Using Midships Cleats for Springs

jac

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Not wanting to drift the other thread ( never happens here) I saw comments re using the mid ships cleat for springs which is not something I do and don't remember seeing much.

I have always believed that springs were led from Bow / Stern so somewhere ashore, usually towards the middle / opposite end of the boat.

Midships cleats being useful for a single handed moor ( by motoring against a single line) or to assist those boats that raft against you or even to help turn the boat tightly in tricky situations.

So do others do as I do or am I just missing a trick?
 

JumbleDuck

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So do others do as I do or am I just missing a trick?

My boat is pointy at both ends, so traditional springs back from the bow and forward from the stern don't work well: in a marina they interfere with the fenders and at a quayside they twang up above the toe rail and rub on the shrouds.

When I want to tie up tight I usual end up with a line from the bow going sideways-ish and a line from the same cleat on the pontoon/dock to my midships cleat, with the equivalent arrangement at the other end. Dunno what they are called, but it seems to work.
 

richardabeattie

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I use the midships cleat for the springs when alongside a floating pontoon but full length springs when alongside a fixed wall to allow more give as the tide changes.
 

RichardS

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I use my midship cleat for springs both foreward and aftward to pontoon cleats. My foreward cleat is level with the end of the finger pontoon and the aft pontoon cleat is level with the stern of the boat so there is no scope for lines going beyond the extremities of the boat in either direction, although I would probably still use the mid cleat anyway as I like to "spread the load".

Richard
 

ronsurf

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You use the midship cleat when you're mooring on a pontoon with the wind blowing you off, can't you? You motor in at an angle to get the line from your midship cleat to a pontoon cleat, then you can motor against it to pull the stern in.
 

lw395

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I do whatever works on a particular boat, depending on what cleats (etc) are available on shore.
If it doesn't sit right be cause the current is at a funny angle, or another boat is pulling on it, move a line or add another one.

The Midship cleat often works well for a spring, due to being at the widest point of the boat, pulling almost purely fore and aft.
It may need to run further along the dock to give the same stretch or allow the same up'n'down of the boat.
 

niccapotamus

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I think the argument is that you create a pivot point in the middle of the boat with a midship cleat which can lead to the boat swivelling around this pivot point.

therefore where the berth is a bit rough, in strongish tides, or high winds are possible, or you are leaving the boat in a marina long term which could be exposed to high winds then use springs running from bow and stern.

I use centre cleat a fair bit for springs particularly is it don't matter a toss in reasonable to moderate weather or in a sheltered marina.

Like everything to do with boats and forums there are pedants out there who will raise their hands and call me a philistine and ignoramus for dreaming to do it at all, but hey, they aren't in charge of my boat are they (luckily for my domestic harmony) :)
 

l'escargot

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You're missing a trick. Springs are primarily for controlling fore and aft movement and running springs to the centre cleat achieves this. Adjust your breast ropes accordingly. Particularly useful alongside a pontoon or a finger and not necessarily a good arrangement rising and falling alongside a wall. Shorter lines, less interference with fenders and less likely to rub on the hull or rise up over the toe rail. What's not to like?
 

Fendant

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I am use aft and bow lines to keep the boat parallel to quai / pontoon.
Springs from the midship clamps are used to prevent the boat moving laterally (sometimes using the same clamps on the pontoon as the bow and stern lines ).
Depending on wave activity I am using more or less slack.
 

ianat182

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I don't have amidship cleats for a set of springs, so when mooring up the. bow and stern lines are fixed as normal and I secure a spring from the bow to a central cleat on the pontoon, and lead this same line to the stern of my boat. This arrangement is OK most of the time,but using it as assistance to move forward or aft and spring away needs to be figured out and shortened for a snag free release . Works for me!


ianat182
 

PhillM

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I don't have amidship cleats for a set of springs, so when mooring up the. bow and stern lines are fixed as normal and I secure a spring from the bow to a central cleat on the pontoon, and lead this same line to the stern of my boat. This arrangement is OK most of the time,but using it as assistance to move forward or aft and spring away needs to be figured out and shortened for a snag free release . Works for me!


ianat182

+1 when leaving the boat. If I want to spring off or motor against I rig specific springs and remove the lines while that is holding the boat.
 

stevd

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I am currently without the midship cleat, but have bought the to rail cleats to fit as mid ship cleats. I was hoping these will help out when single handed mooring and for departing. Well mainly for departure, as coming in isn't a problem as the way I currently do it is to quickly rig a spring from the bow and also a stern line, I then jump back on board and put her into forward gear, which gives time to sort everything out.

The difficulty I have, because I am very new to all this, is when I am being clown onto the finger whilst on my own, if I am bows in, and use a bow spring to spring off, by the time I have put her into neutral, released the spring, and then made it back to the cockpit to start reversing out, I have already been blown back onto the finger. I was hoping that with a midship cleat I might be able to make it back in time.

Does anyone use a spring from the bow cleat to a mid point on the finger and have it rigged so that when it slips, it just trails in the water? I really don't like the sound of it, but I guess it could be a possibility as long as the line isn't long enough to reach the prop?
 

BrianH

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I wouldn't be without my midships cleat, it is invaluable when entering my mooring - stern-to a pier between two bow posts - from the side (I am the end box along the pier) drive the bow between the posts and attach a line from the cleat to the inner post then motor in reverse. The spring line then swings the stern neatly into place, something almost impossible with my long-keeler with its opposite prop walk to what is required and a mind of its own in reverse.

But there is another asset - not as a spring, I admit - to this valuable fitting for when singe-handed, as I usually am. Arriving in a harbour and needing to clear in at the customs pier, I can prepare fenders, fore and aft lines, plus a line to the midships cleat. I can then arrive at a ring or ladder in the wall to temporarily attach the midships line while I take my time to go ashore with the fore and aft lines as the boat stays quietly in place along the wall.
 

johnalison

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Anyone rafting onto us is firmly told to spring from the ends. Even with shore lines, springing from the centre allows the outer boat to swing and jerk the inside boat, and my sleep is more important than another sailor's sensitivities.

Occasionally, the mooring alongside makes ideal springing difficult and I sometimes improvise by using springs from the stern and centre cleats, making a crossed but shorter mooring which is OK for settled conditions, and sometimes helps to bring the stern closer to the shore for easier boarding. You only have to look at a couple of boats in a slight chop, one properly sprung and the other not, to see the difference.
 

KellysEye

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We always used midship cleats, they were handy for me to jump on the pontoon and stop the boat with the aft spring which holds the bows in. We had a long keeler so the prop walk was a nightmare but solved by using an aft spring to stop the boat going forward, run the engine at 1,100 revs until we had water flowing over the prop, release the spring and the boat went straight back. If a gale+ was forecast we would double up the springs and use water hose tied at both ends to the springs as anti chafe gear.
 

Davegriff

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*Thread drift*

I've just spotted why I'm getting confused by what seems to be every else's idea of a 'spring'. I know maybe I'm a bit of a stickler for nautical terms, but to me there are 3 types of mooring lines.

1 Breast line - any line running from boat to shore, and generally perpendicular to both. Can be stern, fore, or amidships.
2 Fore and Aft lines - lines run from any point on a boat to another point ashore, further aft or astern than the shipboard end.
3 Spring lines - two lines, similar to the above, but in order to perform their task, they must cross over each other at some point.

I really must remember to stop being so succinct and use the more modern 'loads of waffling' type speach in order to understand or be understood. :D
 

RichardS

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*Thread drift*

I've just spotted why I'm getting confused by what seems to be every else's idea of a 'spring'. I know maybe I'm a bit of a stickler for nautical terms, but to me there are 3 types of mooring lines.

1 Breast line - any line running from boat to shore, and generally perpendicular to both. Can be stern, fore, or amidships.
2 Fore and Aft lines - lines run from any point on a boat to another point ashore, further aft or astern than the shipboard end.
3 Spring lines - two lines, similar to the above, but in order to perform their task, they must cross over each other at some point.

I really must remember to stop being so succinct and use the more modern 'loads of waffling' type speach in order to understand or be understood. :D

Do they have to cross to be effective? If they were tied from the fore and aft cleat to a centre cleat on the pontoon presumably the effect would be the same?

Richard
 

ProDave

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I used to moor against a harbour wall, and found any attempt at conventional springs failed as at low tide the lines to the harbour wall were pulling upwards and the springs invariably flipped one or more fenders up onto the deck.

My solution was instead tie off the "spring" lines to a shackle I fitted at the mast foot on the cabin roof. They still seemed to perform the function of spring lines but remained high enough not to interfere with the fenders.

As already stated every boat in a particular situation can have a unique solution that works.
 

Strolls

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to me there are 3 types of mooring lines.

1 Breast line - any line running from boat to shore, and generally perpendicular to both. Can be stern, fore, or amidships.
2 Fore and Aft lines - lines run from any point on a boat to another point ashore, further aft or astern than the shipboard end.
3 Spring lines - two lines, similar to the above, but in order to perform their task, they must cross over each other at some point.
So types 2 and 3 are both subcategories of type 1?

i.e. fore and aft lines are types of breast line?
 
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lw395

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I think a mooring spring is generally any line which holds the boat forwards or backwards,
A breast line is any mooring line which is there to hold the boat into the dock or to control its angle.
There is no need for springs to cross or run from a particular point, they just have to work.
It's generally best if the are long, which suggests runningthem forward from the stern and back from the bow, but that is not the only way if circumstances allow or dictate otherwise.

A spring can also be a line rigged to an anchor rode, back to the stern, to control the angle of a ship, more useful in gunnery than yachting perchance?
 
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