Never under-estimate the value of well-kept mooring lines. Crucial in protecting your boat from the damage that can result following a mooring rope break, they also form part of that all-important first impression – no matter how wonderful the vessel, tatty or chafed mooring rope suggests a lackadaisical crew and substandard safety measures. Keep standards high, with top quality mooring rope from Ropes Direct.
There is no hard and fast formula to work out the lifespan of your yachting ropes, but good maintenance can extend their life and, more crucially, avoid expensive accidents and damage.
Best practice for maintaining marine ropes
The first and most obvious step is to visually inspect your mooring ropes before berthing. However, it is recommended to inspect the full length of your mooring rope more thoroughly on a regular basis – certainly no less than once a month and ideally more often.
Assess the extent of wear on the rope, paying particularly close attention to any areas that have been fused on fibre ropes – check closely and be realistic in your assessment of the line’s integrity. The relaxed ‘it’ll last a bit longer’ approach is one that has cost many a crew dearly – snapped mooring lines can damage the boat (or those around it) and cause injury.
The moment you have any doubt (or ideally pre-emptively, before it reaches that point) it is time to replace the rope. Repair work may be an option, but it can result in a weaker rope than the original so will need to be monitored closely afterwards for wear – often a replacement is the best decision.
Where possible store your ropes away from the deck and sources of heat or chemicals, which can weaken the rope – this is particularly crucial with fibre ropes. If ropes are on deck but not in use, try to cover them over to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight.
Regularly check that any fixtures and fittings are free from damage and corrosion – a corroded fitting can cause chafing on the mooring line. Also inspect any eye splicing at fixing points thoroughly, opening up the strands to inspect them, as internal wear and tear can be invisible on a simple visual assessment of the splicing but apparent as you investigate further. Cropping and re-splicing when there is visible damage can be effective here, although apply common sense – if the damage is more serious it may be time to replace the rope.
Of course, eventually, even with the best marine ropes and the utmost level of care and maintenance, there will always be natural wear and tear. At the point this is noticed, it is recommended that you replace your yacht ropes immediately, rather than letting them continue to deteriorate. When this time does come, here at Ropes Direct, we have a large selection of quality ropes for mooring lines for you to choose from.
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Remember when ordering that it is always worth carrying plenty of spare marine rope on-board as well, just in case, rather than waiting until disaster strikes – when it comes to mooring ropes, the golden rule is, if in doubt, replace!