Most of us operate from the same dock most of the time. We leave our lines on the dock and pick them up with a boat hook when we return from our day on the water.
Spring lines make docking a lot easier. Get close enough to get a spring line on, give the boat a touch of power ahead, and when the boat settles into position, the rest of the lines can be picked up in an orderly but not rushed manner.
Most of us aren’t accomplished cowboys capable of lassoing a cleat on a regular basis, so how are we to get that critical spring line on the cleat in a timely manner, while looking cool, of course?
Enter the spring line cheater.
I took a piece of PVC pipe, ran a line through it, and put eye splices in both ends of the line. On one end, I also put a small piece of flexible vinyl tube to keep the loop open. The other end goes on your midship cleat.
The advantage of this setup is that you can dangle the dock end of the spring line 3 to 4 feet over the side to hook it onto the dock cleat without having to do any gymnastics or tossing lines. Slip it over the cleat, let the helmsperson know the spring line is on, and go about tying up the boat. –Capt. Carl Smith