Checking Rope Strength

Monitoring stretch offers clues to lifespan and ability to absorb shock loads.

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We like nylon for docklines, anchor rode, and chain snubbers because it stretches, absorbing jolts that would otherwise be transferred to the boat and ground tackle. But all of that stretching and contracting takes a toll. Fiber wears on fiber. The polymer itself fatigues. Unlike a steel part, which can last basically forever if never […]
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Drew Frye, Practical Sailor’s technical editor, has used his background in chemistry and engineering to help guide Practical Sailor toward some of the most important topics covered during the past 10 years. His in-depth reporting on everything from anchors to safety tethers to fuel additives have netted multiple awards from Boating Writers International. With more than three decades of experience as a refinery engineer and a sailor, he has a knack for discovering money-saving “home-brew” products or “hacks” that make boating affordable for almost anyone. He has conducted dozens of tests for Practical Sailor and published over 200 articles on sailing equipment. His rigorous testing has prompted the improvement and introduction of several marine products that might not exist without his input. His book “Rigging Modern Anchors” has won wide praise for introducing the use of modern materials and novel techniques to solve an array of anchoring challenges.