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Old 10-30-2018, 08:22 AM   #1
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Ropes/dock lines?

Shopping for dock lines and need some advice...
When do replace a dock line? How do you know it is unsafe, absent obvious chafing?
I saw a dock line for sale that was one half the tensile strength (and 1/3 the cost) of another same size and type dock line - 3/4' double braid nylon. How is tensile strength changed that much in similar rope?
Anybody know a good value vendor for dock lines? I need a larger bight and length (15"- 60')than normally sold with the off the shelf lines (12").
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:04 AM   #2
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. More than one set of lines is a very good way to go. For your rig I suspect a 3/4 in 8 brait would be a very nice set for your cruising lines, pliable, easy on the hands, just so easy to work with. For your rig I would guess 4 @ 65’ to 75’ would work just fine. I have a 40’ boat and 50’ footers are dead on. Then there is a need for a set of heavy weather lines capable to be doubled up. That is where your standard braid comes in, or stretchier 3 ply. Get quality Yale or Sampson, talk to a Hamilton Ropesmith for professional advice.

Try Hamilton Marine, they seem to have the best prices and I think they just might have splicing services. On my traveling (8 brait) I have no eye splices, use bowlines size according to need. Heavy weather lines I use 3 ply and splice my own. I spliced 8plat once...a special hell. The best price point is on 600’ spools.

Good luck
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:10 AM   #3
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Docks lines need to be replaced when they are exhibiting chaff. However, nylon lines will loose their elasticity over time. This occurs quickly if there is significantly load or repeated shock loading. Once a nylon line no longer stretches adequately, it is time to be replaced.

Tensile strength is a product of material and construction. Two lines of the same size with different tensile strength and prices relative to strength, I would use the line with the higher tensile strength.

8-plait (brait) line: Easiest on the hands and stores in less volume, however it can catch and pull easily on docks.

Double-braid: Takes up slightly more volume than 8-plait when stored. nice on the hands (not as nice as 8-plait) and is more durable. It can develop pulls, but much less likely than 8-plait.

3-Strand: The most durable and most chaff resistant. Doesn't develop pulls easily. It can get stiff and takes the most volume when stored. Is not as nice on the hands.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:45 AM   #4
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Forget made up lines and just tie bowline loops when needed. Each end is them equally useful. If yours get other loops dropped over then you can just untie the bowline.

I use three strand for stretch ability. A tight lay with a colored strand usually means strong rope. the colored strand is an over stretch detector. Over stretch and the colored strand breaks.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:31 PM   #5
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Contact Edge Cordage in Miami to have custom spliced docklines made. Ask for Zack Edge or his son Jeremy tell him I sent you.
Jeremy Edge - Crane Rigging, Lifting Slings, Wire Rope
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:25 AM   #6
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I've had good luck with lines from these folks:
Online Rope Store, www.onlineropestore.com

I generally get them at one of the boat shows they attend, saves on shipping.

Couldn't be a nicer bunch of folks. I had them make several custom-length 3/4" lines for me at the recent show in Annapolis. No charge for adding eyes.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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It would help if we knew where you are docked. We might recommend someone local to you. You can go down and talk with them, get their ideas and prices.
I use a local company, Miami Cordage. The first time I went there, the owner took me into the back and showed me how they construct, spun, the lines. That was well worth fighting the rush hour traffic going back to the boat. I ordered some lines for my 46Nordhavn with 3foot eyes. Well the owner has long since 'moved on'/checked out and I think his kids run it now. I ordered 2 sets of 9/16 inch lines for this 34American Tug, one for the dock, the other set for traveling.
I suggest you come up with a common length. Mine are all 50 ft long with a 3 ft eye. This way, I dont have to sort through the lines for the proper length.
It has been said, an eye spice is stronger than a bowline. Think about it, the line strands are woven back into the line. There are advantages to the bowline but once they take a set due to a significant strain, breaking the bowline knot gets to be very difficult to say the least.
It is always fun to return to a transit dock and discover the other boat has lines on top of your line. You just gotta feed your eye under his eye and lift your line off.
It is my preference to tie low on the pilings..... less flexing of the piling durning a heavy blow or hurricane.
For the Nordhavn, my 'stay at home' dock lines consisted of a length of chain to drop down on the piling, nylon lines with thimbles large enough to feed the chain through. Once the chain drops down to the 'floor' (bottom), it doesn't matter if the boat next to you, ties high and snaps the top part of the piling off, you will be held fast.

No matter which style of line you choose, the first heavy blow will stretch your lines. Try to be around when it happens so you can adjust the lines. After one or two heavy storms your lines will be just about perfect.

One last point..... when you order your lines, the line diameter is based upon the weight of the boat. It is possible to fill up your onboard cleats making it almost impossible to double up your lines.

Okay, I'm finished, time for some of you to shoot holes in my thesis.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:33 PM   #8
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We do our best here to not tie onto the pilings, as tides are pretty extreme. I see lots of boats tied for the winter using chain around the squared timbers on the docks to avoid chafe to their lines, it looks smart to me.

I like 5/8" fore and aft, with 9/16" springers, and have the chandlery do my eye splices in standard double braid lines for $20 per splice. I should really learn to do that...
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:10 PM   #9
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I like having shorter lines for my springs. For my boat I determined 22 feet was a great length. They coil faster, and there's less line to be made up on the dock. They are just easier to deal with than 50 feet or whatever.

I have longer should I need them, but these work great.
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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I like having shorter lines for my springs. For my boat I determined 22 feet was a great length. They coil faster, and there's less line to be made up on the dock. They are just easier to deal with than 50 feet or whatever.

I have longer should I need them, but these work great.
I am considering another 50ft line, this time 1/2 inch in diameter. It should be about right for a spring line when coming into a strange dock with lots of wind. Once we get a "temporary" spring line over, we are almost tied up. The 1/2 in diameter will allow easier handling than the larger diameter lines.
Of course we have to find a willing 'on shore' dock hand or fellow boater to accept that spring line too.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:17 PM   #11
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I have purchased expensive along with inexpensive lines. The inexpensive stuff came from Ebay and do not recommend it at least the same stuff I purchased. Some of the lines were 5/8” and when used as dock lines, they shrunk under load to closer to 1/2”......all my lines are nylon 3 strand.

The best lines I find are from New England Rope.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:19 PM   #12
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I bought a 600’ spool of 5/8” 3-strand off of ebay. The quality is OK (not great, not terrible) and I have used it for my permanent dock lines. I splice my own loops so I get the size I want. I don’t use bowlines for the loops since they are weaker than a splice. When they chafe, I can cheaply and easily replace them. In the meantime, the spool of remaining 5/8” 3-strand makes a serviceable side table in my family room.

For my traveling dock lines, I just bought long lengths of 5/8” double braid and cut and spliced it to the lengths that I wanted.

Keep in mind that as a former sailor I’m cheap and like messing with line.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:59 PM   #13
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Do you all know the right way to put a line on a piling when someone has already put one on it?

If you just drop yours on over the other guys line, he’ll have to remove your line first to get his off.

If you feed your line up through his loop then drop it over the piling, you both can remove your line without removing the other guys first.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Do you all know the right way to put a line on a piling when someone has already put one on it?

If you just drop yours on over the other guys line, he’ll have to remove your line first to get his off.

If you feed your line up through his loop then drop it over the piling, you both can remove your line without removing the other guys first.
No he won't. He can just do the same thing you mention only in reverse (unless you tie your line tight around the pole).
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:39 AM   #15
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I have four dock lines on both starboard and port sides. Haven't seen any significant wear of lines in six years. Depends on the environment (degree of surge and such) and quality of lines.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:44 AM   #16
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Do you all know the right way to put a line on a piling when someone has already put one on it?

If you just drop yours on over the other guys line, he’ll have to remove your line first to get his off.

If you feed your line up through his loop then drop it over the piling, you both can remove your line without removing the other guys first.
Agree with Parks. Was always taught to “dip your lines” when others are on a piling.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:00 AM   #17
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We got a bunch from ropes.com in Florida. Made to length with spliced eye and chafe protection, or whatever you want.

One suggestion. Get different color whipping for different length lines to make them easy to identify
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:20 AM   #18
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)
One suggestion. Get different color whipping for different length lines to make them easy to identify
On the last set of transient lines I had made, I had the whipping on the bitter end done in colors to identify line purpose. Wanted all my dock lines the same color.

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Old 11-01-2018, 08:47 AM   #19
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Greetings,
Colored ends? That's great if you can remember what the colors represent. Oh my...another list.


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Old 11-01-2018, 09:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bayview View Post
Forget made up lines and just tie bowline loops when needed. Each end is them equally useful. If yours get other loops dropped over then you can just untie the bowline.

I use three strand for stretch ability. A tight lay with a colored strand usually means strong rope. the colored strand is an over stretch detector. Over stretch and the colored strand breaks.
I do that as well.
Recently I replaced my spring lines (gold) and was amazed at amount of stretch. Whenever I went to the boat it seemed I needed to tighted them up. I keep my boat adjusted just so to minimize the amount of boat that gets in the weather (covered moorage). The line was in my garage but must have been not used. I have 5/8ths 8 plait for stern lines (big for my 30’ boat) and they are nice to handle.
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