Let’s talk about the Strop on your mooring

Date posted: 14 March 2014

Before we get started talking about strops, let me point out that the new trend for using Carabina’s for attaching your boat to a swing mooring, is a real no! no! Apparently three boats have escaped from their mooring in Fowey (England), each of them was attached using a carabina. Carabinas are not designed for the purpose of attaching yachts to moorings. Ok for tenders but not yachts.

Carabeanna's should not be used for morring

Carabeanna’s should not be used for mooring

(The picture showing a Carabina hanging lose was taken in Fowey Harbour, the yacht was 8 metres.)
Your Strop should be shackled to the buoy. Choose a shackle (galvanised or stainless steel) where the pin has a hole on its turning end. Using a cable tie, push it through the hole on the pin and back through the shackle, so that when the sea is rising and falling, and the boat is twisting around in the wind or on the tide, the shackle pin won’t come undone.
When making up your Strop, your rope should be twice the freeboard of the boat, remember to allow at least an additional half a metre of rope for splicing at both ends of the Strop.
You will need to work out which rope (leadline) to use for your Strop; this was quite a good chart.
You will also need a length of plastic water hose, threaded onto your chosen mooring rope, having the hose will stop the wear across the rope where it rubs on the roller. My hose was really tricky to tread onto the rope,  so I squirted washing up liquid into the hose; this helped ease the rope through. You need the tube tight, so that it doesn’t slip down the Strop.
There are various thimbles available on the market for your Strop; I would suggest you purchase a galvanised steel one, in preference to a plastic thimble.
So you will need to splice around the thimble, and splice a loop to place round your cleat, don’t forget to measure your cleat before you start splicing.
I wasn’t particularly good at splicing, so I looked up splicing on you tube, and literally went with the video step by step, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3BeIfCuDXM ) I chose a three cord floating rope for mine, which was easy to splice. Once the rope was spliced, I wrapped black insulating tape round each lose end and then set fire to these to seal the individual ends, two years later they still haven’t unraveled.

home made strop on tarmac

Home made strop


As my rope was floating, we attached lead below the hose, which kept the hose in the right position and rope underwater. On the cleat end of the strop we attached a floating pick up buoy.
It should be remembered that it is important to maintain your mooring Strops, check them regularly. Check with your local water authority or harbour authority for their rules and regulations with regard to mooring strops.

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If you have any advice to sailors with regard to making their own Strops please leave a comment.

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