Blog article by Judy Hills, ACBS Roving Reporter

Dock lines: For boats displayed in the water, dock lines are a necessity to protect your investment.

Some owners go the distance to include dock lines in the overall appearance of the boat.  Above all the line must be the proper strength and length for its intended purpose—this is a safety issue. How much it will stretch is also a factor (think nylon).  Click here for a discussion on this topic.  After determining the needed strength and length, today’s owners have a number of color choices.  Why not choose a color compatible with your boat instead of the typical white line?

Another thing about dock lines that we have noticed is that some owners take the time to neaten the line at the dock when tied up.  This, too, is a safety issue.  People walking the docks are at risk of tripping if the lines are just piled carelessly on the dock. The line can be flemished or braided. Click here for a YouTube video for how to Flemish a line and click here for a YouTube video on how to braid a dock line into a neat bundle.


Since docking is temporary at the shows, when owners take guests for a ride, they generally bring the dock lines along.  Some remove the lines from the boat cleats to give the boat a cleaner look when underway.  Others leave the dock line attached to the cleat on the boat for convenience when retying the boat at the dock.  That is fine, but there is nothing uglier than seeing this great looking boat gliding on the water with dock lines trailing along the side because the owner was careless in securing the line.

We encourage you to check your dock lines periodically for wear and tear and to replace them when needed.  Remember we are boaters first and owners of antique and classic boats second.

Headline picture was taken at the 2017 Tavares Show where the Turners’ Contemporary family Aristo Craft was tied securely and the lines neatly coiled so as to not be a tripping hazard.


  1. In the small boat community in the Navy, we always radio over and tell the culprit to pull in his dirty laundry when they forget to take in their fenders. Same with dock lines… just looks unprofessional.

  2. I bought these dock lines of Regatta for a tritoon we have in Florida, and I liked them so much I bought another set when I bought a new boat for our Illinois lake house. It’s the tool that makes docking and mooring easy for me. There are four pieces of rope in one set with a length of 15 feet, 3/8-inch of diameter, and the eyelet situated at the end part which is 12 inches long. The total length is enough to keep my boat in place and avoid slipping.

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