How to Protect Dock Lines

13 September 2017 On The Water

boat rope protector

Boat rope often frays after long periods of rubbing against the side of the boat or the cleats. Here’s a simple trick to protect the dock line from breaking.

How to protect your boat rope from breaking

Last summer I walked out of the cottage on a windy morning with my coffee in hand, and headed down to the dock to enjoy a few quiet moments before starting the cottage chores.

As I approached the water, I quickly realized the to-do list was going to be a bit longer, as the back dock line on my old Lund had snapped during the night.

This wasn’t the first time the rope had frayed to the point where it broke, and I had a spare piece stored in the boat shed.

In the past, I just tied the new piece on and made a mental note to buy another spare, but dock line is expensive, and it really doesn’t make sense to throw that money away every couple of years when there is an easy solution to the problem.

The first impulse was to wrap the new rope with duct tape along the area where the rope normally rubs against the boat, but that wasn’t going to be a long-term fix.

In the end, my father came up with a very simple idea. He found a section of old garden hose in the shed and cut a piece long enough to ensure the dock line wouldn’t touch the boat. We then placed the hose in the required spot along the rope and simply secured it with electrical tape.

Here’s how it looks when the boat is rubbing against the line.

dock line protector

I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but a full season later, I am happy to report that this DIY system is working very well.

If you don’t have an old garden hose available to cut up, or prefer a solution that is a bit more attractive, the following items are designed to do the trick.

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Written by: Andrew Walker