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Old 13-11-2015, 10:23   #16
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I was thinking four was typically enough: bow, stern, and two spring lines. So doubling that would give me 100% backup. Add a really long line or two for the odd tie up in unexpected circumstances, a couple for an anchor bridle, and then get rid of the rest? If I did that, I would be throwing out about 75% of the lines on board.
That's it.
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:33   #17
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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i have found that one cannot own too many lines. if you are acrually cruising you will need all of em. if you are dock queening, then you willnot need any of em.
when you are out of country itis difficult to find decent lines.. you willneed em for cane prepping, dinghy tying, kayak stashing, kid control, boat control, more cane prep, dog walking, outboard lifting, dinghy loading an dunloading ----lift harnesses for dinks.... many things. tarp hanging for tropical comfort and for water collecting. bucket lines for water fetching, and even preventers for booms while underway.
anchor snubbing...
you may even use one for anchor retrieval.
you also want to tie your boarding ladder to the boat.
there is no such thing as extra line. is all used at some time or another.
btw--if ye dont want it, bring it to me.
yes i am still in mexico and i am finding lines are most difficult items to locate.
Exactly.
No such thing as too many lines.
More or less like too much money😃
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:55   #18
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

I am firmly in the "can't have too much line" camp. And on TN, besides extra anchor rodes, have several very long lengths of line to use for warps and shore lines, towing or sea anchor.

Old halyards can be emergency replacements or used for lashing equipment or broken gear, or to sister a damaged shroud or stay. Could be most excellent trade goods in some areas. Old lines can be woven into mats and fenders.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:01   #19
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

So if "there's no such thing as too much line" when do you stop collecting it? Never? I could sink a sixteen foot O'day with this much line. And fully 80% of it has not been used at all in almost ten years. For sure. It wasn't touched by previous owner in his six years ownership, nor us in our four.

Should I just keep collecting bits of various lines until the scuppers are under water? Coil and lash the extra to the deck when there's no more room in any of the lockers? If I need to double all the lines do I need to keep a set of extra double lines? What if one of my original lines parts or gets cut or stolen? If I then use my spare, that leaves me without a spare!! So I need three of everything, except for the ones that might someday get doubled. I need six each of those.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:17   #20
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Never too many is clearly hyberbole.

Everyone's number will vary. Canibal, based on your experience and needs it's time to toss some lines. Give away 80%, keep the the best.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:24   #21
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
So if "there's no such thing as too much line" when do you stop collecting it? Never? I could sink a sixteen foot O'day with this much line. And fully 80% of it has not been used at all in almost ten years. For sure. It wasn't touched by previous owner in his six years ownership, nor us in our four.

Should I just keep collecting bits of various lines until the scuppers are under water? Coil and lash the extra to the deck when there's no more room in any of the lockers? If I need to double all the lines do I need to keep a set of extra double lines? What if one of my original lines parts or gets cut or stolen? If I then use my spare, that leaves me without a spare!! So I need three of everything, except for the ones that might someday get doubled. I need six each of those.
It sounds like you're getting to your answer. Seems that many boaters I meet are either hoarders or extreme minimalists so it's often hard for me to decide whether to toss or keep things, if I ask people. I try to find some middle ground that works and then revise, as needed. Right now, I have 6 dock lines, though will probably add a couple for spares when I go cruising. The ones that are not used all the time are hung just inside the cockpit locker for easy access. There is also a large crate in the back of the locker (maybe 3'x2'x2') that is out of the way and contains a lot of the 'still good' stuff such as when the running rigging was replaced. When that starts to overflow, everything is taken out of the container, recoiled, and any old stiff line is removed, then left near the marina gate. It's usually gone in no time.

This rule does not apply to anything stainless
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:36   #22
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

At some point you need to clear out some junk so you can make room to put some other junk on the boat. I'm getting ready to unload some line, as I really do have too much now. I've given some away to island locals, who are very appreciative.
If you ever have to secure your boat in a slip for a hurricane it is amazing how many lines get used.
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Old 13-11-2015, 12:42   #23
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

A moderate minimalist.

  • One set of travel dock lines (I leave a set at my home marina), including 2 lines ~ 2x boat length for springs.
  • Rode for secondary anchor.
  • 1 spare rode (200').
  • 1 spare for any halyard or sheet.
  • 2 30' utility lines in cockpit, used for rigging twings, preventers, MOB hoist, etc.
  • ~ 6 20' lines for assorted lashing.
I do collect line, but the rest stays at home, neatly coiled and labeled. If it is junk, it turns into a mat or it is donated to a boat that is tied up in a hazardous manner.


I'm less concerned about doubling up lines for storms than many, because in a slip I always use 4 springs and 4 bow/stern lines. I can break any 2 and still not touch anything. Plus good chafe gear.
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Old 13-11-2015, 12:44   #24
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

I carry 7 dock lines. They should each be the length of the boat+5'. I also carry a couple super long lines, to tie to shore or whatnot, as well as a few floating lines, including a 200' floater. The small stuff takes up little space, and is always handy.

As others have said, spare lines are not garbage. I've met plenty of boaters who have miserable and too few lines. I've added lines to boats left unattended (and fenders too), so it is nice to have a few to spare. My old jib sheets are used with a spare fender to make a backyard swing for my kids (x3, no waiting). Get rid of any very old, worn, stiff, and damaged lines.

One day the coast guard vessel at my harbour (POH) put their old dock lines next to the garbage, when they installed new dock lines. My kids brought them home and made awesome climbing ropes out of them...they were 2" thick!!!
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Old 13-11-2015, 21:18   #25
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Do you sail seriously!?

I broke/consumed 3 lines over the last 2 months
As they get shorter, they are used for something else less important

Short bridles are kept in a drawer, every time needed
.....????
I don't want to offend anyone about asking WHAT ELSE would be replacing ropes into the storage.... canisters? Fishing eqt., chairs ?

Not even fenders and hammers or screwdrivers are more important onboard.

In Italian, the saying is... "Short line, little sailor" (poca cima, poco marinaio)

I bought new 8-bridle lines (2 of 7/8") 2 weeks ago, 6 snubbers yesterday, another genoa sheet 1month ago.. in excess of 500EUR in total...

In the yard, even 3' lines find a good use
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Old 13-11-2015, 23:09   #26
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

You might note that the 'keep it' responses are mostly from monos and the 'dump it' responses are mostly from multis. You have a cat, so maybe you should dump it. I think I carried about 6 dock lines and one set of spare sheets and one spare halyard, but I also had 400' of 3/4 rode for the sea anchor to use in a pinch for other things.
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Old 13-11-2015, 23:23   #27
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I carry 7 dock lines. !
What do you do with them? Your profile beside that post says "No boat right now".

(I only looked because of Don's comment about mono v multi responses)
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Old 14-11-2015, 00:54   #28
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
You might note that the 'keep it' responses are mostly from monos and the 'dump it' responses are mostly from multis. You have a cat, so maybe you should dump it. I think I carried about 6 dock lines and one set of spare sheets and one spare halyard, but I also had 400' of 3/4 rode for the sea anchor to use in a pinch for other things.
I own a cat and said to keep.
Pehaps it is my mono past speaking...
Anyway at the end of the day, when all lockers are full you have to start to prioritise.
Another mooring line or spare diesel canister?
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Old 14-11-2015, 04:24   #29
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

This is ONLY running rigging on deck mind you.
Without; Spares, reefing strops, lashings, loops, line shackles, etc.. Nor does it include; dock lines, warps, anchor lines, drogues, bridles, towing lines, or any others.

And given say, a 40'er with a tall mast, call the halyards 150' each (Code 0's are double that), jib sheets 75' each, kite sheets & guys 100'+ each, & you can do a SWAG on the math for the others:
Um, & yeah, recalling what line goes over top of (or under) the next does get quite "interesting". That & color coding them goes all to crap in the dark.

Main Halyard
Trysail Halyard/Spare Main Halyard (or Alternative Boom Topping Lift)
Trysail Tack Pennant
Cunningham
Outhaul
Flattener (Mainsail)
Clew Reef #1 - #3 (or 4)
Tack Reef #1 – #3 (or 4)
Lazy Jax - P/S
Baby Stay Tensioner (Deck Level)
Jib Halyards – P/S (or Primary & Solent)
Kite Halyards – P/S (or Primary & Code)
Topping Lifts (Kites/Whisker Poles) - 2 (for 2-pole spinnaker jibes)
Boom Topping Lift
Solent Halyard
Staysail halyard
Jib Downhaul
Solent Downhaul
Staysail Downhaul
Solent/Staysail Stay Tensioner (Deck Level)
Code 0 Halyards - P/S
Code 0 Tensioner (Deck Level)
Jib Furling Line
Code 0 Furling Line
Code 0 Furlers, Tack Pendants
Spinnaker Furlers, Furling Lines - 2+
Spinnaker Furler Tack Pendants - 2+
Foreguy – P/S
Jib Sheet #1 - P/S
Jib Sheet #2 - P/S
Jib Twing - P/S (Alternately, Barber Haulers)
Jib Traveler/Car Adjuster - P/S
Afterguy #1 - P/S
Afterguy #2 - P/S (For Spinnaker Peels, & or 2-pole jibes)
Spin Sheet #1 - P/S
Spin Sheet #2 - P/S (Alternatively, Reachers, Codes, etc.), & or Changing Sheet
Running Backs/Checks Stays - P/S
Runner Tails - P/S
Preventer – P/S
Main Sheet (Tail) - P/S
Main Sheet Traveler - P/S
Trysail Sheets - P/S

--> AKA: Only Amateurs ask, "How Much"? <--

And to save you the trouble, the above equates to 60-Some lines of Running Rigging only


PS: Ever sail on an old school Maxi? Where the amount of lines (including the wire ones) was more easily measureable in miles. And one sheet, dry, easily weights 1/4 - 1/3 of your body weight.
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Old 14-11-2015, 04:55   #30
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

great, but my question was how many dock lines .

This boat came with 10 sails, and we've already trimmed that down to four that we'll actually use. A main, a 130% Genoa, a spare smaller jib, and an asymetrical spinnaker with a sock. The rest went into storage ashore. There are spare halyards all over the mast. We got rid of two spinnaker poles, and those lines are still up there, too.

Now I'm looking at docklines. extra fenders. bits of chain, old English blocks, etc. Hundreds of pounds of stuff I don't see us ever using that is taking up space I need for the hookah, Honda generator, new gasoline powered RO, etc.
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