Marine Lines, Ropes, & Cordage

The Different Types And Uses Of Marine Ropes And Dock Lines

It is always important for a boat owner to get familiar with different types of marine ropes and dock lines. In so doing, he will rest easy knowing that the boat is tightly secured at the dock. There are quite a number of ropes (lines) used in boating. They can be classified either by material or the design.

Cordage Material Types

1. Polyester is among the most popular type of rope used to dock a vessel. It may also be referred to as Dacron or Terylene. Polyester is very elastic and is resistant against ultra-violet (UV) rays as well as rot. It easily sinks in water and is affordable.

2. Polypropylene or in short polyprop is more elastic than polyester and floats on water. It may come as Staple spun, mono or multi-filament. It is very versatile and can be used in many applications. Unfortunately, the rope begins to degrade as time goes by due to exposure to UV rays from the sun.

3. Nylon is one of the most elastic types of ropes. It is therefore able to store energy. However, when it snaps it can cause a lot of damage to surrounding objects or even injure people. It starts to fray overtime due to long exposure to the sun.

4. Steel Wire is made from small strands of long wires. It is the strongest of all mooring lines. Usually, it is used to secure very large vessels. Steel wire lines are more prone to rust hence need regular care such as coating with grease.

5. Natural fibers made up the first ropes. Materials used included sisal, jute, cotton, manila, hemp, coir, silk, leather, linen and more. Natural fiber is not as long-lasting as artificial fibers but is usually more expensive. Nonetheless, they still remain a top choice especially for people concerned with the environment.

Cordage Design Types

1. Twisted Rope / Laid Rope is a type of rope consists of several strands of fiber/yarn twisted together. Each strand is also twisted from smaller strands. The strength of the rope will be determined by the number of strands and also the type of fiber used.

2. Braided Lines Braided ropes are mostly associated with modern synthetic fibers. The ropes will also be quite elastic (springy) due to the technique used as well as the artificial fibers. However, not all ropes are springy hence you may also find a rigid line.