Tying up your boat is an essential but often overlooked part of being a boat owner. Being able to properly tie off your Crownline keeps your boat safe, allows you to pull up to new places, and makes the waterways more enjoyable for everyone. No one should have to worry about a boat getting loose, especially their own. So, here’s a quick lesson in how to tie off to a dock with a few different knots.

Using a Cleat Hitch

Cleat hitches are becoming the standard on most docks. Any boater needs to know how to safely and securely use them to tie up their boat. Fortunately, it’s an easy knot to tie. Here’s a quick diagram from the fantastic site netknots.com.

The cleat hitch knot is executed by pulling the line taught, looping it around the hitch, performing a couple of figure eights around the cleat horns and an underhand loop around the last horn. You can make as many figure eights as you want—the knot will definitely hold. Here’s a video for further assistance.

Tying Your Boat to a Piling

If there are no cleats around, you can tie your boat to a piling on the dock. There are many ways to tie off to a piling, but the easiest is a simple clove knot. To execute the clove knot, simply loop the piling with the rope, pass the free side underneath itself and pull it tight. Do this a few times to ensure a secure knot. This is the perfect get-up-and-go knot, but we don’t recommend using it in rough conditions. Here’s a diagram to help you out.

Clove Knot


Executing the Pile Hitch

For a more secure connection, try tying up with a pile hitch. Given its name, you’ve likely figured out that this knot is specifically for tying your boat off to a piling. Here’s a good tutorial from netknot.com.

The pile hitch is a simple, no-nonsense way to keep your boat fixed to any dock. Just double the line and wrap it around the post from front to back. Next, loop it over the top of the post and pull it secure. This knot will give you a good hold, just make sure you don’t leave too much slack. When you’re ready to head out, simply pull it off the post and get going. The day is yours to enjoy, so don’t waste time tying and untying knots!

See Also Tips For Docking Your Boat