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Learn the basics of docking your boat and tying your boat to the dock
Heading into the docks, to dock your boat can be stressful especially if you are up against a strong wind, and if there are other boats in the area, tying your boat might seem difficult, for experienced boaters this is not the case as they have mastered the skill of docking! Larger boats require space and are more difficult to dock, however, the basics of docking your boat remain the same.
Learning how to dock is one of the first steps when boating; taking a docking course is highly recommended, learn all the different ways of docking. Today we will learn the basics steps of how to dock your boat? The four sets of lines you use to secure your boat and different knots that are used to connect and secure your boat.
Docking a boat in a slip is a common scenario you will find yourself in. Docking into a slip is intimidating for most because there is very little room for error and the fact that you need to back into a slip. There are two reasons for backing a boat into a slip. First reason: with the stern first into the slip makes boarding easier, and second, it is easier when you need to depart.
Docking lines –can be used differently and can be referred to as bow lines, stern lines, spring lines, and breast lines. In most cases, you will use bowlines and stern lines.
Cleats are used to attach your docking lines.
3-strand twisted dock lines
Mega braid nylon
Double braid nylon
Run from the bow (front of the boat) to the dock. One line required
Run from the boat's stern (back of the boat) to the dock. One line is required.
Bow and stern lines usually run at an angle, keeping the boat from moving side to side and keeping the boat from moving forward (fore) and backward (aft)
Two spring lines are required, and the minimum length required is as long as the boat. Spring line one runs forward from the stern. Springline two runs backward from the bow. Spring line keeps the boat from moving backward and forward.
A cleat hitch knot is one of the first knots you will learn; it is a strong knot and easy to tie and untie. You will use the cleat hitch method to tie a rope/line to the cleat on the dock.
The knot must form the number eight-shaped pattern. Take the rope/line and bring the rope around the cleat's base (bottom of the cleat), now bring the line over the top of the cleat. Take the line back under the arm of the cleat opposite the first turn, then back over the top of the cleat.
Keep in mind the number eight, which is the pattern you need to form. Repeat: take the line back under the cleat's arm opposite the first turn, then back over the top of the cleat; you should now see the number eight pattern around the cleat. The final step; form an underhand loop, slip the loop over the cleat's arm, pull the free end of the line tight, and secure the knot.
The clove hitch is considered an essential knot; it consists of two half hitches around an object and is used to secure devices on fixed rails or posts like fenders and pilings on a boat dock. It is a good binding knot easy to tie and untie.
Please take the free end of a rope and wrap around the rail or pole, now crossover the rope/line itself and wrap around the rail or post for a second time, slip the working end (working part, active in tying the knot) under the last wrap, and pull tight.
This knot is a binding knot; you use the knot to secure the line's end after tying a different knot. Two half hitches form a clove hitch; the double half hitch is an overhand knot followed by the half hitch.
Wrap the rope around the support (pilling), forming a loop, pass the end through the loop, wrap it around the standing part, creating a second loop; now pull tight to complete.
The bow line knot is easy to tie and untie; you use it to secure a line to a pilling or to attach two lines together. It is called a bowline because of its use for tying a loop in a mooring line and tying the boat's bow to the dock. The bowline knot is straightforward to tie:
One way to remember the bowline knot is with this old saying: The end of the rope is a rabbit. The rabbit goes out of its hole, around the tree, and down the hole again.
This knot, also known as a stopper knot, is one of the most common stopper knots; the knot looks like figure eight. You use the knot to secure a boat to a boat dock or other mooring locations.
The knot is useful for stopping ropes/lines from passing through something by forming a secure loop at the end of the line. Rock climbers also use this knot to hold their gear during a climb.
Start by forming a loop: take the end of the rope/line over the mainline, continue under and around the standing end and pass it back through the loop to complete.
Docking and tying your boat to the docks are easy to learn, follow the guidelines, practice and you will become a master! What knot do you use to secure your boat? Would you like to share a video on how to dock your boat? Leave a comment below!
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