Cleaning lines from Pam on 7 Aug '19

That was quite the job you undertook, Janice! I love how neatly and carefully they were draped over the chair at the end (but that's just me). How long will the lines usefulness be extended by giving them a thorough cleaning like this?

The lines took a long time Pam. from Janice aboard Seaweed on 7 Aug '19

I did this job back when I had two working arms. Life was simpler then. The project spanned over a week. First they came off the neighbor's new boat. Then said boat was launched without a single line to tie her to a dock.

Have I mentioned the boat yard? Salt Creek Boat Yard (Tom) was terrific. Tom had lines for the boat. Yes the new owner did return them when the newly cleaned ones were back on the boat. I was pleased by pricing (they charge a rate per foot for your basic bottom job) ... Some places nickel and dime you. They were straight forward and actually came in under the estimate. That doesn't always happen.

As for longevity, logic presumes that with no dirt, grime nor salt crystals between the fibers of the rope, they should last a longer time. Less abrasion, at least that is the theory I'm going with! Aboard Seaweed my spare lines are all stored inside a locker in my cockpit. The life ring has a line that is exposed to sunlight.

I've also got a 60' piece of 12-strand braided line that I ought to store in a locker. My friends Tina and Dave passed it along to me some seven years ago. That is used when I spin the boat. I am Not good at backing into my spot. The usual method is to bow in. Then I shut down the engine. Next, I put one end of that 60' line on my aft starboard cleat. Shove Seaweed out into the canal. Then pull her back in, neat and tidy with her starboard side closest to the boat I am rafted to. It's not a great method however this does work for me. Also, I always dock so that I can start the engine, put her in forward and leave by pulling straight out. IF I ever had to leave in an emergency, I want it to be a no-brainer.

What I need to do is practice docking. I went out last weekend for overnight so that was fun. I am happiest at anchor.

It is wonderful to be home though. To have a safe place to relax and play on my tablet, read on the Paperwhite, and simply ponder is such a blessing. The fall took a lot more out of me than merely a broken wing. My confidence was shaken. The short ride last weekend was good for me.

I believe every line on Seaweed is at least ten years old. When mine get stiff and cannot be softened I either cut out the hard part or toss the whole rope. Sometimes when a rope is under stress (think storm conditions) the inner core will overheat. It will melt, thus becoming hard. I've bought ropes with damage, knowing that my use is much lighter than normal. Seaweed weighs in at 7,000 pounds. The stress I place on a line is far less than one of the big guys.

In my opinion those of us with smaller boats can use 3/8" or 1/2" line and be fine. The largest diameter rope aboard is my 5/8" 3-strand snubber. For me 3/8" is the smallest line I can handle comfortably.

I'm rambling. It's time for me to get dressed. One of the fellows on the canal invited me to Publix tonight at 1930. Excitement! You're a northern gal, so let me explain: Publix is a grocery store. It has the nicest people working there. I like their store brand goods too.

Thank you Pam for commenting. I appreciate that so much. J.

Addendum to Pam. from Janice aboard Seaweed on 7 Aug '19

The dock lines I use are all 1/2" braided. I prefer the "hand" of braid. It feels softer, coils without kinking, and generally is better for me. Three-strand stretches more, so at a dock your "ride" is smoother, with less jerking. I still prefer braided, and have upgraded to mostly all braided.

Dock line acquisition happens over time. On our 40'er we bought it on 600' spools. For folks with needs such as that, buying a spool can be an option. We had a spool of 1" anchor line in the cockpit bilge.

I probably have eight or ten dock lines. The only time they were all in use was for the Hurricane Irma fiasco. During stories EVERY line is deployed. A spare in the locker does me zero good. That is one of the many reasons why storms are exhausting! J.

Good! from Pam on 8 Aug '19

So good to hear that you got out for a little cruise and anchor out for a night, Janice, That must have felt so good. ;)

Ideas from Cap'n Coen on 9 Aug '19

Good for you! Not only is it a money saver, it also saves the planet to consume less and throw away less. And instead of throwing them away old lines can be turned into mats, fenders, dog toys and all sorts of usable objects.

Great Ideas! from Janice aboard Seaweed on 9 Aug '19

Yes Cap'n Coen. You're correct. Saving money, using things up, those are great ideas. I did make a doormat out of 50' of dock line a few years back. I just sent Kidlet a text to ask for a picture of said doormat. I'm not sure if she has one.

Great ideas... I'd thought about making one of those rope ladders shown in the Marlinspike book. I've got a lot of ropes aboard Seaweed.

A few years back I bought a pile of braided lines at a marine flea market. It was quite a haul, and $5 or $6. I ended up with over a dozen usable lines which was cool.

Honestly I've got more than necessary. Then a hurricane comes along and all those lines are needed. Anyway, thanks Coen for the suggestion re fenders and such. I may just take out my Marlinspike book one of these days and give the fenders thing a test. I've seen them and that would be a great use for a too-old-to-utilize rope. Thank you Cap'n.

Cleaning Ropes from Captain Fife on 1 Sep '19

Thank you for this article. It reinforces saving money and not wasting resources. Near and Dear to my Heart. Out here in the Western Pacific we are always looking for ways to save money so we can stay away from working for a living for as long as possible. Keep up the great work.

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