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What I learned replacing deck lines on a Cetus


alcoons

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Much of what is below is probably very obvious, but I learned a lot of little things replacing my deck lines for the first time on my Cetus. Of course, other boats are different. So, for what it is worth, here are some observations that may or may not generalize to other boats:

  • Cetus has wonderful allen-bolt fasteners for the deck line cleats rather than screws. There are no nuts, just fiberglassed threaded receptacles ready to accept the bolts so you do not have to work from both sides.
  • The plastic cleats have two holes in them so purchasing the correct size bungee and line does matter a great deal. I purchased replacement bungees and line from P&H. Relatively expensive, but the right stuff and right overall quantity.
  • The existing lines and bungees had rubber shrink rap around the end of each line. While P&H supplied new shrink rap sleeves, they were actually smaller than the line and need a special, expensive tool to install.
  • The line was very difficult to thread through some of the cleat holes since it was almost the same size. Melting the end just made it worse. However, and this is my big discovery, the local hardware store had plastic shrink-wrap sleeves of different diameters. So, cut the line, place the sleeve on the end, heat it with a lighter and you have a great looking end. This made it easy to thread the line. However, it was still too big in some cases to thread through the holes. Solution: Cut the line leaving just the tiniest piece of sleeve still on the line. That seemed to work (along with a lobster pick if necessary).

I am sure there are better ways to do this and would love to hear about them.

Al

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When I replace the lines, I trim the new line at an angle when I cut it with a hot knife, it allows you to 'thread' a bit through and then gives you something to hold on to.

I don't bother with shrink wrapping the ends. Just tie them off. It does look nicer with the shrink wrap though.

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Thanks Suz. Rookie question: what is the best way to create a "hot knife"? Box cutter?? over stove or lighter or ??

Old school weller soldering iron's have wide rope cutting tips.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Weller-RCT-Rope-Cutting-Tip-fits-8200-9200-Soldering-Gun-Solder-Iron-/300636177730

Edited by jason
Added a link to a cutting tip.
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Thanks Suz. Rookie question: what is the best way to create a "hot knife"? Box cutter?? over stove or lighter or ??

Good question. My husband has one and it is a very useful tool to have in the barn (barn - that's the operative word and allows you to own special purpose tools). Before I would have a camp stove lit and then heat up the end and a knife on a cutting board it allows you to slice at an angle. You sacrifice a cutting board and a knife for the job.

I bet the hot knife is cheap - doesn't look like any more technology than a hot wax gun...

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I have used a utility knife (or box cutter) blade held with a pair of locking pliers over a flame. w/ block of wood for cutting on. Mostly I light the end and roll it under my shoe or pinch the flame in a rag.

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I always shrink-wrap the ends of <my> lines without any problem, Al. If your hardware store only sells one size of wrap, then you need to look elsewhere -- try a ship chandler or fishermen's outfitter. The sizes available are many.

What subject you <didn't> raise (and might be useful for others renewing their decklines) is that of tensioning the lines. When you go to tie the knot at the end of the line, are you left with slack lines? By adding another two foot or so of line, you will then have adequate cord to go back on yourself and use truckers' hitch for tightness, which is then always an option for tightening after rescue practice or similar...

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