Choose the right ropes
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