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How do I properly tie my boat to the dock?


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Guys. I have never left my boat tied to a dock before. This year I plan on leaving it in for about a week at a time. I went out and bought a couple boat fenders. Obviously they go between the boat and dock. Do I tie the boat tight to the fenders, or should there be a little play so the boat can move around? It will be docked in a very calm channel. The only cause turbulence in the water will be other boats docking. Thanks for the help guys.

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When I dock mine (usually on vacation or long weekends) I tie the bow off with 2 lines and the stern off with 2 lines. I run the bow lines off the bow loop snug enough that the boat can't hit the dock on either side. Same with the stern except I use the transom tie downs on their respective side. I make sure the stern lines are tied in a manner that not only keeps the boat from hitting either side of the dock but also can't move forward allowing the bow to hit the dock walkway.

Then I tie bumpers around IN CASE of the lines comes free and it contacts the dock it won't damage the boat.

Like this (left boat graphic minus the green lines).

image12.gif

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ahopkinsVTX

What kstate said! Depending on the dock / pole setup you should be able to suspend the boat in space without it touching the dock. Having bumpers on the dock is a good just in case measure. Having bumpers on the boat for long periods of time can scuff the gel. Good dock lines make things a lot easier too!

What is your specific dock setup?

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Chia, do the whips work when it gets choppy? We have a temporary situation with our new lake house. The slip at our lift is not wide enough. We have plans to build a new house and boathouse in a couple years, but am looking for a solution to tie the boat up to the dock for one day/night on the weekends. Our dock is on open lake water and will get choppy.

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yes, boat waves, wind waves, whatever waves, the whips will hold your boat away from the dock.

I own the longer dock edge whips with the rollers in the tip.

Any chance you recall what brand you went with?

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dock edge

Do you know if they are the 8' or 12' version? I don't have much room between docks where I am. The 8' would be okay I think, but the 12 would most likely hold my boat to far from the dock and to close to the next.

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If you do use traditional bumpers, look for bumper covers made of fleece. These will protect the gel coat from getting scuffed when the boat inevitably moves around due to wind or passing wakes. I've covered mine and the hull will not get scratched.

Edited by saxton15
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If you do use traditional bumpers, look for bumper covers made of fleece. These will protect the gel coat from getting scuffed when the boat inevitably moves around due to wind or passing wakes. I've covered mine and the hull will not get scratched.

Good tip.

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Do you know if they are the 8' or 12' version? I don't have much room between docks where I am. The 8' would be okay I think, but the 12 would most likely hold my boat to far from the dock and to close to the next.

mine are the the 12' version.

the length of the whips does not determine how far the boat is held away from the dock. that is determined by the length of rope and snubbers you have from the dock to the boat. (you feed more rope thru the whips so the bend on the whips is not to much and the length of the dock lines keeps the boat whatever distance from the dock you prefer).

One thing to remember with whips is to pull the lake side whip out before backing out of the slip or your board rack will cause a big ruckus as it tries to take out the whip. I think there is an option to have a swivel on the mounting so that it is lifted out of the way.

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That answered my next question. The deluxe or premium whips depending on brand, release to a full vertical position when you untie. I will get those, I read the fixed angle whips caused some frustrations with towers and biminies.

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If you have a finger on both sides of the boat you shouldn't need fenders. I highly recommend not using and adjusting the forward and aft lines to keep the sides of the boat from contacting the sides of the dock/finger. To keep it from moving forward and aft use the spring line technique like MLA suggests and as per the diagram kstateskier posted. When you get everything just right it's really simple to ties up. We leave our lines on the dock and just loop the lines through our cleat.

If you have only one finger/dock then the whips would be the way to go.

If you go with bumpers/fenders then look at the Exile hoppity-hop like ones. Very soft and won't mar your gel coat.

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The spring line method is effective and greatly underutilized.

What effect would the spring lines have if the bow And stern lines are tight?

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What effect would the spring lines have if the bow And stern lines are tight?

Adding a pair of spring lines, will allow for all the lines to not have to be pulled so tight. Boat stays in place without the lines so tight that the fenders compressed against the dock. In rough conditions, boat moves less. With a bow line pulling on the nose, the boat wants to pivot toward the dock.

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ahopkinsVTX

Adding a pair of spring lines, will allow for all the lines to not have to be pulled so tight. Boat stays in place without the lines so tight that the fenders compressed against the dock. In rough conditions, boat moves less. With a bow line pulling on the nose, the boat wants to pivot toward the dock.

:plus1:

The key to tying up is to not having anything really tight. Puts a lot of load on the line, cleat, hook, post, dock, whatever. Bow, stern, and spring lines in combo allow the boat to just be suspended in an area without constantly putting a large load on one particular line.

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I like a good quality braided synthetic line over a cotton line. Not the cheap lines that are almost like a tube pulling line. Cotton lines seem get stiff over time but the synthetic stay supple and easy to work with.

Also, a docking PSA, there is no need to wrap all 15 ft of the unused mooring line around the dock cleat. 1 figure 8, two hitches and done. Coil the rest and lay it next to the cleat so it doesnt get walked on.

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