Sailboat Line Materials: What is Nylon Line? | Expert Advice

Nylon Dock Line

Nylon line is a commonly used thermoplastic found in many everyday items. It has long been used in the modern marine industry for dock lines and anchor rodes (a fancy anchoring term for ‘line’).Nylon

When used alone (not blended with another line material), Nylon line serves as a well functioning dock line material. Nylon is naturally semi-elastic, abrasion resistant, and fairly flexible. These traits make it easy to hold onto and tie off your boat.

For dock lines, Nylon will give you peace-of-mind knowing that the boat movement caused by waves and winds will be absorbed by its elasticity. In other words, Nylon dock lines wont pull the horn cleats off the deck of your boat.

Nylon Line

Recently you can find Nylon line blended with a stronger line material, such as dyneema. This combination can often be found as a mainsheet that’s low-stretch (dyneema), but is also easy to grip (nylon).

Characteristics of Nylon:

  • Very elastic/stretchy
    • Helps cushion the boat to docks/moorings/anchors
    • Reduces strain on cleats and deck hardware
  • Incredibly strong
  • Has great UV resistance
    • Only slightly less UV resistant than Polyester
  • Less expensive than most comparable materials
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Flexible and easy to handle


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