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Old 15 October 2007, 05:45   #1
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Rope Care

All

My Father always taught me that I should look after my ropes.

My wash down and engine flush regime includes dumping any ropes that have been in the sea in a big bin of fresh water and agitating them with a stick (naughty ropes ) to rinse out the salt and any muck.
Then flushing with more fresh water before hanging them hung out on the line or in the garage to dry.
About once a year they get some soap flakes added to the water for a better clean.

I believe that any dried salt crystals in the rope start to make minute cuts inside the rope when itís moved, and degrade it from the inside out.

Is there an easier way?

Recently Iíve started to dump the wet suit boots in the washing machine to rinse them out, rather than the big bin method, and am considering this with the Ropes as well.

Or should I just replace the ropes every two years or so?

Nasher.
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Old 15 October 2007, 06:01   #2
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Replacing the ropes every two years seems a bit excessive to me. Modern ropes are so durable I don't bother doing anything with mine unless they are visibly dirty with mud etc.

We have a running line made of 14mm polyester that has been rubbing around on the sea bed for over ten years! With wear and stretch etc it's probably a couple of mm less in diameter than it was but it's otherwise completely sound!
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Old 15 October 2007, 06:01   #3
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We would like you to try the washing machine method and then report back with the results. Probably best not to tell Frances beforehand though

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Old 15 October 2007, 06:27   #4
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If I remember correctly, the members of the rock-climbing and caving fraternity are wont to stick their bits of string in the washing machine every now and again. I think there were long and deep discussions as to the best soap powder to use

Anyway, the general consensus was that clean ropes were a Good Thing (TM);
and as those guys have more of a vested interest in the integrity of their ropes, I'm inclined to think that dunking your docklines in the washer won't hurt.

To prevent fankles, coil/flake ropes neatly and put in a net or canvas bag before washing!
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Old 15 October 2007, 06:28   #5
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Thanks Grocer.

Pete.
Strangely it was Frances's Idea with the Wet suit boots.

Of course I would add some conditioner to keep the ropes nice and soft so they don't chaff my delicate hands

Nasher.
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Old 15 October 2007, 06:30   #6
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Make sure there are no shackles on the ropes before dumping them in a washing machine

I find (on vehicles anyway - 4x4 off road recovery ropes) that nylon rope very visibly degrades long before there is any weakness to worry about. Ones that fail are always really really rotten looking from UV etc and invariably ones that I would have dumped years before they actually broken.

I don't bother doing anything with the ropes on my boat but then I don't leave the boat moored up now, however they have been dunked in salt water and never been rinsed out and they still look fine after 18 months (I replaced the mooring lines when I got the boat as the ones that came with it looked pretty scraggy). Will have a better look though...
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Old 15 October 2007, 06:46   #7
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On the superyachts we would dump the dock lines (25 - 30 mm dia) into the jacuzzi with a load of washing powder ! Didnt harm them and kept them in good condition.
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Old 15 October 2007, 07:01   #8
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We have had our warps for year-and-years-and-years. Some must date back to the 1950s. We never rinse them and they are fine. We might lie them on deck to dry sometimes but not always.

So, in my opinion, rinsing and faffing about with them is a waste of time. Occasionally we have put a halyard in the washing machine to spruce it up a tad. I was told that no washing powder was necessary as there ought to be some residue of powder knocking about in the machine somewhere.

Rinsing ropes? Nah. Waste of effort. Go to the pub instead.
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Old 15 October 2007, 07:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasher View Post
Or should I just replace the ropes every two years or so?
Christ, No.

Or if you do, can I have the 'old' ones?
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Old 15 October 2007, 07:21   #10
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I used to wash my climbing and caving ropes in the washing machine - used lux soap flakes. It did a great job - the water used to look like choc milk shake because of the Brecon Beacons infamous red mud.

Boat ropes are clean compared to that - it's the grit that's the killer - salt crystals will be back within a day of dunking them in the briney though!!!
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