Mind your docking lines
Recently, I looked into my rode locker. Instead of the neat, orderly docking lines I thought I had stowed, I found what looked like an explosion in a spaghetti factory. I don’t know what force of nature turns rope into a tangled mess, but I now believe any line left to itself will become foul and knotted beyond human understanding.
Tangled lines can be dangerous. In addition to docking and spring lines, every berth has electrical lines and water hoses. Together, they present a serious hazard. The marina where my boat, Melodic, spends the winter has finger slips more akin to rocking horses than walkways—treacherous even at the best of times. The other evening, my sidestepping a minefield of lines and hoses turned into a high-wire act as I tried to avoid losing my balance and falling into the drink. So, for safety’s sake, be mindful of the lines attached to your boat.
The bitter ends of docking lines should be neatly formed into a Flemish coil. Aside from presenting a handsome appearance at the dock, this prevents the lines from running wild. Electrical cords should be plugged in, coiled twice around the dockside outlet, and then strung to the boat, leaving no excess cord on the dock. Long water hoses pose a particular hazard, but now you can buy inexpensive hoses that coil themselves into a tight, manageable circle, leaving a less hazardous footprint on the dock.
If we watch our docking lines, our marina’s docks will be safer for everyone. –Dan Fannon
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