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Thread: Most UV resistant rope

  1. #1
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    Default Most UV resistant rope

    Whatís the best rope for long-term outdoor use with sun exposure? I would have thought it was one of the fancy sailing ropes, but a couple of sites I checked indicate that plain old polyester is best.

    It doesnít need to be super strong, just looking for a long service life.

    I donít mind that answer but it seems too easy. Thought Iíd check with the experts. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    wire rope
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    True. It occurred to me. Maybe.

    Seems like it would pretty stiff and hard to work with for the barn door project. But I have run across some slinky thinner wires. Wouldn’t have to be much and would fit the decor.

    And not sure how I would do the through the wall bit with wire. There are some small hawse fairleads but they all seem to be aluminum. That might work. Or might wear. Though those stainless exit plates on my other thread may work just fine.

    I’ll look around at the wire stuff. I had discounted it. Thanks.
    Last edited by bluedog225; 02-26-2021 at 11:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Polyester (Dacron) is pretty good. I have used a lot of New England Ropes filament Dacron three strand over the years for roping sails. In order to get the color right for traditional sails I dunk the white rope in Minwax oil stain for a few seconds, then rinse it well in naphtha to keep it from getting too stiff. The underlying principle was based on the fact that if you happen to get wood stain on your shirt, you'll probably never be able to wash the stain all the way out. I think the stain also increases its UV resistance even a bit more. My wife has used some of the leftovers for holding things up in her garden and those ropes have been out there for at least ten years at this point. They have lost some color, but seem to still be pretty strong with no obvious signs of degrading.

    I used a similar technique when making the wing nets and bow nets for our trimaran and a new mesh trampoline for our Hobie Cat. These were made from polyester mesh which was dunked in flat black enamel as a stiffener and UV barrier then solvent rinsed. Worked great.

    Here is a bunch of freshly stained, solvent-rinsed and soap-and-water-washed rope drying and the corner of a roped lugsail tack corner,

    stained-rope.jpg

    and here is a new hunk next to a piece which has been out in the garden for several years.

    weathered.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Thanks Todd. I did something similar for my sea pearl but didn’t think to wash out the stain with naptha. It does make for some pretty stiff rope.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Polyester (Dacron) is pretty good. I have used a lot of New England Ropes filament Dacron three strand over the years for roping sails. In order to get the color right for traditional sails I dunk the white rope in Minwax oil stain for a few seconds, then rinse it well in naphtha to keep it from getting too stiff.
    Thanks for that post Todd, reminded me of your practice you mentioned in your sailing canoe book.

    I'm going to use this idea for the lines I'll be fitting to my Waterlust soon...

    One question - what do you do with the naphtha once it too has been 'stained'? There a VOC disposal service in / around Madison you take advantage of?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    I keep it in its own can. I'll use the "dirty" stuff again for a first rinse on the next batch of rope and then fresh naphtha for the final solvent rinse. I guess sooner or later that can will be full of a light shade of wood stain. I have had good luck staining the New England filament Dacron three-strand up to about 3/8" diameter and both 1/8" Dacron leech line and 1/8" nylon parachute cord. It does not work, however, on NER's fuzzy three strand spun Dacron. That stuff will barely hold any stain and just turns dirty white. The brown color I use is the Minwax "Early American" oil based shade. I also tried their dark walnut shade, but it just didn't look natural.

    rope-staining-1.jpg

    rope-staining-2.jpg

    The stained filament Dacron can also be rat-tailed for use on sails, tapered splices, etc. Some other brands/types will also do this, but you will have to try it to see how well it works with them.

    rat-tail1.jpg

    rattail-2.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Looking around, there doesn’t seem to be any dark (like black) colors of three strand polyester rope in 3/8. Seems odd.

    The idea of putting an eye loop in double braid isn’t all that appealing. I’ve watched a video but ugh.

    I think I saw a site ages ago that would sell you rope with eye splices for a fee. Anybody recall seeing that?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Posh polyester three strand is available in Black and Dark Brown

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Why does it have to be spliced? Can you get a roll on Amazon and tie bowlines?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    When our son was 14 I wished to encourage him to develop his physical fitness. Our house is 700 feet back from the road. Every weekday morning he had to walk out on a deer-trail through the woods to where the school bus would pick him up. (And our daughter did the same +3 years.)

    So I lashed a cross-bar between two small trees that were growing 3ft apart right beside the trail. Then I made a simple casual no-pressure (but unmistakably Dad-challenging) "artless" remark to him about chin-ups.

    In time he wore the top of that crossbar to a polish. (It's great being a Dad!)

    BUT... the point is, I used 1/8" nylon cordage in a square lashing, and it's still there 20 years later. The cross-bar is soft, but the lashing still holds.

    Nylon is extremely good with UV.

    Dave

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    I have been using the same polyester braided docklines --light blue-- that I spliced up for 15 years. Maybe more???

    These see 7-8 months a year in the sun all day at 41N. (They also get froze.) These are still in fine shape...supple, no visible sign of deterioration, etc. Even the color is still pretty bright, though more muted than when new. Yale Cordage brand, I know, because I came into a several-hundred-foot spool of 7/16" way back when for a steal price and was selling it off as finished dockline spliced to order at a premium price.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Dave-You may be right about the nylon. I’m a little worried it will not do as well given the heat and sun here.

    Bill-Thanks! I came up empty. The Posh is what I was after.

    Gib-I can tie it off. Once I figure out exactly how I am doing this, I’ll have a better idea how visible the knots will be. Thinking splices will give a better appearance. It will be nice to have the option of 3-strand splices if I want to go that way. I think I can manage them.

    Kevin-Sounds like what I am after.

    Thanks all.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Looking around, there doesn’t seem to be any dark (like black) colors of three strand polyester rope in 3/8. Seems odd.

    The idea of putting an eye loop in double braid isn’t all that appealing. I’ve watched a video but ugh.

    I think I saw a site ages ago that would sell you rope with eye splices for a fee. Anybody recall seeing that?
    There is one trick for doing eye splices in double braided polyester: Brion Toss's splicing wand. I cannot stress this enough. Until I discovered that, there was not a fid l/video that I could make work. Toss's (RIP) wand and instructions : easy peasy.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    Thanks Peb. I’ll check it out. Looks pretty daunting. I was thinking of whipping with poly thread and covering the whipping with copper wire. But if I can pull off an eye splice, all the better.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Most UV resistant rope

    I did eye splices in Sampson double braid back early in ‘70’s w/ proper fid & pusher. NBD.

    Admittedly Brion’s wand is a superior tool for this but man are they pricey!

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