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The Best Dock Lines for PWC, Jet Ski, Kayak, and Pontoon

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

best dock lines

Boat docking lines are essential in keeping your boat stable at the dock. An anchor chain can do the same job but they’re bulky and not stretchable. Flexibility is important since the impact is carried by mooring or docking cleats. Only the best dock lines can bear this strain without snapping. Don’t be tricked into buying low quality dock lines. Instead, look for these factors to get your money’s worth:

  • The sufficient length for your boat length

Here’s a guide for the boating rope size that matches the length of your boat. Refer to the following dock line size chart:

Line diameter Boat length
3/8 inch  Up to 27 ft
7/16 inch 28 to 31 ft
Half inch 32 to 36 ft
5/8 inch 37 to 45 ft
¾ inch 46 to 54 ft
7/8 inch 55 to 63 ft
1 inch 64 to 72 ft

When getting permanent dock lines, make sure that they are three-quarters long for half of the boat’s length. A 10-15-inch eyelet can affect how you tie the lines. This feature is not found in some dock lines.

  • Kinds of dock lines based on weaves

Braided – This kind of dock line is tough and looks nice. At the same time, it’s easy on the palms and hands.

Shoreline marine double braided dock line – Apart from having a good appearance, this type of dock line has the strongest weaving design. Thus, it guarantees controlled elongation while hampering abrasion.

Three-strand rope – It’s flexible because it stretches a lot. You can rely on its resistance to abrasion. It’s also convenient to use as it doesn’t drop easily when interweaving happens.

  • Usage and purpose

Before the purchase, think about whether you need permanent or transient dock lines. A permanent dock line is intended for permanent docking while the transient lines are utilized when you’re away from the harbor. It’s best to opt for nylon rope with premium quality for durability.

Another substitute for nylon boat rope is polypropylene. However, this material doesn’t have the flexibility and strength of nylon. Also, it easily gives in to sun rays.

Once you consider these factors, you can have pick out the best boat dock lines from the following list:


Top 1
SeaSense 50013096 Dockline

  • Doesn’t loosen
  • Pliable and easy to manage
  • Suitable for coiling and handling

Top 2
Jranter 4 Bungee Dock Lines 

  • Can be used to hold bumpers
  • Good for small and large boats
  • Doesn’t give in to waves and winds

Top 3
Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines

  • Can survive saltwater
  • Has superb shock absorption
  • Durable and can last for years

 Top 11 Dock Line Reviews

1. SeaSense 50013096 Double Braid Nylon Dockline

After many years of sailing from Florida to California or other islands, I can say that this is the top-rated boat dock rope I’ve ever used for securing vessels. I do not have issues with loose coils as long as I set it properly from the boat cleat to the loop. This rope for boats fits well on the dock cleats. Thus, it’s suitable for coiling and handling.

This braided nylon dock line has dependable strength with support from its braid to braid pattern and half-inch thickness. It can pull a 50-foot boat. You can’t underestimate its strength as it’s also used for tying loads on a truck. I’m thankful that I can secure lumber, hay bales, trash, motorcycles, appliances, and many more while traveling with my truck.

Another thing that I admire about this product is its shock absorption feature. There is no doubt that it can handle everything when used for docking. The total length from end to end is 25 feet. I find it appropriate but some people find it shorter for the requirements of their application.

I also like that it comes with a splice so it’s easy to manage when docking. Since it’s pliable, it’s easier to handle. Even 90mph wind doesn’t take it off from tying. I don’t mind removing it from the cleats as it can withstand the outdoor elements.
What We Like
  • Doesn’t loosen
  • Suitable for coiling and handling
  • Has enough strength for loads
  • Can handle everything when docking
  • Pliable and easy to manage
  • Can withstand wind and other outdoor elements
What We Don’t Like
  • The length may be short for some applications
I have a couple of this nylon braided dock line so docking is easy. It has a toughness that withstands the marine environment. Movements can’t ruin its flexibility so it stays in place all the time.

2. Jranter 4 Bungee Dock Lines for Boat Shock

These boat bungee dock lines are the epitome of versatility. They can accommodate different applications and adapt to various kinds of cleats and hooks thanks to their size. I use them for my small aluminum powerboat and large sailboat. If it’s too long for you, don’t worry; it’s effortless to boat tie-down ropes. I did this in the front of my small boat, and it’s also easy to take off.

These bungee dock ropes will surely impress you in many ways. Due to their ability to absorb shock from docks, cleats, pylons, other hardware, and boats, they’re not swayed by descent waves and 20 mph winds. I was amazed to witness them holding five kayaks in the gusting wind.

I like that these lines are easy to use and come in handy during bathroom or short breaks. There’s no need to take a lot of time doing it. Despite the high and low of the water in the river, you can depend on it to hold your boat for a couple of days. I don’t need to check my boat too often. You may also use them to tie bumpers as many boat owners do in my area.

These lines prove to be durable on different occasions throughout my boating experience. Aside from this bungee cord, I have some longer dock lines in my boat that serve as spring lines. There are sleeve tubes with foam that tighten the lines on the cleat too. These features are added to prevent damaging the hull.
What We Like
  • Versatile as it can accommodate different usages, hooks, and hitches
  • Good for small and large boats
  • Can absorb shock so it can be used to hold bumpers
  • Doesn’t give in to waves and winds
  • Handy during short breaks as it can be tied and taken off easily
  • With sleeve tubes for tightening the lines and prevention of hull damage
What We Don’t Like
  • The need to buy longer dock lines
I’m happy to find this pack of dock lines as short breaks no longer take a long time. They’re so easy to tie and untie!

3. Rainier Supply Co Dock Lines

I looked high and low for the right dock lines and I only stopped when I found these dock ropes for boats. They’re double-braided nylon boat ropes for docking with strong construction. So, I don’t have to worry even if I dock my boat under windy weather. They also have superb shock absorption, which has been useful in many cases.

I also used these ropes to hold towables behind my kayak. It made me happy since the kids can have a fun and safe ride. They don’t snap unexpectedly. I sometimes use them to tie my friend’s boat and they only stretch a little. Even when I leave our boats for several hours; they don’t slam into each other. I appreciate that these double braid lines don’t stretch too much but deal with shock well.

These dock lines are friendly to my hands. So, I don’t have to deal with discomfort when using them. The eyelets are helpful too. Moreover, the quality is admirable; even the ends are carefully designed. My experiences prove that these are durable nylon dock lines! They can surely last for years.

Indeed, they can survive saltwater as half of my time sailing is done at the sea. Unfortunately, some boaters may need some rope to insert into the dock cleats or holes. In my case, the 3/8-inch diameter doesn’t bother me when I use them.
What We Like
  • Has a strong construction for strong wind
  • Has superb shock absorption
  • Friendly to the hands and doesn’t cause discomfort
  • Durable and can last for years
  • Can survive saltwater
What We Don’t Like
  • The diameter of these nylon lines may require more ropes when inserting into cleats or holes
These ropes don’t disappoint me with their durability and shock absorption ability. Also, their strength is one of a kind and trustworthy. I’m not worried that they will snap at any moment.

4. ACY Marine – Double Braided Nylon Dock Line

It’s a strong line with a soft texture that does many tricks. It’s not only a great docking line but also a utility line. It is a pliable mooring rope that boasts premium quality. I have three in my boat to meet the demands of docking.

They’re easy to wrap and knot so docking is convenient and attachment to cleats on the bow and stern is trouble-free. Although I use these regularly in the summer, they do not fray thanks to their UV-resistance. They are also resistant to shock and excessive stretching. Therefore, you can certainly depend on their durability!

In addition, this nylon boat rope helps me a lot even when I’m not sailing. I use it to tie my large dog that weighs 100 lbs on a tree. The weight of my lush hydrangea doesn’t weigh down my arbor anymore because I also use it. These are only two examples but there are other situations where it’s effective.

The half an inch thickness is sturdy for every purpose. I also appreciate the loop and the properly finished ends. Even though I stop by several lakes and tie these lines, they don’t get damaged. I don’t have complaints about them but it could have been better if they were 30 or 35 feet long.
What We Like
  • Strong, sturdy, and soft
  • Pliable enough to be in various applications
  • Easy to wrap and knot
  • Withstands UV rays and resists shock and excessive stretch
  • Has promising durability
  • With a loop and properly finished ends
What We Don’t Like
  • Could have been better if the lines are longer
I can sometimes get clumsy with knotting dock lines and these have given me easy time. There are a lot of features to like about them as they’re soft, sturdy, and durable. Also, they’re applicable in various cases.

5. GREENEVER ‎GJ-MTX-01 Dock Lines & Ropes

Among the boat rope accessories that I’ve used, these double braided dock lines have exceptional quality. Every boat owner will love them as they have the nice features of boat ropes for docking. They’re stretchable and durable with a breaking strength of 5,800 pounds. In addition, their safe working load is 790 pounds. These demonstrate that they’re relatively 25% to 30% stronger than other dock lines.

They excel in absorbing shock so I use them as bow and stern lines. Moreover, they’re suitable for small to medium boats. I’m afraid they may be insufficient for larger vessels. With the ultra-strength of these premium quality nylon dock lines, they stay tough in facing marine environment where UV rays, salt water, mold, and oil are present.

I don’t need to create an eye splice as the eye loop is ready-made. Thus, I feel comfortable when handling them. If you inspect it closely, you’ll notice that the fabric is tightly stitched and supple. It’s why the 3/8 inch thickness creates enough leverage. This is also the basis of durability. I appreciate that they quickly cling on the cleat as well.

Apart from their wonderful effects on boat mooring or docking, these boat mooring lines are appropriate for other needs and purposes too. I used them to make a pair of swings in the backyard. After cutting the ropes, it’s easy to melt the ends for refinement. However, when I use them in my boat, unraveling or fraying occurs after using them in all seasons.
What We Like
  • Have exceptional quality and strength
  • Stretchable and durable without unraveling or fraying
  • Relatively stronger than the other lines
  • Tightly stitched and supple for durability
  • Appropriate for other needs and purposes
What We Don’t Like
  • It may be insufficient for larger boats
I feel lucky since these boat mooring lines match my needs. They keep my boat safe with their strength and quality. Furthermore, I can attest that they’re made to survive the marine environment.

6. ACY Marine Double Braided Nylon Dock Line

With about half an inch thickness, this dock line serves me and my boat well. It never slipped or loosened and at the same time, its softness and strength are satisfactory. Holding onto this line is comfortable without sacrificing strength and quality. It has a breaking strength of 2,240 kgs!

When I first received a couple of these dock lines, they were slightly stiff but I dedicated some time to practicing tying knots. I did it to make them cling to the cleats well. After continuous practice, I can feel that they’re tightened just the way I like.

Also, I discovered that they can be made into a cleat hitch, clove hitch, two half hitches, rolling hitch, and stopper knot. Despite their strength, it’s a piece of cake to wrap and knot them on the boat’s cleat.

I’m glad that they have an eye splice as it can make docking much easier. I can just toss the lines when mooring to save time. Aside from strength, they have resistance against elements in the marine environment. They don’t turn brittle under the sun. I noticed that they are resistant against stretching and shock as well.

Since this dock line has wonderful features, it’s also functional for other purposes. It’s unbelievable but I used it together with a garden tractor to hoist a massive garden seat. Some people even use this for saddle hunting. Even though it’s strong, it doesn’t scratch or mar surfaces that it contacts.
What We Like
  • Doesn’t slip or loosen
  • Comfortable to hold
  • With good quality and strength for making different knots and hitches
  • Has resistance against the sun, stretch, and shock
  • Functional with other purposes
  • Doesn’t scratch or mar surfaces
What We Don’t Like
  • Needs to eliminate its stiffness when newly bought
You’ll surely be impressed with its strength just like I did. It’s not only useful for boats but other activities as well. I recommend it because it never disappoints me.

7. Regatta Marine Essentials Nylon Dock Line

These are attractive marine dock lines and they’re perfect for my 24-foot cabin cruiser. Aside from enhancing aesthetics, they’re great for voyages in the open sea. I have peace of mind leaving my craft at the slip. Thanks to the eye hole, I can loop or coil the cleats much quicker than the previous lines that I owned.

These four lines have a good value since I just paid for the price of one line. Unfortunately, they’re only great for small to medium vessels. They prove to be excellent for weekend getaways but you’ll need other lines for a mooring or permanent slip. You may also have it as travel dock lines to secure your boat.

I can’t ask for any darker lines since they’re colored black and don’t easily get stained. It’s indeed a good feature since the marine environment can be harsh. Using dirty lines can tarnish the flawless looks of my cruiser.

These dock lines are double-braided nylon so they don’t easily tear or unravel. Even though I use them every weekend, they do not succumb to weathering. Therefore, I can’t see them fraying or chafing. They remain in good condition even when used regularly. But I still think that they can be categorized as lighter lines. I found out about this after tossing them on a docking station.
What We Like
  • Attractive, black lines that don’t get easily stained
  • With eye hole for quicker looping and coiling
  • Has a good value for the price
  • Perfect for a weekend getaway
  • Don’t easily tear or unravel
  • Doesn’t succumb to weathering, fraying, or chafing
What We Don’t Like
  • Only for small and medium vessels
  • Not for permanent slip
Although I tend to be unfamiliar with the marine or docking stations that I come across, these nice-looking lines have my back. They don’t fail to secure my craft all the time.

8. INNOCEDEAR Dock Lines

When I found this product, I knew that I’d gotten the right dock line. You’ll find the necessary strength for docking from their double braided construction. Two additional whipped strings prevent unraveling and splitting off the bitter end. They can handle shock loads without rotating and getting kinky. I entrusted my 30-foot boat to them and they haven’t disappointed me.

My friend also owns these INNOCEDEAR lines, but he doesn’t only use them as two spring lines. He relies on them to keep his catamaran in place on the trailer when traveling. He tried it after they proved to be effective regular dock lines. With four pieces of lines in a pack, you can sort them out as a spring line, one stern line, and a pair of bowlines.

I also use them on boat fenders and everything is fine. With continuous use, they prove to be made for both freshwater and saltwater environments. They remain taut and stretch-resistant after three months of consistent exposure to salt air. Furthermore, they won’t easily be degraded by other outdoor elements, such as UV rays and mold.

The flexibility is also awesome. I think it’s another factor that makes it strong and not easily frayed. The dark blue color is great but some people said that the dye comes off when they get wet. So far, I haven’t experienced it but I still recommend not soaking them in water for too long to retain the color.
What We Like
  • Doesn’t unravel or the end split
  • Handles shock loads without rotating and getting kinky
  • Used as different kinds of boat lines
  • For freshwater and saltwater
  • Not easily degraded by outdoor elements
What We Don’t Like
  • The dye may come off if soaked with water
I’m confident in using these lies for different purposes since they don’t fray or kink. They’re truly made for marine use, and I get the value of my money for their service.

9. Orange Cycle Parts PWCD-2 Dock Lines

This product put an end to my search for dock lines for PWC, jet ski, kayak, and pontoon. In my case, I usually use it in securing jet skis with my pontoon. I find it convenient every time I leave with my jet ski or lock it in after a ride since I only need to clip and unclip.

My back is no longer constrained as it helps me pull my kayak and pontoon with these dock lines in the shallow area. There’s no need to bend and drag the handle. They are light and not super strong to make it float. But they will hinder your boat from leaving the dock unattended.

On the other hand, they may be short for some applications but they’re long enough if you need to tie your vessel to another. As you can see, their features have specific purposes. The various colors make them attractive even though there’s nothing to do with functionality.

I can attest that the polymer hook is sturdy and heavy-duty. There’s a knot next to it so it won’t get loose. You may even need to practice opening the hook first since it’s tough at first use. Nevertheless, it only means that it’s a reliable clasp. I can’t complain about the rope because it has the right thickness.

Just keep in mind that this rope to tie the boat to dock can’t accommodate large vessels. But it can be used in the house to tie things like a platform bed frame.
What We Like
  • The convenience of clipping and unclipping
  • For dragging vessels or PWC in shallow water
  • Light so it can float
  • Can stop your boat from floating away
  • With sturdy and heavy-duty polymer hook
  • Can be used in the house
What We Don’t Like
  • It may be too short for some applications
  • Not for large vessels
If you want your jet skis, tubes, and PWC intact and in their designated place, you have to get this line that comes with a reliable hook. It promises proper floatation without releasing.

10. PREDATOR NZ Hi-Performance Dock Lines

Just looking at the package of these dock lines, you can tell that there’s superior quality. The firmness that you can feel on their entire length supports this claim. Since they are made of nylon, they’re more stretchy and durable than polyester lines. I can tightly tie them on a dock cleat with no issues of snagging on docks and pillars. Thus, I launch and dock my boat without any trouble.

The navy blue color is outstanding as it’s lasting. Exposure to sunlight and rain doesn’t result in fading. No discoloration occurs even after I rinse them off whenever I do the regular cleaning for my boat. To further protect the color of these high-end boat tie-up ropes, a storage bag is provided for every purchase.

I’ve also witnessed how they hold up against saltwater. Even if there’s a wind blowing at the docking area, the knots never come undone. They’re not fragile to mold and rot. Since I have these Hi-Performance lines, I don’t need backup lines. With all the wonderful features that are packed elegantly, it’s not embarrassing to give them as a present to someone.

With their exceptional functionality, it’s sad to say that they may not be efficient on vessels that are below 27 feet. In this set, you get 4 pieces of 15-foot lines. It has a 3/8 inch thickness that works well for me. The 12-inch spliced eye makes it a breeze to fit these lines on a dock cleat. A 100% money-back guarantee backs up the good quality of these lines. But I think I don’t need to claim it as I’m happy with their functionality.
What We Like
  • No issues of snagging on docks and pillars
  • Long-lasting and color doesn’t fade despite exposure to outdoor elements
  • Can hold up from salt water, wind, rot, and mold
  • Has exceptional quality with a 100% money-back guarantee
  • With a spliced eye to easy fitting on dock cleats
What We Don’t Like
  • Not for vessels that are under 27-feet long
Boaters prefer strong, durable, firm, tight, and easy-to-knot dock lines. All of these things are offered by this product so you don’t need to look any further. They are the total opposite of cheap dock lines.

11. Seachoice Double Braid Nylon Dock Line

The most impressive ability of this dock line is bearing massive weight. I even use it to lift objects that weigh a hundred pounds with a hand-cranked winch. The hammock located in my yard hangs properly between the trees because of it.

Thanks to the strength and length of these easy dock lines, it’s a menial task to secure my canoe and kayak at the lakeside. They’re multi-purpose with a nylon length of 35 feet.

Aside from blue, this dock line is available in seven colors. When I first received it, I felt the slimy texture due to the bleeding dye. This is not a downside as it only requires a quick clean. I just had to soak it in warm, soapy water to get rid of the unwanted slimy texture and dye.

Its thickness and smoothness will make you think that it’s very expensive but it’s actually relatively affordable. The convenience that it brings is undeniable since it is easy to handle and control with a 15-inch eye splice.

Moreover, I can attest to how suitable it is for marine use. I also appreciate the well-sewn edges. With several months of use, it’s frequently exposed to sun, rain, and weather changes, but there’s no sign of deterioration or distortion. The center core and the woven thread remain unchanged and continue to serve me and my vessels.
What We Like
  • Good at taking in heavyweight
  • Makes it easy to secure vessels
  • Available in various colors
  • Has good thickness and smoothness
  • Convenient to handle with its eye splice
  • No deterioration or distortion even when exposed to different kinds of weather
What We Don’t Like
  • Need to wash off the slimy texture
When talking about this product, I want to emphasize how good it is in handling load. This is the main reason why it can secure your boat at its designated post.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Dock Lines


Types of dock lines

You must know different types of dock lines to get the one that suits you best.

  • Polyester dock line

It has the same strength as nylon since it can resist UV rays and abrasion. Thus, it can serve you in the long run without losing its flexibility. However, it can stretch a bit so it may fail to take in shock. That’s why you need to be careful when using this dock line.

  • Nylon dock line

This dock line is stronger than the one made of polyester. Also, it’s more efficient at taking in shock loads during rugged settings because of the stretch. As time passes, the flexibility gradually vanishes. Eventually, it can no longer hover in the water and loses its strength when soaked.

  • Polypropylene

This can be a cheaper substitute for nylon. It’s known to maintain flexibility and resistance against rot. It’s also known to hover in the water. But this is not the toughest dock line as it weakens under the sun. So, it’s advisable to store it properly when not in use.

  • Steel wire mooring lines

This type of dock line is composed of six strands of steel wire that forms a curled configuration. It’s lightweight and easy to handle as it carries on power. It specializes in bearing shock and elasticity. However, it necessitates high maintenance since it’s prone to corrosion.

  • Sisal or synthetic fiber

The material called Agava Sisalana yarn is quite strong but its stretching ability is missing. This leads to failure of taking in shock loads. It can also be abrasive so proper handling is needed. But you will be surprised that you can have a nice grip on it. Moreover, it resists the harshness of the sun and can last even longer if it goes through treatment.

How Thick Should Dock Lines Be

There are braided, double braid, mega braid dock lines, and three strand lines. You have to look at the thickness or the line diameter. Based on the rule of thumb, 1/8 inch diameter should be allotted to every 9 feet of your boat’s length. 3/8 inch is the minimum size and it’s good for a 20-foot boat.

For a 40-foot boat, a 5/8 dock line is the right match and it can handle up to 45-foot long vessels. A half an inch is for crafts that are 36 feet long. You’ll find ¾ dock lines and they are for boats that are up to 54 feet long.

How Long Should Dock Lines Be

Before buying, you should know the docking line size or length. It’s not complicated as dock line sizing should be 2/3 of your boat’s length. But the spring lines should be equal to the vessel’s length.

How Many Dock Lines Should You Have

The basis is not about dock length to boat length. Generally, six dock lines are needed, such as a pair of bow lines, stern lines, and spring lines

How To Tie Dock Lines


If you just recently engage in sailing, it’s vital to learn how to boat tie off the rope for docking. Here are the basic steps:

  • Step 1: Start by creating a loop with a free end by making a turning action. There should be a gap in the middle part.
  • Step 2: Grab the standing line from the loop that you’ve made to pull a section. Do the same with the remaining free end for a new loop.
  • Step 3: Pull the knot down on the standing line to come up with a turn stiff.
  • Step 4: Pull the free end to unfasten the knot.

Are Bungee Dock Lines Any Good

The bungee dock lines for boats are good. They’re also called built-in snubber. A chafe guard is added on these lines to protect the hull. Due to the feature, sliding adjustment is available to dock with ease and convenience. So, it’s safe to call them adjustable dock lines.


To wrap it up, the essential features of the best dock lines are strength for securing your boat and flexibility to make tight knots. Thus, your boat won’t go astray. You can also expect resistance against harsh outdoor elements, weathering, and loads from these excellent dock lines.

5/5 - (3 votes)