stiff lines

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gminkovsky
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed 01 Nov 06, 19:58
Your Country: USA, Long Island Sound

stiff lines

Post by gminkovsky »

As the boat is aging, many of the lines are becoming very stiff. This is especially a problem with ropes in cleats, such as board downhaul. The stiff lines just slide out of jam cleats. I put additional cover over the downhaul line but after a few years even the extra cover became too stiff and started to slip. My boat was sliding instead of going upwind when the board partially retracted.

A friend once told me that every winter he puts all ropes in a mesh bag and washes them in a washing machine with detergent and fabric softener. This keeps all his lines nice and pliable.

The problem is it is very difficult to do this with board up/down lines. So I brought a very shallow plastic container to the boat and washed the board lines in this container with a little bit of detergent, then rinsed them with a little bit of fabric softener. Now I can once again use both lines in jam cleats without any slippage!

You can actually see the part of the line that was washed - it is lighter in color and has some fuzz on the surface.

I intend to do this to all of my (easily) removable lines next winter.
Christian
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon 13 Nov 06, 21:55
Your Country: Sweden, Nacka

NaCl

Post by Christian »

Is this a salt problem?

Sea water drying and leaving salt on the lines?
gminkovsky
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed 01 Nov 06, 19:58
Your Country: USA, Long Island Sound

Post by gminkovsky »

I am not sure it is salt related. The lines get washed by very heavy rains. I think this is happening to all ropes as they age. I think UV does a lot of damage. Maybe UV + salt?

I have some nylon ropes that I use in my backyard, and they are all very stiff. They haven't seen salt water in many years, if ever...

Anyway, I followed my friend's method and reported the result!
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