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Old 29-01-2019, 11:33   #1
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Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Probably already discussed, but is there any science behind the choice of 3-strand vs braided docking lines or is it just personal preference? I am getting ready to buy new bow and stern docking lines (previous owner did not believe in chafe guard...).
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Old 29-01-2019, 11:41   #2
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

for me its the ease of splicing 3-strand that wins.
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Old 29-01-2019, 11:48   #3
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Braided is nicer to handle, 3 strand is more resistance to dock chaffe.
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Old 29-01-2019, 12:19   #4
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Much prefer 8-strand. Easy and pleasant to handle, easy to splice. Use polythene tubing from a plumber’s merchant for chafe guards.
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Old 29-01-2019, 13:11   #5
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Hi, okapi 3,

Here's yet another point of view. It's a little harder to come by, but we like nylon double braid for dock lines. Mostly we use 3 strand, because it is dead simple to source, and we usually have to special order the double braid, but, the double braid does not induce twist, and still has the stretch you would like. You splice it like double braid polyester.

8 plait is very soft, snag prone, and chafe prone, but it has a lovely "hand", and i understand how people like it so well.

Fwiw, though, if you check the specs, you'll find that the black, which looks so cool, is quite a bit less strong than the white, which will eventually look grubby.

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Old 29-01-2019, 14:04   #6
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

One other bonus for 3 strand is it’s less prone to freezing. I.e when wet with dropping temps the cleated 3 strand remains flexible for adjustment while the double braid is a frozen mess that while you may get it off, it’ll be a right pain to re-cleat properly without time and heat.
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Old 29-01-2019, 17:11   #7
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

When one mentions "docking lines", I understand those to be the lines used when docking somewhere else than one's own pen/slip, ie used for a few hours or days. Docking lines are then NOT the permanent lines setup at a fixed length in one's own pen/slip.

Not as yet mentioned: 3 strand is a lot cheaper than double braid, and as is mentioned: a lot easier to splice.
Despite the above 2 advantages of 3 strand, I still have double braid, like Ann, but cover is polyester (for extra chafe protection) and core is nylon (for stretch). To me the ideal combination.
Main reason for this rope is 3 strand nylon will get hard after a few seasons.

I currently use 14 mm (leftover from my previous boat), always use that doubled, but have purchased a roll of 18 mm of the same construction, for a similar boat as yours (original poster).

Hehehe, no a hurry to cut and splice that big new roll as that 14 mm rope seems adequate and not chafed or stressed (?stretched).
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Old 29-01-2019, 17:17   #8
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Another vote for 8 plait; never "hockles" and has great stretch and chafe resistant characteristics. As for splicing, all splices are fairly easy, some just take more time to learn the first time; braid on braid is actually the easiest once you get hang of it
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Old 29-01-2019, 17:29   #9
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

A nice trick I learned when your dock lines make noise as the boat rocks around is to dump some dish soap and water on cleats and no more noise. Sleep much better
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Old 29-01-2019, 17:38   #10
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

For long springs to support the main mooring lines I use the old jib sheets. 14mm braid with the chafed bits cut off work fine for long shorelines or other occasional uses. 20mm octoplait nylon for the main ones though.
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Old 30-01-2019, 05:15   #11
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankOnthewater View Post
When one mentions "docking lines", I understand those to be the lines used when docking somewhere else than one's own pen/slip, ie used for a few hours or days. Docking lines are then NOT the permanent lines setup at a fixed length in one's own pen/slip.

What do you call the lines you use to dock your boat in your home slip?

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Old 30-01-2019, 05:22   #12
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

I like braided but either will work fine.

One trick: Don't oversize (at least not by a lot), you want some stretch so the jerking force doesn't rip a cleat out of the deck and oversize won't stretch as much.
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Old 30-01-2019, 06:19   #13
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
What do you call the lines you use to dock your boat in your home slip?
I use dock lines to moor the boat in its home slip. See, for example: https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Dock-Lines

I call some of them "permanent dock lines" because they stay attached to the dock cleats even when I've taken the boat out.

Docking lines are the lines I carry to bring the boat to a dock or a slip, including its home slip.

My docking lines include lines such as a (running) quarter bridle for short handed docking, the sort of thing promoted by Duncan Wells and attributed by him to Giles Windebank of Ocean Adventure Sailing.

In addition to other lines for tie up at a slip or dock that is not the boat's home slip (and so in cases where I cannot predict the length of line that might be needed).
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Old 30-01-2019, 06:51   #14
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

OP here. Great advice and info everybody. Thank you. Ready to head over to the chandelry now and check prices and availability.
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Old 30-01-2019, 07:24   #15
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Re: Docking lines, 3-strand vs braided

Actually a double braid eye splice is much simpler, faster and easier to complete ( that looks good) than a traditional 3-strand eye splice. 8 plait line is almost impossible to find in sizes under 1 inch diameter so almost never see it.

But agreed 3-strand is much easier to work with when the temps are at around freezing mark ( liveaboards)
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