Choosing a mooring line involves a variety of issues, such as the rope’s length, diameter size, and material.
1 – Abrasion potential
Deterioration of the mooring line can result from within the rope or external factors. A preferred type of mooring line is the single braid rope because it is simple to inspect for signs of internal defects. A significant issue with choosing a mooring rope is to get the right material that doesn’t degrade over time. A rope that has high abrasion properties is certain to be the nylon line.
2 – Construction
A mooring line can come with a braided or single-strand design. A strong and resilient line is the braided type, but this rope is more difficult of the two to repair. Plus, certain ropes are given jackets to up the all-round strength. These jackets are effective at protecting against abrasion – although they still aren’t able to withstand a high amount of chafing.
A jacketed rope is more difficult to repair. A positive of the non-jacketed lines is the ease in inspecting and repairing if necessary. Ease in repair and maintenance is certain to be a critical factor when deciding on the right type of mooring line.
3 – Diameter size
Boat length has a significant impact on the diameter of the mooring rope. A vessel not exceeding 25-ft is safely moored with a line at 3/8 inch, a vessel up to 45-ft will benefit from a 5/8 inch line, while a vessel in the region of 65-ft is certain to favor a 7/8 inch line.
Also, as the diameter of the mooring line increases the stretchiness starts to reduce. Use the proper diameter size to match the boat to increase the overall control provided, and not to just go with the biggest rope possible.
4 – Length
A mooring line is best sized at a length that offers enough space to pass over the mooring cleat to hold the motor-driven or sail boat to the dockside. A rope that is excessive in length can leave the boat less than secure and this means more risk.
5 – Material
A mooring line is made from several different types of materials. Each type has different characteristics which need to be carefully considered to match the specific use or application.
Common materials include:
- Polyester – A strong material that gives minimal stretch, isn’t able to float, and resistant to sunlight.
- Nylon – A nylon rope is cost-effective, resists long-term exposure to the sun, very stretchy, and very strong.
- Polypropylene – A low-quality option which is very inexpensive, but unable to withstand sunlight for long periods and has a low breaking point.
The positives and negatives of each of the rope’s materials should be carefully considered. For instance, a stretchy and strong rope is in nylon, which is usually the most favored choice in the market. The second most popular is mooring lines in polyester. Because of the low-break point of the polypropylene rope this isn’t the most practical choice to use on a mooring.