The lifespan of boat ropes varies based on factors like water type, frequency of use, and maintenance.<br />

Proper Care
and Use
of Rope & Lines

All lines on a boat should be treated with care since their performance is critical to the safety of the boat and crew. Remember, always select a line that is the correct diameter, strength and proper construction for the intended application.

Dock Line Selection Guidelines*

Boat Length 15-25 ft
26-30 ft
(7.9-9.1 m)
31-35 ft
36-40 f
41-50 ft
(12.5-15.2 m)
51-60 ft
61-75 ft
(18.6-22.9 m)
  3/8″ (9mm) 4,900Ib (2,223 kg)
1/2″(12mm) 8,200Ib (3,720 kg) 1/2″(12mm) 8,200Ib (3,720 kg) 1/2″(12mm) 8,200Ib (3,720 kg)
13,500lb (6,124 kg)
13,500lb (6,124 kg)
13,500lb (6,124 kg)
3/4″(18mm) 22,200Ib (10,070 kg) 3/4″(18mm) 22,200Ib (10,070 kg)

*Strength is approximate average of new rope. For storm conditions upgrade one diameter.

Rope Care Tips from CMP Cordage

  • Keep lines clean by washing them with fresh cold water and allowing them to dry naturally.
  • When possible, store lines out of the sun and in a clean, dry area with good ventilation. This will help them last longer and prevent them from becoming stiff.
  • Avoid any contact of the line with chemicals such as solvents, acids, alkalis, or bleach.
  • If lines are passing through pulleys and sheaves, make sure they are properly sized and not worn, as this will cause abrasion and excessive wear of the line.
  • Inspect all lines continually, before, during, and after each use. Look for abrasion and discoloration anywhere the line may come into contact with a pulley, cleat, winch, or even another line. Contact with the edge of a dock can result in excessive wear, especially in rough weather. Use chafe protection at known wear points.
  • During inspection, if broken fibers or melted fibers are visible on the surface of the line, it should be replaced immediately. These damaged fibers can significantly reduce the tensile strength of the line and cause more rapid failure.
  • Avoid tying knots in lines, as this can reduce the tensile strength of the line by as much as 50%.


Proper care and maintenance play a crucial role in extending the lifespan of your ropes.


WordPress Lightbox