Abstract The problem of no-slip boundary conditions as they apply to ocean models is revisited. It is argued that the setting is consistent with classical Law of the Wall theory. The rendering of no-slip boundary conditions is thus modified importantly from typical practice in ocean models. The proposed boundary condition formulation is implemented in the MITgcm. Comparisons with classically formulated free-slip and no-slip cases shows the results are somewhat between the two cases, but generally closer to free-slip.