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Old 28-01-2014, 17:00   #1
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Slip Length Question

This may be a rather silly question but I have to ask. All of the previous boats I have owned were tied up alongside a long dock. I was able to run lines well ahead and astern of my boats to keep them in place.

Now, after a 34 year hiatus from sailing, I bought another boat, a 30' C&C, and I'm looking for a slip. I've found several slips that are 30' long. My question is "should I find a longer slip so I can run spring lines which will be longer fore and aft of the boat, or will a slip the same length as my boat suffice"?


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Old 28-01-2014, 17:18   #2
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Re: Slip length question

same length is fine. Run your spring lines from the ends of the boat to the center dock cleat amidships.
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Old 28-01-2014, 17:20   #3
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Re: Slip length question

Same length will suffice, you'll have a little less leverage on the lines but it should still be perfectly adequate.
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Old 28-01-2014, 20:25   #4
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Re: Slip length question

Lines which run forward from the bow or aft from the stern are not spring lines. They are just long bow and stern lines.

Spring lines run aft from the bow and/or forward from the stern (and sometimes forward and/or backwards from amidships)

As others have said - you don't need a berth longer than your vessel to tie up securely. There are some very good explanations and diagrams here:

How To Set Up Your Mooring Lines
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Old 29-01-2014, 05:25   #5
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Re: Slip length question

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
As others have said - you don't need a berth longer than your vessel to tie up securely. There are some very good explanations and diagrams here:

How To Set Up Your Mooring Lines
All true. Not to nit-pick, but the diagram in this link has the names wrong.

Spring lines are named for the direction they lead FROM the boat. So for example the line going forward from an after or mid cleat would be a forward spring line.

I'm sure someone will point out 100 other sites that make the same mistake. I even found it wrong in Wikipedia (no surprise there.) Chapman's and other authoritative sources like Navy publications have it right.
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Old 29-01-2014, 05:56   #6
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Re: Slip length question

J,

We have a 31ft boat in a slip which is probably 25ft. Add a couple of feet at the bows so we don't touch the main pontoon means the stern sticks out a bit, as do our neighbours. Been on the slip for 7 years without a problem including the recent horrendous weather in the UK with repeated F9 and 10s since early December.

Rear stern line run forward. Mid ship has a cleat with spring running to the rear of the slip pontoon. Bow has port and starboard lines to main pontoon and another spring to the rear.

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Old 29-01-2014, 06:18   #7
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Re: Slip length question

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All true. Not to nit-pick, but the diagram in this link has the names wrong. ...............
I'll "nit-pick" a little more. The site includes an offer for polyester mooring lines. Polyester is a poor choice as a line for docking. Nylon does much better by stretching under load and absorbing shock.

Like Pete7 I've spent much time secure in slips that are shorter than my boat.
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Old 29-01-2014, 10:31   #8
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Re: Slip Length Question

Spring lines are intended to keep you from moving fore and aft in the slip. Rather than leading from the bow cleat forward, you use a stern cleat and go forward (reverse for the aft lines). Unlike someone said, this is just as secure.
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Old 29-01-2014, 10:38   #9
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Re: Slip Length Question

We have a 30' boat in probably 28' of dock, the stern sticks out a couple of feet. No big deal. Just spend some time rigging your dock lines and find whatever is optimal
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Old 29-01-2014, 10:43   #10
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Re: Slip Length Question

You'd pay a lot more for a longer slip anyway, since the next size up is usually 40'.

One other minor consideration is whether you're in a slip with fixed docks or floating docks. It's much easier to "set and forget" lines on a floating dock, for the most part.
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Old 29-01-2014, 11:03   #11
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Re: Slip Length Question

Anyone have a good suggestion for a slip that is WAY too wide for my boat (a 19' Menger catboat)? I'm at a private dock in a slip that was formerly two narrow slips, but the outboard piling between them got jacked out by ice a few years ago, and the local authorities would not let the owners replace the piling.

As a result, my port bow line is REALLY long (about 20' from the chock to the piling), and I have to pull the boat over to the piling to hang up the line on the way out. The worst thing, though, is that the line droops into the water at some states of tide and wind despite being tied as high as possible on the piling, and it grows tons of nasty scum. I use rubber mooring snubbers on my stern lines, but there is far too much slack on the bow line for them to be of any use there.

Any brainstorms would be appreciated.
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Old 29-01-2014, 11:10   #12
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Re: Slip length question

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Lines which run forward from the bow or aft from the stern are not spring lines. They are just long bow and stern lines.

Spring lines run aft from the bow and/or forward from the stern (and sometimes forward and/or backwards from amidships)

As others have said - you don't need a berth longer than your vessel to tie up securely. There are some very good explanations and diagrams here:

How To Set Up Your Mooring Lines

Was just looking at that mooring guide, there seems a couple for issues with it. Look at text in this.
Attached Images
File Type: bmp Error maybe.bmp (392.2 KB, 100 views)
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Old 29-01-2014, 15:25   #13
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Re: Slip Length Question

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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post
Anyone have a good suggestion for a slip that is WAY too wide for my boat (a 19' Menger catboat)? I'm at a private dock in a slip that was formerly two narrow slips, but the outboard piling between them got jacked out by ice a few years ago, and the local authorities would not let the owners replace the piling.

As a result, my port bow line is REALLY long (about 20' from the chock to the piling), and I have to pull the boat over to the piling to hang up the line on the way out. The worst thing, though, is that the line droops into the water at some states of tide and wind despite being tied as high as possible on the piling, and it grows tons of nasty scum. I use rubber mooring snubbers on my stern lines, but there is far too much slack on the bow line for them to be of any use there.

Any brainstorms would be appreciated.

Can you not treat it just as a side tie-up to a dock?

Sometimes -- depending on localswinds/current/tides/etc and prevailing conditions -- lines on the offside maybe don't buy you much. A couple fenders on the boarding side...

Augmented by offside lines when you can predict high winds or whatever...

??

-Chris
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Old 29-01-2014, 15:32   #14
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Re: Slip length question

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Originally Posted by glenn.225 View Post
Was just looking at that mooring guide, there seems a couple for issues with it. Look at text in this.

Sorry, I don't get your point. That looks correct to me. If a tight mooring line is close to vertical, then it will be subject to recurring snatch loads when swells cause the boat to rise and fall relative to the dock.
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Old 29-01-2014, 15:51   #15
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Re: Slip Length Question

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Can you not treat it just as a side tie-up to a dock?

Sometimes -- depending on localswinds/current/tides/etc and prevailing conditions -- lines on the offside maybe don't buy you much. A couple fenders on the boarding side...

Augmented by offside lines when you can predict high winds or whatever...

??

-Chris
I've considered that. I was on a side tie on a "T" at the end of the same dock for many years with no real problems with my old 45' cutter.

The main problem is that the little catboat has only about 2' of freeboard at the point of maximum beam, so fenders bearing against the edge of the dock wouldn't work. A substantial vertical rub cushion on the center dock piling might keep it from getting under the dock, but it would hold the boat so far away that it would be a helluva step down and out to board, espeially at low tide (I'm 67, and the catboat has no lifelines or shrouds to grab). I'm currently lying stern-to, and the long, overhanging boom in its crutch provides a handhold to allow me to board safely.

Perhaps a side tie with a ladder mounted on the dock would work.
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