a boat that has used the correct mooring ropes

Choosing the best rope for mooring a boat

Setting sail for the first time? Be sure to invest in the correct mooring ropes. Not only do they promote safety for you and your passengers, they can also prevent a lot of unnecessary damage (and expense!) – and are, arguably, one of the most important pieces of equipment onboard.

To moor a boat successfully, three mooring lines are essential. These include a:

  1. Bow line – which secures the bow to the dock
  2. Stern line – which holds the stern of the boat to the dock
  3. Spring line – to prevent any surges backwards and forwards

When buying these mooring lines for the first time, there are three main factors that you must consider. Here we outline each in turn and offer our expert advice on the best products available.

3 factors to consider when buying rope for mooring


As a general rule-of-thumb, bow and stern lines should be at least half the length of your boat. Spring lines should be the full length of your boat or longer. So, first things first, take a look at your vehicle’s technical specification or get out the tape measure and establish its exact length.

It’s also a good idea to carry one additional mooring line, around five times the size of your boat. Not only will this serve as a good back-up, it could also be a great help in tough mooring conditions.


The bigger the vehicle, the thicker the mooring rope you will require. It’s as simple as that. Below is a list of the most common hull lengths and the recommend rope size for each.

Hull length (ft) Diameter (mm)
26 10
33 12
39 14
46 16
53 18
62 20

If your sailboat falls somewhere in between these categories, it’s usually worth opting for the bigger diameter – just to be on the safe side. For particularly heavy boats (relative to their length), we also recommend going one-size up (e.g. 12mm mooring line for a 26ft hull length).


The best mooring ropes are typically made from lightweight yet robust synthetic fibres, such as polyester. Strong, flexible and resistant to abrasion, UV rays and chemicals. They do the job well and – despite being exposed to harsh sea conditions – are guaranteed to last a long time.

Polypropylene ropes are also a good option. They share many of same beneficial properties as polyester, yet are often a lot cheaper to buy – offering greater value for money.

Mooring rope at Ropes Direct

mooring ropes for sale at Ropes Direct

Whether you’re the new proud owner of a dingy, sailboat, narrowboat, motorboat or high-end yacht, we guarantee – here at Ropes Direct – we have the ideal ropes for mooring.

In most cases, we recommend the Kingfisher Ready-Spliced Docklines. These come in a broad spectrum of diameters (i.e. 12-16mm) and colours, with something to suit most boat styles and sizes. Constructed from high-quality braided polyester, they boast all of the important qualities outlined above and are available for a very competitive price. We also stock 3-strand polyester ropes and 3-strand multifilament polypropylene ropes in a wide range of popular sizes.

So why not take a look today? Select the ideal mooring ropes from our collection, check out our blog on ‘how to moor a boat with the correct ropes’ and ensure you’re fully prepared for your first journey.

If you have any questions or would like further advice on the best rope for mooring your boat, you’re welcome to get in touch at any time. Our team have excellent knowledge of the products available and they’re always happy to help. Either give us a call on 01692 671721 to discuss your specific requirements or send an email to info@ropesdirect.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

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