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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tri Cities, WA
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge, 2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport, 1971 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    Engine(s)
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Posts
    6,572

    Using Spring Lines

    Most of us at one time or another have faced the problem of getting into a slip or getting on or on a dock when the wind and/or current is doing its best to keep us from accomplishing what we want.

    Many years ago a good friend of mine taught me a few tricks about making those maneuvers much easier. When most of us think of spring lines we think of the lines we use when the boat is in the slip to keep it in a certain position in the slip so the wind doesn’t move it around.

    There is a whole new usage for the term “spring lines” and that’s what friend taught me. So I thought I’d share some of these tips with all of you.

    First is the situation where you have to back into a slip and you’re going to have to bring the bow around against the wind, as shown below. Tie a spring line between the aft most cleat on your boat and have it looped just half way around a corner cleat on the dock. Someone needs to be standing there holding tight to the line so that on your command they can remove the line from the dock cleat. One secret to all of these spring line situations is to have adequate fenders between your boat and the dock.


    As you put the boat’s stbd engine in reverse the boat will start to back up until the line goes taut. As you continue in reverse, the stern will start to pivot into the slip and the bow will come around into the wind.

    The boat will continue to pivot around the corner of the dock.


    As the boat starts to align with the slip, tell the person holding the line to let it come off the dock cleat and then back the boat in. You want to make sure you have plenty of fenders along your port side because the wind is going to hold it onto the dock.



    The next scenario where spring lines are helpful is getting off a dock where space fore and aft is tight so you can’t go back or forward to swing out from the dock.

    Here you want to swing the bow out from the dock. Put a line from a cleat near your stern to a cleat on the dock that is near the stern. Again, just go half way around the dock cleat so the line can be released in a hurry. As you go in reverse (stbd engine only) the line will go taut and the stern will pivot in toward the dock. The bow will swing out from the dock and when you feel it’s far enough out from the dock, let the person holding the line to remove it from the dock cleat so you can then go forward.


    In this case you want to swing the stern out from the dock so you can back away. Take a line from a forward cleat on your boat to a midship cleat on the dock. Have your fenders set in the forward area of your port side. As you put your stbd engine into forward gear the boat will move forward until the line goes taut, then the bow will start to pivot toward the dock. When that happens the stern will swing out from the dock. When it’s far enough out from the dock that you can back away, let your deck hand know to release the line from the dock cleat, then just back away.


    One big secret to making these movements work is to have good communication between you and the person who is going to handle the line. Explain to them or draw pictures to show them what you want,, then have them repeat it to you. You want to remove all possibility of a miscommunication that could damage the boat or end up with someone getting injured.

    There are a lot of different ways to use spring lines to make difficult maneuvers much easier. The only limiting factor is your imagination.

    Any comments? Additional suggestions? Go for it!
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge "Beachcomber"
    'There is nothing-absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats"
    Proud dues paying Charter Member of the Hole In The Water Club!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lake Norman, NC
    Boat
    SeaRay
    Details
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Engine(s)
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Posts
    959

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Good info. I even use a spring line on my little boat. Often when docking at my marina there is a breeze bowing me off the dock. I pull up and get a line from the aft cleat on the boat to the dock, the go forward and it pull the boat again see the dock while I attach other lines. Even with a small boat A little finess makes life easier.
    ______________________________
    1999 SeaRay 185 Bowrider - Current
    2000 SeaRay 290 SunDancer - Previous
    1979 Correct Craft Ski-Tique - Previous
    1948 Chris Craft Custom Runabout - Oh man to have that one back!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    S.W. Ohio
    Boat
    Silverton
    Details
    330 Sport Bridge
    Engine(s)
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    Posts
    5,770

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Thanks !
    Silverton 330 Sport Bridge, Kohler 7.3KW gennie, 8'6" Zodiac 3.5merc
    Previous:
    1992 Sea Ray 290DA
    1990 Sea Ray 220DA
    1989 Sea Ray 200 Bow Rider
    http://thecanvasmedic.com/#



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Baltimore,Maryland
    Boat
    Searay
    Details
    1997 450 DA
    Engine(s)
    Cat 420
    Posts
    774

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Thank you
    Endless Seas
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    3126 cats/420 hp
    Baltimore, Maryland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Sandusky, OH
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1997 400DA w/ 3116 CATs
    Engine(s)
    3116 CATs
    Posts
    292

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Some great information here. I HIGHLY encourage everyone on this forum to seek out their local Power Squadron and find the time to take three of their classes: Seamanship, Piloting, and Navigation. These classes cover all those scenarios as well as countless others. One of the best ways to identify an educated boater is seeing how he/she handles the lines. I've seen old salts do things single-handedly with straight-drive single-screw inboards that most boaters can't do with twins and a bow thruster, and it all boils down to how they handle the lines. Great info GFC!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    370 Sundancer 1995 Raymarine C 120 Plotter / Radar Dinghy with 9.9 hp Merc 454's
    Engine(s)
    7.4 L Twin inboards, v drives
    Posts
    1,444

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Really like the new signature pic Mike!

    Mark

    AMFM3
    Living the Dream in the Okanagan!
    www.burleyboating.com

    Proud member of the Hole in the Water Club

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tri Cities, WA
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge, 2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport, 1971 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    Engine(s)
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Posts
    6,572

    Re: Using Spring Lines

    Thanks Mark. A fellow club member took that during the "golden hour" as we were heading out of the marina and he was coming back in. I liked it well enough to use it in my signature and had some business cards printed with it.
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge "Beachcomber"
    'There is nothing-absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats"
    Proud dues paying Charter Member of the Hole In The Water Club!

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