Wednesday, March 12, 2014


So what does a guy who lives on board a boat do when its bucketing down with rain?  Well, read, write, cook, do the tax accounts (arrrgh!) or, he can make new dock lines.
I’ve five on this boat.  Bow, forward brace, forward spring, aft spring and aft brace.  The old ones were not in bad shape but were all refugees from other docks or boats, had to have knots  that in them and tying knots in 3/4in terylene three strand laid rope that is all full of salt and sun damage is not that easy, so its new docklines.

I bought a half roll of 15mm Polyester three strand laid rope, that’s about 150 ft of it, I only need about 1/3 of that but it was cheaper if I bought the lot and who knows, I might have to make a hangmans rope sometime.

Each dock line has a 10 tuck eye splice in each end, each splice with a whipping on each end, each whipping tarred with Stockholm tar.  About 25 minutes for each end of the line to make the splice, the whippings and the tarring.
Five lines, ten splices, 20 whippings and a whole lot of tar.
Just a bit over 4 hours for the lot.

I’ll make up a safety line for bow and stern as well, that comes from the outside of the boat away from the dock across to the dock, that’s for when the boat is going to be left for a while, insurance if you like.
I also need a line that is left permanently on the foredeck, it has enough length to come back just past the helm door in the main cabin and has a big loop so it can be dropped over a dock cleat when coming alongside, the helm then being put over while the engine is slow ahead which holds the boat alongside until the permanent docklines are  dropped over the bollards and cleats.

If they are all the right length with the right sized loops, it makes life a great deal easier, especially when handling the ship on your own.

So that’s what a man does on a rainy day.

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