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Old 18-04-2006, 09:36   #1
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Anti-Chafing Gear

Hmmmm... hurricane season is only, what... a little more than 30 days away! Looks like 17 named storms predicted for this season. Down from last year but still much higher than the average of 10. I dodged Rita at the last minute due her swinging to her easterly swing before landfall. I was sadly, ill prepared and scurried around at the last minute trying to come up with an anti-chafing solution.

My question... What is everyone doing with their dock lines to stop the chafe?

In the end, I settled for using that spagetti-laced, 1 1/4" clear water hose from Home Depot. There has to be a better solution. Fire hose maybe? Heavy canvas possibly?
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Old 18-04-2006, 11:57   #2
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I use fire hose, cut it to the right size I then throw it in the washing michine with fabric softner , then sew it on the lines if needed
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Old 18-04-2006, 13:03   #3
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Who sells fire hose?
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Old 18-04-2006, 13:12   #4
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Gunner,

There appears to be a pretty wide selection available on ebay... a variety of sizes, types of materials, construction, etc. new and used.
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Old 18-04-2006, 13:28   #5
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I had a lot of problem with chafe when moored at an exposed location between piles. the boat movement was such that the rope was continually stretching and then expanding as it passed through the fairleads. I used all sorts of stuff, and when on the last rope going (a 26mm monster) I knew I had to do something different.

Nowadays I use 5/16" chain from the cleat to the fairlead, and then shackled onto the nlon rope. I also use the chain on the cleat on the dock. (these are permanent mooring lines in my home berth) The rope is connected to the chain via hard eye splices using metal thimbles. Thus the rope can expand and contract to its hearts delight without risk of chafe, and I can sleep throug storms without worrying quite so much that my boat will chafe through her lines.
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Old 18-04-2006, 17:40   #6
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The greater the distance between the chaffe-point at the fairlead, and the cleat - the greater the sawing action when cyclically loaded. One of my pet peeves is cleats installed further than they have to be, from the fairleads serving them.
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Old 19-04-2006, 02:50   #7
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Spectra or Dyneema tube.
Great stuff but not that cheap.
The best is probably 'ICE' made by Samson Ropes.
Just a thought.
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Old 19-04-2006, 06:47   #8
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Gunner, I get fire house at the fire station or I have also bought it at the county surplus auction, for almost nothing. Somtimes I have heard they just throw it away!
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Old 19-04-2006, 12:43   #9
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Talbot on the right track

Use material which will not stretch like steel or polyester (Dacron). It is not necessary to go with the overly expensive high modulus line to achieve sufficiently low stretch so as to not chafe due to stretch.

I made up "20 year" pendants out of 5/8" double-braid Dacron with eyes spliced in each end. One end goes over the cleat horn and leads past any fairlead to "clean air" to join with the nylon (like plait) which also has an eye spliced into the end making an effective balanced connection with the Dacron that is stronger than either line alone.

Forget the firehose. Use leather over the Dacron where it passes over a fairlead if you feel better yet I have not found it necessary unless the fairlead is rough.

I attach all cleats and anchor chain to nylon using such Dacron snubber "interfaces" that do not fail. The nylon lasts much longer unless, over stretched, and the entire setup you can sleep better with or leave the boat unwatched without undue concern about having to replace and monitor anti-chafe gear. If you need to make lead length adjustments merely use longer Dacron lines to allow for such variation as necessary in your particular case.
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Old 19-04-2006, 17:34   #10
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I second Rick's vote for leather. I do not live in Hurricane country so I ca not comment on it's effectiveness for this service, but on Kittiwake, I lace rawhise to fit around the dockline about a foot long. I have had no problems, but every couple of years, I have to re-lace it. On the Challenger, I use heater hose and zip ties. I have never had a problem, but the hose does harden up every year or two, so I replace it (about $10)
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Old 19-04-2006, 23:08   #11
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Thanks for all of your input. The chain to line combo sounds effective but I'm not confident it won't damage the boat in gale to possible hurricane force winds.

Of my 8 ~ 3/4" double braided nylon docklines... 5 sustained heat damage, isolated specifically where the line had been bent around a cleat. The plastic hose chafe guards running the fairleads did their job but I have my doubts they would have performed effectively had the windspeed been higher or of a longer duration.

Regarding the dock lines themselves, I like the idea of a spliced dacron/nylon pennant and will give that some contemplation. I had considered going to a coated dacron due to reduced stretch and heat reduction OR possibly even a larger diameter nylon. That's still up in the air. I also like the suggestion of sewn leather for chafe guards and think I'll give that a shot in lieu of the fire hose.

If I can say just one thing... I hope everyone living along the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard heed the lessons of the past and prepare early. On Galveston Bay, three days before the storm made landfall, we were stripping boats and packing to evac as a direct hit was predicted as a very distinct possibility. At that point if memory serves me, Rita was a Cat 4, soon to be a Cat 5 monster. Though hysteria was widespread in the marina and generally throughout the area, one could still buy beer, cigarettes and gasoline but, the materials to make chafing gear and heavy dock lines and oversized fenders had long since sold out. Many boats were left totally unprepared.
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Old 20-04-2006, 02:32   #12
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ricks solution is IMHO far more likely to damage the boat than mine. His use on non-stretch material will indeed reduce the chafe, but the effect is of extremely high shock loads onto the cleats from boat movement caused by surge or waves.

My solution allows use of nylon as the mooring lines which enables the stretchiness of the line to considerably reduce those shock loads. Addmittedly we have not had any hurricanes through Portsmouth since I started using this system, but we have had a large number of gales (10+) and the boat normally spends the whole year afloat. Every time after a big gale I go and check my boat, and normally have to do something to neighbouring boats, but nothing to mine!
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Old 20-04-2006, 03:11   #13
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Talbot,

I live in hurricane alley. Never...ever use chain near the boat. In 140 - 160 kph wind and violent wave action, it will saw the boat where ever it touches it, and it will touch it. I've seen what can happen and might have a few photos on my hard drive of the 2004 hurricane season where we have 4 of them roll over us.

Here many anti chafing methods are used. What seems to work the best is 3/4 inch (18 mm?) Nylon line with heavy denim material tied around the line at any and all chafing points. I use a pair of old jeans, and cut them up just before the storm. The material is heavy enough not to chafe through during the storm, and the rain keeps it wet and lubricated. My number one preference would be fire hose.

We did pretty well at our marina last year as we only lost 4 boats out of 55. I have some photos of a couple of the boats. The damage a hurricane causes to the marine industry is just incredible.

Rick in Florida
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Old 20-04-2006, 03:31   #14
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This is a DownEaster that met a bridge during Hurricane Wilma last year. The bridge won. It's owned by a friend of mine, and the boat was scrapped. The Cause?.... chafed lines.



Whee I live anti chafing isn't a theoretical discussion. It's a way of life

Rick in Florida
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Old 20-04-2006, 11:05   #15
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Rick,

Thanks for that. Unfortunately here, the chafing gear topic is still very much theory and had not stirred much discussion, even after last year's close brush.

Regarding the fire hose, is it being slipped over the docklines as a tube or sliced lengthwise and sewn? How are the ends secured to the line?

Good luck to you this season. I'm afraid we're all gonna need it.
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