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How to winterise your ropes properly

Along with chafing, salt and UVs are ropes’ worst enemies. So, if you wish to extend the lifespan of your sailboat’s running rigging significantly, we strongly advise you take time to winterise it. It will also avoid the need to remove the mould that will have taken up residence on board while you were away. Wintering ropes is very simple as long as it is done with care:

 

  • The first thing to do is to rinse all ropes with fresh water. You can do that before removing your ropes, or after, by washing them in the washing machine, at low temperature (silky touch guaranteed!).
  • The removal of all the lines is a very quick operation if they are fitted with a messenger line termination *. This loop formed by the cover at the end of the rope allows a line (the messenger) to be tied with a bowline knot. This is the best way to remove or rig a rope without the risk of losing it in the mast or the boom, and to be able to run it easily through the clutches.
  • Finally, unrigging is an excellent opportunity to check the condition of the ropes. If they are damaged, check that it is normal wear and tear and not a defect caused by the surface of one of the deck hardware elements (sheaves, blocks, winches, etc.). ).

Many of you follow our ropework tutorials on our blog. Many of you also ask us technical questions about materials, rope structures, textile connectors, etc. Good news! All the answers to your questions can be found in the “Modern Ropework & Sailing Knots” guide, published in partnership with Voile Magazine.

The first comprehensive guidebook on modern ropework that compiles detailed step-by-step tutorials, enriched with suggestions on how to work more efficiently and avoid certain pitfalls. A comprehensive introduction gives the essential information about the different materials, rope structures, tools and vocabulary to enable you to learn by yourself.