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SwanR

Tidy ropes

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Afternoon All,

Meant to ask this question a while ago and have left it a bit late but ... has anyone got any advice for tying the bow ropes on the pulpit rail on a centre cockpit cruiser please?

it's so easy to coil them neatly on a forward steer cruiser but last year we found it a little challenging to know exactly what to do with the ropes on this kind of boat which we were hiring for the first time. They were very neatly tied to the pulpit rail when we took the boat over. And our first mooring was stern on so that was fine. It was only the next day after mooring side on that we realised we weren't entirely sure of the best and easiest way to handle the bow rope when we left the mooring.

Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom that I'm sure will follow. :)

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That's the proper neat and tidy way.

I am going to try and explain what works for someone who isn't good with knots especially releasing even a clove hitch!! Hopefully this will make some sense?

If the rope is still attached to the cleat start at that end and make large coils in the rope (like the link from JM, but as big as you can handle). You dont want them too small so this doesn't work on short ropes. If you work towards a fixed end you will just end up with twists in the coils, so make sure you work away from the cleat.

Once you have the rope coiled place it over the top rail (making sure you have gone under the lower rail first). You should have one end of the coils one side and the other end on the other side of the top rail. Reach though one set of coils and grab the other end of the coils that are on the other side of the rail. Now pull it through until it snugs up, but not too tight. Remember, make sure the rope goes under the bottom rail to start with or when you release it you may end up mooring with the rope over the top of the rails.

This can look a bit scruffy if it is a little loose, but it can be taken off in seconds and the rope easily uncoils and is attached to the cleat ready for use -  If you do it right it wont come off even at 30 knotts!

We normally use this with the bow line attached half way down the boat to our side rails so it can be easily accessed.

It works for us anyway.

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I usually coil the ropes on the stern flat in a circle, a bit like a large plate.  A bit fiddly but appeals to my 'neatness'.  The bow ones 'dangle' from carriers mounted on the bow rail.

 

SueH

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Fully agree Leo 

bring back to cockpit outside all stanchions etc, step off with the ends wrap around nearest posts then sort yourself out, none of this ponsy coiling etc, especially when the crew are not so agile, thats the way we do it

cheers

Ray & Carole

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I always thought bow ropes were cut to a max length so that they finished just short of the prop. That way, if one does 'escape' it wont end up needing a diver to retrieve it.

On a hire boat, yes, but privateers can have them as long as they like. 

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Bow ropes cut so don't reach prop often make crap springs when you want want a good scope, I can see why hire boats don't reach but privates should maybe learn better rope care and not have a reason to whinge about tidal ranges, it's you're own boat and it's on tidal water so it pays to learn about these things.

We started on locked inland rivers so 1.5 times boat length for ropes always made sense for the locks and if you got a rope around a prop it was down to personal stupidity, it's basic darwinism really if you can't be bothered to learn the science about your chosen past-time.

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Bow ropes cut so don't reach prop often make crap springs when you want want a good scope, I can see why hire boats don't reach but privates should maybe learn better rope care and not have a reason to whinge about tidal ranges, it's you're own boat and it's on tidal water so it pays to learn about these things.

We started on locked inland rivers so 1.5 times boat length for ropes always made sense for the locks and if you got a rope around a prop it was down to personal stupidity, it's basic darwinism really if you can't be bothered to learn the science about your chosen past-time.

Oh  really?

Perhaps when you're aged and partly immobile and have to moor solo you'll reconsider your statement? 

Have you considered having extra warps to hand to tie to your bow lines when necessary? We have and do; so does that make us stupid? 

We "learned about these things" about 50 years or more ago and I don't ever recall whingeing about tidal ranges, including sailing the Bristol Channel. 

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Guest

I'm firmly in the "one and half times boat length" camp.

The subject is well covered in the YBW boat forums, which is frequented by a much broader spectrum of boat users and cruising grounds.

http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?312113-Mooring-Warp-lengths&highlight=mooring+warp+lengths

I agree that it would be a nice plus to keep the bow lines short of the prop, but you're stuck with that risk with the stern lines anyway, so I've always just taken precautions to minimise the potential hazard instead.

I always fit additional large cleats vertically inside the cockpit, where the bow lines can be led aft and held neatly and safely, but ready for instant use, single-handed. These I use only to store the warps, never to moor. I take a turn or two to hold them tight from the bow, then coil the excess and hang it over the top horn.

The relative length of the boat also has a considerable impact if you try to keep the bow ropes short. With 40ft hire cruisers, that still gives you plenty for tide height variations, but with a 20ft cruiser, there's far less scope, especially whenever the shore rings or posts aren't immediately adjacent.

(Excuse the quality of the image, the only one I could find was a still from a video.)

cockpit cleat.jpg

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John, I can't help thinking that you have misread Leo's comments.

'it's basic darwinism really if you can't be bothered to learn the science about your chosen past-time.'

I have to say that I applaud Leo's comment, especially when I witness some of the sheer incompetence that I do. No question in my mind that you, John, really do know what you are doing so how could Leo's comment apply to you.

Strow's point about a centrally mounted cleat is sound. Always handy for a spare fend-off too.

Edited by JennyMorgan

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I have to agree with the Admiral and Strowy in that boat length has a lot to say in dictating rope lengths.

There is no way I want the wife jumping off with 60ft of rope in her hand - asking for an accident to happen. 40 ft on the Broads is more than adequate for a 40ft boat. In fact I only have it that long to ease getting off the boat with it.

I also agree the hire yards mostly provide ropes way too short for the job.

We carry about 8 different lengths of rope aboard for all occasions, bow/stern, springs etc and I will use the appropriate rope as the situation dictates (I have kept older ones that are a bit shorter that often get used). And as per the Admiral I have had to join 2 ropes together to make them long enough when rafted up, but for that 1 occasion I don't think it worth the hassle of carrying a pair of 80ft ropes.

Different areas obviously call for different rope lengths etc.as the situations dictate.

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I usually coil the ropes on the stern flat in a circle, a bit like a large plate.  A bit fiddly but appeals to my 'neatness'.  The bow ones 'dangle' from carriers mounted on the bow rail.

 

SueH

We used to call this 'Cheesing' in the mob. Must admit my pet hate is sloppy rope stowage, it can also cause big problems if a 'heap' of rope falls overboard . 

 

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We "learned about these things" about 50 years or more ago and I don't ever recall whingeing about tidal ranges, including sailing the Bristol Channel. 

So that kind of means I'm not calling you stupid in any way, you have chosen a way that works for you and have a system that works for your boat layout and length, you are still here to tell the tale so darwinism still applies.

The original post was about coiling ropes neatly on the bow which in my mind means going out on the bow to fetch a rope tied to one end of the boat, thats a lot of messing about to only have half control of the boat as you step ashore.

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So we managed fine and only did one side on mooring while we were away - just happened to mostly end up where the moorings were stern on.

I would have liked to have moored along the spit at Salhouse but the bow rope wasn't long enough to get ourselves properly tied up to the rather large rectangular mooring posts along there. 

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