Boating Tip: Securing A Boat To A Dock


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Because Freedom Boat Club has such helpful, friendly dock staff, our members never have to worry about casting off, or securing the boat when they return.

But not every slip has such helpful staff, so it is important that you know how to secure a boat to a dock!

Brief Stop

For a brief stop, if you getting lunch, etc, you can use two or three lines to secure your boat, for a “port alongside tie-up”:

  • A stern line: going from the starboard stern cleat to a piling behind the boat
  • A bow line: going from the port or midship bow cleat to a piling forward of the boat
  • A spring line: going from the aft quarter section of the dock to the forward port quarter breast cleat of the boat (if needed)

Overnight/Extended Stop

If you have an FBC boat overnight or for an extended stop, you can also use a “port alongside tie-up”, but we recommend that you use four lines to secure the boat.

  • A stern line: going from the starboard stern cleat to a piling behind the boat
  • A stern/spring line: going from the port stern cleat to a piling forward to the midship of the boat
  • A bow line: going from the port or midship bow cleat to a piling forward of the boat
  • A bow/spring line: going from the port bow cleat to a piling to the aft midship of the boat

Non-Floating Docks

Remember, when securing your boat to a non-floating dock, always have enough slack in your lines for the tidal changes.

Safety

Don’t forget to step over the line when disembarking or boarding, and deploy your fenders on the port quarter section, aft and forward to prevent damage to the boat.


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