How to Properly Tie Up a Boat in a Slip

by Ashton Daigle

It is important to know how to firmly secure your boat in a slip. A boat slip is a private or public dock where you essentially "park" your boat. Typically, most boat slip areas have private security that keep would-be thieves away from and off your boat. However, they are not usually responsible for making sure your boat is secured in the slip. Strong storms or high winds can break loose ties and if this happens your boat could end up at sea without you.

Pull your boat into the slip. Pull all the way in to the end of the slip.

Run a piece of rope through the eye hook mounted on the front-left dock pole. Tie a piece of cinder block to the end of that rope. Hold the other end of that rope and let the end with the cinder block on it slide into the water until the cinder block hits bottom. Tie the other end of this rope to your front-left cleat. Repeat this process for the front-right end of your boat. This will create a balanced anchor system for your boat and will keep it from tipping too far to one side during high winds.

Run another rope from your front-left cleat and wrap it several times around the dock pole or piling. Wrap it at least four times and tie it off in a secure knot. Repeat this process on the front-right side. When tying these front lines, leave a little bit of slack (approximately 1 to 2 feet). This will accommodate the rising and lowering tides and prevent your ropes from busting.

Run a single rope through the two eyehooks on the stern (or rear end) of your boat. Wrap the left side around a rear dock pole four times and tie it off in a knot. Do the same with the right side of the rope, making sure your stern is held firmly in place.

Run another rope from your right-rear cleat to the dock and secure it. Tie another rope to your left-rear cleat and also secure it to a dock pole

Items you will need

  • Ropes
  • Spring line
  • Cinder blocks

References

  • "Boating 101: Essential Lessons for Boaters"; Roger Siminoff; 1999

About the Author

Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.