​​Welcome to Anchors Away Marine,

We are here to show you how to get your boat to the dock and show you all the boating knots we could find for your specific application. Whether a Pier, “Can”, Star Dock or Finger we have you covered. We hope you find what your looking for, if you need additional information, I would be glad to help you.

First: Pulling in or Backing your boat.
Pulling in or backing in a boat really depends on the area to be use as “Parking Area”. I’m really not a fan of pulling in your boat into a stall or slip in a harbor. As (Figure 1) illustrates pulling in a boat renders your fenders useless in a storm or wave action situation. The V shaped bow area is notorious for damage when a line breaks or a line becomes loose. Just because your in a harbor behind a break wall does not mean your safe! Chicago boaters know this all to well with Stormscalled“Northeasters.” So see the potential problem (1 Line Securing forward movement). So if you have a choice and can be done safely “BACK HER IN”

                                                              Figure 1                                                                                                             Figure 2

Backing your Boat In:  Here is why its a better choice
Backing in your boat has its benefits. First, it is usually easier to “board” your boat and its usually less awkward for quests to step on and board your boat. In addition, its easier to see unwelcome visitors who want to check your boat out with out permission. Most importantly, protecting your asset ranks pretty high in our book. So when you back in your boat you use 3 lines of protection from rearward movement (See Figure 2). Lastly, your docking system of fenders now compliments your 4 lines, to protect your boat for those in the middle of the night storms and unexpected turbulent waves.

So what is the Purpose of all these Dock lines? 
Keeps your boat close to the dock so you can go aboard safety.
1. Keeps movement of your boat to an absolute minimum.
2. Just like an Airplane control you boat from moving forward and rearward, limit excessive “rocking”, lastly yawing or “Twisting” . See Figure 3
3. Dock lines secure your boat to a dock, or to another boat when rafting, either temporarily or semi-permanently. These applications demand different types of dock lines. When your boat is away from its regular slip or mooring, you need to have some designated nylon lines aboard, preferably with spliced eyes, ready for use when you tie up somewhere. The eye in the end is easily passed around a cleat or piling by someone on the dock and the bitter end is adjusted on board. There are dozens of combinations of diameters and lengths.

                                                                                                                               Figure 3

What Type of Facility or Harbor are you in?
For Example: Chicago Harbors has multiple ways to secure your boat.  Our main challenges are the lack of cleats on ld wooden fingers with the bull rails and a lack of cleats on the main docks to easily support multiple tie-off points for either bow-in or stern-in docking. The other challenge and what makes it even more important to have your boat properly secured, is the tight width of slips and generally narrow spacing between the two boats sharing a slip. The new aluminum and composite decked fingershave multiple substantial cleats positioned for goodplacement of dock lines. The cleats are a substantial improvement over the bull rails. The bullrails are not through bolted (just lag bolts) and are a constant source of splinters in transientdock lines and then consequently in hands and fingers.  Ideally the bow line and stern line should be tied off to the finger as farforward of the bow and as far aft of the stern as is possible. This will help to reduce forwardand aft motion.This dock line placement is not always possible with slips.

                                                                               Beautiful Montrose Harbor in Chicago on Lake Michagan

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