Docks and Mooring Requirements

Mooring Requirements
By Leathem Mehaffey III & Herman Tietjen

Following the damage done by the storm last year, and after numerous suggestions by members, Herman and I have designed a set of proposed minimum standards for dock and mooring Lines at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.

We hope that you will look them over carefully and send us your comments. The intent is to begin a dialog that will ultimately result in an agreed-upon set of standards to which we will hold ourselves. The idea would be that such a set would be published and available to all members. It is not our intent to set up rules complete with an enforcement mechanism, but instead to have a set of standards which could be invoked by any member who sees that another member is endangering the safety of the club by substandard docking or mooring practice. We would like to have these standards in place by the start of this boating season if at all possible. Thank you.
— Leathem Mehaffey III & Herman Tietjen


There should be at least four lines between the dock and the side of the boat adjacent to that dock. These lines should be of good quality nylon and should include:

  1. Bow line: from the forward cleat on the boat forward to the to a secure point (bollard or cleat) on the dock;
  2. Stern line: from the aft cleat on the boat rearwards to a secure point on the dock;
  3. Bow Spring line: from a bow or waistcleat aft to a secure point on the dock;
  4. Stern Spring line: from a stern or waist cleat forward to a secure point on thedock.

Optional lines for boats in slips include a line
from the bow cleat and/or stern cleat on the side
away from the finger dock to a secure point on the
main dock.
All lines should meet minimum standards for
diameter based on the size of the boat as per the
following table from West Advisor, West Marine
catalog 2000


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All boats on moorings shall have at least one line
from a bow cleat to the swivel found under the
mooring ball. The length of the mooring pendant
should be a minimum of 2.5 times the height of the
deck above the water assuming that the pendant is
attached to a cleat on the deck. (See “The Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring” for more details).

The minimum breaking strength of the line or
lines shall be based upon the size of the boat and the anticipated conditions (PYC standard should be as

for the ABYC) as follows:
Chafing gear: pendant must be protected against
chafing where it passes through the chocks. Chafing under the mooring ball is usually prevented by the swivel provided by the PYC, but the attachment to that swivel should employ a thimble and should be checked periodically. If you choose to use two lines, beware of chafing of one line on the other as the boat swings with the tide, as well as the tendency for the lines to twist with consequent shortening, chafing and loss of strength. In any case, be sure that the breaking strength of the line(s) is (are) sufficient for your boat and expected.

In choosing the breaking strength of your lines, consider the following table (Wall Rope Technical)