Looking forward to the invention of cleats in Canada

Norse Horse

Super Anarchist
4,987
546
The Rock
No six shooter and cowboy hat???? :eek:

Surely that will mean automatic revocation of your Texas citizenship? ;)
Careful...Cowboy hats, six shooters, policemen, construction workers, indian headdresses, rainbow cleats .... may want to Liberal Up before you arrive :) NTTAWWT

https://rebrn.com/re/the-city-of-corner-brook-newfoundland-recently-installed-two-rai-2645362/



Ring Rd Victoria. No I didn't make that up...

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Windward

Super Anarchist
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We just pulled in to Bellingham and our dock has both bull rails AND cleats - big ugly splintery bull rails on the finger we're alongside, then one beautiful steel cleat directly in front of our bow - totally useless.  If they took all the unused cleats out of the heads of the slips on this pontoon and just put them on the fingers instead, they could get rid of at least half the bull rails without even buying any new cleats!  I thought we would be safe from this plague because we're still south of the border, but apparently the bull-rail disease has slipped across the border...  We should build a wall to keep the damn things out!
Look around a bit.  You may find some enterprising folks have a loop of chain around the rails, and then to a line.

Over in the fishing fleet area are you?

Chews the heck out of the wood, but nobody seems to care.

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
6,239
972
Oh there are plenty of ways to try to work around the evils of bull rails. All of which are made unnecessary simply by installing cleats. 

 

Windward

Super Anarchist
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624
Oh there are plenty of ways to try to work around the evils of bull rails. All of which are made unnecessary simply by installing cleats. 
It's Anarchy out there.

We could all hope for Med Moorings.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,684
1,407
Canada
This technology - universally used in the rest of the civilized world - has not made it to Canada. Instead the docks have a rough board bolted down to the edge of the dock.

Very sharp dividing line as the US/Canada border. This is not unique to BC, the same was true in Atlantic Canada.

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To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, “North is North, and South is South - and never the ‘twain shall meet.”

You lily-livered Yanks should feel lucky we provide those smooth, luxurious, tie-where-you-like, wooden rails.  In wild woolier northcountry of Scandinavia, they make delicate yachties pound steel pitons into fissures in onshore rocks and secure their mooring lines to them!  Wooden rails, where you can tie anywhere, smoothly sanded and maintained by our proud Canadian socialist workers, are a godsend here in the southern northcountry!  (And they tend to dissuade all but the heartiest Yank yachties from venturing to far north here.) 

:) :)

http://www.camerondueck.com/?tag=swedish

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Panoramix

Super Anarchist
Figure 8 - You loop around the rail right beside the block of wood that supports the rail. Then around the other side of the block of wood and the rail. Like tying up to a infinitely long wooden splintery cleat, in a topological sense.
I've used bollards, rings, weighted ropes or cleats but I would feel a bit silly coming to berth with those.

If I am unlucky enough to have the wind pushing me against the wharf/pontoon when I want to go, I use a spring to pivot the stern at an angle and then reverse out while the crew retrieves the spring line. Can you do this with bull rails or is your line unretrievable ?

Bolting rings to the rail every 5 metres would solve the splitters issue neatly.

 

BarfBag

Member
240
16
OMG, I can't believe an entire thread trashing bull-rails.

Here in the Great White North, it's a safer way to secure as the bull-rails are typically through-bolted right into the dock during construction.

They're not a trip hazard like cleats can be. 

Nobody seems to know how to tie off correctly to a cleat anyway.

And is the cleat through bolted?  Not likely, just lag bolted usually.

Bull-rails are always right where you need them. One does have to rely on the spacing of the bull-rail attachment blocks for anything but breast lines, however. 

Tying to a bull rail is easy and splinter free if you know how to do it:

First, form a generous loop in the dock line and pass it under the bull-rail from the outside, twice ( a full-round-turn ).  Then form two half-hitches around both the bitter end and the new boat-to-dock line, together, leaving a loop in the second half-hitch for easy release. So all your lines are doubled in the knot. It's called a full-round-turn with two half hitches.

Passing the line under the rail first applies the load to the shortest lever arm on the bolts holding the rail to the dock. The full round turn is self tightening and distributes the load over many bends, not just one, but is still easily released ( it doesn't bind ).

To make it a bit simpler for you, just a single line, full-round-turn on the bull-rail and back to the CLEAT on your boat! Then you have, balanced, two-line strength and a quick get-away should your neighbour catch fire in the night.

But learn how to tie off correctly to your cleat.

 
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SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
65,089
10,596
Great Wet North
I've used bollards, rings, weighted ropes or cleats but I would feel a bit silly coming to berth with those.

If I am unlucky enough to have the wind pushing me against the wharf/pontoon when I want to go, I use a spring to pivot the stern at an angle and then reverse out while the crew retrieves the spring line. Can you do this with bull rails or is your line unretrievable ?

Bolting rings to the rail every 5 metres would solve the splitters issue neatly.
You can't count on retrieving a line on a bull rail from the boat.

Rings are a close relative to the bull rails in the "most horrible dock fixture" sweeps.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
65,089
10,596
Great Wet North
Then you've been lucky a lot of the time.

Lines get jammed in the corners, snagged by big splinters, hung up by the sheer friction of the things - a myriad reasons. They nearly always come free eventually but frequently suffer damage from all the various forms of abrasion that the rails can create.

Can you tell I hate the fuckers?

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,684
1,407
Canada
OMG, I can't believe an entire thread trashing bull-rails.

Here in the Great White North, it's a safer way to secure as the bull-rails are typically through-bolted right into the dock during construction.

They're not a trip hazard like cleats can be. 

Nobody seems to know how to tie off correctly to a cleat anyway.

And is the cleat through bolted?  Not likely, just lag bolted usually.

Bull-rails are always right where you need them. One does have to rely on the spacing of the bull-rail attachment blocks for anything but breast lines, however. 

Tying to a bull rail is easy and splinter free if you know how to do it:

First, form a generous loop in the dock line and pass it under the bull-rail from the outside, twice ( a full-round-turn ).  Then form two half-hitches around both the bitter end and the new boat-to-dock line, together, leaving a loop in the second half-hitch for easy release. So all your lines are doubled in the knot. It's called a full-round-turn with two half hitches.

Passing the line under the rail first applies the load to the shortest lever arm on the bolts holding the rail to the dock. The full round turn is self tightening and distributes the load over many bends, not just one, but is still easily released ( it doesn't bind ).

To make it a bit simpler for you, just a single line, full-round-turn on the bull-rail and back to the CLEAT on your boat! Then you have, balanced, two-line strength and a quick get-away should your neighbour catch fire in the night.

But learn how to tie off correctly to your cleat.
There’s a simple, yet deep sociological/cultural explanation for this.  

Somewhere out there (but the title escapes me right now) is a classic sociology/political science book written by a well-known Harvard University professor, I believe.  It’s a case study that examines two adjacent Canadian and US communities straddling the border, a county in North Dakota and an area of Saskatchewan, both prairie  farming areas that one would think share a lot in common.

Not so much, it turns out.  (The book was written several decades ago; tunes may have changed as political populism has reared its ugly head recently.)  As an example in the book, Saskatchewan elected the first ever Democratic Socialist in North America, Tommy Douglas, the “father” of the modern Canadian health care system.  In North Dakota, it’s more the “leave us alone we don’t need no stinkin’ government for nothin’” approach to health care.  And so on throughout the case study, finding surprisingly large cultural and sociological differences between Canada and the US.

And so it is with cleats vs. bull rails.  Children of a common mother, separated at birth.  :)

My sociological theory is that the American cleat —thinking of its shape —  symbolizes the longhorn steer, furiously independent, standing alone.  Accepting but one dock line only. The Canadian bull rail, by contrast, is a long piece of commonality —tie here, brother, or here, or here: there’s room for everyone. :)

Like the humourous quip about America and England, with their very different versions of “English” — two countries separated by a common language! 

Incidentally, bull rails are also pretty common in Alaska, as I recall - I somehow think it’s a commercial dock thing (fish boats) that sorta migrated to yachtie docks (in Alaska and parts of the U.S. PNW).  Just a guess.

Here’s a woman singlehandedly and smoothly docking to a bull rail: https://seattleonthewater.com/knots-%26-line-handling (scroll down to heading, “Singlehanded Bull Rail Docking”).

 

IStream

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It's notable that she chose a metal bull rail for her videos. I don't think anyone's complaining about those. 

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
65,089
10,596
Great Wet North
I am - I like cleats - big cleats that are easy to lasso from the deck. I hate having to thread dock lines under a rail or through a ring while the wind blows the boat away from the dock.

Bull rails are just cheap & easy - no other reason for their existence.

 

Norse Horse

Super Anarchist
4,987
546
The Rock
bollards=Far Right Conservative

folding SS cleats=Moderate Conservative

bronze cleats=Small C Conservative

cast cleats=Conservative with Liberal Values

shared cleats=NDP

dock rings=Parti Quebecois

wood cleats=Liberal with Conservative Values

bull rails with cleats on top=Small L Liberal

bull rails and rafting up=Moderate Liberal

bull rails, rafting up and stern ties=Far Right Liberal

log booms and poached docks=Green Party

I hope this clears things up for our American visitors ;)

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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I am - I like cleats - big cleats that are easy to lasso from the deck. I hate having to thread dock lines under a rail or through a ring while the wind blows the boat away from the dock.

Bull rails are just cheap & easy - no other reason for their existence.
Well, okay. I also prefer cleats for the reason you cite but a metal bull rail is 10X better than wood. 

 
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