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Rope Knowledge

How to Care For and Maintain a Dock Line

by Fred Dieckhaus
How to Care For and Maintain a Dock Line

The majority of quality dock lines are extremely durable ropes. Even with the best of care, though, a dock line isn’t going to last forever.  

To increase the life expectancy of your rope, you can use several techniques and tricks to maintain it. 

To care for and maintain a dock line, wash it every few months. The majority of boaters will replace their lines every 2 - 4 years, but during that time washing and softening are required to keep your rope in the best condition for your boat. 

How Long Can You Use a Dock Line 

You can use a dock line anywhere from two to four years if it is well taken care of and maintained.  

Maintenance is the key, though, and a rope that is allowed to waste and weather will not last nearly as long. 

Failing to take care of your dock line can lead to deterioration of the line, which can lead to either a quicker replacement time or the danger of your boat breaking free of the rope. 

Always optimize the time in which you use your dock line by taking care of the line properly. It is important to replace the line before it wears too thin to prevent any situations which may arise due to a broken or frayed line as well. 

Dock Line Care 

To care for your dock line, a fairly simple routine can be used. With ropes like these, the complexity of the maintenance is not high.  

The only thing that matters is not waiting too long to care for your line, as doing so can cause irreversible damage. 

The first method that can be used to care for your dock line is to remove the dirt and build-up which may cake the rope. This should be done every 1 - 2 months. 

To clean the build-up from your dock lines, simply take a regular scrub brush and water and clean the excess dirt from the line. 

Dock lines are also known to become brittle as time goes on due to the materials from which they are manufactured. An easy method for preventing the stiffening of the line is to wash the line with a fabric softener. 

To process the lines in this way, a 55-gallon drum can be used. After adding a mixture of fabric softener and water, dunk the lines into the drum. The lines can then be cleaned off with a pressure washer to remove the salt. 

Dock Lines Can Last 

Dock lines do wear and tear, and will have to be replaced eventually. Replacing your dock lines will keep your boat safe and follow proper procedures. 

With proper maintenance and care, however, your rope can last anywhere from 2 - 4 years, which will save you both time and money in the long run. 

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