How to Hang Dock Lines

When in use, your dock lines do the important work of keeping your boat securely in place at the dock. Of course, they’ll need to be untied when you head out into the open water, and hanging the lines properly during your trips is a worthwhile skill to master. With correctly hung lines, you can easily put the ropes back into use when you dock your boat once again. 

This article is going to offer some basic tips on how to properly hang dock lines. These tips may need to be adapted based on your type of boat and other variables, but the ideas below should be a good starting point. If you need to purchase new ropes to serve as dock lines for your vessel, turn to SEACO for help. We have quality products at fair prices, and our friendly team is always happy to answer your questions. 

Why Does It Matter?

Before you we into a simple technique that you can use to hang dock lines on your boat, let’s talk briefly about why this topic matters in the first place. Can’t you just toss the ropes onto the deck and leave them there for the day? Well, yes, you can take that approach, but it comes with some problems –

  • Trip hazard. Leaving your dock lines disorganized on the deck of the boat is a hazard for everyone on board. While moving around the boat during the day, someone could trip or slip on the loose rope and fall. That fall could cause someone to end up in the water or could lead to an injury from landing awkwardly on the deck of the boat. Tidying up your ropes and hanging them properly will make the day on the water safer for everyone involved. 
  • Out of the water. If your lines are just tossed onto the deck, they may slip off and fall into the water at some point along the way. That wouldn’t be great for the long-term health of the ropes, and it could present a hazard if the lines drift back toward the boat’s motor. 
  • Ready to go. A dock line that is properly hung on the boat will be easy to use when it’s time to return to the dock. You won’t have to undo any messy tangles or deal with unwanted knots when trying to quickly secure your spot and stay out of the way of other boats. Organization is always important when boating, and that certainly applies to dock lines. 

Given how quick and easy it is to hang your dock lines correctly, there is no reason to skip this simple task. Once done, you’ll be ready for an enjoyable day on the water, and you won’t have to worry about those ropes getting in the way. 

Try This Method

Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated when working with your dock lines. Simple is almost always better, and most boat owners will be served well by the process outlined below. 

  • Untie from the dock. It might go without saying, but the first step in this process is to untie your boat from the dock. While untying, be sure to leave the rope tied up to the cleat on your boat, so it is ready to use again when you return. This will also ensure that you don’t lose the rope while out on the water. 
  • Make a big loop. Wrap the rope around your arm from the palm of your hand down under your elbow and back again. For most dock lines, it will take only a few loops to coil up the entire rope. You want this loop to be as tidy as possible, so you might need to even it out a bit after the wrapping is finished. 
  • Drape it over the rail. Take your newly formed loop, with one end still tied to the cleat, and drape it over the top rail on the boat. This is where the rope will live while you are out for the day. 
  • Secure the rope. To lock it into place, reach through the back of the loop, under the rail, and grab the front of the loop. Pull your arm back out so the front of the loop comes through the back, and you can tighten it up into a bundle. At this point, the rope should be secured around the rail, and you’ll be done with that line. 

Continue this process around the boat to put all the dock lines in place and you’ll be ready for the water!

Place Your Order Today

With so many durable, versatile ropes to pick from, SEACO is the best place to shop for new dock lines or any other ropes that will live aboard your boat. Thank you for taking the time to visit and we hope to serve you soon!