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Keep Your Boats Intact With the Best Dock Lines
Last updated: 17 Jan 2023
As summer approaches, water activities will be at an all-time high. Any responsible owner would ensure that they remain in one place without going astray, and you need to purchase high-end dock lines that provide a flexible, protected experience.
While dock lines are available in different styles and materials, you must look at the quality before purchasing. To help you navigate the always expansive online marketplace, we’ve reviewed the finest dock lines of 2023!
Innocedear Dock Lines are a marine-grade product that secures your ship intact regardless of the external conditions. Featuring a double-braided nylon line that works to provide ultra-strength, these ropes are designed to withstand the effects of the water environment like UV rays, mold, oil, and salt – that way, you won’t have to worry about deterioration.
Featuring a small eyelet in the end, each pack comes with four lines so you can find a suitable way to tie your boat without the need for extras.
The GREENEVER Dock Lines are a high-weight tolerance product that’s a suitable fit for small to medium-sized boats. Championing with their double-braided structure, their elasticity, and maximum shock absorbency ensure it won’t kink or rotate under loads – further allowing your boat to remain in one place without any risk of damage.
With its 12-inch eyelet design, its smoother surface deters the risk of consistent abrasion on the boat’s surface.
The SeaChoice Dock Lines are double-braided products that ensure durable and dependable use. They are made from premium-quality nylon, which adds reliability and strength to your user experience. This product is pre-shrunk and heat stabilized, ensuring length retention and weather resistance over time.
They have an abrasion-resistant body that protects the surface of your boat from any scratches and damage. Available in black, blue, burgundy, forest green, and white you can easily switch out your dock lines in accordance to the seasons.
Because of its 15-inch splice, you can connect this line with all kinds of docks.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind when buying dock lines.
The length plays a crucial role in providing your boat with extra security. Anything too short can damage the surface of your boat and might not provide you with the protection that you are looking for. If the line is much longer than you need, it won’t hold the boat in one place.
This is a concerning factor as there is the risk of collision and water-based accidents. You might need a lot of force to bring back the boat, making it all the more essential to opt for a product that adds flexibility but keeps the watercraft in one place.
As a general rule of thumb, the length of your dock lines should be ⅔ the length of your boat.
The material of the dock line will determine its strength and durability. Nylon is the most popular option out there as it provides long-lasting use and is available in multiple colors and designs.
There are also numerous color options. The flexibility of the product depends on the material. For instance, a nylon line is more flexible than a nylon-polyester blend. Make sure that the flexibility of your dock lines does not result in permanent damage or breakage.
The diameter of the lines provides the strength needed to keep the boat in one place. As per rules, the diameter of this product should be 1/8 inches per 9 inches of the boat. For example, the diameter of the line for a 12-inch boat should be 2/3 inches.
Extra accessories and add-ons help you protect the surface of your boat. They might not always be available with the dock lines, but you can buy them separately from the same brand. Small things like chafe guards and snubbers add value to your boat by ensuring it looks brand new.
What Are the Main Types of Dock Lines?
There are three main types of dock lines in the market for boats: three-strand, mega braid, and double braid.
Three-strand dock line
Three-strand dock lines come with a knobby finish. They are easily intertwined into braids without any complicated setup. Three-strand dock lines are made from nylon and do not snag, and their non-abrasive body further ensures there won’t be any damage on the surface of your boat.
They are also flexible, making them durable and tolerant of excessive weight. Three-strand dock lines are made from polyester or nylon, giving you weather-resistant capabilities and long-lasting use.
Since they are affordable and low-cost, most boat owners prefer opting for them. For those who are older in age or suffer from a mobility issue, you may need extra assistance to bring them together.
Double braid dock line
The second option out there is the double braid line. Known for their ultimate strength and durability, they are also quite comfortable to use. Allowing you to avoid applying excessive force to bring the line together, they are not as elastic – making it all the more essential to find a size that fits your requirements. You can even purchase one with a longer length than you need to avoid frustration.
These lines are available in multiple colors, which allows the user to color coordinate their boat, fenders, and lines. These are used by professionals or boat enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the color of a polyester-nylon blend dock line might fade away with time.
Mega braid dock line
As its name suggests, a Mega braid is designed for larger watercraft. Featuring 12 strands in a single braid, this makes them durable and resistant to any wear and tear.
Since it is also challenging to splice this line into one shape, they tend to not be as flexible as their three-strand counterparts – so you must opt for something longer than your requirement.
What is Dock Line Chafing and How to Prevent It?
Stronger dock lines might cause chafing. In case you are unaware, this refers to the strong braided texture of the product leaving abrasions and marks on the surface of your boat. Purchasing chafing gear as an extra with dock lines can help you create a more well-protected, smoother experience.
Designed to take damage without reducing the strength and durability of your line, your traditional dock will either have eyebolts, rings, or cleats to pass the line. It should be known, however, that the type of hardware you install on the dock opening determines chafe protections.
Allowing users to pick a suitable braid style, chafe guards add distance between the line and the surface without damaging its quality. Chafe guards should also be twice the number of lines you plan to purchase.
Adding shock-absorbing stretch to the line, the dock line is flexible enough to absorb unexpected shock in most cases. Because there might be an issue with the elasticity, this can result in the boat touching the line and getting damaged. A snubber adds a reasonable amount of stretch and reduces the noises that arise when your line comes in contact with the boat’s surface. Thus, adding a protective barrier with shock-absorbing properties adds durability and helps you use the lines for a longer time.
What Materials Are Dock Lines Sourced From?
The material of your dock line determines its life and durability.
As things evolve, most brands have also launched polyester dock lines. Unlike nylon, polyester does not become stiff with age. They are pre-spliced, which reduces your labor and extra effort. Polyester might be a good choice if you are looking for less work, however, they are unsuitable for open marinas.
If you want maximum strength and durability, skip polyester lines as they might not be a good choice. Polyester color may also fade with time if exposed to sunlight.
Nylon is the epitome of materials when it comes to dock lines. Solid and durable, nylon is also flexible and can hold the boat together without any stress. It comes in different braids, so you can find one to match the opening rings on the dock.
This doesn’t mean, however, that nylon is not prone to breakage. It might leave a little abrasion on the surface, but that can be handled easily with the help of guards.
Another reason why boat owners love nylon is that it is affordable and will not deteriorate if exposed to sunlight.
Dock lines are designed to protect your boat and keep it in one place. While they come in different styles and textures you need to consider length, diameter, and material to find the most suitable dock lines.
In this article, we’ve reviewed trending dock lines in 2023 that add value to your watercraft experience and ensure long-lasting use. Adding accessories to the lines like chafe guards and snubbers further protect the boat from premature wear and tear.
People Also Asked
Q: What is the average life of dock lines?
A: On average, a dock line is designed to last anywhere between six to 10 years. If you suspect your dock lines are due for replacement, know that some signs include threading, sun damage, and a general lack of elasticity.
Q: How can I prevent my dock lines from going soft?
A: By applying water and fabric softener on a scheduled basis, you can prevent the material of your dock lines from going soft. As a general rule of thumb, you want to aim to do this every other month. If you can’t achieve this, then three times a year should do you good.
Q: Can I machine wash dock lines?
A: Avoid machine washing newly purchased dock lines. This early exposure can actually tamper with their durability and (if any) the UV coating. Only once your dock lines start to get stiffer should you expose them to a washing machine and detergents.
SAIL Magazine Review Team reports on best-selling products in sailing and boating. The SAIL Magazine editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. SAIL Magazine is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.