Boating & Marine Accessories

5 Tips to Choosing Dock and Mooring Lines

Choosing a mooring line involves a variety of issues, such as the rope’s length, diameter size, and material.

Polyester Mooring LineEnsuring the proper mooring line is in place is critical to protecting the vessel on its mooring and keeping it safe when unattended.

1 – Abrasion potential

Deterioration of the mooring line can result from within the rope or external factors. A preferred type of mooring line is the single braid rope because it is simple to inspect for signs of internal defects. A significant issue with choosing a mooring rope is to get the right material that doesn’t degrade over time. A rope that has high abrasion properties is certain to be the nylon line.

2 – Construction

A mooring line can come with a braided or single-strand design. A strong and resilient line is the braided type, but this rope is more difficult of the two to repair. Plus, certain ropes are given jackets to up the all-round strength. These jackets are effective at protecting against abrasion – although they still aren’t able to withstand a high amount of chafing.

A jacketed rope is more difficult to repair. A positive of the non-jacketed lines is the ease in inspecting and repairing if necessary. Ease in repair and maintenance is certain to be a critical factor when deciding on the right type of mooring line.

3 – Diameter size

Boat length has a significant impact on the diameter of the mooring rope. A vessel not exceeding 25-ft is safely moored with a line at 3/8 inch, a vessel up to 45-ft will benefit from a 5/8 inch line, while a vessel in the region of 65-ft is certain to favor a 7/8 inch line.

Also, as the diameter of the mooring line increases the stretchiness starts to reduce. Use the proper diameter size to match the boat to increase the overall control provided, and not to just go with the biggest rope possible.

4 – Length

A mooring line is best sized at a length that offers enough space to pass over the mooring cleat to hold the motor-driven or sail boat to the dockside. A rope that is excessive in length can leave the boat less than secure and this means more risk.

5 – Material

A mooring line is made from several different types of materials. Each type has different characteristics which need to be carefully considered to match the specific use or application.

Common materials include:

  • Polyester – A strong material that gives minimal stretch, isn’t able to float, and resistant to sunlight.
  • Nylon – A nylon rope is cost-effective, resists long-term exposure to the sun, very stretchy, and very strong.
  • Polypropylene – A low-quality option which is very inexpensive, but unable to withstand sunlight for long periods and has a low breaking point.

The positives and negatives of each of the rope’s materials should be carefully considered. For instance, a stretchy and strong rope is in nylon, which is usually the most favored choice in the market. The second most popular is mooring lines in polyester. Because of the low-break point of the polypropylene rope this isn’t the most practical choice to use on a mooring.

Insure My Boat

Does the Mooring Have an Impact on the Insurance Rate?

Location and type of mooring can have a significant impact on the risks a motor-driven or sailing yacht faces.

Boat Mooring Rope

Plus, the moorings can have an influence on the insurance rates quoted by underwriters. Most insurance policies provide coverage while the watercraft is afloat in use and laid-up on moorings, including launching and hauling.

Different moorings can make a noticeable difference in the price, terms, conditions, and limitations imposed by the insurance company.

Here are four of the common mooring options for vessels:

Marina berth

A safe and reliable mooring is in the marina berth, but this is the most in demand option up and down the country; therefore expect higher costs and longer waiting lists. Plus, having a boat moored in a marina berth 12 months of the year gives more freedom in use. Other types of moorings can limit the usable time in the water.

Also, other benefits might apply for the insurance policy, such as no loss of no claims bonus should an accident of loss take place while the vessel is moored up in the home marine berth.

Dry sailing

Dry sailing is a practical choice for many types of dinghies and similar small sized vessels. Storing the boat on dry land is certain to protect against the difficult conditions on the water, but there are greater risks of theft and/or vandalism. For this reason it is essential to put in place the proper security measures to ensure the craft is safe throughout this time. Certain types of crafts, such as 12-18-ft speed boats or similar will need to be locked in secure premises when not in use — but the specific requirements will be noted on the insurance schedule.

Swinging mooring

The exact location of this type of mooring is certain to have an impact on whether or not it is acceptable to leave the vessel in the water year-round. Certain regions will have restrictions in place to lift ashore or moor elsewhere for the most difficult months. A swinging mooring should be laid to a professional standard, properly maintained, and regularly inspected. Plus, the company involved in inspecting the mooring should have enough professional indemnity coverage in place. The use of a chain or rope strop will vary with the location and exposure of the mooring.

Laid up

A lay-up period is often stipulated in the policy schedule for those vessels moored in the more exposed waters. This is intended to protect the vessel from the worst of the winter condition. Alternatively, a vessel can be moved to a more secure mooring (afloat) throughout the winter, such as a protected marina or boatyard.

Mooring Covers

Give a vessel laid-up on moorings extra protection by using purpose-made mooring covers. A high-quality cover for the docked boat is certain to provide reliable protection against constant sun, rain, or wind exposure. A preferred type of material is cotton or cotton poly blend which has the ability to keep moisture out because of its breathable properties. Plus, storage and trailable covers are also available to match the specific needs.