The Right Rope for the Right Job

The Right Rope for the Right Job

This guide gives detailed information on rope materials characteristics, as well as the recommended material to use for specific jobs.

There are four basic Man-made synthetic fibre ropes - Polyamide, Polyester, Polypropylene & Polyethylene.

We have also included other, more specialised ropes that you may come across in the marine industry. To assist you in reading this table, Trade names are included in brackets

Right Rope for the Right Job
RopeUsesStrengthStretchAbrasive
Resistance
UV ResistanceFloats
Sinks
Remarks
Polyamide
(Nylon)
Anchoring,
Berthing,
Mooring,
Towing
StrongHighModerateGoodSinksSee Note 1 below.
Polyester
(Dacron)
Berthing,
Halyards,
Sheets
StrongLowExcellentExcellentSinksSee Note 2 below.
Polypropylene
(Geoprop)
Floating Marine Rescue LineModerateModerateModerate PoorFloatsSee Note 3 below
PolyethyleneFloating Marine Rescue LineModerateLow PoorModerateFloatsSee Note 4 below.
High Modulus Polyethylene - HMPE
(Dyneema)
(Spectra)
(Plasma)
Halyards,
Sheets,
Guys &
Control Lines
Very StrongEtremely Low ExcellentExcellentFloats -
High Modulus Polyester - Liquid Crystal Polymer
(Vectran)
Halyards,
Sheets,
Guys &
Control Lines
Very StrongZeroPoorPoorSinks-
High Modulus Polyamide -
Aramid
(Kevlar)
Halyards,
Sheets,
Guys &
Control Lines
Very StrongEtremely Low PoorPoorSinks-
Polyethylene Benzobis Oxazole - PBO
(zylon)
Halyards,
Sheets,
Guys &
Control Lines
Very StrongZero PoorPoorSinks-
RopeUsesStrengthStretchAbrasive
Resistance
UV ResistanceFloats
Sinks
Remarks


Note 1. When wet, Polyamide can loose up to 15% of its strength and shrinks.

Note 2. Polyester is the most suitable material for Braided covers on Yacht ropes.

Note 3. Polypropylene should NOT be used as Mooring or Berthing lines due to its poor UV Resistance. Its recommended use is to bring a manoverboard back alongside a vessel and effect recovery.

Note 4. Polyethylene is used for getting a manoverboard back alongside a vessel, ONLY.