Mooring lines, ropes and cordage used for larger ships and vessels are an integral part of the equipment which ensures the safety of the vessel. Not just so, the form part of that all-important first impression. Tattered or chaffed ropes a raise a serious question on the safety of the vessel, at the same time, endanger the crew on-board.
There is no hard and fast formula to work out the lifespan of your mooring ropes, but good maintenance can extend their life and, more importantly, avoid expensive accidents and damage.
How to take care of your mooring ropes and Cordage?
A visual inspection of your mooring ropes is essential before berthing. However, it is recommended that you inspect the mooring rope to the length more thoroughly on a regular basis – Ideally once in a fortnight.
Look for signs of damage or wear on the rope, paying close attention, particularly in areas that have been fused on fibre ropes – check closely and be realistic in your assessment of the line’s integrity. Avoid procrastinating and taking a casual approach, overlooking any damage to the cordage. The notion of “It may last a little longer” could prove fatal and may cost your crew dearly – snapped or damaged mooring lines can damage the boat (or those around it) and cause injury.
It’s best to replace the rope the moment you have a doubt (or ideally pre-emptively, before it reaches that point). Repair work may be an option, but it can result in a weaker rope than the original so will need to be monitored closely afterwards for wear – often a replacement is the best decision.
An ideal practice would be to store your ropes away from the deck and sources of heat or exposure to any chemicals, which can damage or weaken the rope – this is particularly vital for fibre ropes. If ropes are on deck but not in use, they must be covered in order to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight.
Regularly check that fixtures and fittings are free from damage, rusting and corrosion – a corroded fitting can cause chafing on the mooring line. Also inspect any splicing at fixing points thoroughly, opening up the strands to inspect them. On the surface, it may look like a small wear, however, upon investigating it further, it could be all the more worse apparently. Cropping and re-splicing when there is visible damage can be effective here, although apply common sense – if the damage is more serious, it may be time to replace the rope.
Eventually, despite the usage of best ropes and the utmost level of care and maintenance, there will always be natural wear and tear. It is recommended that you replace your ropes immediately, once noticed, rather than letting them continue to wither and deteriorate. When such a time comes, here at Kohinoor Ropes, we have a large selection of quality ropes for Mooring and Ships for you to choose from.