Best dock lines: 6 of the best options for a secure mooring

We explain what to look for in a good set of dock lines and pick out some of the best options currently available

Photo: Ben Meakins

While most of us buy our boats for the enjoyment they provide out on the water, it’s an inescapable fact that virtually every leisure craft spends far more time on its berth than it does out at sea.

It follows, therefore, that its dock lines – the ropes used to secure the vessel to its berth – need to be of the correct type and size to hold the boat fast whatever the conditions when their owners are far away, back home on dry land.

Whether your boat is moored shoreside, on a swinging mooring or a running anchorage, always consider the risks when leaving the vessel unattended.

While the size of the rope required will depend on the size of the boat (see here for a useful sizing chart) you will not regret upsizing to a larger rope than recommended whenever a major storm rolls in. It’s also worth considering doubling up on boat ropes, again to provide additional protection against the worst of the weather.

In terms of materials, the choice is principally between nylon and polyester, both of which are strong and durable and are offered in a vast array of colours and colour combinations. Owners of classic craft may opt for a synthetic hemp-lookalike rope for an authentic look.

Finally, should you go for twisted or braided lines? In our view, braided lines tend to be the more attractive of the two, as well as having a better touch and feel due to their being the more flexible. Twisted rope, however, is less expensive, can be easily spliced and is slightly more stretchy than braided line.

Whichever type and size of rope you choose, it also goes without saying they need to be maintained in good order – so do check frequently for fraying, wear and tear.

Here’s our guide to the best dock lines for boats:


Softline multifilament mooring rope

Handmade in the UK, Softline multifilament mooring ropes are available in no fewer than ten colours. There’s a great choice of diameters too – from 8 to 24 mm in 2 mm increments – and the length can be specified as anything from 4 metres upwards.

Add to that a 3″ to 20″ soft eye at one end and heat sealing, a second soft eye or a thimble at the other, and you’ve got one of the most flexible and versatile line offerings on the market today.

Key properties of Softline multifilament ropes include high strength, UV- and abrasion-resistance, and zero water absorption.

Price: From £15.00

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