Don’t Underestimate Good Rope Maintenance

Raritan Engineering Company your marine sanitation experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding great ways to keep your ropes clean and in great shape.

Your marine sanitation suppliers discusses how if you didn’t remove your running rigging last winter, then there is a good chance you’ll be coming back to sheets and halyards coated in dirt, mold, and mildew.

• Wash only with a very mild detergent. For relatively new ropes, this means something like Woolite or a half-dose of a modern laundry detergent. For the first few years, ropes still contain thread coatings and lubricants from the factory that provide an easy hand, as well as offer some protection from UV radiation, abrasion, and water absorption.

• Avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvents. Both polyester and nylon (polyamide) are vulnerable to certain chemicals, so manufacturers broadly warn against using them. However, both nylon and polyester are unaffected by most solvents. Nylon is particularly vulnerable to acid. Strong acids such as battery acid or muriatic acid can literally melt right through a nylon rope in a matter of minutes.

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• Fabric softener at recommended doses is approved. However, high doses of fabric softener can weaken ropes, primarily because they prevent complete drying.

• Power washing is not recommended. While it can be an effective method for cleaning marine growth from mooring pendants and dock lines, a power washer in the hands of an inexperienced operator can do significant damage.

• Bleach is not recommended by any manufacturer in any quantity. Every manufacturer has faced claims of rope failure or splice failure caused by a bleach overdose. Extended soaking in bleach solutions must be avoided.

• Hot water is not a problem. Nylon and polyester are undamaged at normal water-heater temperatures (120 to 135 degrees).

• Don’t dry with heat. The rope should be flaked loosely on the floor and left to dry. Nylon and polyester ropes are not typically heat-set, and there is great risk that the sheath and core will shrink differently, causing distortion and structural damage to the rope.

• Bleach is very bad (again). This one is worth repeating. Each spring, riggers are asked to re-do splices that have come loose after bleach ate the stitching and whippings that secured the splices.

So don’t forget these important reminders for keeping your ropes clean and in great shape. 1) Wash your ropes with only a mild detergent;  2) never use bleach;  and 3) make generous use of hot water.

Centuries-Old Sailing Ship Washes Up On Florida beach

A 48-foot section of an old sailing ship has washed ashore on a Florida beach, thrilling researchers who are rushing to study it before it’s reclaimed by the sea. The Florida Times-Union reports the well-preserved section of a wooden ship’s hull washed ashore overnight Tuesday on Florida’s northeastern coast. 

Julie Turner and her 8-year-old son found the wreckage on Ponte Vedra Beach Wednesday morning. At first, Turner thought it was a piece of a pier or fence, but then, she realized it was a centuries-old ship that had washed ashore.

“We walked and checked it out and immediately knew it was a historical piece of artifact”. 

Researchers with the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum have been documenting the artifact and say it could date back as far as the 1700s. Marc Anthony, who owns Spanish Main Antiques, told WJAX-TV it’s extremely rare for wreckage to wash ashore.

“To actually see this survive and come ashore. This is very, very rare. This is the holy grail of shipwrecks,” Anthony said.

Museum historian Brendan Burke told the newspaper that evidence suggests the vessel was once sheeted in copper, and that crews found Roman numerals carved on its wooden ribs.

Buy sanitation equipment here at Raritan Engineering and see how we provide you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

Be sure to watch our latest video on marine sanitation below. 

via Fast and Easy Rope Cleaning

via Centuries-Old Sailing Ship Washes Up On Florida beach