Securing the Boat

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Securing Your Boat to a Dock
After successfully parking your boat alongside a dock or in a slip, now it’s time to make sure the boat stays in place, using dock lines – also called mooring lines – to tie the boat to the dock.In the truest of the nautical vernacular, one isn’t tying up to the slip or dock, one is ensuring the vessel is “made fast” to the structure. To stick with our simple-is-good philosophy, we’re addressing boating on a body of water that has no wind, waves, or fluctuations in water depth. The Equipment
You’ll need four to six long dock lines (stout lines with a permanent eye spliced on one end) to secure the boat to the dock, and at least two fenders (heavy-duty cushions hung over the side of a boat to absorb the force of contact between a boat and a dock) to prevent the craft from touching the pier.Line Art
As your boat eased near the dock, your crew probably placed a couple of fenders over the hull side, and hastily tied the boat to the nearest dock cleats or pilings – so far, so good.We often see boats tied up with only two lines – one at the bow and another at the stern – with each line running at about a 90-degree angle from the boat to the dock. These two lines will secure the boat to the dock, but the boat may still drift slightly frontwards or backwards (fore and aft), potentially allowing the craft to bump into other boats, especially at a crowded pier.The correct method of making your vessel fast to the dock or slip is quick and easy, usually involving four mooring lines: a bow line and stern line to secure the ends of your boat to the dock; and two spring lines to limit the fore and aft movement of your craft.Bow and stern lines’ locations are self-explanatory; the bow line is at the front and the stern line is at the back of the boat. Spring lines hold the boat amidships (the middle), by running one spring line from a dock cleat…...

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