Tie The Boat Down: Mooring Lines

Rope and Rigging

When you dock a boat, it is essential it remain in place. This is true whether the watercraft is a small dinghy or a large cargo ship. No one wants to come back and find their boat has sailed off under its own powers. No ship owner wants the boat to move out of its docking space when it comes time to unload freight. This is why crews use mooring lines in NY and elsewhere.

What is a Mooring Line?

A mooring line, sometimes called a hawser, is defined as a thick rope or cable. Its purpose is to restrain a watercraft, holding it in place at a dock, jetty, float or similar site. Rarely does an individual moor the boat using a single line. In order to reduce stress, it is commonplace – and common sense, to employ several mooring lines. NY commercial ship owners consider this a given.

Types of Mooring Lines and their Uses

The material comprising mooring lions has altered over the years. Once, all ships were moored using heavy rope sometimes woven from thick hemp fibers. Today, while some still prefer natural fibers, others have turned to synthetic products. Wire rope has also become a preferred choice for mooring lines. Its tensile strength and durability have made it popular. For those who find it lacking sufficient flexibility and too hard on the hands, a combination works – a wire core coated with synthetics.

Obviously, in the case of mooring lines, one type does not fit all purposes. If you have a large craft, the characteristics of the line used are not the same as those for a small pleasure boat. Essentially, the mooring lines will vary as to length, diameter, material and presentation. They may be composed of natural fibers or of synthetics e.g. nylon, polypropylene. The line may be a wire rope or hemp. It may also be thick or thin, twisted or braid. The mooring line can be composed of single or multiple ropes. Each application will differ. It all depends upon the purpose the mooring line is to serve. The mooring line must, no matter what its composition be chosen in accordance with its purpose or the potential will exist for serious problems to occur.

Problems Facing Mooring Lines in NY, CT and Elsewhere

No matter what type of boat you have, or where you dock, certain problems are inherent in mooring lines. These usually find their bases in the marine environment. Among the common are:

Abrasion: In a marine environment, the tide and motion of the waves, perpetually acts upon the watercraft. These natural forces cause the mooring lines to grate against the docks and any other object. This can wear away at synthetic ropes. Some protection is supplied with the use of guards, but not every system is foolproof

Stress: The purpose of mooring lines in NY is to retain a craft in a single position/place. The movement of the boat in the water creates friction between the boat and the craft. The boat pulls; the rope restrains. This results in stress. It is essential to monitor the mooring lines to ensure nothing is fraying. Even cables or wire rope can suffer from stress

When it comes to mooring lines, NY sailors should consult experts to ensure they purchase the right type of line for their purpose. This is the best way to avoid creating any kind of unfortunate incident. Get in touch with Bilco Wire Rope for more information!