycle as best I can. If I'm coming and going a lot, I might have a second shorter spring, bow and stern lines to make docking easier, then change to the permanent set. I always use independent lines in case one breaks, so it doesn't affect any other line. Chafe gear is your best friend.
    Once you get her all snugged up and familiar with your dock, on a calm day you can turn her around and use your prop to blow out the mud and much build up along the seawall. It helps a lot if there is a good current.
    I'd do it quietly, as many areas consider moving mud or muck from one location to another this way to be environmentally damaging. Go figure?
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  13. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,833 posts, 434 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    This is what I am thinking so far.
    Possible dock line setup1.jpg
     


  14. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    83 posts, 51 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Lake Pueblo

    Oops. yeah I had it backwards. I posted that while trying to listen to someone complain at work and just got bow and stern swapped.
     


  15. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,065 posts, 162 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    I'd probably do away with the starboard boundary line. It'll be hard to get that one tight enough to do any good, and it might become a trip hazard getting on and off the pier. Personally I'd run the port boundary line straight from the piling to the port dock cleat, but maybe experiment with both and see what works. Also if your boat is really so long that it sticks out past the back pilings then I'd go with two aft springs rather than one, since the aft lines won't do any good keeping the boat back.
     


  16. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,065 posts, 162 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    Never seen them, but it's an interesting idea. How much tide do you have there? If it's just a foot or two it's probably not worth the extra cost and chafe risk. If many feet then maybe?
     


  17. kappykaplan

    kappykaplan

    Joined May 1, 2011
    728 posts, 97 likes
    Pearson 37
    US Lusby MD
    Chip, recommend you also consider a forward spring line. I solo most of the time and go for my spring lines first when coming back to the dock. All my dock lines have a bit of white tape as markers for where to do the cleat hitch. And I'm a stern-first guy because it's easier to get on/off the boat.
     


  18. JamesG161

    JamesG161

    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    2,472 posts, 603 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    I always berth, stern first for power and shore water connections.

    What is the depth of your berth at low tide, for your keel clearance?
    Jim...
     


  19. seadaddler

    seadaddler

    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,316 posts, 109 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Tide Minders
    I added one set recently and love it as I keep it real tight and works real good keeping the boat from moving forward or backward and the fender stays right up against the pole and I use it on midship cleat to pole.
    A few months back during Irma pulled all the water out of the canal and my boat was leaning over real bad.
    It rolls up and down the pole real good and my dock is shorter than my boat and this one pole is the only pole I can tie real tight.
    Nick
     


  20. dLj

    dLj

    Joined Mar 23, 2017
    164 posts, 44 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
    What have you got for tidal shifts? Whats the difference between high and low tides? What do you get for winds? Currents? Are you fairly well sheltered?

    One of the things I've done is on the rear spring lines, take a heavy weight and hang it off the spring line via a small rope with loop running down the spring. You take the weight, make a loop that runs down the spring line, then you can run a small line and hold the weight at one location. That constantly holds the boat at one spot. When you get on or off, you can simply pull a line on the side you board and bring the boat to the half dock. Just a thought, doesn't always work, depends upon currents, tides and prevailing winds...

    dj
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.

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