• Matthijs de Haas

Dock lines for yachts

Before using mooring lines at the dock to help manoeuvre, crew members need to first know the names of the lines. Communication is essential and only practicable when everyone knows what is meant.


Bow lines

A line from the bow of the yacht running forward to a point on dock.


Stern lines

A line from the stern of the yacht running aft to a point on dock.


Spring lines (fore and aft)

A line from the bow or the stern running diagonally to a point on dock. The stern spring line is also referred to as a “forward quarter”.


Normally these four lines are required when mooring a yacht, each are equally as important:The bow and stern lines are used to to keep the yacht secured and close to the dock, the spring lines are used to prevent the yacht from moving forward or aft at the dock.


When it becomes necessary to swing the bow or stern out in order to clear another yacht or obstacle, the spring lines can help to accomplish this.

- Thrust in reverse direction with the stern spring line attached will move the bow away from the dock.

- Thrust forward direction with the bow spring line attached will move the stern away from the dock.

Always have a fender strategically positioned to keep the yacht clear from the dock.


Breast lines

A line from bow or stern running to dock as perpendicular as possible to the bow and stern lines. Breast lines only restrain the yacht in one direction, off the dock.


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