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Old 16-10-2017, 16:50   #1
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Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Greetings!

In order to use the unusual fore-and-aft mooring system at Angel Island in S.F. Bay, I needed 2 long lengths of rope. To save a little money i bought 2 200' lengths of 3/8" economy nylon 3-strand. It was terrible! Now matter how hard I tried (and I think I know how to coil rope to keep it untwisted), it would twist up and form hockles and kinks every few feet. When I needed to deploy it, it would hang up around cleats, blocks, the mooring ball, etc. Yuck! That rope has now been exiled to the local marine consignment shop to become someone else's problem, but I still want to spend the occasional overnight at Angel.

So, next time, what kind of rope should I buy that will have the least tendency to kink up?

Thanks in advance,
Oldersalt.

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Old 16-10-2017, 16:57   #2
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Maybe it was a left hand lay but maybe it wasn't? Who knows maybe somebody in China put the machine in reverse and made right hand lay? You checked right?
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Old 16-10-2017, 17:54   #3
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

My experience is that 8-plait is the best in that regard. We have been using it for spare anchor line, stern anchor line, shore lines (not dock lines), and some towing all summer / fall long with no issues.

YMMV
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Old 17-10-2017, 02:01   #4
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Eight plait has the best reputation for "hand", it is very pleasant to use. Its weaknesses are that it is soft, and snags easily. For Angel Is., it will be easy to use.

It is often expensive. You may be able to get hold of some nylon double braid; it doesn't unlay, or hockle either, and may be less expensive than the octoplait.

Ann
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Old 17-10-2017, 02:14   #5
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

What Ann said is pretty much the story. Though a likely cause of some of your troubles with your 3-strand is that in economy braids the twist tends to be looser, which allows it to hockle more easily. And the coatings that they use (if any) as compared to a premium rope like New England Ropes, are of poor quality. Which, to some degree the coatings applied to a rope's fibers act kind of like hair gel, holding the individual strands a bit, along with keeping each of the 3 strands wound tightly to it's mates.

One other option besides single or double braids would be to query some fishermen/professional watermen, & see what they're using. As their gear has to work, & work well in order to pay for itself. Yet quite a lot of them use various 3-strand ropes of one poly-blend or another. As to which ones, you'll have to do some research. And do note that some of that stuff floats. Plus many types of it don't have nearly the elasticity of nylon. So watch out.

Look on the Samson Rope, Yale Cordage, & New England Ropes websites as a start. As well as arborist's supply websites, & a plain old internet search. But the cordage manufacturers sites will specifiy in detail all of thee rope's properties, & there are many, many options.
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Old 17-10-2017, 02:59   #6
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Eight plait has the best reputation for "hand", it is very pleasant to use. Its weaknesses are that it is soft, and snags easily. For Angel Is., it will be easy to use.

It is often expensive. You may be able to get hold of some nylon double braid; it doesn't unlay, or hockle either, and may be less expensive than the octoplait.

Ann
This is exactly right in my experience.

Three strand is a PITA, although it is a snap to splice.

Octo is what I use for almost everything like this. Some of it is more densely laid than other of it, and less soft and loose and thus prone to snagging. I would use polyester rather than nylon; there's a discussion about it in the other thread.

Double braid is also pretty good for this kind of thing -- cast-off sheets from a big cruising boat might be the ticket -- I've given away miles of 16mm poly double braid -- but octo stretches better and is a real pleasure to haul and flake.
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Old 17-10-2017, 03:56   #7
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

3 Strand Ropes and Lines

3 strand rope in nylon or UV inhibited high quality polys is available in soft,med. & hard lay.
Most premade nylon 3 strand docklines are soft lay.The rope feels very nice but it hockles easily,the strands catch on everything & it chafes very fast.

Medium lay is a compromise between ease of handling & wearability.

Hard lay is what pro trap fishermen use. In polyethelene & polypropylene UV protected,it is strong,long wearing & non kinking. If it wasn't,those guys wouldn't use it.

Ask your local fisherman.They know about rope.

Len


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Old 17-10-2017, 12:07   #8
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

I think your problem is cheap line. Three stand soft lay of quality should not be a problem. 3/8" sounds light unless it is cloths line.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:18   #9
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Most line will pose problems unless you provide a means for it to untwist. Just the process of coiling line tends to introduce twist. Especially if you wind it on your arm.

You dont need 200' of line to moor bow and stern at Angel Island.

We used some old 1/2" line at Angel Island and it was prone to twisting. Careful line management helps. Cheap ploy line is not your friend. Bin it.

The best option is to use a rope reel or tape, with a shackle, if you really need a no twist solution.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:33   #10
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
3 Strand Ropes and Lines

3 strand rope in nylon or UV inhibited high quality polys is available in soft,med. & hard lay.
Most premade nylon 3 strand docklines are soft lay.The rope feels very nice but it hockles easily,the strands catch on everything & it chafes very fast.

Medium lay is a compromise between ease of handling & wearability.

Hard lay is what pro trap fishermen use. In polyethelene & polypropylene UV protected,it is strong,long wearing & non kinking. If it wasn't,those guys wouldn't use it.

Ask your local fisherman.They know about rope.

Len


Polys are good for making milk jugs. Fisherman use it for cost.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:36   #11
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

any rope that is laid will hockle if the load varies greatly.
Why don't you use a braid, That's what they are designed for they have a balanced twist "Z" and "S" so they stay straight. An 8 plaid or any double braid should do the job but also make sure you are not twisting it by coiling it up and laying it out again. Reeling will stop that but hand coiling is fine provided its done the correct way.
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Old 17-10-2017, 13:29   #12
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

I use eight plait for my jib and staysail sheets. Luv it. Luuuv it.

I've recycled one set as dock lines and it's great for that too, although as Ann pointed out it can be "catchy" against rough wood, etc.

Economy three strand is virtually unusable and worthless. I bought a couple of cheap dock lines made of the stuff and I literally threw them away after a few uses. Didn't even give them away, which I thought would have been just passing on the pain.

That said, I think good quality three strand makes affordable, durable, and good performing dock line. As Unciv pointed out, it's the tightness of the weave. It's considerably stiffer than the junkie stuff so does not heckle unless you really make the effort.

In general I like stiffer dock lines. The handling is just easier...coiling, uncoiling, tossing, getting it around a piling etc.
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Old 17-10-2017, 14:21   #13
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

It is important to know how to roll good three strand with your thumb while coiling. Someone mentioned elbow to hand. I wouldn't recommend it other than a short length.
JMHO
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Old 17-10-2017, 19:18   #14
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Re: Rope that won't twist/hockle?

I use old halyards, sheets, of braided line. You don't need 200 ft doubled the buoys are not that far apart and you can tie off the line at the first buoy using a bowline with a loop long enough to easily reach the knot from deck. I use kayak or dink to get to the second buoy since boat is not manoeverable. For this line you can tie two old braided lines end to end with bowline to make one very long line. The knots dont have to pass through the buoy ring since you can retrieve it from either end.

You probably already know to check the current direction by observing how the other boats lay on their mooring lines.
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