One of the most important accessories for your boat is mooring lines. When choosing a mooring line, it’s important to get the right length for your boat. In this article, I’ll describe how long mooring lines should be including recommended mooring lines.
How long should mooring lines be? Mooring lines should be 1.5 to 2 times longer than the length of the boat. The minimum length should be half the length of your boat. The length you choose depends on the size of your boat and how close you want it tied to the dock.
Mooring lines are ropes or cables that are used to secure a ship or a boat at a dock, quay, harbor, pier, or any other shore fixtures such as trees and rocks. These lines are necessary especially when you are leaving your boat for a period of time.
To be able to secure and maintain your boat, mooring lines need to be durable and elastic (shock absorbent) to avoid untoward damage to your boat. They must also be resistant to abrasion, UV rays, oil, mildew, and rot to ensure longer and extended use.
There are different types of mooring lines and each has an ideal/suggested length to effectively and efficiently serve their purpose.
Read on to learn more about mooring lines and how long they should be.
Also, for an excellent mooring line, take a look at our top pick, the Rainier Supply Co 50′ or 30′ Dock Line – Premium Double Braided Nylon Dock Lines/Mooring Lines:
How Long Should Mooring Lines Be?
The length of mooring lines really depends on one’s personal preference but it is suggested that the mooring line is one and a half times up to two times longer than the length of the boat.
As a general rule of thumb, for bow and stern lines, the minimum length of the lines should reach at least half of the length of your boat. The length of the line for spring lines should be at least the full length of the boat.
The mooring line should keep the boat snug near the dock by preventing it from making unnecessary movement. Of course, it is always safe to bring extra lines if you have the space on your boat. These extra lines can be the same length as your boat or you can have a variety of lengths.
You can have a line that is longer than 1.5x, 2x, or maybe even up to 5x the length of your boat. These longer lines can be used especially for situations where you have to tie the boat to a higher or farther dock location. They may also come in use when towing or just helping out other boaters.
The line length would also depend on which part of the boat you are tying up. Also, one must consider the purpose of the line such as preventing the boat from moving from one direction to another or to tie up to the dock or to another boat.
It’s also a good idea to check on the conditions of the body of water you are docking from. If it is tidal (you will need longer mooring lines) or non-tidal (it may require shorter mooring lines) as too long or too short mooring line can also cause damage to the boat or may cause accidents.
See the below video for some other tips on choosing the right mooring line length:
Different Length for Different Functions
Essentially, you will need different types of mooring lines with varying lengths for tying to the different parts of the boat. Each of which will do different jobs.
Bow Lines. Two Bow Lines (one for each side of the bows) should be at least one and a half times up to twice the length of the boat. These should be attached to the cleats at the front of your boat. They will prevent the boat from moving in and out towards the dock.
Springs. Two Springs should be at least 1.75 times the length of the boat. One of the springs will be tied to a cleat at the back of the boat while the other will be tied to a cleat at the front of the boat then both will be tied to the dock (near the front and the back). These mooring lines will prevent the boat from moving backward and forwards.
Breast Rope. One Breast rope should be at least .75 of the length of the boat. This will be tied from the bows of the boat straight across to the pontoon. This mooring line is used to tie up on the dock or to another boat.
Quarter Rope. One Quarter rope should be at least .75 of the length of the boat. It will be tied from the stern of the boat straight across to the pontoon. This is also used to tie up on the dock or to another boat.
Stern Lines. Two Stern lines (one for each side of the stern) should be at least one and a half times up to twice the length of the boat. These will be attached to the cleats at the back of the boat. These are used to prevent the boat from moving in and out towards the dock.
See the below video for tips on mooring your boat:
High-rated Mooring Lines
I will now go over some of the best mooring lines available in the market. Their length ranges from fifteen to fifty feet. Take note that it is better to invest in quality over the price when buying boating materials and accessories.
You’ve invested in the boat, so the accessories are those smaller purchases that will make your boating experience safer and more enjoyable. Buying high-quality materials at reasonable prices will also be economical in the long run because you won’t need to buy new ones again and again.
1. Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines
Our first recommended mooring line is the Rainier Supply Co 50′ or 30′ Dock Line. These premium double braided nylon dock line/mooring lines with 15″ Eyelet are soft yet ultra-strong with a higher tensile strength than other dock line materials.
It has the ideal combination of decreased stretch and increased shock absorption which is a good characteristic for a mooring line. These Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines are also saltwater, oil, rot, and mildew resistant.
And because these dock lines are soft (since they are made of double braided nylon), they are comfortable to handle and will not grind on your boat’s finish.
This is important as the last thing you want is a ground-down finish on your boat due to rope friction. The Rainier lines are also heat-treated and professionally whipped at the throat and bitter end of the line to ensure long term durability.
2. Shoreline Marine Nylon Double Braided Dock Line
The Shoreline Marine Nylon Double Braided Dock Line is also made of double braided nylon which is a common choice for mooring lines.
Double braided nylon is easy to work with, durable, and elastic that will help secure boats, especially in some unexpected events. It also has a smooth feel that is easy on your boat’s finish.
These lines are available in a wide range of lengths and colors so you can custom fit them with your boat/dock combination. It also comes with a solid loop on one end and a straight end on the other for easy dock line customization.
3. Boat Lines & Dock Ties Boat Dock Tie Bungee
In addition or in place of a dock line, you can use a dock bungee. One can easily secure the boat to the dock with this high-quality bungee dock tie.
The Boat Lines & Dock Ties Boat Dock Tie Bungee are also long-lasting because there is an outer UV protective nylon cover. This outer cover gives protection from sun damage which can make a line brittle and tear over time.
4. Obcursco Double Braided Nylon Reflective Marine Dock Line
A reflective double braided nylon dock line, the Obcursco Double Braided Nylon Reflective Marine Dock Line can fit boats up to twenty feet.
These are sturdy and shock absorbent lines. Its reflective tracer weave is sewn into the rope to increase and ensure safety in low light situations. What’s also good is that this docking line is resistant to rot, abrasion, mildew, oil, and UV rays.
5. Montauk Rope
The Montauk Rope is a high-quality double-braided dock line with a twelve-inch spliced eye for easy dock use. This one is good for smaller boats, especially those that are less than twenty feet.
Like the others, it is resistant to mildew and rot to last many years.
6. Double-Braided Nylon Dock Line from Regatta Marine Essentials
Speaking of extra ropes, the Regatta Marine Essentials Double-Braided Nylon Dock Line comes in a pack of 4 high quality double braided dock lines. Each rope is constructed with a 12-inch eyelet at one end to adequately secure and maintain your boat.
These ropes are recommended for docking and mooring small to medium-sized boats or vessels. They come in double-braided black nylon to prevent fraying and chafing. As a bonus, they also come in a secure, plastic clamshell packaging which preserves the condition of the ropes upon arrival to your doorstep.
Conclusion – How Long Should Mooring Lines Be?
So how long should mooring lines be? Mooring lines should be about one-and-a-half to two times the length of your boat. The minimum length of a mooring line should be half the length of your boat. The length depends on your boat and how close you want it tied to the dock. I recommend getting extra lines in various lengths just in case.
The above-mentioned products are some of the best mooring lines available in the market at various lengths. Again, it is advisable to invest in and buy high-quality boating materials and accessories in the long run, and they will serve you and save you from unnecessary purchases. Plus, they will provide great help when faced with different unexpected conditions while in the water.