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Can you un-stretch dock lines?

Old 08-05-2020, 10:37 AM
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Default Can you un-stretch dock lines?

I have some very nice/expensive 3/4" dock lines. They seem to have gotten stretched out pretty good from the storm yesterday. Is there a magic bullet for un-stretching dock lines? Thanks!
Old 08-05-2020, 10:50 AM
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I'm soaking mine in a 5 gallon bucket in the suns heat in hopes of bringing life back in to them...been soaking since yesterday.
Old 08-05-2020, 10:59 AM
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ROPE LIFE FACTORS AND DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
https://www.ropeinc.com/rope-inspection-retirement.html
Old 08-05-2020, 11:02 AM
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I soaked some in a bucket with fabric softener. Seemed to help a little. I was just using on a small boat though.
Old 08-05-2020, 11:04 AM
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Nope: They gave their stretch to protect your cleats.
If you can splice, and anyone can, buy 200' of 3/4" NER 3 strand and make more lines.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by From the Helm View Post
Nope: They gave their stretch to protect your cleats.
If you can splice, and anyone can, buy 200' of 3/4" NER 3 strand and make more lines.
I think these are all NER double braid. They used to feel so nice and supple. Over $1k in dock lines

Old 08-05-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by davlan88 View Post
I'm soaking mine in a 5 gallon bucket in the suns heat in hopes of bringing life back in to them...been soaking since yesterday.
with anything added in? i am going to be on anchor for 10 days so good opportunity to soak them all
Old 08-05-2020, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by muskrattown View Post
I soaked some in a bucket with fabric softener. Seemed to help a little. I was just using on a small boat though.
how much fabric softener? how long? can fabric softener cause the ropes to deteriorate / fail?
Old 08-05-2020, 12:37 PM
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Try a laundromat. Wash in hot. Dry hot. No idea if it will work. Works for my tutus when they get stretched out. Fabric softener will not help and will not hurt in any quantity.
Old 08-05-2020, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
I think these are all NER double braid. They used to feel so nice and supple. Over $1k in dock lines
I hear you, we have a massive surge in fall storms where we chewed through docklines. That's when I went to 3 strand and buying 200' at a time. Double braid feels great and works really well, but like 3 strand once you've stretched it 10% or so a few hundred times it's going to take a set and get stiff. I don't know of any process that will get it stretchy again. You can splice that double braid pretty easily too, it' takes a little practice with the fid, but it's not rocket science. Brian Toss has Youtube videos that are excellent.
Old 08-05-2020, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by From the Helm View Post
I hear you, we have a massive surge in fall storms where we chewed through docklines. That's when I went to 3 strand and buying 200' at a time. Double braid feels great and works really well, but like 3 strand once you've stretched it 10% or so a few hundred times it's going to take a set and get stiff. I don't know of any process that will get it stretchy again. You can splice that double braid pretty easily too, it' takes a little practice with the fid, but it's not rocket science. Brian Toss has Youtube videos that are excellent.
thanks. i guess they were getting a little chewed up on our dock cleats anyway. i could never feel what they were getting caught on but they were. i didnt feel like going crazy and adding chafing protection to every cleat. my back up lines are three strand. i can't splice until my hand heals so will add to the project list just dont know if i have time to start splicing ha
Old 08-05-2020, 02:17 PM
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I use the same process that gets me in major trouble with my wife. When I put "HER Stuff" in the wash and dry it, it shrinks..... Following that logic, I started putting my lines in a mesh bag, detergent, fabric softener, and then dry. Works for me and keeps they clean too. They regain their "bounce"
Old 08-05-2020, 02:26 PM
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I would look for a rope unstretcher on ebay
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BoatHaus View Post
I would look for a rope unstretcher on ebay

Old 08-05-2020, 03:22 PM
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It will not substantially "unstretch" the lines but soaking them overnight in warm water and just an oz. or so of fabric softener with a little agitation WILL relieve much of the stiffness caused by the stress-stretching and make them much easier to use again. I've done that (with less than a capful of bleach for odor control and a little Dawn in a bucket of warm water ) each year at layup for a long time and no it has not deteriorated the 5/8" dock lines. Rather , it has extended their useful lifetimes by a good bit because they are still limber enough to knot or tie securely to cleats. But stress takes its toll and no regularly used dock line will last forever.of course.
Old 08-05-2020, 03:37 PM
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Why not use snubbers on the stretched lines until you need to impress your important friends with the good ones?
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary999 View Post
Try a laundromat. Wash in hot. Dry hot. No idea if it will work. Works for my tutus when they get stretched out. Fabric softener will not help and will not hurt in any quantity.
That attached web site warns against heating lines!

PS My boat is tied up like Spiderman went crazy. Not a weak line there. Compromise at your own risk!!
Old 08-05-2020, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixstring View Post
Why not use snubbers on the stretched lines until you need to impress your important friends with the good ones?
The lines all had snubbers attached
Old 08-05-2020, 08:14 PM
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Check out Harbor Freight, rope unstretchers are in the same aisle as the nail unbenders.
Old 08-06-2020, 07:23 PM
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Like others have said, theres really no way to un-stretch lines. Those lines gave you all they had to protect your boat, they sacrificed themselves for you, they deserve a proper burial.

If your lines are cripsy, soaking them in fabric softner will help. Thats what i do.

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