Six ways to prevent moorage damage
If not cared for properly, your boat can endure plenty of damage in the marina
Don’t lapse into “out of sight, out of mind” thinking when it comes to your marina-docked boat – especially in winter. Boat maintenance should be a concern year-round.
Winter weather can wreak havoc on boats that aren’t properly secured. These tips will ensure your boat stays safe all year long.
Use nylon mooring lines of correct thicknessNylon lines are strong, stretchable, durable, and soft. Good choices are a traditional twisted line or one with a braided core and cover. Boats under 20 feet need 3/8-inch line; 20 - to 30 -footers need 1/2-inch line; and 30 - to 40 -footers need 5/8-inch line. When in doubt, go to the next size up.
Protect mooring lines from chafingWhen lines rub against chocks or slide back and forth against the boat or pier, they can weaken and tear. Wrap lines at their contact points with canvas or leather, or insert the lines through a length of rubber hose.
Attach rubber snubbers (tube-like devices) as shock absorbersAs waves bounce a moored boat up and down, lines and cleats on the boat and pier can strain. To help prevent sudden shocks and failure, thread mooring lines through snubbers (available at most boat dealers).
Follow the “four-line method”String a bow line from a bow cleat to the pier, a stern line from an aft cleat to the pier, and two spring lines (one from a bow cleat to an aft cleat on the pier, the other from an aft cleat to a bow cleat on the pier). Spring lines are critical because they prevent your vessel from moving for ward and aft in its berth. They also take the load off bow and stern lines.
Use fenders to prevent hull damageFour to six fenders are enough. If your boat is subject to severe rocking in its moorage, fenders can rise above the wharf and lie atop the deck, causing your hull to strike the pier. You can help prevent that problem by attaching fenders directly to the pier.
Display your phone number on the boat’s windowThat way, your marina or a fellow boat owner can call you in an emergency.
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