The right dock lines make docking your boat easy. Dock lines should be just the right length and style to match your needs, rather your boat is permanently stored in a slip or if you only dock momentarily at the ramp. The selection of dock lines in this review will cover the needs of any boater, with colors to match your boat’s style and color.
Best Dock Lines
Here are our dock line reviews.
Rainier Supply Company Dock Lines are strong and resilient lines at a price that will fit any budget. They are available in 15’ and 25’ lengths, both of which will fit the needs of many common boat sizes.
- Includes two dock lines in the set
- Available in 15’ x 3/8” or 25’ x 1/2″ sizes
- Double braided dock line pre-spliced with 12” eyelet
Seachoice Double Braid Nylon Dock Line is a great choice for all sizes of boats because they are available in lengths from 10 to 35 feet. These nylon dock lines are strong enough to safely secure large boats in rough conditions. Available in eight colors, these lines will match any boat’s color.
- Available in eight colors to match your boat’s canvas and trim
- Available in 23 sizes in lengths from 10 feet to 35 feet
- Includes 15” pre-spliced eyelet
The Predator Hi-Performance Dock lines are made in New Zealand of strong 24 strand braided nylon. These lines are best for bow and stern lines because they are only available in 15’ lengths, which is usually too short for a spring line.
- Set includes four 15’ by 3/8”lines
- Set includes a convenient and stylish storage bag
- The line is woven with a unique 24 strand braid for resistance to chafing.
Airhead Bungee Dock Lines are a useful supplement to your existing traditional dock lines. The Airhead Bungee Dock Line works as a snubber to absorb shock when your boat is tied to the dock. Use the snubber on two or more cleats to absorb shock, especially if you are at a non-floating dock, or an outside slip that is exposed to wakes.
- Bungee cord is hidden inside the rope
- Two foam floats protect the boat from chafing
- The 4-foot length stretches to 5 1/2 feet
Fender lines are an important complement to your dock lines. A well-protected boat cannot have too many fenders. Matching fender lines are preferred, which is why these lines are available in 13 different colors. These double-braided nylon lines have superior strength and resistance to chafing, mildew, and UV damage.
- Includes a pair of 3/8” by 6’ double-braided nylon fender lines
- Each line is spliced with a 4.5” fender loop
- The working load limit is 550 lbs.
The SEACHOICE Heavy Duty 60’ Tow Rope is not a dock line, but it can easily be used as an extra dock line in a pinch. Any time docking conditions are rough an extra-long line such as this can be run from cleat to cleat on your entire boat for extra control, or it can come in handy when a spring line is needed to a far-away dock cleat.
- Tensile strength 6,000 pounds
- Safely tow floats with up to six riders
- Could be used to tow stranded boaters (or your boat) in an emergency
PWC dock lines are specifically designed for Personal Water Craft (PWCs), more commonly known by the brand names “Jet Ski” or “Sea-Doo”. These lines are designed with a special clip specifically for the eye found on most PWCs, which typically do not have cleats.
- Includes rust-free stainless steel clip
- Set includes 7’ and 14’ dock lines with a 10” splice
- Protective foam float prevents chafing
The Hook & Cord Boat Dock Tie Bungee is great for easy docking. If you’re looking for a way to forgo traditional seamanship skills in favor of speed and simplicity this dock line is for you. With this line, you simply slip the bungee over your boat cleat and the dock cleat and you are set. If your boat will be unattended for long periods you will want the security of traditional dock lines, but this bungee is best if you are looking for an easy solution while pulling into a transient dock for a few hours.
- Includes 3/8” inner cord with the same strength as traditional dock lines
- 9” loops on each end for easy attachment to cleats
- Available in 30” or 36” lengths and
If you’re looking for dock lines that are the perfect length for your boat, this spool from Amarine is the best choice because you can cut the line for just the length you want without excess line causing a mess on the dock. Cutting your line requires a bit more work, you will want to wrap a 1” length of heat shrink tubing around the line before you cut it, then you will need to tie a bowline at the end of the line because it is not pre-spliced.
- Available in black, blue, red, and white
- Working load limit 1,900 lbs., breaking strength 9,500 lbs.
- Nylon line is UV resistant and resists abrasion and damage from saltwater, gas, and oil
Chafe guards protect your boat and your dock line. These chafe guards from Cape Hatteras have a plush exterior to prevent any scratching on your boats finish, while the inside allows the dock line to move through the chafe guard without damaging the line.
- Navy color
- Eliminates line squeaking
- Stays soft and durable
Dock Line Buying Guide
Dock lines are an important investment for your boat. The right set of dock lines should last about 5 years for seasonal use or 2 years for full-time use. Your dock lines will fit and perform best if you get the right size, length, and style for your purposes. Our buying guide will review the most important considerations for you to choose the right dock lines for your boat.
Materials and Build—The best dock lines are made with nylon or some other synthetic material. Synthetic materials are very strong and they resist mildew and UV damage. These materials are woven into either a three-strand or double braid pattern. Three-strand dock lines feel and look rough and bumpy. The advantage of a three-strand dock line is that it can be spliced into eyelets or you can splice two lengths together. The disadvantage is that the three-strand dock line is more prone to abrasion damage. The double braid dock line is very smooth to the touch and resistant to abrasion. Double braid dock line is difficult to cut and not practical to splice, but most double braid dock line is sold with eyelets pre-spliced.
Color-Many boaters will choose dock line colors based on the style of their boat. Dock lines look especially stylish when they match the boat’s canvas. There are other important considerations for dock line color besides style. White or light-colored dock lines will quickly show signs of wear and tear, particularly where they are tied to the cleat or where the line rubs on the boat’s gunwale if chafe guards are not used. While this wear and tear may be unsightly, there is an advantage to being able to see the damage so that you know when to replace your lines. Black or dark-colored dock lines will look better after use, but they may be hiding wear, tear, and even mildew that will damage your lines and reduce their strength.