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Tie up your boat like a pro

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

It took me several months, a dozen of instruction videos and tips & tricks from experienced boaters. Untill I really knew how to properly tie up my yacht.

I was always curious how other boaters got there yacht to just sit there square at the dock, hardly moving, while my yacht waddled around the marina. It's not that strange either, I thought to myself: “how many times a year do I tie up my boat?” Most of the time its going off and on the trailer. And nobody has ever instructed my how to do it.

When I started my search on the internet, I found lots of content, about docking, how to anchor and tie knots. But the information on how to properly tie up a boat to the dock is scarce. Therefore, this post provides you with some quick tips on how to properly tie up a yacht.

#1 Tie up your yacht with at least four lines. Bow line, stern line, and two spring lines (fore and aft). These lines are the absolute minimum.

#2 Keep the lines tight. It is the biggest misconception when it comes to tie up a boat is to keep slack on the lines for the tide. You do not want slack on your lines and your boat moving all over the place. You want tight lines, but they have to be long.

#3 Do not tie a short line, keep them long. Only tie a short line when you’re there for a few minutes, otherwise keep the lines long. A long line moves up and down along with the tide, so it will not hang up your yacht, only short lines do.

#4 Properly position fenders. You want at least a fender 2 to 3 ft from the transom, keeping the transom from hitting the dock. Same as for the bow. Also take into account their vertical position and possible tight changes.

#5 To get your yacht square to the dock, is all in adjusting your bow and stern line to get it straight.

Why need four lines you say? Two lines can do the trick! You are right. However I like redundancy. Being sure that if one line brakes, loosens or whatever, a spare line will pick up its duty.

There you have it, some quick tips on how to tie up your yacht to the dock. Now practice.

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