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Shore ties: bring your own pitons and gear!


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Would you trust an unknown mooring for the night?  Not me, unless I’m really stuck.  So why did I trust a “park-maintained” shore tie?  Using my own pitons and gear next time!!  
 

I just love the massive new 3/4” shackle, line and thimble - whose breaking strength is probably hundreds of times greater than the rusty, completely worn out chain gear :-)

My shore tie system is primitive.  Time to get some better gear.  Although floating line seems common, I can’t see any reason to have 30m/100 ft lengths of cheap floating crap on board, preferring non-floating line as being far more versatile and valuable (kedging off, spare sheet, etc).

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20 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 Although floating line seems common, I can’t see any reason to a 30m/100 ft length of cheap floating crap on board, preferring non-floating line as being far more versatile and valuable .

yea . . . . if you are not doing a ton of shore lines I can understand using a spare anchor rode (or such).

Floating line is used because it is quicker/easier to run ashore and to recover . . . especially when in heavy kelp or rock bottom (which can create friction for sinking line, and also can bring a lot of kelp and a big clean up job on board).   Typically they also dont absorb water (as most sinking line does) so are also lighter to pull back. In willywaws and/or a really tight cove it is helpful to be able to get the line ashore in a snappy fashion.

You CAN get expensive floating line :) Dyneema would be the first choice.  Samson Ultra Blue has been the 'better than polypro but not outrageously expansive'  option.

Typically sinking line is preferred only when there are bergs potentially floating toward/over your lines - you can lower them so the bergs dont snag on them, or when you might get wave shock loading on the lines (which really you have made a mistake if that is a possibility).

Placing your own Pitons has generally been frowned upon (leave no mark behind).

 

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Just now, estarzinger said:

yea . . . . if you are not doing a ton of shore lines I can understand using a spare anchor rode (or such).

Floating line is used because it is quicker/easier to run ashore and to recover . . . especially when in heavy kelp or rock bottom (which can create friction for sinking line, and also can bring a lot of kelp and a big clean up job on board).   Typically they also dont absorb water (as most sinking line does) so are also lighter to pull back. In willywaws and/or a really tight cove it is helpful to be able to get the line ashore in a snappy fashion.

You CAN get expensive floating line :) Dyneema would be the first choice.  Samson Ultra Blue has been the 'better than polypro but not outrageously expansive'  option.

Typically sinking line is preferred only when there are bergs potentially floating toward/over your lines - you can lower them so the bergs dont snag on them, or when you might get wave shock loading on the lines (which really you have made a mistake if that is a possibility).

Placing your own Pitons has generally been frowned upon (leave no mark behind).

 

I guess what I really meant was having a few pitons on board “in case” - and definitely a few ‘biners to be able clip in to a piton as in my pic, where everything “downstream” is very dodgy...except for the brand new shackle/rope/thimble ! :-) (the piton was solid)

Re: shore lines, I guess it’s a matter of carefully determining what you’re able to fit aboard in terms of number of and type/length of line.

After dropping by a friend’s place a few weeks ago —he’s somewhat sadly long ago given up his big ocean sailing dreams— he unloaded some books one me - so I just happened to have finished reading Hal Roth’s classic “Always a Distant Anchorage”.   Approaching Torres Strait/Australia, they fully run up on a reef (Bramble Cay)  - “fully”, as in several boat lengths up on it.  He describes in gory detail their very heroic (and successful) effort to kedge  off using three anchors and three 100m lines they had on board...very impressive work!...which really got me to thinking about spares/extra crap on board...three 100m lengths of rope, say, 1/2” or 9/16” to keep it reasonable, would be fairly bulky...and then also floating line for shore ties...hmm...

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Just now, estarzinger said:

You CAN get expensive floating line :) Dyneema would be the first choice.  Samson Ultra Blue has been the 'better than polypro but not outrageously expansive'  option.

Hmm, but maybe that Samson Ultra Blue (thanks for the reference!) would serve as a good type for spare line on board (e.g., for everything from floating line for shore ties, to kedging off, etc)?  I don’t know enough about the technical aspects of various ropes, but presumably this would be suitable for such an application (i.e., for having a few 100m coils aboard for “just in case”, as well as for shore ties when needed)?  On our small boat, would be nice to have redundancy/versatility in what we carry, having somewhat limited storage (but a pretty big storage lazarette for a 10m/33’ boat).

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I was thinking that a reel of 1" nylon strap might take up a lot less room than my spool of 3/8 polypro - though it only takes up rail space, it's still COTB.   

Speaking of strap - I've got a couple of 6-foot nylon "tree saver" straps with eyes on both ends to loop around a convenient tree without hurting it.  At least they work for pulling the Jeep (or the UPS truck) out of the mud/snow.  Something like this:

71fGgHLIZ7L._AC_SL1000_.jpg

I tossed one in with the boat gear, though I have yet to use it for that.  

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12 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

thinking about spares/extra crap on board...three 100m lengths of rope, say, 1/2” or 9/16” to keep it reasonable, would be fairly bulky

As a kid, I used to think that my father was bonkers to keep a pair of 300' stout lines on board our semi-open 20-footer.  Then one super-calm morning in my early teens, he got me up very early, and we used the horrible noisy Seagull outboard to propel us, with dinghy in tow, out to the Fastnet Rock.  I sulked; hated the wildly raucous engine, didn't know what was up, wanted breakfast.

We reached the Fastnet in flat calm, and he cut the engine.  "Now what",  I asked.

Step 1: knot the lines together, attach the crappy folding grapnel anchor, and set the hook.

Step 2: row ashore in the crappy wee plastic dinghy, and get the full guided tour from the lighthouse keeper, who welcomed the unexpected company.

Ever since then, I have been a big fan of way too much extra lines.  And I take smug satisfaction out of knowing that nobody can ever replicate that stunt, cos the lighthouse was automated in 1989 and there are no keepers there to let anyone in.

So, Jud -- please get lots and lots of of line, and lots more.  You will find somewhere to stow it.  

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Where were you moored?

I've never seen a shore ring remotely that bad anywhere around here.

When we were out recently we noticed that most of them were pretty new - fresh chain etc.

Additionally, they are only there to limit swing, not act as "moorings" as such.

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1 hour ago, estarzinger said:

yea . . . . if you are not doing a ton of shore lines I can understand using a spare anchor rode (or such).

Floating line is used because it is quicker/easier to run ashore and to recover . . . especially when in heavy kelp or rock bottom (which can create friction for sinking line, and also can bring a lot of kelp and a big clean up job on board).   Typically they also dont absorb water (as most sinking line does) so are also lighter to pull back. In willywaws and/or a really tight cove it is helpful to be able to get the line ashore in a snappy fashion.

You CAN get expensive floating line :) Dyneema would be the first choice.  Samson Ultra Blue has been the 'better than polypro but not outrageously expansive'  option.

Typically sinking line is preferred only when there are bergs potentially floating toward/over your lines - you can lower them so the bergs dont snag on them, or when you might get wave shock loading on the lines (which really you have made a mistake if that is a possibility).

Placing your own Pitons has generally been frowned upon (leave no mark behind).

 

If you're going to spend a lot, those reels of webbing are the cats ass.

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17 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

the cats ass.

is that good or bad? :)

You see them a lot for med-mooring, but you dont see them so much in serious shore tying.  

My experience with them is limited (to med-mooring 112'ers a few times) so I dont have much personal experience to add to their pros/cons. 

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I guess what I really meant was . . . 

sorry, my post was a bit curt.

My only excuse is I'm a bit fried - did a 4 hour workout in some serious heat so I'm not functioning at a high brain level (actually I guess I am never at a high functioning brain level but it is lower than normal atm).

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1 hour ago, toddster said:

I was thinking that a reel of 1" nylon strap might take up a lot less room than my spool of 3/8 polypro - though it only takes up rail space, it's still COTB.   

Speaking of strap - I've got a couple of 6-foot nylon "tree saver" straps with eyes on both ends to loop around a convenient tree without hurting it.  At least they work for pulling the Jeep (or the UPS truck) out of the mud/snow.  Something like this:

71fGgHLIZ7L._AC_SL1000_.jpg

I tossed one in with the boat gear, though I have yet to use it for that.  

That one looks quite fancy... I cruised with cheapo cargo straps... still rated for 8500lbs IIRC and about 25ft. Carried 4, used them to wrap around trees or cement abutments. I also carried a spool of 7mm dyneema, also cheap, chafe resistant, and hella strong... not so good on stretch/shock but you can always put it on a nylon snubber to the boat.

Being able to tie the boat strongly, without having to worry about ruining your nice dock lines, or without compromising because you don't have a line that's long enough, is a great ability for a cruiser.

FB- Doug

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Oh, I think they're less than $20.  Harbor Freight even carries them.  They're made up to look "mean" for the 4x4 crowd.  I went with the short ones because space is even tighter in the Jeep than it is on Arcturus.  Got a pile of the big 35 footers (and winches built in for same) in the back of the farm truck.  

But my brain may be questionable as well - been scrubbing off old glue from the Zodiac with acetone/MEK mix all afternoon in 95° heat.  And ODing on Gatorade.  

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Just now, estarzinger said:

sorry, my post was a bit curt.

My only excuse is I'm a bit fried - did a 4 hour workout in some serious heat so I'm not functioning at a high brain level (actually I guess I am never at a high functioning brain level but it is lower than normal atm).

No - not at all! :-). Didn’t interpret your post as curt.  I just realized after originally posting that I hadn’t been thorough enough in explaining what I’d been thinking.

BTW, re: Samson Ultra Blue - I clicked the link you posted above.  It took me to a 12-strand rope.  Poking around Samson’s site a bit, I see that they make Ultra Blue in an 8 and 3-strand as well.  We’re you suggesting the 12-strand in particular?  
 

I’m not all familiar with rope other than 3-strand nylon for anchor rodes and standard double braid for halyards, etc.  (And of course polypropylene.)

For a boat kitted out for extended offshore cruising and wanting to have several long (say, 100m each) coils aboard, would you say there any big preference for one over the other (12 and 3-strand Ultra Blue)?  After reading that Hal Roth book I mentioned above, and kedging off a massive reef, it “reminded” me that having adequate spare stuff for emergencies (towing, kedging, spare sheet, storm mooring/extra dock lines, etc) is key.  And, more recently, last week, realizing that my shore line gear is quite inadequate.  
 

The 12 and 3 strand Ultra Blue (in 1/2”-5/8”) are each *roughly* the same breaking strength.  Is 12 more supple/easier to handle, being more strands?  Do you think the 3 would be adequate for general spare coils of long lines aboard?  Would you prefer one over the other, other things being equal?

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9 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 We’re you suggesting the 12-strand in particular?  

12 strand does not hock, and flakes in a bag better/neater, and I like the splicing better, and it would be my personal choice, but I don't think it is a big deal - most folks I see with it use the 3 strand. I have never tried the 8 strand.

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 Do you think the 3 would be adequate for general spare coils of long lines aboard?  Would you prefer one over the other, other things being equal?

I've been using the same four coils of 3 strand polyprop as shore lines since arriving in Chile in 2004 - 2 full coils  and two half coils. Floating is the only way to go unless you are - as stated  above - dealing with icebergs. You will soon tire of dragging non floating through kelp.

Pitons?  I have three mega pitons about 2 feet long and 1 inch diameter stock that have been on the boat since she went cross country across France from the Channel to the Med. Have never used them in Chile.

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4 hours ago, estarzinger said:

Floating line is used because it is quicker/easier to run ashore and to recover . . .

It also helps the next boat to invade your quiet cove see where your shore-tie runs, which might - might - help them decide to put their boat somewhere thats not right on top of you....

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2 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 having adequate spare stuff ...

When I replaced the halyards on my 32-footer, I stuffed the old ones in a spare locker.  So... I've got four spare known-good halyards, which also works out to four 120-foot lengths of reasonably strong line that could be used for kedging, or tow-lines, or whatever.  they don't take up much space.

When I head up north of the Sound, I bring a 600-foot spool of 3/8" MFP.   More than strong enough for a shore-tie, and doesn't take up a ton of room (I usually tuck it in the quarterberth, which tends to be the collecting spot for infrequently-used stuff....folding kayak, cockpit cushions, etc)

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Small to medium TriCams, my dude.

Partners mocked me for bringing such old-school gear to the local crags and fiddling with them when a SLCD would be faster and easier to clean. But then we went in the mountains and Presto! they are light, pack small, you can hang five on a carabiner, they are cheap. We used them to guy tents, hang food caches away from bears, rig clotheslines ... and for climbing. They fit pin scars, solution pockets, horizontal cracks. You can bend them around corners. They are remarkably stable once set with a tug. They are cheap enuf to burn as retreat gear, yet bomber enuf you'll trust your life to one on rappel.

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Indeed - tricams are good and simple.  But, well, I guess it’s the webbing on cams/quickdraws that I’d be very careful with on edges if shore tying - boat pitching around at anchor in 30 or so knots... Whereas with a piton, biner and line - set it and forget it.  Well, sorta forget it :-)

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Having had to (once) kedge off, using 3-strand nylon, I gotta say that thirty feet of stretch really is your friend.  It’s like an invisible helper over on the other side of the boat, while you’re working the engine, or the other line.  I know physics can be deceiving, but I’m pretty convinced that at least one of the long strings ought to be strong and stretchy.  

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In Bc we ended up going to a tree more than anything else.  Used a spare rode.  Seems like the self retriever loop is nice in theory but mostly ended up going ashore to get it.  3 strand poly would be the way to go something like blue steal fishing is dirt cheap. The big web on the reel is a pretty nice setup but wonder how it holds up getting dragged over the many nasties, oyster shells, rocks trees etc. Same with a nice multi plait rode.  Seemed like our biggest concern was the six inches of clearance you could get by the neighbors coming in not how bad the wx was.

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3 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

In Bc we ended up going to a tree more than anything else.  Used a spare rode.  Seems like the self retriever loop is nice in theory but mostly ended up going ashore to get it.  3 strand poly would be the way to go something like blue steal fishing is dirt cheap. The big web on the reel is a pretty nice setup but wonder how it holds up getting dragged over the many nasties, oyster shells, rocks trees etc. Same with a nice multi plait rode.  Seemed like our biggest concern was the six inches of clearance you could get by the neighbors coming in not how bad the wx was.

Going around trees is a no-no - it chews up the bark.

A handful of boats doing it to the same tree can ring it which later kills it.

Don't do it.

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8 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

TriCams,

rappel.

What's the strength of the typical cam?

I would have thought a shore tie would be expected to hold significantly higher load (lets just pick 5000lbs as a target benchmark) than a rappel (body weight) or even a fall?

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Going around trees is a no-no - it chews up the bark.

A handful of boats doing it to the same tree can ring it which later kills it.

Don't do it.

Good point, didn't think of that. Popular Ancorage sure the same tree will see some abuse.  I've got a wood boat though so I'm always looking at BF....

We got screwed by the tide a couple times on rocks that was no fun diving for your rode when you wanted to leave..  

Never made it past the popular spots and they had lots of rings in most of those. Sure up north not so many.

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3 hours ago, estarzinger said:

What's the strength of the typical cam?

I would have thought a shore tie would be expected to hold significantly higher load (lets just pick 5000lbs as a target benchmark) than a rappel (body weight) or even a fall?

14kN (3200 lbs force) for the smaller units, and since they are lifesaving gear, you can be sure that a) that number is a bit conservative, and b) every unit is individually pull-tested. Most climbing gear is good for +/- 5000lbs. You count on the energy-absorbing dynamic rope to keep shock loads below that threshold. (An issue, I should think, with Dyneema shore ties.)

As with climbing anchors, probably shouldn't rely on one point of protection to save your boat.

Rock Climbing Anchors and Protection Program from IMCS in North Conway

SRENE: Strong, Redundant, Equalized, No Extension. (Those last two points are often exclusive to some degree, and you have to pick one.)

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3 hours ago, estarzinger said:

What's the strength of the typical cam?

I would have thought a shore tie would be expected to hold significantly higher load (lets just pick 5000lbs as a target benchmark) than a rappel (body weight) or even a fall?

I would be surprised in any of our BC shore ties exceeded 50 lbs. We used the same 180' length of 3/8" braided polypro for 20 years and could always pull the boat up to it by hand. That all depends on picking the right places and the right wind direction. The anchor held the boat, the shore tie held position.

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40 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I would be surprised in any of our BC shore ties exceeded 50 lbs. We used the same 180' length of 3/8" braided polypro for 20 years and could always pull the boat up to it by hand. That all depends on picking the right places and the right wind direction. The anchor held the boat, the shore tie held position.

oh, yes, agreed - usually it is low . . . but very occasionally it is not and I would prefer it to not break :)

1 hour ago, Diarmuid said:

14kN (3200 lbs force) for the smaller units,

 

ah, better than I expected.  I wonder how often you would have a correct crack for one - I never looked - but usually the shore is a jumble of various (relatively small - eg small car or refrigerator size and less) rocks - some times in some places (sweden and norway) you have more of a rock 'face' where good  cracks would be common.  In Sweden there were often 'historically placed' bolts at the right points.

Slings around the biggest rocks or trees are by far the common anchor technique.  Very occasionally we took an anchor ashore and hand placed it.

One of the great joys of shore ties is actually being able to see it and know it is secure - unlike the damn bow anchor where you just have to trust to the gods.  After a year or more in Chile of being able to see your 4 point shore tie, and sailing to more 'normal' anchoring locations you have to re-adapt to trusting that piece of steel on the bottom you cant see (it is a common point of discussion around the cockpit with a nice glass of red). 

 

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14 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

ah, better than I expected.

Because you seem to enjoy this sort of thing: :)

https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/stories/experience-story-qc-lab-ultimate-strength-gear-testing/

We relied a bunch on natural chockstones and pinch-offs between jumbled boulders, as well. Tho you do need to reckon the possible shifting of rocks. Most of them are pretty damned solid, between native mass and time cementing them into place. At English gritstone edges or certain Czech trad regions, where pitons or expansion bolts are strictly verboten, contriving natural anchors is a fine art.

23 Anchors ideas | climbing technique, climbing knots, mountaineering  climbing

 

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16 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

 

image.png.da49de86c65e55d0b2c6696862e2d44a.png

 

The closer one is machine sewn dyneema webbing - right, what width out of curiosity 10 or 12mm?  What is the further one - is it rope, or is it also web but twisted and/or joined - can't tell from pic quality?

In the destruction testing - interesting the failure mode is almost always the connection (cable or sling) that breaks - would be relatively easy to beef that up (at least in some of the designs - harder in the very smallest ones).

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I always kept a few lengths of chain (6-15 feet) for wrapping around rocks and rusty steel pilings.

As for climbing gear (and I have a LOT and climb most weeks), even top roping, it's usually simpler to use a longer anchor rope. Another 25 feet will probably get you something easy to wrap. I doubt I would enjoy cleaning Tricams or stoppers after the boat had bounced on them.

 

(Yes, Tricams are totally cool for weird rock.)

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7 hours ago, estarzinger said:

What's the strength of the typical cam?

I would have thought a shore tie would be expected to hold significantly higher load (lets just pick 5000lbs as a target benchmark) than a rappel (body weight) or even a fall?

 

TriCam.png

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For the non-cognoscenti here, as it’s not general knowledge, “cleaning Tricams” does not mean going at the gear (e.g., Tricam, that you’ve just removed from the rock crack) with a stiff wire brush to clean it of dirt and grit :-) :-).  It means the act of removing it from the crack: cleaning the rock of gear.  (Pitons, by contrast, generally aren’t able to be cleaned out: once they’ve been hammered in, they’re in.)

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2 hours ago, estarzinger said:

One of the great joys of shore ties is actually being able to see it and know it is secure - unlike the damn bow anchor 

Except where I “shore tied”.  It was also on the outside edge of a bay (two other boats present made it impossible to move a bit further in to a more sheltered place) and blowing 20-25 at night down the channel that leads to the bay, so there were occasional gusty “fingers” reaching in to push us around - just a bit more than I wanted after I’d seen how fucking dodgy the chain, etc was. :-). A gin and tonic as the sun went down soon cured me of any more worries - that and letting out more chain.  Worst case there, in that location, the shore ties breaks and, being at the mouth of the bay (and with long-ish shore ties), you simply hang back on the anchor in 10m of depth, bounce around a bit in the wind, and retrieve the line in the morning after coffee - way lower stakes than a Patagonian anchorage!
 

Still, that chain pisses me off - my high Canadian taxes are supposed to keep our infrastructure top notch :-)

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Still, that chain pisses me off - my high Canadian taxes are supposed to keep our infrastructure top notch :-)

Where was that sketchy chain? That old, my guess would be leftovers from a logging operation. Weird about the new line shackled on though - they even wired the shackle!

FWIW, mostly of the chains in BC parks are installed by the non-profit BC Marine Parks Forever society. They've been busy too - I saw a ton a nice new chains (and anchors) this summer. So don't worry, your tax dollars are being put to use on more important things like opportunistic elections and 2nd hand submarines.

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Noticing that quite a few popular trees up in Deso have permanent hawser-size lines on them now.  You can tie through them without worrying about damaging the tree, unless you are driving something over 60'.

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Just now, andykane said:

Where was that sketchy chain? That old, my guess would be leftovers from a logging operation. Weird about the new line shackled on though - they even wired the shackle!


Yup - I noticed the nicely seized shackle too!  They were so focused on installing their new gear well, they failed to notice the chain was almost disintegrated! :-)

It was on Jedediah (Deep Bay). Coulda been part of an old booming operation and the parks folks just left it there from years ago, never renewing it?  The (quite big) piton makes me think so, as I presume newer anchors (by parks folks) would be drilled in stainless expansion bolts, as for fixed climbing anchors.

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3 minutes ago, Blitz said:

Could be worse, they could be bull rails.:D

I learned bull rail tie-ups here on the Chesapeake Bay 40 years ago. Easy, not a "thing." Watermen will snicker at you if you complain.

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23 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

For the non-cognoscenti here, as it’s not general knowledge, “cleaning Tricams” does not mean going at the gear (e.g., Tricam, that you’ve just removed from the rock crack) with a stiff wire brush to clean it of dirt and grit :-) :-).  It means the act of removing it from the crack: cleaning the rock of gear.  (Pitons, by contrast, generally aren’t able to be cleaned out: once they’ve been hammered in, they’re in.)

I should have explained myself. I can think of several climbs that have "fixed " (climber slang for permanently stuck) Tricams.

And then there are sailing mooring using bolts in cliffs. There are some ring bolts around here pushing 150 years with minimal corrosion. Freshwater, about 3/4" diameter. I'm surprised there is not greater use of expansion bolts for fixed anchors.

 

 

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1 hour ago, thinwater said:

I should have explained myself. I can think of several climbs that have "fixed " (climber slang for permanently stuck) Tricams.

And then there are sailing mooring using bolts in cliffs. There are some ring bolts around here pushing 150 years with minimal corrosion. Freshwater, about 3/4" diameter. I'm surprised there is not greater use of expansion bolts for fixed anchors.

 

 

A Bosch hammer drill and box of Rawls and you'll never sweat a stern tie again. ;)

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Just now, estarzinger said:

Out of pure curiosity - I dont know anything about bolts - what diameter/length would be 'right' for a bulletproof stern tie?  Link to a specific product?

Well, I’ve seen plenty of 1/4” non-stainless bolts placed as protection on older (‘70s?) sport climbing routes.  Bolts which, depending on rock quality and other variables, are supposed to be able to take a fall.  They generally do, I think.  (Try not to think about it, or fall on them...). Nowadays the standard is 3/8” stainless.  (Not sure about length, though.)  So......

Anchors (belay/rappel) will be two bolts.

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4 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

Out of pure curiosity - I dont know anything about bolts - what diameter/length would be 'right' for a bulletproof stern tie?  Link to a specific product?

Truth is, there are so many concrete/stone/masonary anchor products it's hard to generalize about any of them. Wedge, sleeve, shield, glue-ins.... I'd trust a reasonably new 3/8" or larger expansion bolt in stone or undecayed concrete to hold a shore line against most blows. If it's not corroded inside. And was installed by a reasonably competent person. Stronger in shear than in pullout.

ITW Redheads and Rawl wedge or 6-piece anchors were the standard in rock climbing. For softer sandstone, like Navajo or Moenkopi, many preferred glue-ins.

That said, I've whipped on 1/4" buttonheads with homemade hangers that were probably older than I am, and they held the fall.

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there were bolts places in Calata Brecknock630097191_BrecknockAnchorage.thumb.jpg.9ba7778922a4db4256a2b84ba8df5510.jpgcknock in between our 2nd and 3rd visit there. I dont know by whom - I doubt by any national authority, but there were a lot of climbers also on boats down there.  My impression was they were 'glued in' (by something cement looking) but IDK.  I did not use them because I had no idea of their origin or how they were placed.

Photo - I circled the cove you tie into - in calm conditions you bow anchor and 2 stern lines, but in strong conditions you add 2 bow lines so you are tied 4 square.  It can get a little breezy.

This was a pretty typical forecast one time we were hanging out there going for walks :

SYNOPTIC SITUATION
FRONTAL EDGE TO UNSTABLE.
FORECAST: WIND W/NW 30/40 KT GUSTY 60 KT SHIFTING S/SW 40/50 KT (GALE) GUSTY 80 KT. WAVES 5-8M.
OUTLOOK: WIND S/SW 45/35 KT SHIFTING NW/W 30/40 KT (GALE) GUSTY 60KT.

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Evans, please provide guidance as to the winds expected under the definition “a little breezy” :-) :-)  

(The closest I could find, here, was, “Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; wind vane moved by wind. Small wavelets on sea.” :-) )

 

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21 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Evans, please provide guidance as to the winds expected under the definition “a little breezy” :-) :-)  

 

I just added an edit to the post for you :) - directly cut and pasted from our blog . . .  and note - this did not qualify for an 'Avisos de Mau Tempo.'  that would have had gusts over 100. You do also get some dead calm days, usually in ridges between the lows, but sometimes (more often in winter) high pressure actually settles in.

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Typical pullout on 3/8" sleeve or wedge expansion bolt in hard stone or concrete is ~1500-2000 pounds; in shear, 2500-3000 lbs. That's pretty strong, tho less strong than a good TriCam placement. ;) I've always said I'd rather trust trad gear I placed over an unspecified bolt installed by who-knows-who. I have never once had a piece of my own gear fail to catch a fall or tear out of the rock. Had cams skate a bit in desert stone, but they still caught me. Had quite a few pieces lift out when leading above them, which can certainly pucker the old bum -- you look down and see the last two stoppers, the two keeping you off the ground, spiral down the rope on their quickdraws while your belayer shouts "Don't fall just now, okay?"

About climbing gear failing at the cable or sling during TTD: yeah, that's inevitable really. Increasing cable size won't help, because bigger wire needs a bigger bending radius. I trust BD, Petzl, and Wild Country ran the numbers and used the beefiest wire or sling that would work with the unit it goes on. Lead gear just doesn't fail in the field. You are vastly more apt to rappel off the ends of your rope than to die because a bolt or piece of trad gear failed. Rope or sling cutting over sharp edge; rope behind leg flips you over; rockfall; belayer error; overconfidence. Those things will kill you. The gear? It's pretty damned good. :)

 

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16 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

I just added an edit to the post for you :) - directly cut and pasted from our blog . . .  and note - this did not qualify for an 'Avisos de Mau Tempo.'  that would have had gusts over 100. You do also get some dead calm days, usually in ridges between the lows, but sometimes (more often in winter) high pressure actually settles in.

As the French say, sucking in a bit of breath, whistling through their teeth slightly, “oh la la!”

Jolie brise!

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2 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Evans, please provide guidance as to the winds expected under the definition “a little breezy” :-) :-)  

(The closest I could find, here, was, “Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; wind vane moved by wind. Small wavelets on sea.” :-) )

 

Here's one guide.

Quote

The Beerfort Scale


 

Force 0: Sails hanging limp. Tiller tends itself.

Force 1: Beginning pressure on sails. If sheet is eased out, the tiller still tends itself.

Force 2: Sails flapping in the breeze, and boat drifting to leeward. Sheets must be tightened and one hand put on the tiller. As the wind fills the sails, the boat heels. Case of beer must be placed on cockpit floor.

Force 3: The beer may be knocked over and must be supported or held in hand.

Force 4: Empty bottles rolling against each other on cockpit floor. Must be thrown over side.

Force 5: All beer streaming behind boat must be hauled in.

Force 6: Nobody can hold onto more than one beer at a time.

Force 7: The case of beer slides back and forth on cockpit floor. One person must be appointed to sit on it.

Force 8: Bottles can still be opened by one person. Beginning of difficulties pouring into the mouth without spilling.

Force 9: Bottle must be held with two hands. Only experts can get the cap off by themselves.

Force 10: Two people required to open bottles. Empties must be thrown to leeward only. Very difficult to find mouth. Some teeth may be knocked loose.

Force 11: The beer tends to foam out of bottle. Very difficult to drink. Lips split and teeth fall out.

Force 12: All open bottles foam. Impossible to drink. Temporary abstinence may be required.

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I actually had a couple of beers in the icebox explode.  I didn't think it was that rough.  But then I realized that I had a bloody sprained ankle and no memory of exactly when that happened.  Fortunately, there were still a couple of beers left.

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3 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

You are vastly more apt to rappel off the ends of your rope than ...

Ugh.  That thought had never occurred to me, now it's stuck in my head.  Thanks for that.

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38 minutes ago, sledracr said:

Ugh.  That thought had never occurred to me, now it's stuck in my head.  Thanks for that.

Rappelling errors are a favorite way to die. Unlike spec-op wannabes, climbers hate to rappel. Rapping means the fun part is over. Maybe you topped out, or got stormed off, or just suck and are retreating in anger, bitching with your partner all the way down over whose fault it was. Maybe you are working by headlamp after 10 hours peak adrenaline bath, you've eaten one Clif Bar since dawn, and you are pretty sure there's a ledge below to land on so you skip knotting the rope ends together. Shoop, whoosh, splutt.

Lost some great freaking climbers to rappelling errors. Bein, Patey, Harlin, Skinner....

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2 hours ago, sledracr said:
6 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

You are vastly more apt to rappel off the ends of your rope than ...

Ugh.  That thought had never occurred to me, now it's stuck in my head.  Thanks for that.

Don't climbers use stopper knots?

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17 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Don't climbers use stopper knots?

Sometimes most of the time all the time except the one time when you don't and you die.

Let's talk about how great stopper knots are until you forget them in the dark and one jams in the rap anchor on retrieval and now you have only one rope to reach the next rap station, 150 free-hanging feet below.:( Or that time the wind catches the rap ropes and wedges your stopper knot in the next dihedral over. 

It's like tying stopper knots in your jib sheets. Usually a good idea, until the day it isn't.

We generally tied both ends together in a simple overhand. Then you climb with a new partner who doesn't and shoop whoosh splut.

I once got halfway down a free-hanging rappel at Lumpy Ridge and realized my belay/rappel device was pulling sort of sideways. Yeah, that's because it was clipped to a gear loop on my harness, instead of to the thick webbing belay loop. Woke me right the fuck up.

Climbing-Gear-Loops-660x366.jpg

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Nope. Just like sailing or surfing or hang gliding or open water diving, it is an excercise in problem solving + dynamic risk management in a force-rich environment. Climbing offers a uniquely broad selection of ways to die, most of them patently obvious and just one mistake away. But it is objectively safer than riding a motorcycle in traffic, perhaps somewhat riskier than riding a horse.

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17 hours ago, DDW said:

If bull rails were any good, climbers would be using them to belay.....

Once in Edorado Canyon I used the cable anchors Baldwin left behind as an anchor (2-inch steel cable). They were a little old.

https://cdn2.apstatic.com/photos/climb/108528432_large_1494287666.jpg

Hell, I've rapped of an azela bush.  Gently.

---

Joking aside, bull rails have advantages that you're not interested in learning.

  • They take any number of lines, without competition.
  • Never have to fool with other people's lines when leaving.
  • Any line size.
  • They serve as guardrails for carts and vehicles.
  • Easy to make very strong.

Not my favorite, but far better than too few, too small cleats. Better than rings.

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8 hours ago, thinwater said:

Joking aside, bull rails have advantages that you're not interested in learning.

Joking aside, I've learned just about everything there is to learn from bull rails and find them wanting. Sure, compared to a very poor cleat install perhaps equal, but with good cleats and enough of them they are superior in every single way. 

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28 minutes ago, DDW said:

Joking aside, I've learned just about everything there is to learn from bull rails and find them wanting. Sure, compared to a very poor cleat install perhaps equal, but with good cleats and enough of them they are superior in every single way. 

You can't burn cleats to keep you warm.

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13 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

You can't burn cleats to keep you warm.

Just the magnesium ones...

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13 hours ago, Ishmael said:

You can't burn cleats to keep you warm.

So we just need a nice, long, deep freeze up there and you'll burn all the bull rails?

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33 minutes ago, IStream said:
13 hours ago, Ishmael said:

You can't burn cleats to keep you warm.

So we just need a nice, long, deep freeze up there and you'll burn all the bull rails?

Damn that global warming, coming along at just the wrong time!

FB- Doug

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12 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Damn that global warming, coming along at just the wrong time!

FB- Doug

Wildfires will do the job just as well as disgruntled sailors. ;)

 

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True, but they tend to burn the docks too. 

EDIT: Has anyone spotted a concrete dock with wooden bull rails yet? Metal rails don't count. Though they share many of the undesireable characteristics of the wooden ones, they don't splinter as easily.

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16 hours ago, DDW said:

Titanium, too. 

Finding a lighter that burns at 1500 degrees is problematic though.

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We have lots of wood, if the bull rails get burnt for heat we have more... and it is good to change 'em out, keeps the splinters fresh.

The bull rail at my dinghy dock is really tasty because I keep dragging my dinghy up over it so that I can drain the rainwater out, this leaves a lovely bonus encrustation of bottom growth on the bull rail.

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21 hours ago, DDW said:

Joking aside, I've learned just about everything there is to learn from bull rails and find them wanting. Sure, compared to a very poor cleat install perhaps equal, but with good cleats and enough of them they are superior in every single way. 

Cleats don't serve as guard rails for vehicles, such as pick-up trucks.

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51 minutes ago, thinwater said:

Cleats don't serve as guard rails for vehicles, such as pick-up trucks.

No - but pickup trucks have never seen the boards of the remote marina floats in the PNW, no automobile has ever been there, or on the island to which they are anchored. If you want them as curbs on an industrial dock, wonderful. Even better if they have cleats bolted to them so you can adjust your lines. I speak from experience. 

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Finding a lighter that burns at 1500 degrees is problematic though.

I think you can just do that with a flint. I've lit off the Ti swarf in my lathe chip pan, no lighter was required. 

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7 hours ago, IStream said:

Has anyone spotted a concrete dock with wooden bull rails yet?

We hit a floating maybe 4’x4’ chunk of floating concrete dock  mid-Pacific on the way back from Hawaii years back.  I’m pretty sure that what did the damage to the hull, a chunk removed right at the waterline, was a big nasty metal horn cleat on the chunk of floating concrete dock.  If it had bull rails, we would’ve slid up over it nice and smoothly, never even knowing it was there...

Can we go back to talking about stern ties now?  Idea: install bull rails at designated stern tie points to give options.  Everyone likes options, rather than being hemmed into the extremely constrictive confines of a single tie point, as cleats dourly require of the user. They’re like straightjackets, or corsets, if you prefer.

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On 8/17/2021 at 3:31 AM, Diarmuid said:

snip...

 

I once got halfway down a free-hanging rappel at Lumpy Ridge and realized my belay/rappel device was pulling sort of sideways. Yeah, that's because it was clipped to a gear loop on my harness, instead of to the thick webbing belay loop. Woke me right the fuck up.

 

All this talk of Eldorado and Lumpy is making me nostalgic for my grad school days - I had a lot of fun.

Never tried rappelling off my gear loops - I used to have a routine check that started with "Is my harness attached to my body?" all the way through to "Is the anchor (or azalea bush) attached to the cliff?"

But then on my boat I've twice caught myself with the tether clipped to just one of the D-rings on my harness, leaving me dependent on just the plastic buckle.  D'Ohhh!

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1 hour ago, Corryvreckan said:

All this talk of Eldorado and Lumpy is making me nostalgic for my grad school days - I had a lot of fun.

Never tried rappelling off my gear loops - I used to have a routine check that started with "Is my harness attached to my body?" all the way through to "Is the anchor (or azalea bush) attached to the cliff?"

But then on my boat I've twice caught myself with the tether clipped to just one of the D-rings on my harness, leaving me dependent on just the plastic buckle.  D'Ohhh!

In my defense, I was working 100hr weeks and that particular day started at 3AM, baked bread til 9, roommate picked me up and we drove straight down to RMNP. I was not in a good headspace for climbing. :mellow: That's why I usually rank 'fatigue' as one of the least respected contributing factors to accidents.

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Variations on a Theme (name that boat and win an all-expense paid trip to see seals, I mean Seal :-) )

Interesting technique.  First one uses wire rope, thimbles, and bulldog clamps; the second one?  Dunno!  Maybe snow pickets hammered into the ground instead?  (Can’t see any boulders or obvious things the lines are tied to).  Looks dodgy, probably isn’t at all in those very capable hands...but I’d be curious to know what they’re attached to.

22BD3777-7DE6-4AD9-A50A-4006E49AB58B.jpeg

37E853D6-19DB-450A-923E-7B08F2C51AC0.jpeg

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On 8/16/2021 at 4:32 PM, estarzinger said:

Out of pure curiosity - I dont know anything about bolts - what diameter/length would be 'right' for a bulletproof stern tie?  Link to a specific product?

https://www.mcmaster.com/standard-anchors/super-corrosion-resistant-316-stainless-steel-stud-anchors-for-concrete/

Ballpark sizing, same diameter as the nylon 3-strand anchor rope you'll be using will get about the same ultimate pullout strength as the breaking strength of the rope, at least in 4,000 PSI concrete (which is a notch better than your average concrete floor).  The strength in rock would depend on the rock.

At higher loads I would install a padeye with several smaller anchors rather than try to drill a single very large hole in the side of the rock.

Another alternative is to use hydraulic cement e.g. Rockite or Kwikset (https://rockitecement.com/) - these and similar products can be used to set a cap screw in place (threads out) in an oversized hole.  This would be my preferred technique in softer rock and is perfectly acceptable in hard concrete as long as you're willing to drill a larger hole than would be necessary for an anchor.  You can get rockite anywhere and use ordinary bolts and washers (stainless or otherwise) -- while a stainless steel anchor in larger sizes is a specialty item

I have used both the anchors and the cement to attach things to concrete and rock walls where the material was soft or the load too great for tapcons. 

Ages ago in my misspent youth I saw some bolts being set in a granite rock by pouring molten lead around them.  This was for a launcher for clay pigeons so a high vibration environment.  Lasted for decades.

In hard rock the most difficult part is drilling the hole

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10 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 

37E853D6-19DB-450A-923E-7B08F2C51AC0.jpeg

This second picture - is it the aleutian islands?  Looks like it. No trees and few big boulders for slings.  Danforths, or mooring screws, or snow stakes (or just pipe hammered in).  Wind can come from any direction there - so (depending on what is out of the picture frame) this may not be 'bulletproof' but probably great for the forecast at the time.

7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

yea, people who actually know what they are doing :)  (I say that in all seriousness).

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btw - that blue line Seal is using looks like the samson ultra-blue stuff.

Hamish would have a complete assortment of snow and ice gear n board - I wonder how a 22cm ice screw would do for those shore ties - ofc depend on the soil. I've never used one so idk, is just a random though (I would have used either danforths or short mooring screw in that pictured situation) - need Steve to start also testing shore tie attachments :)

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The working load limit of climbing gear varies from 500-1000 pounds. You need to determine if that is enough, but I'd say over about 35 feet you need to seriously consider using several equalized bits. The main nuisance of crack gear will be getting it stuck.

Ice screws are fun, I've used them lots climbing, but even in cold conditions they can melt out if in the sun and specifically if loaded continuously for hours. I wouldn't consider them if there are any other options. If I was stepping off onto an ice sheet with a dinghy, two 20 feet back from the edge would do nicely. If was willing to step onto an ice sheet.

Glue-in bolts, 3/8" or greater, with 316 SS hangers, are probably the best type of bolts for seaside locations. The UIAA has posted papers on this.

But I'd carry a little more rope and chain and find something I can wrap.

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