Mooring Warp Length and Configuration Guide

There is a traditional rule of thumb for determining the length of mooring lines when tying up your yacht alongside i.e. along her length.

Alongside means mooring side-on to a fixed structure along her length, e.g. a pontoon, jetty, quayside or harbour wall, as opposed to mooring stern-to (perpendicular to the shore).

The mooring facility may be a floating dock e.g. a pontoon or grounded e.g. a harbour wall.

Several lines should be deployed from strategic points on deck and at different angles to share the load and restrain yacht movement.

The Rule of Thumb for the Length of a Mooring Warp correlates the length of each line to the yacht length overall.

Please note, where the mooring point is non-floating, the lines may need to be longer to allow for the tidal range.

Short lines are less versatile than longer lengths, so it is a good idea to consider whether one line can be used for two purposes e.g. a combined breast and spring rope made off on a cleat in between applications.

Springs can be deployed in different ways according to the skipper’s preference which may be influenced by a number of factors e.g. personal experience, the position of the available deck cleats.

For permanent arrangements at your home berth, warps on floating docks can be spliced and finished to length, to suit the position of onboard and pontoon cleats/bollards.

Custom Build Mooring Warps to your bespoke requirements online on the Jimmy Green website.

If you have any difficulty, the Jimmy Green Rigging Sales team will be happy to assist you make up your order.

How long should you make your mooring lines ?
Diagram ReferenceMooring Rope NameMooring Line Length Calculation
1Head or Bow Rope11/2 - 2 x LOA
2Breast Rope3/4 x LOA
3After Spring11/4 x LOA
4Forward Spring11/4 x LOA
5Quarter Rope3/4 x LOA
6Stern Rope11/2 - 2 x LOA

LOA = Yacht or Boat Length Overall as opposed to LWL (waterline length)

Rafting Warps

2 extra long mooring lines may be required to reach the pontoon when the visitor berths are busy and there are multiple yachts between you and the dock.

Simply tying up to the yacht alongside will cause undue strain on their lines and cleats and may cause subsequent offence.

It may also be injudicious to rely on another yacht's lines which you may consider inadequate for their yacht without adding the weight of your own.

It is therefore prudent and polite to bear the strain of your own yacht by attaching separate, suitably strong lines ashore.

Mooring Lines Diagram