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Old 05-28-2015   #1
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
abolition of ropes

I was sitting contemplating gear, and it occured to me there are not many very good reasons to use rope as a bow and stern line, flip line, etc. Web takes much less space, and while it may/may not be stronger than rope, it is far stronger than most d-rings.

I suspect this is not a completely new insight, so are there any out there that are using tube web for those jobs? If so, how's it working?

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Old 05-28-2015   #2
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I've never known space to store my bow lines or flip lines to be an issue. I use rope as a bow line because it is easier to tie and untie around random stuff. I have rope flip lines in bags on the boat, but I keep a webbing flip line in my PFD. I don't have a chicken line, but I have seen these with both rope and webbing.

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Old 05-28-2015   #3
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
I haven't seen a webbing bow line yet but have seen a lot of chicken lines and I use webbing for a belly line in big water.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 05-28-2015   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
I have used tubular webbing for perimeter line with mixed success. The most readily available tubular 1" webbing is nylon which exhibits noticeable shrink and stretch which is not ideal for chicken lines. The commercial flip lines I use are webbing and have worked fine over the years.

I wouldn't agree that "there are not many very good reasons to use rope" for the stated applications. I for one have a variety of knots that I can use with a rope that are less than ideal for tubular webbing, like a taut line hitch for an anchor rope at camp which is the handiest I know for adjusting tension for tidal fluctuations. As well, the stern and bow lines can serve double duty for rescue situations in which the difference in breaking strength matters. Rope tends to work better in rescue situations that require mechanical advantage that use prusiks, or comparable knots, pulleys. Unlike webbing, rope has a protective sheath over the load bearing strands which increases longevity (abrasion, UV, etc).

And as I understand it the concern of D-Ring strength is of limited use in rescue situations as its best to tie off to the frame if possible. D-rings are not to be pulled on outward in that fashion and by attaching to the frame you are essentially using multiple anchors. I would also wager you gain some strength from the surface tension of the polypro straps on the rubber raft going from the D-Rings themselves (assuming it behaves similarly to running a climbing anchor over the surface of rock but I could be wrong).

Both have their strengths and weaknesses and there are definitely many circumstances in which either will serve the duty. That said, I won't be giving up rope for a bow and stern line anytime soon.

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Old 05-28-2015   #5
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I run a cheap low stretch rope for a perimeter line, it's 1/2" diameter. I find it easier to grip and grab from inside or outside the boat. I have witnessed a perimeter line get caught on a tree an empty raft had run into. It had the very large blue/ white pool rope for a perimeter line, it was a bitch to cut to get the raft free. I am pretty sure the rope I use will be a single swipe with my knife should I need to cut it. BTW, they call it low stretch, but water affects it. Tight when dry, loose when wet. I knot at the D-rings too.
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Old 05-29-2015   #6
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
I was on a raft 2 years ago with webbing as the perimeter line. In an emergency situation I grabbed that line and my hand slid down it. Rope would have given me a nice rope burn. Webbing edge sliced in to my hand.

I'll stick with rope as the perimeter line.


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