What is the issue?In busy town piers, that are open to the public, you can occasionally get mischievous youngsters who see a vessel's belayed shorelines as just too much temptation. A strange mischievous nature can possess them to untie the lines and scarper.
Why address this?Once set adrift in the harbour the vessel could do untold damage to itself and other vessels.
How to address this?A wise precaution if you are in an area where there is a lot of activity is to loop your shorelines through the pier fixings and back down to the vessel so they cannot be undone from the quayside.
Once tethered this way the effort of untying the vessel moves from a spontaneous piece of mischief to a concerted and determined exploit. They either have to come down onto the vessel and release the lines at deck level or cut through the heavy mooring lines on the dock. Both of these requires more effort than the spontaneous devilment that normally inspires this type of problem. Looping the lines has the added benefit of making the vessel easier to slip when departing so it is worth doing in any case.
serious boatmen in an emergency
Photo: Michael Harpur
If you are in an area where this is endemic and you will be leaving the vessel for a period it is worth running a couple of light chains up to the mooring cleats and locking it back with padlocks. But contact the harbourmaster in advance for their permission and leave them with a set of keys if they find it an acceptable measure. Should the boat have to be moved in an emergency most boatmen will have tools to cut through a light chain so it should not provide an impediment to any serious dock work.
With thanks to:George Mahon, Courtown Harbour sailing Club.
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