You’ve managed to dock without injuring your boat, someone else’s boat, the dock, or any passengers—congratulations! Now all you need to do is make sure it stays put.

There are four types of dock lines:

  1. Bow lines—to keep the bow from moving side to side
  2. Breast lines—to keep the boat from moving away from the dock
  3. Spring lines—to keep the boat from moving forward and aft
  4. Stern lines—to keep the stern from moving side to side

Every boat should be equipped with at least six dock lines.

There are three types of tie-ups at the dock:


A cleat hitch is metal hook secured to the dock. Loop the rope around the base of the horns and over the top in a figure eight several times. Secure with a half hitch (a single overhand knot).


A piling is a wood or metal post secured into the water. Wrap the rope around the piling two or three times and secure with a half hitch.


A bull railing is a low railing attached to the dock. Wrap the rope around the railing once (under first) and secure with two half hitches.


At fixed docks, be sure to leave some slack in all your dock lines to compensate for the boat rising and falling with the waves.

Crownline Pull Up Cleats


Crownline has stainless steal pull up cleats, for safety and ease of tying up!