Types Of Mooring Ropes

Types of mooring ropes for canal boats

The type of rope you use is important is it needs to be strong enough to hold the knot when you are mooring your narrow boat.

There are many different types of ropes available, so it all depends on what you’ll be using it for.

The 3 main types of narrow boat mooring lines are Synthetic, hemp or multifilament


These are the probably the best choice for most narrow boaters as it is made from polypropylene which makes it hardwearing and light.


This rope is made from a natural fibre as is also a good choice for mooring, as it doesn’t become hard when wet. However it does need to be rot proof as natural fibers have a limited life and will rot if not cared for.


Multi-filament polypropylene is a synthetic rope that looks and feels just like the hemp rope. It is smooth and glossy which makes it difficult to finish the ends by slicing.


What you need to know about splicing –

Splicing is the process of joining pieces of rope together by intervening strands. It’s used not only to add a finishing touch to the line, but it is also a lot stronger than a knot.

Here are a few advantages of rope splicing

  • Strengthens connection
  • Creates a permanent loop
  • Reduces risk of decay
  • Reduces stress on the rope
  • Rope strength retention

Remember, a good quality splice will keep around 85% of the strength of the rope but a perfectly spliced rope should retain around 95% of the initial strength of the rope – Making it much stronger than a standard knot. It’s best to get some practice on splicing before you try it on your narrowboat.