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guess how much slack to leave in a line to
accommodate tidal range; the boat can be
tied closer to the dock without fear of it
drifting too close.
TideMinders employs nine virtually
indestructible balls that are threaded onto
the line and secured with two figure-eight
knots. As the tide changes, the balls roll
up and down on the piling, eliminating
the need to adjust lines and offering constant tension with built-in shock absorption. TideMinders is simple to install and
requires no tools. Available in black, blue,
and safety orange, they fit any size piling
and protect lines up to one inch for docking larger boats.
To use TideSlides, a stainless-steel
shaft attaches to a dock piling. A specially
molded polymer block or cleat attaches
to the stainless shaft. The dock line is
tied between the TideSlide block and the
appropriate cleat on the boat. As the boat
floats up and down with the tidal changes,
the slides (with lines attached) also move
up and down the shaft, holding the same
tension on the lines no matter what the
state of the tide. One slider accommodates
a bow or stern line and also a spring line.
Those who keep their boats in covered
slips have created novel ways to leave bow
lines when exiting the slip in order to have
them handy upon return. The boathouse
roof allows for suspending a bracket over the
slip, ready for a boathook grab when the boat
returns to the slip after a day on the water.
In the photo one creative captain hung up a
cutout of a traditional anchor shape.
Boats kept in a typical uncovered slip
often leave bow lines on a hook or bracket
attached to the dock at the front of the slip,
not quite as convenient as an overhead
hanging bracket, but ready for a boathook
grab. Placing lines this way not only keeps
them reachable, it also keeps them away
A bracket hanging from the roof of a boathouse makes it easy to drop or pick up bow lines.
from feet that might trip over them, and
out of the water where they could foul the
The same type of hook that holds
bowlines on the dock is useful for all docking lines. Attach a hook fairly high on each
dock piling, so all lines are kept high and
dry and within boathook-grabbing range.
Buy no-maintenance hooks made of PVC
or make them out of wood or StarBoard.
If the boat doesn’t have midship
cleats, it would be smart to add them. They
simplify the tie-up procedure, whether
the boat is at home port or away. Midship
cleats allow a much better lead for spring
How To Get Looped
Another relatively new product
to help grab dock lines safely from a
moving boat is the Landing Loop, a
lightweight, three-part, telescoping
aluminum pole that works much like
a boat hook. The pole extends from
45 inches to approximately 11 feet,
and locks in place with the twist.
The aluminum pole does not wobble
or flex when extended. A sturdy
Y-shaped metal head locks onto the
pole and accommodates standard
dock lines from a half-inch to three-
quarter-inch in diameter. The spe-
cially designed tips of the Landing
Loop hold the dock line in a wide
loop so that the line can be hooked
over a cleat or piling while the boat
is still 10 feet or so from the dock. It
collapses for easy storage and also
works with any size or type of boat.