How to tie a cleat hitch on a dock line?

For boaters, docking is an essential part of the boating experience. However, it can be difficult to secure your boat to the dock without the proper knowledge and skills. That’s where tying a cleat hitch comes in handy. A cleat hitch is an essential knot for securing a boat to a dock with a dock line, and it’s a skill every boater should know.


1. First, make a loop at the end of the dock line.

2. Place the loop over the cleat from the bottom up, with the working end of the line facing the boat.

3. Cross the working end of the dock line over itself.

4. Bring the working end of the dock line under the cleat and up through the loop.

5. Make a turn around the opposite horn of the cleat.

6. Make another turn around the first horn, crossing over the turns you made in step 5.

7. Finish by making a half hitch around the base of the cleat, tucking the working end of the dock line under itself.

8. Tighten the knot by pulling on the working end of the dock line.

9. Secure the working end of the dock line to a cleat on the boat.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully tied a cleat hitch on a dock line! Remember, practicing this skill before a boating trip can make all the difference when you’re docking the boat.

It’s important to note that once you’ve tied the cleat hitch, you’ll want to ensure the dock line is snug, but not too tight. You don’t want your boat to be trapped against the dock in the event of changing tides, wind or waves.

In summary, tying a cleat hitch on a dock line is a simple and valuable knot-tying skill every boater should have in their anchor kit. By following these steps, you can confidently and securely dock your boat, and enjoy your time on the water even more.

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