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Boating Tips: Best Ways to Secure Your Boat to Your Dock

by Duncan Seawall

Securing your boat to the dock usually follows a predictable routine, but sometimes conditions such as waves, wind, currents, tide and wake can make it challenging. Knowing how to secure your boat to the dock properly in all conditions ensures that it doesn't go adrift.

Related Blog: 6 Tips to Help Keep Your Boat Dock in Optimal Condition

Right Equipment

To secure your boat to the dock, you need the right gear, boat lines sized for the vessel, fittings and configuration. Having the right equipment and knowing the best techniques for securing your boat in any weather prevents damage to the boat and dock. For maximum security and prevention of your boat going adrift, a boat lift is a good idea as it lifts your vessel safely out of the water when you're not using it.

Boat Line Materials

Many boaters prefer three-strand nylon line because it can stretch under load, doesn't shrink and resists sun damage. Three-strand nylon comes in several lengths and diameters. You need to choose line with a diameter that fits the boat's size, weight and cleat horn height.

Tying Lines to Dock Cleats

Securing a boat to the dock with a weather hitch around the dock cleat is an effective way to tie the boat. This type of hitch lets the lines tighten under strain, allows for easy adjusting and won't work loose. Securing your boat with a correct cleat hitch ensures that it's safe and easy to release quickly when necessary.

Tips for Securing Your Boat

Whether you're docking your boat at home or at your boating destination, following some helpful tips can keep everything safe and secure.

  • Travel lines - When you set out with your boat, make sure you have travel lines in case you have to make an unplanned stop, require a tow or need to replace any lines you've lost or left at other docks. Bring two bow lines, two stern lines and two spring lines and make sure they're longer than what you use at your home dock.
  • Never short tie - Lines used for docking need to be long enough to accommodate extremes, strong currents and high/low tide if applicable. There should be enough slack in the lines for prevent stress and breaking.
  • Fenders - Check fenders when docking to make sure they're secured to the boat.

Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift creates custom docks to fit your needs and installs boat lifts that keep your boat safer from water and weather dangers.

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