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Old 09-03-2011, 10:32   #1
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Mooring Lines

I'm replacing the tattered pathetic excuses for mooring lines on my boat (Beneteau 393, 12m in length) with new ones.

What are the "usual" recommended lengths I should go for, and how many are the "norm"?

I know this is a bit like "how long is a piece of string?", but I'm hoping for a sensible answer or two ..............

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Old 09-03-2011, 10:47   #2
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Re: Mooring lines

Since you are in Jersey where spring tides are almost 40 ft you need long lines to allow for the full tidal fall if you plan to be on a wall as opposed to in a silled or locked marina.

I was taught that the spring lines needed to be 2.5 times the tidal height which for you is 100ft. Bow and stern lines need to be at least 60 ft.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:53   #3
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Re: Mooring lines

No, I wasn't planning to moor up against a tidal wall here. I always aim to be on floating pontoons or in the marina.

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Old 09-03-2011, 10:55   #4
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Re: Mooring lines

Then two lines 20 ft longer than your boat and 2 lines the length of your boat should do it.

A couple of extra spare lines the length of the boat would them allow some flexibility and reserve for bad weather
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:04   #5
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Re: Mooring lines

I have 6 lines each the length of the boat (15m), plus I still have the oldish lines which can be used to make extensions.
Using 18mm diameter nylon octoplait/multiplait
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:14   #6
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Re: Mooring lines

See, the guy we bought our boat off told us:
"You buy new halyards, your halyards become sheets, and your sheets become mooring lines. The rest you can tie your wife up with."
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:15   #7
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Re: Mooring lines

If you have an old halyard you can measure out that way. Use it to get a good length, then measure out how much line you used.

You didn't ask, but I'd recommend using 3 strand nylon. It will stretch up to 40% of its length before breaking, reducing shock load on your cleats when storms or surge roll through.

My wife fashioned up some chafe guards for us out of full grain leather. It's stood up through our winter where several gales have come through.

Rebel Heart - Sailing, cruising, liveaboard blog and website - Charlotte's Blog - Custom Dock Line Chafe*Guards

Good mooring lines are expensive and they'll get chewed up by the dock cleats pretty easily. Some chafe guard (leather, fire hose, etc) material for all your lines will cost maybe ~$20 (or free) and your lines will last much longer.

Having chafe guards around is handy for anchor snubbers and dealing with chafe in general.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:18   #8
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Re: Mooring lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
See, the guy we bought our boat off told us:
"You buy new halyards, your halyards become sheets, and your sheets become mooring lines. The rest you can tie your wife up with."
That's a really popular way of doing it too. I switched out to three strand when I watched us with 10 degrees of heel in the dock.

But economically speaking and probably sufficient to handle the load, old halyards work. I just sleep better at night with the linked images above.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:35   #9
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Re: Mooring lines

We carry 6-50' dock lines on our boat. Kept them all the same length so we can just grab the blue dock lines and not worry about length.

Just a personal thing.
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Old 09-03-2011, 16:40   #10
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Re: Mooring lines

I'd have six, each nearly the length of the boat. A bow line, after bow spring, forward quarter spring, and stern line would secure the boat on one side. If the berth permits attaching lines on the other side, I'd use a bow line and a stern line there. Also, there may be an occasion to use a couple of short breast line if one desires a tight/close fit to the dock. It helps to have sufficient cleats and chocks.

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Old 09-03-2011, 18:19   #11
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Re: Mooring Lines

I have four 25 foot lines on polypropoline and four 50 footers of nylon.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:35   #12
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Re: Mooring lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
See, the guy we bought our boat off told us:
"You buy new halyards, your halyards become sheets, and your sheets become mooring lines. The rest you can tie your wife up with."
Might be off topic but around here that wouldn't cut the mustard. Here it is more like: buy new wife lines, the old ones become halyards, the halyards become sheets etc.....
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:21   #13
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Re: Mooring Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
....your sheets become mooring lines. The rest you can tie your wife up with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Here it is more like: buy new wife lines, the old ones become halyards.....
Good grief, how big is your wife, and how much rope do you need to tie her???
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:07   #14
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Re: Mooring Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
Good grief, how big is your wife, and how much rope do you need to tie her???
Serious thread drift (my apologies to nikki-m).

It is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog; so it also is with activities below decks. Always a good way to practice those more obscure nautical knots and bends

However now might be a good time to let the topic return to the OP's question before one of us further oversteps the mark and attracts a mod's attention (unless you prefer to have the last word )
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:43   #15
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Re: Mooring Lines

+1 on 3 strand nylon!
On a floating dock (or pontoon) the line length is static as the relationship between dock and vessel never changes much.

FWIW, I have TWO sets of dockilnes: One set is 6 double braid nylon with an eye in one end. Those are my cruising lines; two are 150% of the boat length, 2 are the length of the boat, and 2 are 75% of the boat length. The second set is 3 strand and is custom made to suit the boat/dock cleat distance. The 3 strand set stays on the dock when I shove off, and is set up so all the eyes are on the boat end. Chafing gear is likewise permanently attached to this set as required.

Upon return to the dock, the lines are already adjusted and good-to-go. Of course I double-up for storms, as well as lash the eyes to the cleats with small line.
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