Install a DIY Dockline Rail Hanger

My goal was to keep my docklines neatly coiled and out of the way, yet handy along the decks of my 43-foot Ocean Alexander. After a bit of thought, I came up with a simple, elegant solution that only took an hour or so to build and install, and it works perfectly. It’s a rail-mounted hanger. Here’s how you can do it.

1. Measure the height between your toprail and caprail. Since there will be a metal clip hanging from the underside of the toprail, you don’t want it banging against the caprail when it isn’t holding a line.

2. Add five inches to that distance and mark a length of Dyneema (or any single-braid line). To keep the line from fraying when you cut it, wrap it once around with masking tape.

3. Cut the line in the middle of your tape mark with a very sharp knife.

4. Measure four inches from the end and remove the tape.

5. Pull out a strand of the braid two inches from the end and another around four inches from the end.

6. Cut them off.

7. Measure nine inches in from the end with the removed braids.

8. Insert a loop of wire into the hollow portion of the line by scrunching it up so that the inside passage is quite evident.

9. Bring it out of the passage around four and a quarter inches from the end.

10. Insert the end of the line through the captive end of a small carabiner or snap-hook.

11. Now insert it through the loop at the end of your wire.

12. Pull the wire back through the passage, bringing with it the end of the line.

13. The tail of the line should come out of the entrance where you inserted the wire loop.

14. Pull the line tight and smooth it with your hand. The tail of the line will recede back into the passage.

15. Use the same technique around a small, bent wire pad-eye at the other end.

16. Measure the finished assembly. It should be at least one inch shorter than the distance between your rails.

17. Choose two small screws to attach the pad-eye to the underside of the railing.

18. Fasten the pad-eye to the underside to your toprail so that the line and carabiner hang down but do not touch the caprail.

19. The finished rope hanger is ready for your dockline. If you don’t want it swinging around when your line is in use, just clip the carabiner to the pad-eye.

20. To use, simply pass the carabiner around a coil of line and clip it to the Dyneema. The weight of your line will snug it up and keep the coil tight.

Note: The measurements worked perfectly for the distance between my rails and the size of my docklines. You may need to adjust your measurements somewhat depending on your lines.

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