Recommend specific line for bow/stern tie downs

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by leonard, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. leonard

    leonard New Member

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    Washington
    My old bow and stern tie down ropes are getting a bit worn. And, when I bought them over ten years ago, I just selected ropes that felt like the right weight and held a knot - I didn't really do much research on what would be the best rope for the application. So...

    What specific type of rope and weight/thickness of rope do you folks recommend for bow and stern tie downs? what material? "static" or "dynamic"? are the premium rope materials worth it for tie down ropes?

    BTW - I have some of those ratcheting tie downs that came with my Thule rack - but I really like the simplicity of plain rope for the bow/stern tie down application.
     
  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Like you, I prefer line to webbing for bow and stern ties - line doesn't affect my driving visibility so much, and doesn't vibrate at speed.

    3/16" is heavy enough IMO, and you can put a bit of tension on thinner lines without cracking your boat!

    I've used some cheaper line where the sheath slid on the core too easily. Not recommended. I've used older but still OK deck line or new marine (Samson Trophy) line for tiedowns - I bought a spool for deck rigging, so had extra.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Six mm nylon or polyester (aka Dacron) line is heavy enough. The latter does not stretch as much as nylon when it gets wet. A tautline hitch is my preferred tensioning device.

    Ratcheting tiedowns are easily overtightened so much that they can damage lighter layup boats. Saw one brand new Kevlar boat which had failures from this, 20 years ago. Could be a better layup in Kevlar would have withstood the stress.
     
  4. leonard

    leonard New Member

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    Thanks John and Dave for the recommendations. Very helpful.
     
  5. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I saw someone start to reef down on a friend's boat and stopped them. The person had supports about 4 feet or less apart on the center of the roof and was starting to torque down on the bow line. I tried to explain the stress effect of putting a fulcrum point in the middle of something 16 ft long and then tugging down on the ends. I tried to explain that the webbing straps around the hull/rack hold the boat on the car and the bow/stern lines just keep it from spearing someone in the car head should things come to a sudden stop (or keep the bow stable in high wind).

    For bow/stern line, I started with something too thick to fit easily between the jeep hood and bumper bar. It was also too long so I'd coil the extra and tuck it away in front (but always worried it would work its way loose while traveling at highway speeds). Finally I realize this line was only like 30 cents a foot so I just measured what I needed to tie to two bows in front, dropped down a mm or so with enough length to tie off with little extra. What took me so long!

    Seems to me, the webbing holds the boat to the car. The stern/bow lines keep it legal and are a safety consideration for vehicles around you.