Choose the right ropes

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin -

QI have re­cently bought a 25ft Dawn­craft and I’d like to re­place the four moor­ing ropes. All of the cur­rent ones are dif­fer­ent lengths. What is the cor­rect length for prow and stern? TOADFLAX

ATONY REPLIES: Al­though you will of­ten hear peo­ple quot­ing the ‘cor­rect’ length in my view there sim­ply is not one. For in­stance we carry two sets of lines. Canal or work­ing lines and longer river lines – and if we wanted to tran­sit the Manch­ester Ship Canal we would need yet an­other set of even longer lines. I think it is im­por­tant that the length you choose for canal work should be easy to han­dle and not be so long it is easy to get them wrapped around your prop al­though if you ap­plied that to the stern lines they would be far too short. Also con­sider what you want them made from. Many types of lines sink, ab­sorb wa­ter and get very heavy when wet whereas syn­thetic hemp/ Hem­pex is polypropy­lene and does not ab­sorb wa­ter and floats. It does not form hard splin­ters like older polypropy­lene ropes do. The length may also de­pends upon whether you will be sin­gle hand­ing through locks. If you do they may well have to be longer so they reach from the bot­tom of the lock to the work­ing level.

En­sure your ropes are long enough for lock op­er­a­tion on rivers

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