Marine Rope Maintenance: The Essence of Using Ropecoat

16 December 2021

One part of sailing boats that should always be checked and maintained is the running rigging(ropes). Marine ropesmust be strong enough to hold and control the sails of a yacht, ensuring that the boat can sail swiftly and safely throughout the trip. There are a number of different materials used in the production of marine ropes and each one has varying performance characteristics in relation to strength, weight, cost and abrasion resistance. Some of these materials include nylon, polyester, dyneema/spectra and polypropylene.

Marine Ropes Basic Maintenance

Maintenance and care formarine ropes is essential so they can carry out actions that are associated with them.

A fairly soft scrubbing brush is recommended for cleaning marine rope, so it will not damage the fibres or make the ropes fray. The cleaning productmust be compatible with the main material of the sailing ropes to avoid causing damages along the way, in most cases you can just use detergent. It is important to not use anything that is acidic, as it can be damaging for the rope.

The process involved in cleaning rope is soaking the rope in a bucket full of hot water anddetergent. Letting the ropes sit in the cleaning product solution for as long as possible, so that all dirt and grime will soften and come off. The ropes must subsequently be taken out section by section and wiped clean with the brush. Once all parts of the ropes have been wiped by the brush, the bucket must now be refilled with fresh water so that the ropes can be soaked again. The final step of cleaning the ropes would be to let them dry in the sun hanging from the mast or in a secure location. This process will clean most mildew, hold or dirt build up on ropes.

Another important aspect to consider when maintaining rope is the effects ultraviolet light has on ropes. UV light will make rope stiffen, fade colour and deteriorate the material itself. One useful technique used to look after ropes is attaching them to a length of sacrificial cord and pulling the halyard to the top of the mast, if you’re leaving the boat for an extended periods of time. Then storing the tail end of the halyard out of the sun, in a rope bag or inside a hatch to keep it out of the sun. This will prolong the lifespan of the running rigging on your yacht for many years.

Ropecoat for Protection

To further prolong the service life of your running rigging, you can use a product developed by Riggtech called Ropecoat on sections of your ropes. Rope coat is a non-toxic, water-based paint product used to provide resistance to wear, ultraviolet light, and other harmful elements. Riggtech most commonly use Ropecoat on halyards that where the core of the rope is exposed, or at the tip/shackle or snap shackle end of a halyard. Ropecoat is painted on the surface of sailing ropes or for best results fully submerging the rope and pulling it out through your hand(wearing gloves) to remove excess. Once applied, leave in the sun to dry and the Ropecoat can stiffen and stabilise the fibres of therope. Compared to replacing the entire rope, the application of Ropecoat is much more cost-effective.

To know more about this product, you can call us at Riggtech or head straight to our online shop to purchase some now!

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