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Old 13-11-2015, 05:02   #1
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How many lines to carry along?

We're the fourth owners of this old boat. We're moving aboard this weekend. I just added a portable watermaker yesterday, and had to really look to find a place to stash the pieces. I emptied out what's been used as one of the line lockers, and was amazed at how many hunks of line of various types and lengths were stuffed in there. I think every one of us four owners are packrats, adding our neat stuff and keeping most of the previous owners neat stuff.

Well, I need to get rid of a bunch of it. And I'm trying to figure out how many docking lines to carry. I have enough for at least three or four boats on there now. Plus hundreds of feet of various old jib sheets, flag halyard line, etc.

How many dock lines do you carry along with you? 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.

How many do you carry?
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Old 13-11-2015, 05:42   #2
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

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.
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Old 13-11-2015, 05:43   #3
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

One of the neat things people did at my marina was to put things that they no longer needed by the walk to the docks, there was some really good things to be had line was always popular
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Old 13-11-2015, 05:59   #4
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

I definitely am in the "too much line aboard" camp too...

My general thought if I was cleaning house (***shudders***) would be to go with what you are saying... Then double it again... tossing out say 50%...

It is ALWAYS nice when you have a spare line for something-somebody-some application... Where leaving the line is not even a 2nd thought...
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Old 13-11-2015, 06:04   #5
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

OHNOOOOOOOOOO!!! dont throw away--bring to me please..... after 4 -5 years away i need lines. badly.
all sizes nd kinds.
patricia took a toll on my lines--didnt snap any but she tried to chafe em, got one 3 strand chafed to only 2 strands remaining.
... i used 10 to keep boat safe to dock and pilings.
unless youhave a direct line to new england ropes or samson ropes, keep the lines you have.
rope is expensive, btw.
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Old 13-11-2015, 07:08   #6
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Do not use old halyards for dock lines. Use nylon which has some give in it, not Dacron which has very little stretch. The same applies to an anchor bridle.

Make sure that you use polypropylene (floating) line for your dinghy painter.

Zeehag pointed out that line will come in handy.
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Old 13-11-2015, 07:46   #7
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

If you dock in a slip you can use up to eight lines, two bow, two stern, two forward spring and two aft spring. I don't think I've ever used more than six lines to tie my boat.

I make all of my dock lines the same length. That way when I grab one I know it's long enough.

Don't forget at least one extra anchor rode.
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:17   #8
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

If you do have room to stash it makes excellent presents when cruising (as long as it is still reasonable). Everyone from local fishermen to friendly cruisers will appreciate being given a spare line in return for a favor - much better than dumping it!
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:39   #9
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

well, I wish I had someone appreciative to give them to right now, because I need the room. That thinking of putting every scrap of string on top of several hundred pounds of other scraps of string is what got us to this place . I'm not talking about lines that are currently in use with the dink or securing things. I'm talking about heaps of old lines that have not been used in years. Many of them have metal thimbles in spliced eyes, and I see no place for those on a boat. My question probably should have been how many dock lines do you carry. Dock lines.

One spare dock line can double as the line to tow the dinghy, or the line to retrieve an anchor. That's one line. Not three.

And I have probably 20+. Both forward lockers filled, one of my lazarette lockers filled. My rode is 130 ft. of chain on 250 ft. of nylon. Waaay more than we would ever use in our cruising the Bahamas and western Caribbean. I doubt we'd ever anchor in more than 20 ft. of water, more likely ten feet typical

A lot of the old stuff is old stiff Sampson braid. very little of it is three strand nylon.

hmmmm...now that I'm looking at this heap......how many fenders do you carry?
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:44   #10
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Just enough that it doesn't gather water and get stinky because all hanging hooks and areas to flake out that are dry, are already covered in line...
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:44   #11
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Alot depends on where you will be sailing. You can use 8 lines to dock securely where tide and wind are difficult. Shouls a storm appear on the forecast 8 lines are a minimum. Should you need to tow or worse be towed you need a very long line so often different lines are appended.

A stern line to shore when anchoring in some bays is a mutst. This requires a very long nylon line etc.
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:48   #12
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

See this thread: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...20#post1950520
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:49   #13
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

I've got about 180 ft. of weathered but still strong purple halyard that I use as a general purpose long junk line, plus another 150 ft. length of nylon for a stern anchor. We don't tow our dinghy.
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:06   #14
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Ten at hand and ready, 15 and 25 foot. Plus a large tub with about as many in the locker with a new 150' rode as well.

Because of negligent chaffing I have a few short lines as well, which still come in handy.

Old halyards in various lengths used for lashing. Like dinghy on foredeck or setting my beach umbrella in the cockpit at anchor or light wind sailing days.

In five years I've tossed a few scraps of short pieces when chaffing occurred near one end.
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:12   #15
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Re: How many lines to carry along?

Also, consider those times when one would likely double all lines at the dock. Fixed dock with pilings may require 12-16 lines depending on circumstances.
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