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Old 24-10-2012, 23:56   #1
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I purchase UV resistant Atwood brand rope at my local feed store. Seems horse people get better deals on rope than boat people get purchasing line. Lol

I prefer the braided style over the twisted. Just me.

I get 100 feet 5/8" 3300 pounds breaking strength for $44 that I use as dock lines. Cut in four equal pieces, that is $11 for a 25' 5/8" dock line. Not a bad price. The trick is cutting it, so it does not look cut.

When I cut it, l figured out how to cut it so it stays looking factory fresh even in the weather at the docks.

You need electrical vinyl tape, scissors and a propane torch.

Tightly, very tightly wrap the spot you want cut in an area covering an inch or so. About eight or ten wraps.

Heat up the scissors to about red hot, and then cut the line in the middle of the tape.

Cuts cleanly and stays small.

I roll the cut ends in a rag to knock down any sharp surprises you don't want later.

The ends look factory made, and after a year in the sun, wind, rain, the ends are still in place and look like the day I made them.

Because of the tight wrap, the ends are no larger than the line, so the line feeds in places you want it to.
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Old 25-10-2012, 01:21   #2
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Good advice. I'll add to the the thread that I find that 200mm / 8" multipurpose shears (if that is what they are actually called!) are absolutely the best thing ever, short of a hot knife, to cut rope and lines

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Old 25-10-2012, 01:22   #3
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Just buy one of these. Everyone on this forum has probably been hot knifing their lines for years, this is news to no one...



Amazon.com: Hand Held Electric Rope Cutter: Explore similar items


A number of people here also serve, dip, or serve AND dip. If you don't have a hot knife handy, cut with a non-serrated sheeps foot and a mallet.
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Old 25-10-2012, 02:30   #4
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

For a REALLY long lasting end, without going to the (actually not particularly onerous) trouble of a sailmaker's whipping:
You might consider substituting adhesive-lined heatshrink for the electrical vinyl tape.

No matter how good the vinyl tape, the adhesive always turns into grease eventually.

Best way to shrink heatshrink is a hot air gun such as is used to strip paint. If it's a variable heat model, it's also a great way to heat a knife blade, or your scissors, without sooting them up.
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Old 25-10-2012, 05:46   #5
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

If it is the Atwood braided horse bridle rope, it is polypropylene and not nylon. You may have trouble with it as dock lines. To test, if it floats it is polypro.

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Old 25-10-2012, 06:12   #6
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If it is the Atwood braided horse bridle rope, it is polypropylene and not nylon. You may have trouble with it as dock lines. To test, if it floats it is polypro.

Mark
Agreed, ...and I'm pretty sure this Atwood line is polypropylene and without the qualities for good dockline.
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Old 25-10-2012, 06:21   #7
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

That's the easy part. What if you want longer sections?
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Old 25-10-2012, 06:34   #8
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Well, someone mentioned it above - a real whipped end not only looks nice, it is a true piece of seamanship. Very easy to do. In your case, make two whipping 1/4 inch apart, then cut.

By using different colors of whipping twine you can color code you ropes. Red=10 meters, blue=15 meters and so forth.

A properly whipped end never unravels or gets "gooey" like a piece of tape
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Old 25-10-2012, 06:53   #9
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Just buy one of these. ......
Amazon.com: Hand Held Electric Rope Cutter: Explore similar items..........
I bought one of those about 20 years ago and I love it. I do a lot of splicing. Well, not a lot, but enough. On a cold day, it takes about 10 seconds to heat up and cut. Much easier, faster and neater than a lighter. I also seize the line ends only because it looks more salty.
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Old 25-10-2012, 08:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb


A properly whipped end never unravels or gets "gooey" like a piece of tape
The action of the hot compression cut welds the tape to the line. Only way to get it off, is cut it off. Because the distance around the welded end is so much longer than the end of the wrap, the end is held down without the assistance of adhesives. The property of the tape only acts as a means to apply it to the line. Once cut, the weld takes over and it no longer acts like electrical tape.

The line is poly. I am not a rope snob. Lol.

I read a lot, and much of what I read I understand, but I don't get the nylon over poly argument. Some say it breaks to easily. Some say the UV will kill the poly. I kept a close eye on my dock lines this year ( first year on a slip, only the new guy a few weeks, as another new guy came in after me) as the experience was new to me and I am just learning.

Walking up and down the docks, I see knots in lines, old lines, freyed lines, miss matched size lines, coiled lines, twisted lines, braided lines, all sorts of ways to tie the 20 boats to my dock.

I chose the Atwood line because it is made in the USA, novel concept. And because it feels good in my hands. Has a quality to it. It does not feel as good as a high dollar nylon line, but it does not break the bank at $11 for 25 feet.

At a break strength of 3300 pounds, by the time I have six lines holding my 4500 pound displacement 32 foot boat to the dock, she is not going anywhere.

After a year in service, I see no worrisome cuts, or abrasions on the lines that make me want to replace it. I will wash them, and inspect them closely, but they look fine, and able to go another year.

Lets say I only get two or three years service from these lines, and the boat next to me gets ten years from his worn out looking nylon lines, am I out anything? My lines are the best looking dock lines on dock. I have gotten compliments on them. Most likely because at 5\8", they look pretty impressive.

Poly does not coil well, but I am not a coiler kind of guy. I have my lengths set so I have no extra after tying off.

When not in use, I prefer to slip knot braid the lines, and the poly does that very well. Easy to do, and quick to undo.

Poly floats, is that a bad thing around a sailboat???

My poly was sold as UV resistant. After a year in the sun, I see no signs of it turning to soup noodles yet. Granted, looking at something cannot measure strength, but the manufacturer sells the products as dock lines, and claims products safe to use. In my one year test, I would give them a very positive thumbs up.

http://www.atwoodrope.net/index.php
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Old 25-10-2012, 08:57   #11
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

As you are on a lake you probably have a lot less stress on your lines. No tides, currents, hurricanes. I'd be most worried about UV.
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Old 25-10-2012, 08:58   #12
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

On a lake, fine. I've been tied up some places where you want all the stretch you can get, and poly aint it. but if it works for you.....go for it.
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Old 25-10-2012, 08:59   #13
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Quote:
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As you are on a lake you probably have a lot less stress on your lines. No tides, currents, hurricanes. I'd be most worried about UV.
What are the signs of UV damage?
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:18   #14
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post
What are the signs of UV damage?
The first one is discoloration, followed by fraying, broken strands, white flecks, embrittlement, and strength loss. Poly has its uses, but use as a dock line really isn't one of them.
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:22   #15
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Re: Cutting Line Into Smaller Sections

With UV, poly will begin to release fuzz, essentially the outside of the line breaking down.
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