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What type of rope or line can be cauterized

Discussion in 'Ask A Hunter Owner' started by Jimongee, Jun 12, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jimongee


    Joined Jun 17, 2012
    106 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Boyne City
    I need to purchase a few different diameters of rope or lines to be used to secure my dinghy out of the water to the transom. In the past I have purchased rope or line only to discover once it was cut burning the end did not stop the fray. So does anyone know what rope or line material can be successfully heat cauterized?

  2. SG


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    945 posts, 136 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Polyester or nylon will work. You might mess with a polypropylene floating line, I am not a fan of them.

  3. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,176 posts, 298 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Generally, what I do with either three strand or double braid synthetic rope to prevent it from fraying is:
    1. Tight wrap the cut area with electrical tape.
    2. Cut the rope in the center of the electrical tape.
    3. Make a three quarter inch whip stitch up to about one eight inch from the end of the cut.
    4. Use a flame to melt the very tip of the rope.

    This has worked well over the years. Melting the tip alone works better with double braid than three strand, but after considerable use both will fray. Whip stitching over the electrical tape helps to stop fraying due to use or exposure to the elements.

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  4. Joe


    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,382 posts, 300 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego

    Ken13559 likes this.
  5. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,382 posts, 963 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Does nobody backsplice anymore?
    For securing a dinghy to your transom, have you considered adjustable straps instead of rope? The way you wrote it, I'm guessing you aren't hanging your dinghy on davits.

    -Will (Dragonfly)

  6. Hunter Ad Bot

    Hunter Ad Bot

    Joined Oct 27, 2016
    0 posts, 10 likes
    US Seattle
    Hunter props, shafts, struts, and cutless bearings


    See the product

  7. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,487 posts, 240 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    Years back I did most of my lines like Joe. Sadly the whipping line has started to unravel on some of the lines so I covered the whipping with shrink tube. They appear to be very secure now.

    Ken13559 likes this.
  8. Ron20324


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,059 posts, 521 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    You can get a rope-cutting blade for a pistol-grip soldering gun. The smaller guns might have to have the 2 sockets drilled out to fit the blade piece. I tape the line, then melt-cut it through the tape. Cauterizes the tape, too.

  9. BigEasy


    Joined Jun 21, 2004
    827 posts, 151 likes
    Beneteau 343
    US Slidell, LA
    After I whip the line with thread, I seal the whipping with Starbrite liquid line whip / sealer. It’s clear so it looks good and lasts for years. If it appears to be weathering, just re-coat.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  10. Apex


    Joined Jun 19, 2013
    724 posts, 72 likes
    Oday 28
    US Traverse City
    anything except natural fibers will burn/melt. I have used Joe's whipping in combination with a hot knife with great success.

  11. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,648 posts, 2,020 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    You can't just melt the ends of class 2 rope, covered in particular. Spectra does not melt well at all, and does so at a different temperature than polyester. The two will never adhere to each other.

    I use a electric knife I got online from for 15 bucks; works great on Class 1 line. In all cases I put a lock stitch in the end to keep the core and cover together.

  12. Parsons


    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    519 posts, 151 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    My go-to resource for line information is APS -
    Click on the line, and they give you multiple factors including creep, stretch, water resilience, and MELTING!
    I don't work there, just a happy customer. Not knocking our own SBO, just saying they have more info.

  13. Joe


    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,382 posts, 300 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    This is a good point. I have made a number of halyards and control lines with dyneema core and polyester cover. Lock stitching is mandatory and very easy. Every ten or fifteen feet is adequate. I still whip the non spliced end after lock stitching. I haven't tried the "liquid whip" products on the hybrid lines yet...

  14. isaksp00


    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    892 posts, 47 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Lake Wallenpaupack
    I use a hot knife from Harbor Freight - adequate so far. But I only do simple nylon 3-strand or braided.

  15. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,487 posts, 240 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    Thanks for the tip. I covered a length of Dyneema which we use to pull the outboard up to the pushpit for traveling and the cover seems to stretch a little more with age. The Dyneema was a bit small and slippery so the cover makes it better on the hands and my wife can lead it to a winch so she can grind it up while I steady it from banging the boat.