How to Care for Your Ropes
Lt. Eugene Johnson of the Captree, New York, U.S. Power Squadron, offers a few suggestions on how to keep ropes strong and durable. He says you will need to inspect and maintain them periodically.
Hold up an arm’s length of rope at critical points and examine it for chafe, cuts, broken strands and other deformations. If you find cut strands, chafe or a 10 percent loss in diameter, you should cut off the damaged part of replace the rope. Annually, or more often if necessary, cut back or reverse anchor rodes and other lines that wear more at one end.
Dirt, salt, rust and corrosion can abrade rope fibers, which shortens the life of your line. To prevent chafe, occasionally wash rope with fresh water. But don’t use detergents unless you need to remove oil or grease, because they may remove preservatives and lubricants that help reduce friction on the rope.