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Old 21-08-2011, 09:07   #1
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Boat Dock Line Barrier

After reading so much on docking, as well as taking a docking course it is still a high anxiety time for the crew. After reading this http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2011/august/diy.asp article, I am taking one of the items, and building in a visual barrier with a line. Since I am going that route, I have a few options and welcome opinions on the plus/minus or new thought.

We are on a finger pier with a boat on each side. Ours is 35' at 16000lbs and the others run 35-40 and more. If I was going to put in a visual barrier, why not give it some heft for a few dollars more and remove some of the anxiety - bumping my neighbor on the way in.

The 12' diameter pilings are about 25' apart and the line would run just below the rub rail @ low tide.
1. Run a 1.25" ski rope between them. It seems to be the least expensive multiline option, but strength is unknown
2. Run 3/4" poly line between them
3. Run 1"+ manilla line between them
4. Run 3" webbing between them.

Someone suggested running a beam (2x6), but that is a long span and I am concerned a rub could break it and that would be worse than a bump.

Options 1,2, and 4 have issues with creating enough tension to avoid just flexing into a bump. Option 3 will shrink once wet, but the longevity of manilla rope in those conditions is unknown.

I was also tempted to run the line high and suspend a fender, but that appears like I plan to use my neighbor as a rub rail and if I were them I would not like that option.

Thank you.
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Old 21-08-2011, 10:12   #2
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Are you trying to suggest a strong tight line so if you accidently slide towards the next boat the line would act as a buffer also pushing your boat in the correct direction to tie up?

That would appear to have some merit. If your berth allows it why not give it a try with a bit of mooring line and if it works get some stout nylon 3 twist?
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Old 21-08-2011, 10:16   #3
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Spend all that time practicing docking instead.
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Old 21-08-2011, 16:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ
Are you trying to suggest a strong tight line so if you accidently slide towards the next boat the line would act as a buffer also pushing your boat in the correct direction to tie up?

That would appear to have some merit. If your berth allows it why not give it a try with a bit of mooring line and if it works get some stout nylon 3 twist?
Good point, start small and work up...
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Old 21-08-2011, 16:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako
Spend all that time practicing docking instead.
While I appreciate the thought, minimizing potential impacts to my neighbors would be appreciated by everyone.
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Old 21-08-2011, 16:51   #6
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

What's the tidal range there in Eastern PA? If it's at toe-rail height at low tide, will it be underwater at high?

Seems like a better strategy for lake sailing than for tidal waters.
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Old 21-08-2011, 17:06   #7
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Quote:
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What's the tidal range there in Eastern PA? If it's at toe-rail height at low tide, will it be underwater at high?

Seems like a better strategy for lake sailing than for tidal waters.
Good point I should have said I was on the Chesapeake Bay where the range is 2 - 3 ft.
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Old 21-08-2011, 17:12   #8
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

That is easy. Line, the heavier the better. The trick will be getting it tight enough to do the job.
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Old 21-08-2011, 17:16   #9
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefaa View Post
Good point I should have said I was on the Chesapeake Bay where the range is 2 - 3 ft.
That being the case, if you were my neighbor I'd rather not have you use poly line, especially since you don't need it to float. Poly will deteriorate quickly in the UV, and will soon be an eyesore.

A shame you're not around here. I've got so many retired sheets and halyards that would be perfect for this type of use. Is there a rigger nearby? Maybe you could tell him what you're looking here and buy a used-up old halyard from him for $5.
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Old 21-08-2011, 17:18   #10
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

If you have pilings at the stern,run a soft line from each piling to meet just in front of your bow, then from there to each cleat on the dock.It should look like a long "V" held centered by a short "V" at the bow.It also should be high enough that the bow does't ride over it.
I used this for years with my first keelboat and it worked fine as it holds the boat in position till you get the docklines on and it guides your bow into the center of the slip.

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Old 21-08-2011, 17:43   #11
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefaa View Post
Good point I should have said I was on the Chesapeake Bay where the range is 2 - 3 ft.
I've used this aproach in the central Cesapeake for 20 years with good success.

a. The tide range is not a problem. If it is near the water line it is still there.
b. It is not a substitute for good docking. What it is for is to help with side-to-side drift in the wind.

I sail a catamaran. I generally single hand, which can be trouble. The slip in variably too long for the boat, in order to get the beam. The slip is invariably rather narrow. Thus, a line helps with nusiance drift, but not with botched docking.
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Old 21-08-2011, 17:44   #12
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefaa View Post
While I appreciate the thought, minimizing potential impacts to my neighbors would be appreciated by everyone.
I have seen ropes between pilings before. Oh... And you dont have to practice in your slip.
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Old 21-08-2011, 18:49   #13
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Spend all that time practicing docking instead.
This also is a good idea.

I grab the boat now and again and go practice doing figure of 8's in the bay. If theres a few close mooring bouys even better. Then do it in reverse. Over and over again.
You might look like a dork to folks on shore but it really gets the boats naughty tricks sorted out.

As I say, I do it more than once or twice. You can still pick up tricks from your own boat after you think you know it well.




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Old 21-08-2011, 19:23   #14
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Since one of your considerations was to suspend a fender from a line between you and your neighbor, why not just hang a fender on your own rail when entering your slip. It's likely that you won't need it, particularly with practice, but it's there as a security for your neighbor and easily removed or even left for your neighbor's coming and going.
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Old 21-08-2011, 19:51   #15
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Re: Boat Dock Line Barrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefaa View Post
While I appreciate the thought, minimizing potential impacts to my neighbors would be appreciated by everyone.
I used to teach people to run their boats.. docking drills took most of the time.

Go to a spot where you have room.... bring along enough crab pot floats and 2# lead weights to simulate your berthing space AND ITS HAZARDS. Practice practice, practice until you can come back to the marina and look like a pro!
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