Don’t store wet lines. Modern marine line will not rot, but it will mildew. Dry your lines before stowing them. Coil line carefully for stowage. Never coil line around your arm like a clothesline. As you coil the line, twist the line with your fingers so the coils lay flat against each other. If one end of the line is attached to something (like a cleat), coil the line from the fixed end toward the loose end. This will allow the uncoiled line to rotate as you twist it with your fingers to coil it. This process works with both laid and braid line.

Steps in Coiling a Line

Lines for ready use, such as dock lines, should be coiled and tied off with part of the coiled line to keep the coils from becoming tangled. Special hooks are available for hanging these coils in the lockers accessible from the cockpit.
Stowing the extra line on a pier is an opportunity to show the other boaters that you are a skilled boater. When you tie off to a cleat on a pier, there is always an extra line to deal with. Rather than winding up the excess on the cleat (amateurish and ugly) or just leaving the excess in a pile on the pier (dangerous), coil the excess in a flat circular coil or mat on the pier. The resulting pattern is called a Flemish Coil. In this form, it will dry quickly, passers-by will not trip on it and it just plain looks good.

Improperly Stored Line (left) & Flemished line (right)

Flemished lines should be coiled counter-clockwise from bitter end for left-hand laid rope and coiled clockwise (“as the sun goes”) for right-hand laid rope. Braided line does not have a lay and can be coiled in either direction.