Protect Your Boat From Dock Damage Using Mooring Whips

Care and maintenance of dock whips

May 28th, 2018   |   Updated on May 16th, 2022

Mooring whips are flexible poles made of fiberglass that hold the boat off the dock in order to prevent damage to the boat and the dock. These whips were designed to oppose the effects of tides, wind-driven waves, and boat wakes on the water vessel.

Boat whips use tension in order to hold the boat at a safe distance away from the dock and because of their flexibility; they allow movements of the boat because of tidal changes. Dock whips are important because they prevent damages to the boat when the tide is extremely heavy.

1. How dock whips work

Mooring whips are usually fastened mechanically at one end of the dock while the other end is connected to a cleat on the boat through the dock line. When the boat whip is attached to the boat cleat, it will cause the fiberglass pole to bend, separating the two.

Boat whips are normally used together with fenders, marine grade lines, and bumpers to guarantee the safety of the boat or water vessel.

2. Installation

Protect Your Boat From Dock Damage

Improper installation and tie-up are one of the most common problems with dock whips. This is why boat owners should know how to install a docking whip. Installation requires a big base area that has good strength and the ability to spread the weight of the whip’s bases over a significant area on the dock.

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when securing your boat to the dock whips. This will ensure that you correctly fashion and position the tie-up lines. Proper tie-up entails the bow line, stern line, and the two spring lines.

The correct placement and tension of these lines is important to keep your boat properly oriented and prevent the whips from bending sideways. The whips cannot bend in two directions at the same time, you have to keep them straight.

3. Care and maintenance of dock whips

Care and maintenance of dock whips

Boat whips require minimum care and maintenance. Most mooring whips are not well taken care of, but they are still useful several years down the line. With proper care, your whips will be in excellent condition for years.

All you need to do is replace your whip lines after a few years. You should also ensure that the whips and aluminum mounting bases are coated with wax to prevent them from getting chalky after years of exposure to the sun.

During offseason, you can remove your whips from the dock and store them in the house to protect them from the wind, snow, and sun.

4. Cost-effectiveness

A standard set of whips will cost about $250 to $600. This price will vary depending on the dock whips manufacturer and the retail vendor. Most manufacturers will have whips that suit most boat sizes.

However, there are some manufacturers who have customized whips for the smallest boat sizes and larger sailboats and cruisers. You can get affordable whips online, but you should be careful about the high shipping costs. Some manufacturers like General Marine offer free shipping for their boat whips.

Mooring whips are an inexpensive and excellent way of keeping your boat secure. They protect the boat by preventing it from banging against the dock from storm waves, wind, and other boat wakes. Make sure that you purchase the right mooring whips to ensure that your precious possession is protected at all times.