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Old 16-06-2021, 18:39   #1
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Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

I'd like to replace my 2 dock lines and 5 fender lines that the fenders hang on.

What's the best material for each type? Thickness? It's a 40-foot monohull.

These are the original ones that I bought with the vessel and have never bought new ones. I'm a little overwhelmed with the different materials and sizes (thickness/diameter).

Or... should I just clean and recondition them? The ends are getting frayed on the fender lines... is there a way to cut the frayed ends off and use some sort of heat source to terminate them?

Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:03   #2
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

Best material is nylon because it will stretch to absorb any shock, 3 strand is best but many people like double braid for smoother handling. I replace my lines often, sometimes once a year but my marina is very exposed to both ocean around the corner, crazy tides, and the wake of boats going by. I buy appropriatly sized anchor line on a spool and make my own docklines from it, it’s a lot cheaper that way and I can customize the length. Your dock lines should be 5/8, your fender lines are almost down to personal preference.
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:13   #3
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Dock-Lines
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:25   #4
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

I agree with MartinFR. Stick with nylon for dock lines. (I like 3 strand 'cos it's easy to splice and a bit more stretchy than braided )

A general rule of thumb in "old units" is 1/8" per 9 ft of boat length , so rounding up that's 5/8"" (or 16mm in real units )

For fender lines 6-8mm nylon is good - double braid has a better "feel" than 3 strand for handling - tying around cleats/ stanchion bases/toe rails etc

You can buy 1/4" (6-7mm) double braid nylon fender lines with a loop spliced in one end on Amazon for well under ten bucks each)
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:33   #5
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I agree with MartinFR. Stick with nylon for dock lines. (I like 3 strand 'cos it's easy to splice and a bit more stretchy than braided )

For fender lines 6-8mm nylon is good - double braid has a better "feel" than 3 strand for handling - tying around cleats/ stanchion bases/toe rails etc

You can buy 1/4" (6-7mm) double braid nylon fender lines with a loop spliced in one end on Amazon for well under ten bucks each)
Double braid really easy to splice. Chandler showed me how when buying line once.
I don't know how having never done braid eyes myself, just saying that it's to be easier than 3 strand, 5 strand, 7 strand splicing and really quick to do once practiced.

If buying a length to get bulk benefits, maybe ask at purchase for demonstration of both ends?
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:34   #6
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

WestMarine branded double-braid dock lines are made by New England Ropes, and are quality stuff. Theyíre frequently on sale for 20% - 25% off, so watch/wait for the sales to avoid the WestMarine high prices. There are some on sale even now as I write this.
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:39   #7
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

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Originally Posted by CruiseN View Post
Double braid really easy to splice. Chandler showed me how when buying line once.
I don't know how having never done braid eyes myself, just saying that it's to be easier than 3 strand, 5 strand, 7 strand splicing and really quick to do once practiced.
All I can say is: try it and then report back to us.
Here's two sets of instructions from the same source for you to work from:

3 strand: 1 page, four steps:
https://www.samsonrope.com/docs/defa...ul2012_web.pdf

Double Braid: 5 pages 8 steps, plus lock stitching:
https://www.samsonrope.com/docs/default-source/splice-instructions/dblbrd_c1_eye_splice_web.pdf
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:46   #8
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

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All I can say is: try it and then report back to us.
https://youtu.be/Ym1-rI0SdaA

Wood ewe like. 2 fid with me.

I grew up splicing. I think it's a worthy skill to have upon a boat.

Worth learning.
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Old 16-06-2021, 19:59   #9
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

..or not use loops at all. I like a cleat hitch on both ends allowing to do adjustments from both deck and dock. I like to use one long line to to tie boat bow to dock bow to boat midship as spring, same for aft. When I leave the boat I double bow and stern dock lines and use different cleats on both boat and dock to migitate cleat failure. Iím in hurricane country and very exposed, Iíve seen dock side cleat failure before so Iím paranoid.
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Old 16-06-2021, 20:03   #10
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiseN View Post
https://youtu.be/Ym1-rI0SdaA

Wood ewe like. 2 fid with me.

I grew up splicing. I think it's a worthy skill to have upon a boat.

Worth learning.
True, a good splice kit should be on every serious boat. I canít splice without instructions, but Chapmanís splice section and a bit of patience can produce great results.
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Old 16-06-2021, 20:09   #11
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

I've been using these braided lines from Buccaneer for years. US made. Mil-spec. 15,200lb strength. Extremely good price for a made-up line. Available in different colors and lengths. After 5 years they show no sign of UV damage or stiffening.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=1410245
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Old 16-06-2021, 20:32   #12
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

Good point to go with US made materials for lines, rode, chain, etc. that you depend on.

Also, if you single hand your boat a lot I found it helpful to have a different color bow or stern dock line for docking. Keep it short enough to be manageable but long enough to handle in not so precise docking manouvers. I prepare my single handed docking by having a bow line, midship line, and stern line all in close proximity of mid ship, hanging a little over the tip part of my topsides for better visibility and for me to grab whatever is needed first. The midship line is just for bad situations or if SHTF scenarios, but any potential dock side help may be confused to seeing 3 lines. Itís a lot easier to ask them to take the RED line if all others are white or black..
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Old 16-06-2021, 22:43   #13
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I've been using these braided lines from Buccaneer for years. US made. Mil-spec. 15,200lb strength. Extremely good price for a made-up line. Available in different colors and lengths. After 5 years they show no sign of UV damage or stiffening.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=1410245
That's why I buy from local chandler. Near the marina, good quality, local knowledge. Supply on demand retains strong for next purchase inline.

Just noticed the name of the supply shop across the road," rope AND marine supplies."
How true that is.. mountain mans rope is a line we have at sea.

Then if learning splicing for fenders, could do what we did and trace tight knots until bothered to get around to chore of a permanent line.
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Old 17-06-2021, 12:28   #14
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

Gee, I'm a lazy s*d. Just tie a bowline for fenders - or almost anything. I do eye splice the main dock lines - eventually.
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Old 17-06-2021, 12:32   #15
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Re: Need to replace my dock lines and fender lines; best material?

I like to replace some running rigging and use the old stuff for dock lines/spring lines.
I get running rigging isn't meant to stretch but for me it's a twofer: new sheets, newish dock lines.
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