How to Tie Up a Boat to a Dock
- Plan your approach—consider wind direction and currents.
- Always start by tossing a spring line to someone on the dock.
- Secure a line from the bow cleat to a dock cleat forward of the boat.
- Secure the spring line to a dock cleat angled aft.
- Attach a line from the stern cleat on the side of the boat away from the dock to a dock cleat behind the boat
Tying a Hitch
A cleat is the horn shaped hardware found on docks and boats that is stable enough to securely tie up your boat. A dock line usually has a loop on one end. Attach this end with the loop to your boat by passing the loop through the center of the cleat and then back over the horns of the cleat, working towards the boat. The other end of the rope is secured to the cleat on the dock using a hitch. To tie a cleat hitch, pass the line once around the cleat’s base, then make two turns in a figure 8 motion around the horns before making a third turn with the line turned under itself in a half-hitch. This secures the line. View the instructional video from BoatUS for a visual demonstration.