View Full Version : docking lines/ropes

04-18-2015, 10:34 PM
OK, this is a strange question. May even be consider dumb. I new at this, so be gentle.
Why wouldn't you use steel cable instead of ropes for docking. Other than the rusting issue. I can't understand why this is not being done. However, I have NEVER seen anyone using cables. I ask because I need some new ropes and I have a LOT of steel cable.
Any info or or enlightenment would be appreciated. Thanks!!

04-19-2015, 03:16 AM
rope is non-abrasive and easier to handle and as you pointed out doesn't rust or splinter.

04-19-2015, 07:47 AM
Some spring/give is necessary to cushion the constant back and forth movement when tied up. If you used non streching steel cable the jerking would eventually damage the boat. Also be very uncomfortable to the occupants.

04-20-2015, 06:32 AM
How would you tie your knots in a steel braided cable?

04-21-2015, 06:52 AM
How would you tie your knots in a steel braided cable?

With strength and determination :)

04-22-2015, 06:41 AM
Better spliced, but why? Rope is far better.

04-22-2015, 10:56 AM
The dock owner where I used to be actually got tired of one of the big houseboats breaking the undersized lines that the owner used and made up steel cables to hold his boat in the slip. Since the guy never took the boat out, it worked for him.

04-23-2015, 07:10 AM
Rough on the boat and dock if there is any movement

04-23-2015, 07:37 AM
Cannot imagine steel cable. I have poly now and am switching to nylon to lessen the jerk when a rope reaches its maximum. In wavy conditions steel could be nothing but bad on the dock and boat.

04-24-2015, 05:29 AM
It was a side tie, so it was only tied on one side and it was tucked back in a cove. I thought it was a bit weird, but so was the marina owner.

Tony B
04-24-2015, 07:21 PM
And not just any rope.
Get NYLON, whether 3 strand twisted or double braided.
Nylon has a certain amount of stretch and can absorb shock.

04-30-2015, 02:23 PM
If cable was the way to go don't you think they would use it for these mega-liner cruise ships. But all of those are docked with very thick ropes.

05-03-2015, 02:39 PM
Have you ever handled steel cable? How would you coil the line on deck or in a locker? Even the largest ships in the world use rope dock lines. Granted those rope lines are huge in diameter but far easier to handle and stow. Plus that it is amazing how strong a braided line is. Both the ships I served on were 327 feet long, displaced 2350 tons, and we used 3 inch braided nylon for dock lines, six of them.