Ship Shape while single-handing

Moderator: GreenLake

Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby Interim » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:52 am

Looks like I'm putting in alone tomorrow with 11mph winds predicted, and from the wrong direction for my preferred pier. Learning opportunities abound.

Do you single-handers ever leave a dock line cleated on the bow while underway? I know this is sloppy, but it would seem to save a couple trips forward with no one at the helm by my improvised tiller tamer.

Any concerns? Experiences to share?

Thanks.

--john
1979 DSII
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby K.C. Walker » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:42 pm

I didn't realize I was being sloppy. I never take my docking lines off their cleats (including trailering). Well… That's not altogether true; I do move my spring line from side to side. The aft lines are just tucked in under the back deck, the bow line just comes back along the side of the cuddy and thrown up under the deck. They don't seem to be in the way and seem to stay un-fouled, for the most part.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby Interim » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:50 pm

:D . didn't mean to call anyone else sloppy. just trying to pre-empt anyone who might think that of me. I usually try to stowe anything not in use.

glad to hear you do what I am planning.

Thanks.

--jf
1979 DSII
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby jeadstx » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:37 pm

I commonly leave lines attached. It can be a good idea when single handing to drag a line off the stern in case you should fall overboard. I'm not worried so much about falling overboard unexpectably on my local lake as I am in a large body of water like the Gulf or Texas ICW. In 2012 on the Tx200, both my crew and myself got knocked out of the boat by a rouge wave. I caught the stern (somehow) and used my line I was dragging to help stay with the boat until another boat behind me was able to assist.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby Interim » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:44 pm

I hadn't thought of that. Hopefully no rogue waves on our 3,000 acre lake, but other things can happen.

--jf
1979 DSII
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby GreenLake » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:58 am

I'm down to a single dock line for use when launching single handed. Our ramp is very protected (no swells, no wakes - other than boats and other vessels launching) and sheltered from the wind. So, I take the bow line around a cleat on the dock and continue it to the stern or to a cleat on the cuddy top. Holds the boat in place well enough. Easy for single handing. (Our ramp has a solid wall between dock and water, makes the rubrail sufficient, no need for fenders - other ramps can be much more challenging).

I do not untie the bow line from the eye, but lead it aft (through the chock), then flick it over the foredeck cleat and lead it from there past the mast to one of the cuddy top cleats. If a young passenger wants to sit on the foredeck, in calm conditions, they now have a line to hold onto.

With crew, I may use a stern line. That one gets undone and put away, coiled, on the 'shelf' under the transom; usually we don't seem to need it on the same side as we had it when setting out, anyway.
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:58 pm

I've always left them on the cleats while sailing - never saw any real reason to take them off - but never while trailering. The bow line *just* reaches the stern cleat, so I just route it outboard of the stay and back to that cleat, and that keeps things tidy. The stern one just sits coiled on the seat back there.

However, there is that short segment of time between sailing and trailering that is called retrieving. I'll normally use the docklines to help guide TRW onto the trailer, then toss them into the cockpit once She's on far enough to clip on the winch strap. Well, a couple weeks ago, I didn't toss well enough, the bow one fell down, and I proceeded to run it over with the trailer tire, tearing off about the last 1/4 of it. DOH! At least the line gave and not the cleat ... ;-P
Tim Webb
1979 DS2 10099 The Red Witch
(I used to be Her "staff", in the way dogs have owners and cats have staff, but alas no longer ... <pout>)
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby GreenLake » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:47 pm

I use the line from the bow eye to pull the boat partway on the trailer. With my particular trailer, what works best is when the rear most roller is at water level. It has a notch that will capture the bow. Once it the first foot or so is across, I can use it to lever the boat for a straight pull up the remaining rollers. My bunks are configured a bit higher than the rear roller, so in the last stages of pulling out the boat, they will take over and only the part of the hull with a pronounced V section sits on rollers. This took several seasons and trailer configurations to work out; I now have the boat perfectly positioned on the trailer every time, without having to drive the car into the water or have someone splash around the boat.

The trailer came with a kind of gangplank, so I can walk back on it to attach the winch line. I leave the bow line attached and once the boat is pulled up to the winch post, I take a few turns with the rope around the winch post and lead it back to the foredeck cleat. Having lost a bow eye off the boat once during retrieval, I prefer the redundancy this gives me. Same as I use two tie-downs where I see many other dinghy sailors use only one.

Finally, the last bit of bow line is used to take a few wraps around the mast for trailering. The mast is also tied down to the cuddy cleats and secured with two separate bungees in the back (on a mast support held in the gudgeons).

I've had not only the bow eye fail on me, but also tie-down ratchets and I've managed to get distracted and/or made some mistakes in securing mast or boat. In all of these cases, the redundancies have paid off.

The final bit of re-purposing for the bow line that I have come up with is to tie a loop into it and give it to a crew member or passenger who wants to sit out as something to hold onto (as I normally belay it on the cuddy top when under way, that works really well).

I think that must easily be the piece of line with the most uses on my boat. :lol:
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby K.C. Walker » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:07 am

I nominate Green Lake for the most versatile bow line guy. I'm going to implement the redundant trailer tie down thing.

I love having a trailer set up that allows for quick retrieval without having to mess with it. I don't quite have a gangplank so I have to climb out on my trailer to where the full-length bunks are. I have definitely been thinking about the gangplank, though.
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby Interim » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:29 am

I'll second the nomination.

Not only do I not have a gangplank, but I always wade into the water at the dock to attach the winch strap. I spend 4 hours on the water, get out perfectly dry, and then soak my shoes at the end.

Having the line attached to the forward cleat (my DSII doesn't have a cleat on the cuddy) made docking a simple affair Saturday.

Thanks, all.

--john
1979 DSII
Interim
 
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby jeadstx » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:05 pm

I usually wade in the water when launching and retrieving my boat, but in the hot Texas sun it can feel really good sometimes and dry times can be short. My bow line is usually used to tie the mast to it's support on the front of the trailer for trailering.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Ship Shape while single-handing

Postby Swashbuckley » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:29 pm

Ship Shape is anything that makes boat handling more efficient. Ship shape is finding ways to stow the secured lines so that they are not in the way when not in use. I second the trailing safety line. I have an Uncle who is still with us after hanging onto a stern safety line for 8+ hours in the Gulf. When knocked overboard he collided with the helm putting the boat in gear, he managed to catch the end of the safety line as he came to the surface, the boat idled at 4 knots all night. When soloing a floating safety line is a good idea, no matter the size of the water. I use a floating 50' line with a small float at the end. In hot weather my son loves to jump in and be towed by it.
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