Features December 2011 Issue

After-market Cordage Treatments

Can fabric softeners and water repellents boost rigging performance?

Practical Sailor treated used running rigging with Downey fabric softener, Granger’s 2-in-1 Cleaner and Waterproofer, and Nikwax Rope Proof to determine whether softeners or waterproofing treatments improve the performance of nylon and polyester double-braid lines on a boat. Can aftermarket treatments improve line handleability, reduce water-weight gain and strength loss, and prevent lines from freezing in colder climates—without damaging the lines? We also wondered whether any treatment would keep aging lines from squeaking as they run over blocks under high strain. Our tests found the definitive answer.

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