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Old 15-08-2009, 12:19   #1
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Stern Ties in BC

Hello everyone. I am new to your forum.

My husband and I are fairly new sailors, but not new to boating in general. We were ASA certified last year.

We are doing our first trip to Desolation Sound in BC starting the week after labor day. We are bareboat chartering a 31' Catalina.

We do not have experience with stern ties which sounds like may be required where we are headed.

Can someone give me an idea of how to do a stern tie and if you have experience in the Desolation Sound area I would love to hear your tips on stern ties in the area.

Thanks!
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Old 15-08-2009, 13:22   #2
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Anchor and then dinghy the line ashore. If you are not stern to the shore you can use a jib winch to pull you around. Will the charter company provide you with enough line? In many places where stern ties are used the stern line is on a big roller drum on the stern.

Enjoy Phil
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Old 15-08-2009, 14:09   #3
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Knot and object

Thanks for the reply Phil.

So obviously you find a tree or solid object onshore, do you have any experience with the best knot to use? Maybe a Round Turn and 2 half hitches?

I hope they provide us with enough line, I will definitely check. I suppose "enough line" is a hard term to define. What is the minimum length you would go with?
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Old 15-08-2009, 14:27   #4
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Tree, hard to hold a rock, round and two halves or a bowline. The people I know who live in areas that need stern lines have 2-300 ft on a reel. Just ask the charter company but 150-200 ft would appear to be a sensible minimum.

I spent 2 weeks in that area 4 yrs ago, a lovely area but too cold...visit us in the Caribbean once hurricane season is over.

Oh, and be careful not to wrap the prop with the stern line, keep it under tension...a little too cold to dive on the prop.

Phil
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Old 15-08-2009, 14:33   #5
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moheinz,
Several years ago my wife and I cruised around Vancouver Island, including in Desolation Sound. We stern tied our 43 foot catamaran several times while there. Moondancer gave you the basic procedure but to answer your specific questions:
Most cruising guides for that area recommend at least 300 feet of line.
You take the line from a stern cleat to shore, around a tree (preferably one that is already dead) or a ring in the rocks, and back to the other stern cleat. That method simplifies getting underway by eliminating the need to go ashore to untie your knot. You want to use a dead tree so the line running around it does not cut the bark on a living tree.
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Old 15-08-2009, 14:50   #6
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Thanks

Sorry if the questions are silly. Just making sure, I am one of those people.

We live in MT, so we have a different scale of cold. However, it is cold up there.

Thanks for the additional info John. That makes complete sense. I did read there are some rings in the rocks and I really like your info on the tree type.

We hope to get the Caribbean next year. See you there.

This forum has been great already.
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Old 15-08-2009, 16:06   #7
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You want a loop if possible so you can bail out if it starts to blow in the middle of the night. Although you can always drop the end of the line with a fender. I doubt if the charter company will provide you with a long enough line. There are usually places to anchor if you cant stern tie. Not sure I would worry about it on a charter. I have used a stern tie only a few times in many years, but then... I avoid places where there are a lot of people and carry lots of anchor rode.!
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Old 15-08-2009, 16:46   #8
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I agree a loop back to the boat is the way to go . I frequent this area a lot and I carry 400 feet of 5/16 floating stern line, Often I use it all . Be prepared to anchor in up to 90 feet so an anchor kellet is a real plus when scope is a question, I often cut up old rope into sections I leave it tied loosely around trees this allows you to slip your stern line without damage to the tree or the line . Leave them there for the next person. Most of the time when you are tying a stern line you will be pulling your anchor up a slope so scope can be less of a factor than on a flat bottom. Lot's of rocks and fairly big tidal changes so watch your charts and tide tables
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Old 15-08-2009, 16:48   #9
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Where are you chartering from? If you are charting from Desolation Sound Charters (Comox) they provide 200 feet of shore line.
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Old 15-08-2009, 18:06   #10
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Buy a spool of 5/16 polypropylene from Fisheries Supply or from a Canadian source when you arrive. We take 1/2 of a collapsable kayak paddle and place it through the center of the spool and place this athwart the boat in the cockpit. Hop in the dink (when in Canada it is always a dink) and go ashore. There will almost always be a steel ring with spray paint on it to pass the end of the line through. Otherwise find a rock or sometimes a snag to pass the line around. This is way easier at high tide as at low tide the ring will be over your head making is necessary to climb a slippery bank to get to the anchor. Please DO NOT pass the line around a live tree as you can damage the bark and kill the tree. Row back to the boat and fasten the two lines on opposite stern cleats. When you get ready to leave loosen the short end of the line and roll the spool up to retrieve the line. This is why you need polypro--it floats and is less likely to foul your prop.

Suggest you order a copy of "Waggoners Guide" which we have found to be an excellent guide to the area full of tips--like stern anchoring.
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Old 15-08-2009, 23:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Spohn View Post
B. Hop in the dink (when in Canada it is always a dink) and go ashore. .
Strange I have sail and lived in this part of Canada my whole life and have never have heard of a dinghy referred to as a Dink
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Old 16-08-2009, 01:12   #12
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Originally Posted by moheinz View Post
Sorry if the questions are silly. Just making sure, I am one of those people.
No such thing as a silly question. Normally a question asked provides information to far more people than just the one who asked it. I am not familiar with the system you use for stern moor, and so found the information interesting.

It is far better to ask the question before you need the information, than asking it after!
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