kayak mooring line

I am new to kayaking. I purchased my firsr kayak a couple of months, ago. I have had it out, twice and really like kayaking. I am planning to go, again in a couple of weeks.
I want to add mooring lines to the bow, stern and center on either side. Wondering what I should use for rope and attaching the rope to the boat?

Brand and model of your kayak? Why do you need mooring lines? Do you keep it in the water when not being used?


3/16" stay set or even 5 mm reflective line with a Scotty clip.

Or you mean deck lines? Use 5 mm reflective rope. And bolt on or pop rivetpad eyes.


It would help if you said what boat you have.


I think you have mooring lines confused with deck and perimeter lines. A mooring line is what secures a vessel to a pier or other permanent structure. This article explains a kayak setup: https://paddling.com/learn/deck-lines-rigging/

As Celia suggested, describing your kayak (make and model) will get you better results.

Six inch deck cleats and 1/2" nylon rope should do the trick. You’ll probably need about three 15" inflatable fenders too. Have you thought about an anchor? I prefer the old fashioned ship anchor type; a fifty pounder should be sufficient.

Thanks for the help. Like I said, I am new at this and jumped into this by myslef. I’ve been reading online trying to learn.
I have a LIfetime Tamarack Angler. It’s a 10’ sit-on-top. I want to be able to tie the boat off at a dock or floating restooms on a lake.

Been there and did that - leaping before I looked. Turned out to be the best chance I ever took. Kayaks are like magic carpets, taking us places we normally wouldn’t see.

Nylon rope should do the trick for you and is easily found in most hardware stores. Your kayak appears to have carrying handles on the side and from the picture I checked, it looks like there’s some hardware on the bow. Not sure about the stern. You could tie each piece of rope to an appropriately sized carabiner for quick attachment to your boat. Or just learn how to tie an appropriate knot. https://www.animatedknots.com/indexbasics.php

You don’t want to carry the rope anywhere in the kayak where you could get tangled up should you capsize for any reason. Looks like you have a small hatch in the front to stash it.

Floating restrooms on a lake? That’s pretty convenient.

You don’t need all those different lines. At most, you might attach one to each end of the boat, but one is probably enough. Keep in mind that you have to have a way to deal with the slack when lines aren’t in use, and that’s harder to do with a kayak than with a canoe, which might be why it’s actually pretty rare to see a kayaker with mooring lines of any kind.

I see that the carry handles on your boat are toggles. Attach a mooring line to a toggle by making a loop in the end of the line via two half hitches (look up that knot if you don’t know it), put the loop over the toggle and cinch it tight. Figure out how to secure the slack line so it stays where you put it when not in use, and the problem is solved.

Oh, for your use, soft braided polypropylene in about a 1/4- to 3/8-inch diameter should do fine. Avoid twist-braided rope, as it is much less user-friendly for tying/untying, coiling and general handling. Some kind of kern-mantle rope is best, but I doubt you need the best.

You may go your whole life and never see another kayaker who uses a mooring line, but my girlfriend routinely uses one, and sometimes two when we paddle small creeks with difficult access and/or the need for deadfall crossings, and I always put two on a solo canoe. I find that about a 15’ line on each end of a canoe lets me do all sorts of maneuvers with the unmanned boat while I’m standing at a difficult landing like a high vertical bank or in the branches of a fallen tree (in such cases it’s commonly necessary to launch/land the boat in a much different orientation than that used for climbing in or out, and the use of two lines to manipulate the position of the empty boat becomes absolutely necessary). What you describe sounds pretty simple in comparison, and a single line attached to just one end might be as much as you ever need. As for one hint on how you can take advantage of it, you can hold the end of your mooring line as you step out of your boat, freeing you to use both hands and both feet to get ashore in a tricky place that’s too deep to just step out, all while not worrying about the boat getting away. Tie the free end of the line to a tree branch or root once you are safely on your feet. Reverse the process for getting back in the boat. If you can use a mooring line in that manner, you’ll be able to land/launch from places that most other kayakers can’t even recognize as negotiable.

https://youtu.be/TsF6ogKXpDQ I have similar lines as shown in video. Helps when I launch off floating docks ay my house.

Just go to Home Depot and pick up 50’ of 1/4" braided nylon for the princely sum of $8.71.


Cut a length of about 10’ and seal the ends with a flame. You’ll find uses for the extra 40’.

I don’t use a mooring line as such, but a short length of rope with a loop at one end is very useful for securing the middle of a kayak to a dock for entry and exit.

I use a " contact tow line" or “cow tail” . Look it up on u tube. Mooring a boat that can be picked up and placed on beach, dock or tree roots us usually unnecessary.

Nice at a dock to tie off. Use mine on floating dock all the time

For a Deck Line, I always add pad-eyes all along my kayaks and I use Home Depot cord for my deck-line. It is cheap so I can replace it every spring with my usual maintainance. I use it as a grab-line and to clip my gear to.

Now as for a Painter… That is a rope you use to tie your boat to the shore. I always carry one with heavy carabiners and almost always use it.

Something always goes wrong when I fail to use my painter.

Ditto what Rik said, I use a painter made of reflective deck line with a SS carabiner. It originally had a Scotty clip, which pulled open at one point, releasing my kayak from shore, with two other boats tied to mine. Luckily the wind was pushing the boats back to shore that day…


1,000 lb. Minimum breaking strength



thanks all for the help. The floating restrooms have very small docks all the way around it and are just big enough to walk on, so pulling the kayak up onto the dock is out of the queastion, there.