Mailport: September 2011
In response to your July 2011 test of chafe guards for dock lines: Your readers need to know that the pro choice guard (08-HB-02) tested in the “Anti-chafe Solutions for Lines” comparison in the July issue may not be right for their boats. According to the manufacturer, this commercial guard fits 1- to 2-inch dock lines, instead of the more common 5/8-inch lines found at most marinas. The company has a Barracuda guard for smaller dock lines.
Also, Practical Sailor singled out Fiorentino in the July article, saying our product might have mold issues. The polyethylene fibers we—and most other manufacturers—use can’t mold. Water can be trapped between any guard and dock line and possibly permit mold to grow on the surface cover of the guard, but a simple freshwater rinse cures that issue.
More importantly, all the guards mentioned in the July article, in our opinion, are too short for storm use. We feel chafe protection in storms should be at least 36 inches long (3 feet), which is why Fiorentino provides longer RodeRaps that are built out of the same materials as their LineRaps you tested.
Zack Smith, Fiorentino Para Anchor
Newport Beach, Calif.
Fjord Inc.’s recommended line size for its Chafe-Pro 08-HB-02 (www.chafepro.com), which was the PS Best Choice product in the July 2011 report, is 1 to 2 inches. The Value Guide accompanying the evaluation in the July 2011 print edition included incorrect information (see “Correction,” page 7); the online version has been updated with the correct data. While the Chafe-Pro 08-HB-02 was made for larger dock lines, our testing showed that ¾-inch nylon line could be well protected when tightly rolled up in the 08-HB-02. Putting the same cordage through guards that used a tie-on attachment point rather than ChafePro’s hook-and-loop method resulted in a much less secure fit.
Fjord markets several “yacht-grade” chafe guards, including the Barracuda, that are actually designed for smaller dock lines. We plan to test these for an upcoming issue.
In regard to the mold issue: Since mold grows in moist environments, it’s always a good idea to dry any chafe gear after freshwater rinsing. PS has not found rinsing alone to be an adequate preventative for mold.
We agree that some of the guards tested in the July issue were shorter than what we’d recommend for storm use; we prefer guards of at least 24 inches. However, most makers offer chafe gear in a range of lengths, so consumers should find one that matches their needs.