Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

This Low Cost 'Line Saver' Could Save Your Sailing boat!

by John Jamieson on 13 Mar 2013
SW-ChafeGearMainPhoto Captain John Jamieson http://www.skippertips.com
What one piece of low cost sailing gear could save your boat in a howling gale, or when tied up in a slip or alongside a pier, or in a swell-swept anchorage or mooring? Without it, your sailboat might well become just another marine insurance statistic! Discover one of the cheapest--but often forgotten--pieces of 'must have' sailing gear that will keep your sailing boat safe throughout the sailing season!

Few pieces of sailing gear are as cheap as chafing gear. Dock your boat alongside a pier, wharf, or seawall or inside a boat slip and you use docking lines. Each docking line connects from one point on your boat to another point ashore (when docked), in the seabed (when anchored), or to another boat (when rafted together).

As that line makes its journey from one point to another, it will rub, slide, grate, chafe, scrape, saw, or contact another part of your boat. This might be an open or closed chock, a corner of your hull, a sharp edge along your toe rail, or the razor-sharp side of a Genoa track.

Before the line arrives at the pier or piling, it contacts other 'line-killers'--sharp pier edges and corners, barnacle encrusted pilings, or jagged-edged concrete or steel structures.

Once you tie up your boat, check all around for these and other point-to-point areas that could present potential chafe problems. Imagine the tide rising and falling, or boat wakes that cause your boat to wallow alongside a pier or in her slip.

And ask yourself--where will the docking line make contact with an object that can do it harm? All of these areas will require protection to prevent line fiber destruction and failure.

Drop the anchor and your anchor line takes it on the chin--and not just the part beneath the surface. Your anchor line runs from a boat cleat and through a chock on its way to the seabed.

Constant rubbing and shock loads from passing boat wakes, ground swell, or shifting winds means sawing back and forth--and serious chafe! Add in some high octane storm winds and things can turn nasty in no time.

How to Make Chafing Gear Work for You:

Wrap a long piece of canvas around the line so that it spans the fitting by several inches on each side. Secure the ends of the chafing gear with nylon wire ties. Snip off the ends (yellow arrow in illustration).

Wrap a long piece of canvas around the line so that it spans the fitting by several inches on each side. Secure the ends of the chafing gear with nylon wire ties. Snip off the ends (yellow arrow).

Make your own chafing gear for pennies on the dollar. Use lengths of old garden hose, clean engine hose, fire hose being thrown out by your local fire department, soft PVC tubing, strips of canvas or similar spray dodger, awning, or enclosure material, or--in a pinch--rags and duct tape.

The easiest chafing gear consists of hose split length-wise, canvas sewn into a sleeve or canvas wrapped around the line and tied off with twine or nylon wire ties (see illustration).

Use the steps below to make up your own chafing gear. The steps show the method for canvas strips, but modify these as you see fit for the other materials described above.

Tools You Will Need:

* Chafing Gear (from list above)
* 6' - 9' nylon wire ties
* Exacto knife
* Wire cutters

Seven Simple Steps to Make Chafing Gear:

1. Measure the chafing points described above.
2. Split the chafing gear lengthwise with the Exacto knife.
3. Slide the chafing gear onto the line.
4. Center it at the contact point.
5. Wrap the gear tight to hold it in place.
6. Apply nylon wire ties to each end; cut excess off.
7. Monitor and re-center the chafing gear as needed.

Check your chafing gear often. It tends to move up or down the line after several hours. Make your chafing gear lengths longer in less protected anchorages for better protection. So, protect your costly docking and anchoring lines from the ravages of chafe, wear, and tear. Put chafing gear 'sentries' to work aboard your sailboat to save big money in repair costs--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!


John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com. Sign up for the Free, highly popular weekly 'Captain John's Sailing Tip-of-the-Week'. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, and e-Books!

RS Sailing 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

High water on the great lakes – Boom or bust for boaters?
Boaters can find that deeper water under the keel may open a range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation With Great Lakes water levels on the rise and expected to continue to increase into summer, recreational boaters could find that deeper water under the keel may open a whole new range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation.
Posted on 19 May
BoatUS 2017 top 10 list of boat names and their meanings
BoatUS, issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The nation’s largest recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The names come from tallying up requests for boat names to the BoatUS Graphics service, and each reveal much about the personality of the vessel’s owner.
Posted on 18 May
Brian McGinnis takes Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship
Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. The race was a qualifier for the 2018 Sunfish Worlds. Winds for the weekend tended toward 20 knots or more for Saturday where only four of the nine boats entered finished the five races run on Saturday.
Posted on 9 May
North Technology buys Hall Spars from receivership
North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. The Hall Spars US parent company announced in early 2017 that it would be closing the doors due to well publicized financial challenges. The acquisition covers Auckland and Brekens and Hall Spars will re-establish in Rhode Island
Posted on 9 May
Coast Guard finds Aids-to-Navigation shot and sunk near Block Island
Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in water with bullet holes, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in the water with bullet holes, Monday, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew was conducting regular aids-to-navigation maintenance when they approached Clay Head buoy number 7 and found it submerged. The crew raised the 12,000-pound buoy and found 20 bullet holes in it.
Posted on 28 Apr
A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted on 25 Apr
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018 to celebrate superyacht regatta’s tenth anniversary Boat International Media, the global authority on superyachts and the luxury lifestyle that goes with them, has today announced that it will be partnering with the NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta, to be held in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands in January 2018.
Posted on 22 Apr
A Few Rays - What is Broad Spectrum Protection?
What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays (UVA, UVB and UVC) only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. UVA and UVB sun-rays are however the biggest contributors to skin damage from sun.
Posted on 19 Apr
Coast Guard urges boating safety common sense
Coast Guard reminds mariners that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold The Coast Guard is reminding mariners Friday that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold. With the rise in air temperature, the number of boaters, paddle craft users, and water enthusiasts taking to water activities also rises.
Posted on 15 Apr
A very difficult day - Got fuel to Cape Town
Well after my dismasting I have spent the last two days motoring North towards Cape Town trying to collect myself Well after my dismasting I have spent the last two days motoring North towards Cape Town trying to collect myself and to intercept Hong Kong container ship M/V Far Eastern Mercury who had been diverted by Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Cape Town (MRCC Cape Town) when I had issued a Pan-Pan during my dismasting.
Posted on 8 Apr