Keep your boat se­cure and free of dam­age with slid­ing dock fend­ers and cleats.

Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR -

Side-ty­ing your boat to pil­ings at a sta­tion­ary dock poses a prob­lem in wa­ters sub­ject to tides: How to do you keep the boat se­curely moored, pre­vent dock rash and avoid sink­ing your ves­sel while also ac­com­mo­dat­ing daily fluc­tu­a­tions in water lev­els?

Boaters of­ten em­ploy out-pil­ings and crossed-tied bow and stern lines, as well as spring lines, which al­low the boat to float with the tide. It’s a has­sle and also complicates the dock­ing and board­ing pro­cesses.

Florida-based SlideMoor Dock­ing Sys­tems LLC of­fers an­other so­lu­tion. It uses tracks on pil­ings that al­low slid­ing fend­ers and cleats to move up and down on the track as the boat rises and falls. Ves­sels less than 60 feet re­quire only two SlideMoor Plus units (one at the stern cleat and one at the spring cleat). With a wide choice of fen­der sizes, tracks are avail­able in lengths rang­ing from 8 to 20 feet for var­i­ous tidal ranges. This makes dock­ing and board­ing much safer and eas­ier.

SlideMoor rec­om­mends pro­fes­sional in­stal­la­tion, but a com­pe­tent DIYer can han­dle the job with the right tools and help­ing hands. —Jim Hen­dricks

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