Thursday, April 24, 2014

Want Your Ropes to Wear Like Iron? Maxijacket!

Drew at Sail Delmarva is hard at work again. He has built two machines for torture testing rope, and has discovered a product that we should all have aboard. Read on...
I investigated this product primarily on a whim. A magazine editor had asked about it in passing, and someone had given me a sample of a related product, Spinlock RP25. I didn't expect a whole lot from some liquid coating, or at least not the results I would get from some physical covering. And I was dead wrong.

Both were sawed on the grindstone for 4 minutes: Spinlock RP25 on the top and Maxijacket on the bottom. As a baseline, bare rope looked like the RP25 in 2 minutes.
The Spinlock RP25 does have its applications too. It performs better on HMPE ropes (Amseel et. al.), reducing both wear and cover/core slippage, and has the flexibility to use on running sections of rope. I'l use RP25 on section of my Amsteel lifelines.

Who would think a simple coating could out-last plain rope by 6-8 times? Who would think it could out-last clear vinyl tubing by 10 times? Where the grindstone could cut a rope in half in 5 minutes, with Maxijacket it is barely scuffed.

Applications? I'm testing many things, mostly applications where traditional chafing gear doesn't fit. Defender marine is dipping all of the chain-to-rope splices, and Brian Toss tells me he's dipping most halyard splices. The furler drum exit is a tough spot, particularly if you use the genoa partly furled much.

Mooring lines, with and without coating. I tried chafe gear, but it kept creeping off. This is easier to clip and extends the life of the wear section to match the rest of the line.

Topping lift. Abrasion was the problem, so I used some webbing as a thimble and dipped the whole knot. This allows me to down-size from 3/8" to 5/16", saving some windage.

Just too good not to share. It seems impossible that a product resembling thick latex varnish (you can get clear and colors) can make such a a difference. While West Marine charges more than you want for more than you need, Knot and Rope sell a small jar--probably all a sailor needs for a few years-- for $7.10. A bargain.


 It seems my marine science project business has gotten completely out-of-control, with no less than 9 projects underway plus follow-ups. Clear vinyl, glycols and coolants, rope, vapor filters. Then there are possible investigations into heater efficiency and operation. Crazy... and fun.

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