Taking Care of Rope
To ascertain the line you are using on your boat serves you well, you must take good care of it.
Keep Rope Clean
Dirt, sand, oil and acids will destroy line on your boat, whether it is natural or synthetic rope. To wash your rope, put it in a mesh bag or pillow case (to keep the rope from knotting and fouling up the washing machine), use a mild cleansing product and toss it in the washer.
Don’t Let it Kink
When you first take rope off the spool it must come off with a direct unwind pull. Taking the rope off the spool over the end will give you endless kinks and will be a nightmare to remove. Three strand rope needs to be coiled with the lay.
Keep Ends Clean
The end of a line should be neat. If there are any frays, they will continue to grow and ruin more and more of the rope. Ends should be whipped (using whipping line), back spliced, dipped (there are dipping products on the market wherein you simply dip the end and it seals the rope), or burned (an excellent way to seal off modern line — heat the end of the rope until it melts and seals itself).
Don’t Let Rope Chafe or Abrade
You never want the same area of a rope rubbing somewhere over and over. It will fail sooner. Chafe guards are good for moored or docked boats. You can use leather chafe guards, or if the line is small enough you can split and use an old garden hose.
This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors Magazine, http://www.catsailor.com/.These tips are useful to boaters of all types.