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Dock Line Facts

Dock Line Facts

There are certainly many different styles and types of dock lines / mooring lines available to pleasure boaters.  At Why Knot Marine™ we carry only premium nylon lines to make the choice easier for you.  Below is some helpful information regarding types and styles to help you make an informed decision on your purchase.

3 Common Synthetic line types:

Nylon – this type of line is abrasion resistant, coils without kinking and is the strongest of the common line types and looks and feels great to handle.  Nylon allows some stretch which helps with sudden loads, for example when a wave pulls your boat from the dock.  Nylon is UV-ray resistant and lasts well in all weather conditions.  It is also resistant to fuel or oil and can be stored wet as it will not rot.  Nylon ropes do not float.

Polyester – Typically used in situations where line stretch is not desired, for example with sails and anchor lines.  This type of rope is not as strong as nylon rope of equal diameter, is less abrasion resistant than nylon and looks and feels only slightly less supple.  It is resistant to fuel or oil and can be stored wet as it will not rot. Polyester is UV-ray resistant and lasts well in all weather conditions. Polyester ropes also do not float and are generally slightly cheaper than Nylon.

Polypropylene or MFP – The weakest type of synthetic dock line, it is susceptible to UV degradation and will chafe easily.  This type of line can be rough to handle after some of the fibres degrade and can cause issues with sensitive skin.  Because it floats, it is best suited for rescue throws, ski lines and other times you might need to see it float on the water.  MFP lines are cheaper than both nylon and polyester. 

What is the right length of line for my boat?

Typically the recommendation is that a rope be approximately 2/3 the length of the boat.  Generally speaking a boat up to 24’ in length will do great with a 15ft rope.  This is a recommendation only and many boaters have their own preferences.

What diameter of rope is correct for my boat?

Why Knot Marine™ recommends the following rope diameter :

3/8" lines are recommended for boats up to 24' in length
1/2" lines are recommended for boats over 24' to 32' in length
 

How Many ropes do I need?

2 bow lines, 2 stern lines and 2 spring lines are what is recommended to be onboard your boat.  Sometimes small tin or Jon-boat styles less than 14ft in length are not equipped with the cleats mid vessel to attach a spring line.