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Old 12-25-2007, 02:06 PM
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Default securing boat with high tides

What is the best way to secure a 23' boat in a slip with extreme tides in the 4' to 5' range? The pilings at the stern, away from the dock are at about the 20' mark on the boat. One side has a finger pier attached to the piling and the other is free standing. I have looked at tide sliders but at $400 each they are a little expensive. Is there a way to tie up boat with some sort of shock apparatus to handle the tide or any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:23 PM
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Default RE: securing boat with high tides

I have Tide Slides and think they're well worth the cost. Sounds like they're just what you need.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: securing boat with high tides

Spring lines should work well. Check out a Chapman book for instructions on how to rig them for your boat.
Also, four to five feet isn't really that much of a tidal spread.
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

I am curious about the tide slides. I understand how they work with the pilings on the stern of the boat but what about the bow when the boat is tied to cleats mounted on the dock??? Here is a second question. The Tide Slides appear to be a polymer cleat that slides on a pipe. Why would not a metal ring sliding up and down a galvanized pipe perform the same function? At $400 per one does tend to get creative.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

Up here commercial fishermen use 6-7 inch sections of PVC pipe around a mooring chain.Attached to the piling the chain just rides up and down the piling on the pipe tubes with the tide.More durable set ups use sections of steel pipe instead of PVC
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

Agreed. Spring lines should do the trick. They can be a real PIA to use, so what I did is that I have two sets of lines. One set stays on the dock, pre-tied to the right length for each cleat that I attach to. The other set travels with the boat for docking elsewhere. This way, I am not tying and re-tying and second guessing my line lengths for 45 minutes each time I tie up.

BTW, I have also seen the stainless / galvanized pipe with the metal ring used, but I don't know how well it works, just know I have seen it. If the dock you are tying to is yours, or is always assigned to you, do some experimenting with spring lines. When you get the right lengths tied to the right cleats and pilings, then mark the lines, tie them off or splice them, and you will have your problem solved.
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

I had a slightly different situation but my solution was a bit of a homemade TideSlide set-up. I purchased stainless steel shower handrails (like those used in public bathroom stalls). They come in a variety of lengths and tubing diameters. I affixed them to the sides of my pilings so that they would not contact the boat. I then added a rubber/vinyl bumper strip along the length of the pilings to protect the rubrail. I routed a short length of dockline through a 12" length of lawn hose material and tied a loop using a bowline. This loop is fastened around the vertical handrail. The tag end of the line goes to the boat's cleat(s). The hose acts as both a chafe protector and prevents the loop from binding on the handrail.

The reason that I went through this set-up was; #1 I needed 4 and wasn't willing to part with $800 and #2 I couldn't use the chain method above because my pilings have a horizontal lumber spanning them which at times is below high-tide so the chain would foul below the waterline.

As Rafael mentions; if this is your dock for any period of time experiment with lines during the course of a few tides and moon cycles and mark or trim the lines so that there is no guesswork when you return to your dock. I like to adjust the lines on the dock side and tie-up the boat cleats to a spliced loop in the line. That way I know when I pull up that I just loop the end over my cleats and I am g2g.

Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

I have the tide sliders and while they were pricey, they work very well. The non-metal cleat works well because it fits tightly to the metal rod and does a good job of keeping it pretty clear of growth. Also the cleat floats, so if the line falls off the hook or someone inexpereinced loses it, the line and hook doesn't sink. Not a big deal at low tide but for me at high tide it could be a pain to fish back up.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:04 AM
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Default RE: securing boat with high tides

I used the "yacht class" tide slides (I paid under $700 ea. but now I see they're nearly $1,000) because my intent was to provide hurricane/tidal surge protection for my boat. I purchased 10' slides to allow for an additional 6' of storm surge in addition to our "usual" 4' tide swing. These aren't "pipes"- they're solid 316L stainless steel, 1-1/2" dia.
Sure, you can use spring lines, that's a no-brainer. But I never liked that option because, unlike a 4-piling setup where your boat is cross-tied, you can't keep your boat from beating against the pilings when you're tied to one side. You need to leave 5' of slack in your bow and stern lines to account for tidal action, and when the wind howls my boat was constantly swinging and beating against the pilings. With the tide slides, all lines- including the spring lines- are tight, the boat doesn't move in any direction except up and down regardless of wind/current.

With that said, if hurricanes aren't a concern (and in Maryland they're not), a homemade setup might work.

I have seen a very inexpensive system consisting of a series of small balls placed on the line which loop around the piling but can't remember the name of it.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

The small ball system you mention are called tide Minders and are nothing more than 9 floats with holes through the middle that one threads their dock line through and then a loop is passed around a piling. The floats act like rollers and protect the dockline as it moves up and down the piling. Also pretty pricey as 9 small floats, enough for one doch line cost at least $50. The there is the problem of having to have a completely clear piling for these to work. A neighbors line around the same piling could prevent then from sliding freely and a finger pier on a piling also prevents them from working.
The Tide sliders, as I mentioned seems like they would work well if only they were a little more affordable and I still don't understand what happens to the dockside of the boat as far as docklines. So many marinas have the two pilings to tie up toward the channel side of the slip but the other end is fastened to cleats attached to the dock. How does that work with tide sliders?
Also for bravajo, the stainless grab bars are interesting but do they have a sturdy attachment at the piling? Seems they are aimed at handling downward stress whereas a boat will be pulling directly outward much of the time. Are you able to get some big lag screws through these grab bar bases? Also for a 4-5' tide range about what length is needed and where are the bars positioned relative to the high and low water marks?
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

So what you are saying is that cleats for the stern are on a fixed pier and not a floating dock? If every line is tied to tide slides, as mine are, you make them all tight and the sliders move up in down with tide and wave action so no need for slack. If you are talking about tide slides in the front and fixed pier in the rear then you will still need to leave slack in the stern lines and at least one spring line.

Get them longer than your tide swing. Mine are 10' so that I won't have to sorry about spring tides or possible storm surge. Mount them so that at the lowest tide your boat cleat is still above the bottom of the slider. Mine are long enough and low enough that I can put any boat in the slip w/o the sliders being too high from the water at low tide.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: securing boat with high tides

The amount of tide you describe is fairly normal. You should back the boat into the slip and cross the aft lines from the dock to the stern cleats. Put a spring line from forward to aft and from aft to forward and then a same-side line from each piling to the bow cleats. When you imagine that the center-to-rear spring line is a pendulum and it swings in a semi-circle on the tides, it's fairly easy to get the right length. Leave all these lines tied to the pilings and dock. Keep a set of traveler lines on the boat and then it's a no brainer when you come in to the slip.
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