Tying up a boat properly is one of the most important parts of safely enjoying the open water. If you take a stroll through virtually any marina, you’re bound to see some poor hitch jobs – usually evidenced with a tangled web of lines or insufficient loops that run the risk of the owner returning from dinner to find their boat sailing off into the sunset on its own. Many new boaters may not put much thought into this task, but it is absolutely critical.
As with many things in life, simplicity is the key. But focus on the basics and make sure that your lines are tied to a strong point – both on the boat itself and on the dock. Make sure that the point on the dock will be able to withstand any resistance or forces from the waves.
Get acquainted with some commonly used hitches for tying up your boat, such as a cleat hitch or bowline knot.
If you’re new to boating, you can also draw upon the expertise of professional staff at boat clubs like Jax Boat Club, who will show you the ropes – literally – before you head out onto the open water.