Leaving Kayak to a dock/slip advice for tying please

I have a slip/dock that I am going to leave my 10 ft kayak tied off to the cleats on the slip. If anyone could answer my questions (sorry a bunch…new to owning a slip and never tied lines up)
What is the best way to do so? use traditional dock lines? How long of lines for a 10 ft kayak ,4 ft?
Any type of dock lines best to use? Like the ones with the loop on one end and the Caribbeaner on the other?
Should I use fender bumpers? or does the white rail on my dock suffice for a kayak?
Thanks so much…can’t wait to tie it up and use whenever I want and get out there!

Better would be to keep it up on the dock out of the water.

not allowed to keep on the dock…must be in water., it’s quite an ordeal to get it up the ramp walk it over to my condo, etc…just going to keep it tied up…any advice on the questions I asked would be really appreciated.

Definitely use bumpers, but as to what you use to secure it, what are the chances of it being stolen?

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Good chance of it being stolen so figure that out. As for leaving it, any rope will do. You might actually think about some sort of clips on the rope ends since cleats and a half hitch rely on tension on the rope to bite and hold. A 50 pound kayak floating about a half inch into the water isn’t going to provide tension. You are also going to have plastic degradation from the sun. If you are going to leave it, I might consider leaving some weight in it so it sits in the water a bit more rather than on it quite as much, just to keep it stable. You will also want to cover the cockpit if you are going to have it out in all weather.
The price of a slip begs the question, have you thought about a portable solution? Inflatable or folding?

The biggest question is how to cover the cockpit . A ten foot rec boat generally has a large cockpit and it will fill with water unless it has a snug cockpit cover that won’t blow off.

I see people wrestling with filled kayaks sometimes here when they tie to docks. While lugging a kayak to a condo is not fun a cart can help and is no doubt easier than emptying several hundred pounds of water from a mostly sunken kayak without drain plugs.

Thievery aside which never enters my mind. We leave some 12 boats on a rack by our dock all summer. Some should have disappeared but seem to be taking root. literally

I own the slip and my complex owns the marina…no way it’s getting stolen. Only 40 units here and tough to get to the slips unless you live here and mine is right out in the open everyone would see.

it’s an ocean 12 footer sit on top so covering the cockpit is not a worry…don’t really care if it deteriorates over the years/years…just a Medium priced Kayak…was really looking more for advice on the best way to tie it up.Thanks though

Get a cheap 14 ft boat or float and store the 10 ft kayak upside down on the boat. Of course which ever lives in the water will grow stuff on the bottom. Barnicles in salt water green stuff in fresh.

Ocean Kayak sit on tops are not made to be tied up to a slip.

Here’s a previous thread which had some ideas which you might find helpful:

If there is a tide leave enough length for it to go down with the tide. It sounds like you have two cleats? If so I would find something to run a line thru on each end of the boat and run to each cleat, using the usual hitch to secure it ti the cleat.

I doubt you need a super thick rope for it to hold just fine. Any mariner’s store will have a variety of ropes that are intended to hold up when used outside.

I would just treat it like tying up any small 10-12 foot boat. There are lots of diagrams and instructions you can find by Googling for “how to tie boat to dock”. Your dock lines with probably have to attach to the bow and stern carry handles in the kayak. Attaching with some sort of snap hooks might be handy. I would use a fender in addition to the rub strip on the dock. If allowed, just leave the fender(s) attached to the dock. And you will need to flip the kayak occasionally to clean marine scum off the bottom. Getting in and out of a kayak from a dock can also be challenging depending on the height of the dock. A search for “how to get into kayak from dock” gives lots of advice.

Oh, and don’t use the cheap multi-purpose rope they sell at Walmart or home stores. It degrades rapidly in the sun. Rope labeled 100% nylon would be a safe choice.

1/4 inch braided nylon will work. You will get an inch of algae by the end of summer. Depending on the wave action at your dock, consider either not tying it snugly or tying it such that it is “at the dock” but lifted out of the water.

Understanding the tide and wind will be important to finding a good solution. You do not need a lot of rope strength for a kayak, unless wind and waves will be an issue.

Nylon would not be my choice, it is not that resistant to degrading in the sunlight. Better would be a polyester rope sold for boating and for dock lines. You could get by with thinner rope than you probably can find at a boating place already made up as a dock line. Simply tie it to your boat, no need for the loop.

Tying to the cleat, if it is a typical cleat like this:


just requires a cleat hitch, see the above link. The loop could be useful if you would rather leave the line attached to the cleat, using the loop, then either tie to the boat, or tie to the cleat, depending upon how long the rope is. But you may find some advantages to keeping the line on the boat when paddling.

I would not use carabiners, unless they are marine grade, if you are in salt water.

You might want to consider locking it to a cleat, and also consider if kids/wandering people might be tempted to take it for a spin…

Many thefts off of docks happen from the thief coming from the water, not from land.

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Nylon actually has good UV resistance, but it does lose a negligible amount of strength when wet. All of West Marine’s pre-made dock lines appear to be nylon, but as GregofDelaware said, you don’t need to buy expensive dock lines with an eye splice at one end if you’re comfortable just tying a knot. And three-strand rope is actually cheapest, and making an eye splice in three strand is as easy as tying a knot (lots of how to’s on the web) - so that’s an option too.