Saturday, November 14, 2015

The best way to tie a boat to a dock

Which boat is tied correctly?
I was pulling boats out of the water this fall when I noticed how these two boats were tied to the dock. Do you see the difference between the two?
The boat on the left has its bow pulled tight to the dock and the stern tied farther away. This happens when the person in the front seat is the first to tie to the dock. As soon as the driver guided the boat alongside the dock, this passenger got out and tied his end (the bow) first. Unfortunately, this is incorrect.
Most of boat is tight to the dock when stern is tied first
The driver should tie his end (the stern) first as was done with the other boat. The reason is evident in the two smaller photos at the right. Most of the boat's side is straight and when the stern is tied first, as shown in the first photo, almost the entire boat is parallel to the dock. This is important because it is easier and therefore safer to disembark and re-enter since the boat is closer to the dock.
When the bow is pulled tight to the dock, as shown in the second photo, only the bow is close to the dock while the majority of the boat is pulled away. It creates a large gap between the boat and the dock. This could lead to someone or something falling into the lake.
A big gap is created when the bow is pulled tight to the dock.
The boat is also more stable when the stern is tied tight since it prevents a lot of the rocking motion of the boat when entering and exiting.
The actual knot used to tie the boat can vary, from a slip knot to a simple one that is easy to tie. We covered this once before in Great knot.
Incidentally, when the boat has its stern tied first and the boat is close to the dock, passengers can better use our new assists shown in the photos. Just grasp the uprights and step on to the seat just ahead of the driver.
These boats are the latest Lund SSV 16-foot models that we are gradually switching to. Each year we get a few more. They will make up about half the fleet next year. Most of our guests prefer them for the double split-seat arrangement that allows easy movement up and down the boat. They also like the fact there are floors throughout the boat. Shorter people, however, find them more difficult to reach the tiller handle of the outboard.

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