Pick the Right Boat Hook

Three models to consider when you’re looking for the best boat hook.

What is a boat hook used for? A boat hook is one of those tools that you don’t realize you need until you don’t have one on board. Of course, most use boat hooks for rope, snagging dock and mooring lines, but a boat hook can be also used to fend off at a dock, place a loop over a piling, or even grab a gear bag.

When you start thinking about it, a boat hook can be used for many tasks. Here are three models to consider.

Pictured, the Davis Telescoping 3-Section Boat Hook.Davis

The Davis telescoping boat hooks come with poles in 4- and 6-foot lengths (retracted) and extend out to 8 and 12 feet, respectively. Both models are anodized aluminum and float. Threads on the tip of the pole allow a brush or mop to attach. It has a soft vinyl top that protects the boat’s finish when fending off. Watch out, as telescopic boat hooks may collapse unexpectedly.

Pictured, the West Marine Shorty Telescoping Boat Hook.West Marine

The West Marine boat hook pole floats and is made of aluminum tubing that telescopes and twist-locks. Nylon heads are curved to aid in line retrieval, and the soft tips prevent scratches. The Shorty model telescopes from 3 to 7 feet and is designed for smaller boats that do not have a place to stow longer boat hooks.

Pictured, the Robship Hook & Moor Boat Hook.Robship

This hook helps crew members thread a rope through a mooring ring with a push or pull. It uses your mooring line directly — no messenger or guidelines needed — and it works as an ordinary boat hook when the hook head is locked in place. Both 6- and 9-foot models retract to 447/8 inches for storage. This boat hook doesn’t float like some other boat hooks do.