We live in a marina that does not have floating docks.  This is not necessarily a big deal, but sometimes the water level change can be somewhat drastic, despite what the tide charts will tell you.

We’ve gone from a high water level where we have to step 2 feet down from the deck of the boat to the finger pier, to a low water level where we have to step up 5 feet from the deck of the boat to the finger pier.

This isn’t about the difficulty of getting on and off the boat.  This is rather about PROPERLY tying a dock line to a cleat.

I’m no sailing expert.  But, it seems that there are some things that should be common sense.  Especially among folks that say they are sailors.

We had a super low tide at the end of January.  So low, in fact, that a good number of the boats in the marina were literally hanging from their dock lines.  I go up and down our dock during these times checking friends’ boats to make sure they are OK.  Sure enough, a few were hanging.  I went on board (permission has been given by said boat owners to come aboard if I deem the situation warrants it) to remedy the problem and much to my dismay I could do nothing about it on a couple of the boats.  They had literally knotted their dock lines around their cleats.  The only way to release the lines would have been to cut them.  Permission was not given to do that and, frankly, I wouldn’t want to cut any lines unless it was an emergency.

A cleat hitch is pretty simple to tie and there’s really no excuse for doing it incorrectly.

This was a mess.

This was a mess.

Yikes. How to undo this undo tension?

Yikes. How to undo this under tension?

Correctly done!

Correctly done!

How to do it correctly. From https://marinemax.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/cleat-hitch-full.png

Published On: 2016 February 13

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