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Old 27-07-2014, 11:01   #16
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

The three strand nylon lines that came with our boat were so stiff I was about to chuck em and buy new ones when one of the guys at the marina told me to soak them in fresh water, that the stiffness was caused by dried salt between the fibers. So, we put them in the washing machine at home, and that softened them up quite a bit. Enough so that I didn't throw them away.

Reading this thread, I'm not yet seeing confirmation that salt is the culprit. Is it UV, fatique, age, salt....what makes them stiff?

If indeed the culprit is salt, then I would also think that solidified crystals inside the rope construction wouldn't do it any good at all abrasion wise.
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Old 27-07-2014, 11:11   #17
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
If you stick with Samson or New England rope I'm sure you'll be pleased.
There are other brands out there, but I know these two make quality rope.
For a double braid I like Samson Super Strong.

If you end up with three strand, look for terms like "Pre-shrunk" or "Heat Stabilized".
Raw nylon will shrink and this causes the ropes to harden. Top quality nylon ropes have been heat treated so they won't shrink anymore in use. Good quality 3-strand feels stiffer than poor quality rope. Cheaply made rope can feel nicer than good rope on the spool but they chafe faster in the beginning and then get much harder as they age.
yep. The real soft stuff is crappy and very hard to splice eyes in etc it's so soft.
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Old 27-07-2014, 11:48   #18
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

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We are going on five years and five hurricane seasons with NER black Mega Braid. It's a plaited line, and while it is getting close to needing replacement, it is by far my favorite dock line. Easy to coil, seems pretty impervious to chaff, and has never stiffened.
Greg, this is good info and the kind of experience I'm looking for. I always like the idea of the megabraid but hesitate at the premium price and no knowledge of how well it holds up. It seems like it could be worth the higher initial outlay for longer useful life, and a happier wife.

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Old 27-07-2014, 20:11   #19
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

We switched to mega braid after I got back from acting as a stand in captain on a mega-yacht, and every boat down the dock was using either it, or the Sampson equivilant. The next time I need to replace anchor lines I am going with plait as well. It really is a better design than double braid, and I can't stand three strand.
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Old 27-07-2014, 20:50   #20
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

Mega yachts are not a fair comparison. So long as the product looks sexy and does the job they are there. Price doesn't matter.
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Old 27-07-2014, 23:07   #21
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

Nope, but that's why I started looking at it.
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Old 27-07-2014, 23:13   #22
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

i have used the same 3 strand lines for over 8 years. i bought it for my ericson, and i use it on my formosa in marinas when i hunker down for furycame season.
i like 3 strand as it has stretch and has managed to survive my 3 1/2 or so years out here in furycameville in summmer-- as we usually see 19 named storms form off our coast, and in certain areas, 19 will skim by with overlap onto and over the coast, where we keep boats and selves. i am there now, and have spent 2 summers with furycaames and ts forming and skimming this coast. the other ports i summered didnt have the number of storms we have, but the ones they get are more intense than the ones here.
i have no chafe in my lines from furycame tying. i donot tie tight to dock. i do not allow my boat to jerk nor tug on my lines . those harsh movements cause damages. allow the boat to move in its own way without the jerkiness or tugging that cause line damages and boat damages.
i have yet to replace any dock lines on either of my 2 boats, ericson i have owned since 2004, and formosa since 2008.
i was not taught to tie a boat by a yachtie... but by a merchant marines captain.
i have yet to use anti chafe on my actively used lines.
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Old 27-07-2014, 23:33   #23
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

Why does color matter?

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Old 28-07-2014, 00:05   #24
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

Black is more UV stable, white is stronger.
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Old 28-07-2014, 00:16   #25
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

Ok. I can see why color would have an effect on UV. Why would it affect strength?

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Old 28-07-2014, 00:22   #26
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

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Ok. I can see why color would have an effect on UV. Why would it affect strength?

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No idea.
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Old 28-07-2014, 05:28   #27
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

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Ok. I can see why color would have an effect on UV. Why would it affect strength?

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Don't know, but if you look at New England Rope charts (or in their charts West Marine uses) you can see white and gold have nominally higher breaking strength than the other colors.

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Old 28-07-2014, 08:45   #28
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Re: Best long lasting docklines?

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Nylon is nice as it stretches. But it goes in the sun. Dacron lasts ...

Still, I would use black or blue nylon.

There are specialty docking ropes made by some makers. Not tried out yet here.

b.
Nylon is the standard for dock lines and is generally considered UV stable (given enough time, any plastic will break down with UV exposure.

Unless you went super cheap, it's most likely dirt and salt build up stiffening the lines.

We prefer double braid as they are more comfortable to work with and we find they don't get as stiff. The down side is they don't stretch as much but assuming reasonable runs, they should stretch enough.

I wouldn't count on any line to resist chaffe. Either add chaffe guards or better yet run them so they don't chaffe.

Someone mentioned oversize lines. I would be hesitant to oversize significantly. A little larger is OK but if the recommended line is 1/2 inch and you use 1 inch, you will put a lot of stress on your cleats if the boat moves around much. The much heavier lines won't stretch so they will create a harsh jerk rather than a gradual stretch.
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Old 28-07-2014, 09:37   #29
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

I graduate all my lines from the top.. they start as halyards, after a year or so, they are moved to sheets, and then down to dock lines..
so my dock lines are whatever were used as my halyards two to three years ago.. and not to worried about chaffe as you can cut a good number of dock lines from old sheets
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Old 28-07-2014, 10:07   #30
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Re: Best Long Lasting Docklines?

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I graduate all my lines from the top.. they start as halyards, after a year or so, they are moved to sheets, and then down to dock lines..
so my dock lines are whatever were used as my halyards two to three years ago.. and not to worried about chaffe as you can cut a good number of dock lines from old sheets
Docklines and halyards/sheets serve opposed functions. Using halyards for docklines is generally considered to be poor seamanship. Ideal halyards have zero stretch.

Docklines are designed to stretch in order to reduce peak acceleration impulses transmitted to the boat. No stretch docklines will transmit shock impulses through every piece of hardware attached to the hull and deck. You are putting unnecessary wear and tear on the whole boat. This is a bad idea.
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