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Old 05-24-2017, 06:53 PM   #1
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Best Source for Dock Lines

Looking to replace all the dock lines on my 42 grand banks. Need about 300 feet of 5/8 " 3-strand twisted nylon. Looking online before I hit the stores and it appears that it not too easy to find.

Anyone have any good sources or advice when replacing dock lines?

Thanks
Kurt
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:08 PM   #2
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A side issue. Have had my docklines (purchased off-the-shelf from West Marine, braided) for six years. No sign of wear. Do lines suddenly fail without showing wear?
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:09 PM   #3
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Bought a complete set from Miami Cordage recently. Had 3/4" green double braid in stock. Nobody else had it. Quality and price were good.

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Old 05-24-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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Buy a bulk spool from your favorite chandlery and make your own. It is kind of fun to do some marlinspike seamanship, and you have pride of ownership.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/new-e...06?recordNum=3
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:35 PM   #5
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There are a lot of sources for line online. I bought a spool of 3/4" three strand off brand line for about $240 about a year ago. It was 600'. Of course it is not New England Rope or Sampson, but it is 1.5 years old and doing fine so far. You can splice 3 strand in about 5 minutes after you learn how. Double braid is more difficult to splice.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:38 PM   #6
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Ted

Do you use 3/4 " on your boat? Seems like overkill. I use 5/8 and have never had a problem but you can educate me. Please.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:41 PM   #7
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I would look at Defender, Hamilton Marine and Beacon in Annapolis
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:01 PM   #8
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Ted

Do you use 3/4 " on your boat? Seems like overkill. I use 5/8 and have never had a problem but you can educate me. Please.
90% of the time 5/8" would be fine. I've been through a few blows on transient docks that permanently stretched 3/4" line. Don't know if it would have stretched 5/8" more. You need stretch to absorb shock load. Too much can put your swim platform against a bulkhead. I'm guessing with your length displacement and windage, 3/4" would have been recommended.

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Old 05-24-2017, 08:28 PM   #9
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Thanks Ted

I use quality 5/8 from Sampson that are rated almost the same as 3/4. When I get a hurricane blow I double those 5/8 but on different cleats but adjusted so the are equal at full length. I often thought that a good way to tie for hurricanes up to 100 mph (on the Miami River I'm fairly lucky as plenty of buildings to knock down the winds) is to use three strand and braid, make the braid slightly longer than the three strand so at maximum stretch they would be the same length.

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Old 05-24-2017, 08:33 PM   #10
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When I went from a 22' Catalina sailboat to a 34' Marine Trader I needed to seriously upgrade everything including dock lines. I bought a 300' roll of 5/8" 3 strand nylon and started cutting. I put a bowline on one end and melted the other. It worked for years and several named storms.

One day I had absolutely nothing to do so I spliced loops into the ends of the dock lines and untied the bowlines which untied as easily as advertised.

Good value that roll of line. Especially considering the way I came to own it.

Back at the turn of the century, my wife was looking for employment and the local marine store had a cashier job open up. My lovely wife applied and although she had just finished a circumnavigation of the little loop the owners of the chandlery went with an 18 year old blonde nymph with decidedly larger (ahem) attributes. A few months later I found the roll of line discounted from .65 cents a foot to .25 cents a foot and I brought it up the counter. Jayne Mansfield rang it up for .25 cents. Total. I said are you sure? She never stopped filing her nails to even glance at the sale tag and between chews on her bubble gum burped "Yup". The store went under several months later but we still laugh every time we dock.

Don't worry about my wife. She became an accounting VP in a large re-insurance company covering marine and aircraft where she regularly admonishes her staff to mind the details and account for every penny. She is soon to retire. Again.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt.reynolds View Post
Looking to replace all the dock lines on my 42 grand banks. Need about 300 feet of 5/8 " 3-strand twisted nylon. Looking online before I hit the stores and it appears that it not too easy to find.

Anyone have any good sources or advice when replacing dock lines?

Thanks
Kurt
Just Google 5/8" anchor line. There are plenty of sources.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt.reynolds View Post
Looking to replace all the dock lines on my 42 grand banks. Need about 300 feet of 5/8 " 3-strand twisted nylon. Looking online before I hit the stores and it appears that it not too easy to find.

Anyone have any good sources or advice when replacing dock lines?
Hi Kurt,

I purchased 600' of 5/8" off of ebay

I was looking for rope to make up some permanent dock lines and was looking for inexpensive stuff to do the job. This has worked out really well. I made up lines to fit and was reasonably impressed by the quality of the line considering its price. It spliced very well and while it has only been in use for a couple months it is performing well. I still have plenty of braided lines that I use for my traveling dock lines, but I will start to use this as those become too worn.

Three strand is just too easy to splice to not do it yourself. If you want to get fancy, buy some cheap nylon tubing and cover your eyes with it to eliminate chafe.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:56 PM   #13
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I have bought rope from WM, Defender and almost everyone else. Finally, I started buying from Amazon. Best price on bulk rope.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:08 PM   #14
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I purchased two reels of &*^% rope from Ebay a couple of years ago. One reel was 5/8" and the other 9/16". OK, I would like to call it junk but the stuff still holds my boat firmly into our slip and no failures so far.

The problem is both lines are baby bottom soft. My 5/8" lines are used for springs and after awhile under load the 5/8" is closer to 9/16" or for that matter even 1/2". NOw the funny thing is if the lines are unloaded they do return to the 5/8"- 9/16" original diameters. I seriously doubt this stuff can support loads such as those offered by New England.

This spring (March?) I ordered another 300' of 5/8" along with 200' of 9/16" but this time I placed my order with West Marine for New England ropes on sale. Stuff is still in their original packing, unused. Too busy to make new lines.

Braided! I avoid the stuff for dock lines, it squeaks.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:11 PM   #15
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Another good option is to wait for WM to put bulk rope on 40% off sale. They do that several times a year.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:11 PM   #16
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Just a word or warning but not all line is equal. Some may break at a lower rate, some may chafe more than others, some may stretch more than others and some when stretched may not return.

IOW price may not be the determining factor in my purchase. YMMV.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Just a word or warning but not all line is equal. Some may break at a lower rate, some may chafe more than others, some may stretch more than others and some when stretched may not return.

IOW price may not be the determining factor in my purchase. YMMV.
I agree with Irv. sometimes cheap (inexpensive) is good. This is an area where its not (IMHO). Call HopCar (i Know he's retired) and just spend the extra $ 8 and sleep well. He will advise you to New England ropes or equivalent.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:55 PM   #18
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Dock line for home port then 3 strand is great. I cleat em semi permanent at the pier or piling and adjust at the boat, fish em in with a boat hook. I have 5/8 Sampson (40') for big blows, away from the boat a long time to double up with. When cruising I keep the big Sampson aboard. Home port, strong but cheap is good so 3 strand is fine.

For cruising I am acquiring 1/2" 8 plait (brait) by Yale. 8500 +- breaking strength in 50' lengths. 4 or 5 coils. The stuff is flexible, does not twist up, does not have a memory and is soft and easy to work with. Throws good also. No eye splices at all. If I need a loop then quick bowline but otherwise bitter end. Ends finished with heat shrink and melted, no elaborate whipping.

My boat loaded is 32-35,000 loaded, I have seen this on 42,000 lb Great Harbor looper and it works great for them. I am sold. Defender $.96 afoot. Little pricey but the best solution I have seen.

Another thing I am adding is a proper heaving line, 60' with a monkey fist, perhaps, most likely, out of 3/8' 8 plait.

My anchor rode is 250' of 5/8 8plait behind 75' chain. My nylon NEVER tangles, just piles up in the locker.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:15 PM   #19
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I like quick and easy. I use eyes on lines that are sized to go over the cleats on my boat. They stay fixed so it is very convenient.

I've been using three strand for permanent dock lines and double braid for traveling lines for years. I like my lines to have an eye. My double braid may last longer than I do. However, if my wife starts to complain about the condition of the lines, maybe I'll consider using brait.

For the home dock, I've been very happy with my rather non-conventional system of nylon eye and soft shackle connecting the line to the cleat.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:15 AM   #20
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About 20 yrs ago I bought some double braid and spliced up some dock lines. After 20 yrs use, I shopped for some new lines. My wife has wanted coloured lines for years, so I shopped and found some black double braid at Harbour Chandler in Nanaimo. It was 3/4 ", which I wanted, but on a spool, so I would need to do my own splices. They also had some made up Samson double braid 5/8, but I wanted the 3/4 and I liked the price difference as it was about 1/2 the price of the made up 5/8.

After being in use for only a couple of months, the black is now hard and no longer easy to use.
In one of last October's gales, I was at the local outstation and had to re-tie a 47 Bayliner that was tied with the same black lines. They were on the brink of failure, as the forces on the lines had diminished their diameter at stress points, by 1/2. There was also considerable chafing damage, both to the lines and to the rail.
I don't know the brand of the line, but I will not be buying any more solid colour lines. My 20 yr old lines are just as good now as the new ones.
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