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Old 02-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Anyone have experience using*any of the high-tech,*polyethylene*rope products for*your boat's docking lines?* I'm thinking high-strength (spendy!) stuff, like Amsteel Blu, to replace traditional*braided nylon. I like the feel of Gold-N-Braid nylon, but what appeals to me about the high-tech rope is it's extraordinary strength to weight ratio*(lighter and easier to handle for the first mate), it floats, and possibly won't catch*as*easily on*those splintered bull rails we have in the PNW. This stuff can cost up to $7/foot so I'd like some feedback before buying any. (BTW, Steve Dashew has written about switching to*HMPE docking lines on Wind Horse..)
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

No experience with that stuff.
However, a lot of these high tech ropes are really meant for specific markets. They, many, can be easily damaged from abrasion and sunlight on top of the high cost.
They often have little to no stretching ability. That makes for an advantage in sailing rigging but not for dock lines. Some have a minimum bend radius that must be observed or suffer damage.

Used in the right location they can do a wonderfull job but that usually is not docking lines.

Double braid nylon has a lot less stretch than 3 lay nylon but both are very elastic, for shock absorption, compared to many of the high tech ropes and although weaker are more suitable form the standpoint of elasticity and resistance to sun and abrasion damage.

Look up Practical Sailor articles about these lines although I don't know if the specific one you ask about was included. They did a comparison with a lot of high tech lines.

Just be carefull whatever you choose if you go that route.


-- Edited by C lectric on Tuesday 21st of February 2012 10:37:14 PM
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:45 AM   #3
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RE: Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Quote:
nwboater wrote:
Anyone have experience using*any of the high-tech,*polyethylene*rope products for*your boat's docking lines?* I'm thinking high-strength (spendy!) stuff, like Amsteel Blu, to replace traditional*braided nylon. I like the feel of Gold-N-Braid nylon, but what appeals to me about the high-tech rope is it's extraordinary strength to weight ratio*(lighter and easier to handle for the first mate), it floats, and possibly won't catch*as*easily on*those splintered bull rails we have in the PNW. This stuff can cost up to $7/foot so I'd like some feedback before buying any. (BTW, Steve Dashew has written about switching to*HMPE docking lines on Wind Horse..)
*2 things you want with docklines are strtch (to a point) and comfort in handling.* Other good features are resistance to chafe and longevity.

Most of the stuff you are talking about doesn't really stretch...but there are ways around that and big deal if you aren't tied up in severe coditions anyhow. The rest of it's attributes except for price seem attractive.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:17 AM   #4
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RE: Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Polyethylene is notoriously poor at UV resistance. You can add UV inhibitors to slow it down, but as you add any filler, it weakens the polymer. Black is the best stabilizer, so I'd suggest buying black lines if available.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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RE: Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Quote:
Keith wrote:
Polyethylene is notoriously poor at UV resistance. You can add UV inhibitors to slow it down, but as you add any filler, it weakens the polymer. Black is the best stabilizer, so I'd suggest buying black lines if available.
*So, true, and when they degrade from UV exposure, you will need gloves to handle them. *They get very rough and prickly. *Maybe the new stuff has better UV blockers.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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RE: Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Thanks for the feeback. All your*comments line up with my own feelings about using*HMPE for dock lines. I'm currently using AmSteel rope*to replace 3/16" cable*on a Warn winch used for lifting a heavy timber mast.*Maybe I'll buy 20' and*let my wife use it*for a while and see how it goes...rs
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:17 AM   #7
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RE: Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

I think nylon remains the line of choice for dock lines and anchor rode for a couple reasons. Durability, stretch, and cost effectiveness being among them. If your boat is docked with lines around cleats on the boat and the dock, the ability of nylon line to stretch takes the strain off the cleats when there is a surge from a wave or wake. Without this shock absorbing effect, the cleats will eventually work or break loose from either the boat or the dock.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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Experience with high modulus poly dock lines..

Quote:
rwidman wrote:
I think nylon remains the line of choice for dock lines and anchor rode for a couple reasons. Durability, stretch, and cost effectiveness being among them. If your boat is docked with lines around cleats on the boat and the dock, the ability of nylon line to stretch takes the strain off the cleats when there is a surge from a wave or wake. Without this shock absorbing effect, the cleats will eventually work or break loose from either the boat or the dock.
*While I agree in theory...most trawler guys use pretty heavy mooring lines (5/8-3/4) which have very litle give in the 5-8 feet of run between boat and dock.* I have seen many cleats ripped out of older docks ...especially by those that insist on tight breast lines.

Anchor line...not sure..the current thiinking that light is OK because in storm conditions even heavy chain straightens out and needs good snubbing...why not use amsteel blu like chain (save the weight) and snub it somehow.* True I might worry about chafe..but price and how quick your chain rusts may be a good argument.


-- Edited by psneeld on Thursday 23rd of February 2012 08:05:12 AM
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