The folks at Quickline USA have developed a line-storage idea: The Quickline Flat Rope & Reel. With three sizes 15-, 18-, and 21-inch reel diameters; 135-, 200-, and 265-foot line lengths; and 1- and 1.3-inch line widths to choose from, the device can fill a variety of uses bow or stern anchor rode, mooring line, dinghy towline, etc. In the Mediterranean, the reels are popular for stern to or Med moor docking, according to Quickline.
The company sent us its QL3560 reel, which is 18 inches in diameter and contains 200 feet of 1.3-inch-wide flat rope ($589). Unit prices range from $393 for a 135-foot unit to $754 for a 265-foot unit.
The reel housing is constructed of 316L stainless steel with Delrin reel bearings and Teflon fairleads. The flat rope, made of polyester thread with a reported breaking strength of 8,000 pounds, allows for storing a significant length of line in a relatively compact space. Makers claim the flat line means no snags during deployment/retrieval and no more uninvited rodents onboard. (Seems they cant navigate thin, flat rope like they do traditional line.) The rope comes with a pre-fabricated, stitched eye at one end while the other end is attached to the spool via adhesive and a stainless-steel screw.
Each unit comes with a mounting kit consisting of brackets, adaptors, and spacers that should cover most rail sizes, although you may have to make some additional hardware purchases. We had to replace the supplied acorn nuts with regular nuts so we could tighten the brackets onto our test boats 1-inch arch.
We mounted the unit at the stern of our test boat for long-term evaluation, but it also could have been mounted at the bow or on any suitable flat surface.
Line deployment and retrieval is straightforward: Let the line pay out as needed and crank it back in when done. The line is self-storing and was non-fouling the several times we completely deployed and retrieved it from our mounted unit.
The pluses of the Quickline Flat Rope & Reel include its simple construction, use of non-corroding materials, and ease of operation. We also liked the locking reel handle, which should cut down on unintentional sacrifices overboard, and the measuring guide that shows how much rode is deployed. However, the guide is a sticker label, and were skeptical of its durability. Testers would prefer gradients and numbers engraved on the reel.
Another revision wed like to see is an illustrated mounting diagram to supplement the written instructions. We figured it out after minimal head-scratching, but a visual representation would have been helpful.
A key point to remember about the Quickline reel is that it is a non-load bearing storage device. Youll have to deploy the flat line and attach it to an appropriate cleat prior to use.
714/843-6964, ext. 210