About Deck Ropes (Lines)

1. When you plan to return soon to the same dock, it helps to organize your lines so that, even though you use them in the interim at another dock, you can quickly tell which line you use in which location at your regular slip.

2. One way of organizing is to number them. One wrap of white electrical tape, taped to itself (it won’t stay stuck on the rope) with a number made by a water proof marker such as the Sharpie ™ permanent marker is one way to do this. For example, the number 1 could be assigned to the starboard bow line and so on all the way around.

3. If you mark where the line goes through the chock before you untie it to go out for the weekend, and you use that line for the same cleat and tie up point on the dock, you won’t have to spend so much time making sure your lines are properly adjusted when you re-tie.

4. Before you mark your lines spend enough time in your regular slip to experience a few blows and extra high and low tides, to be sure that the lengths you are marking are right.

5. Marking lines assumes, of course, that you use the same end for the boat and pier and that you are consistent in the way you secure the lines to the cleats, pilings, etc.

6. We prefer to have spliced loops on one end of our docking lines. That way we always know which end is where (we use the loop on the dock), there’s a loop available to quickly slip over a dock cleat if needed and we can run the line through the loop to secure it quickly and tightly to a piling.

7. Chafing gear is always important. It should be held in place on the dock lines so that it won’t slip up and down as the boat rides on wind and tide. There are different ways to secure chafing gear depending upon the type of gear and type of line. I like to tie my chafing gear in place with a piece of thin string through a hole in the chafing gear at each end and then wrapped and tied around the line tightly enough to keep it from slipping.

8. Chafing gear secured in place for your regular dock lines has a second plus of marking the spot where those lines cross through the chocks, making it easier to set the lines when you return.

Go to www.tomneale.com for other tips and information

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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