It matters to tie your watercraft into something solid if you do not want it to hover away. While it cannot be denied that chains are certainly sturdy enough to execute the job, still these are bulky and do not have any stretch or give to them.
Basically, this implies that all the impacts will be relayed to either the cleats on the moor or the ones on your vessel. Take note that this isn’t advantageous in that it would slowly work them unconstrained. Hence, the best dock lines are deemed necessary for you to invest in.
A minimum of two forms of dock lines are needed for your vessel; first is the transitory dock lines that are utilized when you are far from your regular anchoring and the permanent dock lines that are used when your vessel is in its customary dock.
It is significant to note that utilizing a distinct color for each shall aid you in instantly differentiating between them. In addition to this, dock lines also necessitate to have some stretch or give to them, and maximum protection from water, various types of weather and too much exposure from the sun’s UV light.
The buying guides and product reviews carefully tackled in this post can help you take through the process of determining which brand and type of dock line is the appropriate option for your watercraft and your present needs and style.
Table of Contents
Best Dock Lines Reviews of 2023
1. Airhead AHDL-4 Bungee Dockline
Would you like to ensure the quickest way to dock the boat? Then, these mooring ropes for boats can be your best choice. Their elasticity appears to be just adequate. They remain snugged to the moor in rough water; nonetheless, not too tight that you’ll have to worry later. If you opt for a durable and quite easy to utilize one, then this one is for you.
These are made with 2 foam floats that are intended to safeguard the vessel from rubbing and sliding adjustment at both edges for hassle-free docking. For a fact, they are perceived as more convenient as compared to the traditional ropes. They are capable of stretching and smooth sailing to store.
2. Seasense Double Braid Nylon Dockline
It is true that searching for high quality marine ropes and lines can be a physically and mentally draining task to manage. But, with enough information regarding a good and reliable brand, you won’t be misled. Fortunately, this nylon dock line is manufactured well and can promise a good performance for your vessel.
This is a great quality dock line that comes with a very sturdy loop and accurately interweaved braids. It is strong yet quite soft to the touch. As a matter of fact, you won’t have issues if you have it with you, it is easy to use and plain sailing to install too. Thus, you won’t think twice of buying one again. What makes this product a must-have is that it is very portable for mooring, landings and even when loading on the trailer.
The color options are also a wonderful feature that you get to choose from. It can promise a good fit on a boat’s cleat and comes with stunning look. Unlike other similar products, it does not easily come loose whenever you use it.
3. Seachoice Double Braid Nylon Dock Line
Are you hunting for affordable yet very reliable and adjustable dock lines for your watercraft? Then, this product from Seachoice is a good option for you. Many boat owners prefer this dock line because it is not susceptible to encouraging the accumulation of mildew or mold. And, it is a risk-free investment to consider in that it is backed up by a 3-year limited warranty.
Basically, this is recognized for being medium to high quality type of rope. It can ensure good binding or whipping on the working end and even on the eye splice. And, since the rope is soft to touch, it makes a sterling noise minimizer for roof racks. If you want something that could hold quite well in saltwater, then this may be the right pick for you.
This is nice choice mainly because it could effectively absorb intense shock loads and once purchased, this already comes complete with a 15-inch eye splice. This is ideal for beginners since it is flexible and no trouble to handle.
4. Extreme Max 3006.2352 BoatTector Bungee Dock Line
The dock line does a good job of enabling some play in order to keep the watercraft from bouncing back and forth when anchored. As you can see, this is a clear indication that it can execute what it was expected to do. Indeed, it could hold the paddle board nearby the anchor and could also reliably hold a jet ski properly. Isn’t it good news to know that it can take care of the weight without much play in the rope?
This dock line guarantees that your vessel does not wrench or thrust when at the harbor. It is essential to note that it has the capability to stretch without difficulty in order to adapt to the watercraft’s drifting and then pulls it if it hovers too far. To allow instant attachment, this is equipped with 10-inch loop and slider that are positioned on both edges between the vessel and the moor.
You can also choose your preferred color as this is available in 7 distinct colors like white, blue, black, yellow, red and so on. This is cost-effective because once bought, it comes with 2 packs already.
5. Predator (NZ) Hi-Performance Dock Lines
You might be probably insightful of the fact that nylon is deemed as the best material to use for dock lines. And, this brand can be perceived as one of the best ropes for boating because it can stand the test of time and it is thoroughly built to be resistant to too much sun exposure, mold, oil and rot.
In like manner, the box already contains a total of 4 ropes wherein each of them comes with 12-inch eyelet in one edge, comes with a 3/8 inch diameter and is 15 feet in length. And, this product offers money back guarantee that makes it a better option. As you can see, you have more to gain and nothing to lose if you invest in these docking ropes.
6. Skog Å Kust Premium Dock Lines
Without any shadow of doubt, shopping for the best boat dock lines could be tiring; but the case won’t be so if you give this product a chance. These are sturdy, strong enough and ideal for tying up your vessel quite easily. They work best for pontoon boats and are the perfect pick if you especially require anchoring lines that could secure the vessel in its slip.
What is more, you can utilize them both for marine and freshwater. They are constructed to be resistant to rust. It is worth mentioning that a lot of people choose this brand over the others because you can use it for lightweight personal vessels, SUPs and kayaks. And, since these are designed with highly visible green and yellow colors, they are quite noticeable and easy to access even at evening time.
Apart from these, the ropes are thick and are equipped with superb loop on one edge. Moreover, the hook is actually so easy to open as compared to those made with plastic material. They are water and sting resistant and quite plain sailing to utilize with the clips solidly fastened.
7. Botepon 2Pcs Boat Dock Line
These boat rope accessories are undemanding to utilize. They are designed with a sleeve that makes it effortless to modify the size of the loop to connect to a cleat or wooden post. To boot, these also come with foam bumpers that are situated on each edge and these are particularly meant to impede the dock lines from submerging even when they go overboard.
If you have these with you, you can be guaranteed of a more secured docking. They are quite elastic and could bump around but the surprising part is that it can remain solidly attached. You’ll love these ropes because they are capable of stretching enough to keep them from getting loose but not sufficient to blow the dock.
8. Boat Lines & Dock Ties Boat Dock Tie Bungee
Are you into durability, topnotch quality and sun protection features? Then, you can consider having these high quality bungee dock lines in your shopping list. They may be a little pricey, but you’ll later realize that they are economical to use.
Fundamentally, these are meticulously assembled and examined by the manufacturer to guarantee topmost quality. They are proud USA products. They’re machine-sewn which clearly indicates that they do not have any metal in them. In point of fact, these are labeled as one of the most outstanding bungee dock lines sold on the market at present.
Likewise, these are manufactured with durable nylon cover that is the one responsible for providing ultraviolet shield from sun damage and provides this dock line a longer lifespan. It is furnished with 9-inch loops on each edge that enables easy attachment to the anchor cleats.
9. DC Cargo Mall Marine-Grade Double-Braided Dock Lines
This can be regarded as one of the best boat dock ropes because it can keep your watercraft secured even when you are away. And, as clear proof of its solidness and durability, this is particularly designed to be resistant to chafing, mildew, molding and extreme exposure to sunlight.
While the nylon is made to be quite solid and sturdy and marine-grade, it is soft to touch which means to say that it won’t hurt your hands as it slides through. And, since it comes with soft texture, it won’t damage the finish of your vessel.
10. Obcursco PWC Bungee Dock Line Stretchable
These are quite lightweight and easy to store. They are particularly practical to utilize for more vessels and other intended situations. These bungee dock lines are capable of providing more power to the loading and are built to be capable of combatting too much sun exposure and saltwater. You can use them for various applications as well.
In addition to this, these are the suitable choice if you hope to make anchoring your PWC a breeze. These are flexible enough and enable some extra flexibility when attempting to reach moor cleats that might be out of reach for a traditional dock rope. It is interesting to consider that the products’ very visible green color allows it to be easily dropped in water and it is a lot easier to find them swaying by the hook when mooring.
11. Extreme Max 3006.2168 BoatTector Double Braid Nylon
Are you having a tough time seeking for the right rope sizes for boats? Then, why not take a closer look at this product?
If you’re going to examine these dock lines closely, you will be impressed of the double-braided built that is quite heavy duty yet they’re easy on your hands. These are ideal for securing a broad range of small vessels. These come with heavy weight, stunning dark color and nice texture. The loop at the edge is quite practicable that allows instant attachment.
12. Shoreline Marine Double Braided Nylon Dock Line
This nylon boat rope is available in a broad array of colors as well as sizes that are meant to fit your particular vessel or dock combination. It is designed with double braided nylon that sustains a wonderful feel that won’t in any way crumble the finish of your watercraft. In line with this, it is manufactured with a durable loop on one end and an aligned end on the other- this is specifically intended to enable boaters to easily customize their berth configuration.
It is interesting to note that these lines could also be effortlessly utilized accordingly with any brand of watercraft bumper or fender. As you might already know, nylon is a very reliable material and it has the capability to provide a measure of stretch that aids in securing watercrafts at the time of unanticipated high wave events especially when you require the most vigorous of docking lines for vessels.
What to Look For When Buying a Dock Line
When shopping for high quality dock lines, there are some vital points to take into account before making the final decision and these consist of the following:
- Are you purchasing dock lines for permanent or transient use? Take into consideration that temporary dock lines are utilized while you’re away from the harbor while permanent dock lines are used when your vessel is in its regular dock. Consider what you will use it for before getting one.
- Dock lines must be manufactured using durable quality nylon rope. There are other versions that are made with polypropylene but these are prone to getting instantly deteriorated in the sun, they do not come with some level of required stretch and comes with low breaking power which makes them generally the least option to consider.
What’s more, dock lines generally come in 3 forms of weaves and these are:
Braided nylon. This comes with appealing look; they are easy on the hands and are definitely stronger.
Three-stand. This has the capability to stretch more, abrasion-resistant and a piece of cake to interweave, and the best of all, they come in reasonable price tags.
Double Braided Nylon. This is no sweat to handle, known as the strongest type, made to be abrasion-resistant, looks great and can ensure controlled elongation.
As you can see, there is a subtle distinction between these types; however, any of them makes sufficient dock line.
- Fundamentally, dock lines come in different colors. And, while the color doesn’t have helpful use besides aesthetic appeal, take note that darker lines are more prone to rapidly fading as compared to light-colored ones. Inversely, lighter lines accumulate dirt a lot easier than the darker lines.
- Also consider the length, size, diameter and quantity of dock line that you especially require.
Note that these are just some of the critical factors that you need to mull over when buying the most suitable dock lines for your boat.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a dock line?
Dock lines also called mooring lines are specifically built to help in securing a watercraft to a moor, or to another vessel when boating, either transiently or permanently. It is worth noting that these uses generally demand distinct forms of dock lines.
And, since these are responsible for keeping your vessel in place at the harbor, it is indispensable to look for the type of dock line that it is elastic and strong enough to take in shock loads or impacts. In like manner, it should be resistant to rot, UV rays and abrasion.
How does it work?
Dock lines work by being left in place to pick up and drop when leaving and returning. Most watercraft owners adjust all dock lines in order to keep the vessel as close to mid-slip as feasible through all the wind and tide alterations that take place when the vessel is at rest- as you can see, this is especially practical to use when leaving the vessel unattended.
What are the different types of dock lines?
Did you know that there are so many distinct dock lines for you to freely pick from? To unveil more of them, read the following:
Polyester dock line. This is described as having similar strength to nylon. Aside from this, it is also capable of providing awesome resistance to abrasion and ultraviolet rays. This implies that it has the tendency to last for longer consumption while sustaining its flexibility.
But, polyester tends to stretch slightly and due to this it is not capable of taking in shock. Thus, extra caution is required when utilizing this type of rope.
Nylon dock line. This offers more strength as compared to polyester. Basically, this stretches more than polyester which conveys that it is more excellent at managing shock loads even in rugged conditions.
However, this is more susceptible to losing its flexibility over a long period of time and does not hover in water and is more likely to lose some of its strength when drenched.
Steel wire mooring lines. This is typically composed of six strands of steel wire wound in a curled configuration. It comes with some identical properties to a chain; nevertheless, it is lighter so this makes it no trouble to handle; while still sustaining the same power.
Withal, it provides better elasticity as compared to a chain and this is the reason why it is exceptional at taking in shock. Note that this type is quite sensitive to corrosion so it specifically calls for high maintenance than other forms of dock ropes or lines.
Sisal or other synthetic fibres. This is certainly built from the yarns of Agava Sisalana. The rope is quite strong; nonetheless, it does not stretch quite properly, making it incapable of taking in huge amounts of shock. This is also abrasive that it requires being handled with utmost care and treatment.
Regardless, this is resistant to UV and can guarantee good grip. It commonly lasts long and even longer if treated with preservers.
Polypropylene. This is a well-known substitute to nylon and could many a time be found at a less expensive price tag. The rope has the capability to retain its flexibility, hover in water and can fight off rot.
For all that, this is not the strongest of docking lines and it is prone to getting damaged by UV rays. Hence, it is advised to store it indoors to extend its lifespan.
Why do you need a dock line? (Benefits)
As what was mentioned earlier, dock lines are precisely designed to aid in keeping a vessel safe and secured when securing it to a wharf, or to another boat when sailing, either permanently or transitorily. As a boat owner, it is beneficial to invest in a top quality one because of the following reasons and benefits:
- They float in the water.
- These come in similar strength as steel wire rope of the same size and they are highly recognized for being stronger as compared to other types of mooring ropes or line available on the market nowadays.
- Do not require more manpower to handle the job.
- Do not necessitate the use of heavy equipment.
- These are hand-friendly.
- They are generally lightweight and allow easy handling.
- Mooring lines are generally chemical-resistant, rustproof and come with longer lifespan.
- They can guarantee safer and more secured work sites.
- These are designed to be capable of bending fatigue resistance and high tension.
- Do not call for lubrication.
- They can ensure low elongation. It is worth mentioning that this is made possible because the backlash energy stored is much lower as compared in the steel wire rope.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted dock line brands?
If you’re feeling skeptical about the best brand for you to trust when it comes to investing in reliable and durable mooring lines, then the following brands are credible enough for you to consider:
- Shoreline Marine
- DC Cargo Mall
- Skog Å Kust
- Extreme Max
- Boat Lines & Dock Ties LLC
How long should dock lines be?
Please be guided that mooring lines should be approximately 2/3 of the length of the vessel when utilized on the stern and bow. In the same way, spring lines must be comparable to the length of the barge.
How to tie dock line knots?
It is crucial for boaters and sailors to have some designated mooring lines aboard, the ones that come with spliced eyes are highly recommendable as these come ready when you lock them up somewhere. Generally, the eye in the end is instantly passed around a piling or a cleat by anyone on the harbor and the bitter end is altered on board. Likewise, there are numerous combinations of lengths as well as diameters.
Here are a few methods on how to tie dock line knots:
- Make a turn around a post. Afterward, create a loop that comes with free end that splits on the inner section.
- Clasp the standing line and from there, pull a section by the loop.
- The next stage is to clasp a part of the free end and then pull the part way via the new loop.
- Stiffen the knot through pulling it down on the standing line. Lastly, unfastened the knot by way of pulling the free end.
How to install and use?
Whenever setting up docking lines, it is definitely required to discuss matters with local harbormaster first. It is specifically crucial to figure out the ground tackle requirements in your wharf prior to investing in mooring lines and other related gears.
Needless to say, quality and complete attention to detail is especially needed for what are commonly labeled as the weak spots in anchoring system. In line with this, it is vital that all berthing line components are properly set up by professionals, with utmost care and in full conformity with the specifications of the manufacturer.
Please take note of the following:
Spiral Strand Mooring Wire. This is probably the hardest mooring item to set up as it is sensitive to twisting, sheathing damage, slippage as well as bending. Thus, gilt-edge installation could only be accomplished with sufficient insight and proper equipment.
Mooring Chain. It is compulsory to ward off knot’s risk and assembly without disproportionate twist.
Polyester lines. If appropriate equipment is used, polyester lines that are generally used for deep water projects are comparably a piece of cake to set up. Assuredly, without the aid of the most outstanding equipment and experts, these would be intricate to install.
What is the warranty?
As always, warranties vary depending on the manufacturer or brand you choose. The same goes when buying dock lines. One brand may not offer what other brands or manufacturers offer. So, if you want to learn more about the warranty that you can avail of when buying a specific dock line product, you need to check out the product description first.
However, if the warranty was not clearly detailed in the product description, then you may directly ask the manufacturer of your chosen dock line product. Keep in mind that credible sellers offer warranties to their most valued clients; hence, if the manufacturer does not offer any warranty, then skip that kind of deal and look for other options.
Where to buy?
Dock lines should be bought from highly credible deals so you won’t have a tough time managing returns. Moreover, you may wish to purchase these on local marine supply stores near your town; on the other hand, you can perhaps uncover some cost-effective deals on the web. A lot of online sellers offer some free shipping and discount offers on specific orders over a specific price tag.
Surely, you can find the right dock lines for you both on local marine supply stores and through online shopping. But, by shopping online, you can be provided with a number of options to choose from. And, many times, you can encounter more brands, options and products that are designed with unique features than shopping locally. What matters is that you ensure that the online shopping site is legit and has 24/7 customer support service.
How to care and maintain?
Mooring lines must be stringently inspected for signs of damage or wear on a periodic basis. When used for a longer period of time, it is necessary to check any indications of damage caused by discoloration, unraveling as well as chafing damage. Take in mind that these must be replaced prior to wearing away or aging become a liability.
Bear in mind that the deterioration along the rope must be externally inspected as well as the areas of damage and fusing on man-made fibre ropes must also be carefully examined to evaluate the reliability of the rope at these times.
Additionally, actinic deterioration areas must be looked in to determine if the rope is still safe and secure enough to be used continuously. The eye wear and eye splice integrity has to be inspected and consider opening the rope strands to examine some inner wear away issues.
Essentially, the piling of the inner surfaces on a man-made fibre rope is a sign of rugged use. It is essential to understand that docking ropes, both those that are on winch drums and the loose coils should be detached and the eye must be re-spliced or end because ended once becomes frayed.
It is highly suggested that serious damage must not be detached from the length within the rope and see to it to replace this using a short splice for this will lessen the power of the rope. Anyhow, in the event that you are doubtful of the integrity or strength of the rope, then consider buying a new one.
To sum things up, you have learned from this post how important it is to invest in the best dock lines to keep your boat safe and sound when mooring. Once you returned from the sailing, there is a serious need to securely rest your watercraft at the moor in an efficient and risk-free approach. Anchoring you vessel might be for temporary while when in transit or permanently till the next time the sailing calls.
Essentially, when anchoring your watercraft, there is one valuable item that is usually disregarded yet it guarantees that you have a boat to return to at the time you need to get back into the sea. Not to mention, as a vessel owner, it is crucial to invest in a top quality dock line that will solidly hold your watercraft in place. By having one, this will greatly help in impeding it from colliding with other watercrafts at the wharf.
With the practical shopping guides and product reviews aforesaid, you won’t be misled in getting the right match that can satisfy your needs and preference for a dock line.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.