Fishing Boats - Ropes and Chains
Ropes and chains are used for anchoring, mooring, docking etc on and around boats.
Chains are made from iron/steel and they also comes in various sizes and strengths. They are much heavier than ropes, but they are also much durable (sun, sand, rocks, salt etc). Also, their weight is very useful for anchoring since chain's weight act as a buffer. From time to time, it can be beneficial to wash them with ordinary water and perhaps to paint them.
Ropes come in various sizes and are made from various materials. For most users it is not so important if one uses, for example, 'S' or 'Z' twisted rope. Things to consider are:
- materials - artificial materials are stronger and much easier to maintain than ropes made from natural fibers
- holding weight is usually weight given in pounds or kilograms (or tons) that rope can sustain in air without breaking/damaging
- resistance to sunlight, sand particles, salt water - modern materials used for ropes are often sensitive to UV lights, but many ropes these days come with UV protection. Such protection usually protect from small sharp particles (sand, salt) entering rope interior (where can make plenty of damage and lower rope's holding weight). However, it is good practice to wash ropes with ordinary water from time to time and to keep them stored away from the sun.
- thickness is usually given in inches or millimeters (centimeters). For smaller boats, main ropes have thickness around 1" (2.5 cm) - such ropes are very strong, durable (but don't abuse the ropes by walking on them and similar) and easy to hold with a good grip. Thinner ropes can be often used, but ropes thinner than 1/2" (1.27 cm) are hard to get a good hold when pulling something heavy
- elasticity is measure how much rope can stretch without damage. Too stiff ropes can break under dynamic loads (for example, in windy conditions)