SECURING A VESSEL WITH BERTHING LINES
From Leith Pritchard. EFYC YWA Power Boat Instructor/Assessor
Volunteers are a fundamental, necessary and highly valued part of our club’s operation. Those who skipper support vessels are integral to the success of weekly sailing events.
Many such volunteers are ‘part time boaties’ and, understandably as such have perhaps not had a broad experience in all aspects of skippering small boats.
We notice from time to time that when Support 2 is tied alongside the method by which it secured is not what could be described as ‘conventional practice’.
Simply, in nearly all cases of securing a vessel alongside the accepted method is as follows.
Bow Line A rope tied securely but not tightly from the bow to a point on the jetty slightly forward of the bow.
Stern Line A rope tied securely but not tightly from a point on the stern furthest away from the jetty to a point on the jetty slightly aft of the stern.
Note that bow and stern lines are not tight. This helps prevent chafing against the jetty, whether or not fenders are used.
Bow and Stern Springs These are absolutely essential and properly secured are an indication of good boating practice. They are there to stop for and aft movement of the vessel, so they should be tight. As such they prevent either bow or stern lines dragging the gunwales – or perhaps more delicate parts of the boat – on to the jetty.
Both bow and stern springs preferably – especially for smaller boats – should be at least half the length of the boat. They generally but not necessarily are tied from a central point on the vessel to points on the jetty level with the boat’s for and aft extremities. Bow and stern springs. also ensure that fenders remain in effective positions.
A CORRECTLY SECURED VESSEL IS A STRONG INDICATION INDEED OF SKIPPER’S BOATING PROWESS.
Note that in the following diagram, the bow and stern lines would be more effective if they were closer to the vessel.