Dock lines are designed to secure your boat or kayak to a dock. However, dock lines are also used to tie a boat to another boat temporarily while rafting. Now unless you don’t mind seeing your kayak or boat drifting away in open water, you need to invest some money on good quality dock lines otherwise you could be in for some serious troubles.
Best 7 Dock Lines
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Here we have listed top 7 dock lines that money can buy –
Shoreline Marine Double Braided Nylon Dock Line gives you a good feel in the hand and has a neat design. Ends are well braided prevent any kind of unraveling which is excellent. Shoreline Marine Double Braided Nylon Dock Line is supple and it is also resistant to chafing which adds to its extreme durability. To make it easier for people to hook the dock line to a dock cleat or another boat, a loop is inserted at one end.
- Strong and flexible.
- Double Braid Nylon
- Ends are braided not sealed.
DC Cargo Mall 2 Marine-Grade Double-Braided Dock Lines are made from marine-grade nylon. It helps you secure your boat to a dock no matter how rough the conditions of the dock areas or how high the waves are. DC Cargo Mall 2 Marine-Grade Double-Braided Dock Lines are extremely reliable in nature and can withstand the harsh winter conditions.
Most traditional Dock Lines tend to get stiff over the years and when they get exposed to the Sun, these dock lines get fuzzy. However, DC Cargo Mall 2 Marine-Grade Double-Braided Dock Lines are free from such problems as these dock lines are resistant to chafing, UV rays and molds.
This dock line is extremely soft to touch, can withstand shocks and can be stretched effortlessly.
- 4,700 lbs is the breaking length.
- Durable and stretchable.
Shoreline Marine Double Braided Polyester Dock line is ready to use dock line. It derives its strength from high strength polyester. To make it easy on your hands, Shoreline Dock line has opted for a braided design rather than the traditional strand twisted design. Available in three different neon colors, Shoreline Marine Double Braided Polyester Dock line is soft and supple.
- 15 feet long.
- 3.8” diameter.
- This dock line is resistant to rot and mildew.
- 12” eye splice.
Obcursco Double Braided Nylon Reflective Marine Dock Line has a maximum load limit of 2200 lbs. This highly reflective doc lune can be used to secure a 20 feet long boat to a dock. Obcursco Marine Dock Line is highly resistant to UV rays, mildew, and abrasion. It also has amazing shock absorbing capability and the credit goes to its double-braided nylon construction. Nighttime loading gets super easy thanks to the reflective dock line.
- Stretchable and sturdy.
- Easy to loading and docking.
- 12 Inch eye splice.
Easy to put on, Regatta Marine Essentials Bungee Dock Line can easily withstand tensions and absorb shocks. To avert abrasion, foam is used on this dock line. Regatta Marine Essentials Bungee Dock Line is ideal for mooring small to medium sized boats. You can use it to dock 4000 lbs boat.
Each Regatta Marine Essentials Bungee Dock Line is 4.5ft long but when stretched, it gets 6 ft long. Thanks to the inclusion of 12-inch loops, Regatta Marine Essentials Bungee Dock Line can be fitted easily with almost all dock cleats.
- Extremely elastic in nature.
- Can absorb tension effortlessly.
Nothing can be as perfect as Såk Gear Premium Dock Lines. Såk Gear Premium Dock Lines is ideal for mooring boats, lightweight watercraft or kayaks. This dock line is 12mm thick and has a maximum capacity of 2200 lbs.
This heavy-duty Såk Gear Premium Dock Lines can be used both on freshwater and saltwater. On one end is a 316 stainless steel snap clip is attached. This snap clip will not develop rust no matter how long they are exposed to salt water. On another end, 10″ long loop is attached.
Green and yellow color combination add to its impressive visibility and that means, docking a boat at night should not be an issue anymore.
The package contains a 14ft dock line and another 7ft dock line. Different size options allow users to use them for different situations. When you are not using them, you can use the velcro cinch wrap to store them safely in some dry place.
- 90 Days money back guarantee.
- Highly visible
- Ideal for both freshwater and saltwater use.
Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines provide all the strength that you will need to deck a medium-sized boat. This Double Braided Nylon dock line is resistant to almost everything. It can withstand mildew, oil, and rot. To increase its longevity, the ends of the line are whipped and heat treated.
Unlike other dock lines, Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines easy to handle and don’t develop scratches on the surface of the boat or kayak.
- Spliced eyelet included.
- 820 lb is the maximum working load.
How to Throw Dock Lines
Yeah, we have all been there, failing miserably while trying to throw a dock line to another boat. More often than not, the dock line will fall a couple of feet short than what you are actually targeting. However, it can be avoided easily. All you have to do is to start coiling the lines into two long loops. Make sure that these two loops are easy to manage. In the 2nd stage, you will have to extend the hand in the direction of the person or object that you are planning to throw the line and the fling the dock line in that direction with some level force.
How to Increase the Life Expectancy of Dock Lines
Dock lines usually last long unless you are treating them really bad. They don’t degrade that easily. However, over the years, its performance will certainly decline. However, there are certain steps that you can take to slow down the deterioration process. The buildups on the dock lines should be removed carefully with a brush or you can alternatively use a hose to clean it up properly.
Since the dock lines get wet frequently, they tend to get stiff over the years. This is the reason why most kayakers have to replace their dock lines every 2 or 3 years. However, the stiffness can be reduced to some extent by washing the dock lines with fabric softener and by placing them under pillow case every now and then.
How Many Dock Lines You Need?
Technically, we need to have at least 6 dock lines –
- 2 Stern lines
- 2 bowlines
- 2 spring lines
How to Select Right dock line For Different Size Boats?
The diameter of the dock lines varies depending on the size of the boat –
|Boat Length||Diameter of Dock Line|
|20 to 30 Feet||1/2″|
|30 to 40 Feet||5/8″|
|40 to 46 Feet||3/4″|
|55 to 63 Feet||7/8″|
|64 to 72 Feet||1″|
How to Choose The Best Dock Lines
However, there some factors that you need to carefully consider before making the final buying decision –
Dock lines are usually made either from Polypropylene, Dacron or Nylon. Off these three options, Nylon seems to offer more bang for the buck. It can easily withstand chemicals and the UV rays of the Sun. Stretchable by nature, Nylon enjoys 15% elasticity. Nylon Dock lines can easily absorb shocks and thus minimizes the chances of getting snapped. The biggest disadvantage of using Dacron dock lines is that they are too stiff too soon. However, in the market, Dacron dock lines are available for the cheap which is certainly a plus. Polypropylene dock lines also have a similar type of issues. You can’t use them directly under the sun for long. They degrade very fast.
The water level can change any moment and that means, you have to be ready for such kind of eventualities. The length of the dock line should ideally match the length of the boat. Bow and stern lines should ideally be at least 2/3 of the boat’s length.
The bigger, the better right? Well, not always. When the load is the same, the dock lines with large diameters will not provide the same level of cushioning impact like that of a thin dock line. Moreover, having a large diameter has its own share of disadvantages. You will have to struggle a lot to fit the dock lines around cleats.
4. Thin or Thick
Thick dock lines may seem a good idea but it is not. They are heavy, messy and too hard to handle. Thick Dock lines take up more space in the locker and you might have a hard time coiling the dock line. Thinner dock lines enjoy greater the stretch.
Double braid dock lines are comparatively expensive but they do have some additional features that can justify its price tag. The shock absorption capacity of Double-braid dock lines is not that impressive and fall far behind its close competitor – three-strand nylon dock lines. Double-braid dock lines are long and lissome. Rarely does it hurt the hands while coiling it?
A popular alternative of braided dock lines, three-strand nylon dock lines are known for their exceptional ability to absorb shocks. Easy to splice, three-strand nylon dock lines can effortlessly be slide down over wooden pilings. Another major advantage of three-strand nylon dock line is that you can get it for cheap and can last really long.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.