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Old 27-06-2015, 09:31   #1
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Lassoing Bollards

As a person who single hands a fair amount, on a rather large boat to boot, I am always looking for ways to make the docking easier.

One fantastically useful tool is my new "Hook n Moor" boat hook, which has a magical rotating hook with will put a line into any kind of eye or loop, from 2 meters away. This makes child's play out of grabbing pennantless mooring buoys as you frequently find in Northern Europe.

But one thing I am constantly doing is trying to get lines onto cleats and bollars without stepping onto the dock, which I can't do when single handing. I have gotten to be pretty good at throwing a loop of dockline onto a cleat so that I can pull back the other end.

In commercial ports (where I am often relegated due to my draft, in this part of the world), there are often bollards which are higher than deck level and too far away to just drop a loop onto.

Man, how I wish I could just lasso those, like a cowboy. I have read up on the art of lassoing and have tried it now a few times. I can now throw the loop pretty accurately and surprisingly far, but I can't reliably get the bollard, because the loop flies in a closed position. For the life of me, I can't get the loop to stay open as it flies.

Anyone perfected this technique, and has any tips?
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Old 27-06-2015, 09:37   #2
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

I haven't read any books on this so if I am repeating advice given, I apologize. When readying your loop for the throw rotate the loop back towards the line so that the leading part that is thrown is the line and not the loop, as the line extends the loop will swing around and hopefully land on the bollard you are aiming at. I don't know if that is a clear explanation, I will attempt to draw a picture when I have time.
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Old 27-06-2015, 10:02   #3
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

I doubt this will ever work well with regular dock line, no matter how much you practice. The key to a real lasso is the stiffness of the line. The best ones are rawhide. Other lariat ropes are often three strand heavily coated to make it very stiff. A little research on roping and riding would teach you much. Maguey straw from Mexico is the preferred material for fiber lariat. Modern synthetic lines are made to be soft and pliable, exactly the opposite of what you want.
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Old 27-06-2015, 11:18   #4
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

Stiffness, yes. Waxing a line may help to make it stiffer. Haven't looked for "lasso wax" on Amazon yet but by now it might be on Alibaba too.(G)
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Old 27-06-2015, 11:45   #5
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

yea, you want a stiff loop - easiest way is to insert a length of stainless cable inside the rope core, as is done on the mouth of many drogues. This is cheap and easy to do. I have also seen people put stiff hose over the outside of the line in the loop this works but does has to be replaced much more often.

another trick is to run the line thru a long piece (3m?) of light pipe (carbon is best but pvc works). they you don't have to throw the line. You just reach out with the pipe and place the loop where you want it.
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:08   #6
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

Have you seen this?
Landing Loop™ Marine & Boating Self Mooring/Docking Line Rope Accessory
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:11   #7
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

*** Nautiduck, Randy Kolb's, "Dock A Matic" is described in the C25 Forum here: http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/fo...TOPIC_ID=15645 I am sure it could be applied to our boats as well if you tried; I've thought about it, but am still using our 40 foot long 1/2 inch dockline for that purpose without the nifty "loop in hose" idea. Whatever works for you.
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:19   #8
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

Wow, what great answers! Thanks, everyone! Now I understand why it didn't work, and with a number of interesting suggestions to boot. Thank!!
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:35   #9
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

Put a good sized zip tie on your boat hook a couple of feet from the end and cut the tail off leaving an inch or so. Have the tail on the same plane as the hook on your boat hook. Then you can put the loop in your line over the hook and the zip tie and lay it over the bollard and just rotate the boat hook to drop the line.
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Old 27-06-2015, 12:37   #10
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

I think the cowboys of old used cow dung to stiffen up the lasso. Probably didn't taste to good though...
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Old 27-06-2015, 15:28   #11
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

I used to crew on a tall ship and we did a lot of line heaving. It was great practice. Flaking and setting up the line ahead of time is key, as is good throwing technique.

A small coil in your throwing hand to give sufficient weight and a larger coil carefully flaked to run free. For longer throws twist your body towards your throwing hand first to get more inertia. Throw with hands well apart and plenty of line ready to run out thru your non-throwing hand (loosely circled around the line running from the larger flaked pile like a guide on a fishing rod...both hands are like this once the line is in flight...then you can guide the line without stopping momentum). The small coil not only gives you more weight but also uncoils in flight to form a bigger loop. With some practice you can adjust the width & trajectory of the loop in flight (much like a good cowboy does with a lasso).

The most common mistake I see people make is not flaking out enough line first. The result is that the line goes tight before reaching its target. This closes the loop which makes it useless even if it reaches the target (which is usually doesn't). They also don't usually throw with a small coil in their throwing hand which limits their range and keeps the loop small (opposite ends of line almost parallel).

The technique is very similar to throwing a cast net.

Aim just beyond your target and the pull the loop around it. For example, you don't have to perfectly lasso the bollard on the dock, but just land the loop around it on the dock and then pull it to the bollard/cleat.

If you got the distance, but one side did not go over the bollard then sometimes you can flick a wave into the line and get it over the bollard.

This works just fine with unstiffened 3-strand.
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Old 27-06-2015, 16:01   #12
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I think the cowboys of old used cow dung to stiffen up the lasso. Probably didn't taste to good though...
Last I checked, The Lasso was not for eating............

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Old 27-06-2015, 16:29   #13
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

I have not done this, but maybe it would work. Feed the end of your rope through some of that corrugated lightweight hose. Tie the loop. It should stay that way and be easy to drop over a bollard from a distance. If you try it and it works, report please.

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Old 27-06-2015, 17:44   #14
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

As Capt58 said, rotate the eye back along the standing end. I've seen many ferry workers use thistexhnique with crappy unsupported yellow poly pro. Very well worked line is best, soft and supple poly pro (with a soft and supple eye)won't be pinched shut by the splice.

You need a good rotation in the toss. This would be hard with unfamiliar docks, as repetitive practise is key.

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Old 27-06-2015, 18:35   #15
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Re: Lassoing Bollards

How about a stainless hoop on the end of your dock line? You could toss it over the bollard like one of those carnival games. Ring three bollards win a stuffed bear!


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