Having just returned from the Annapolis boat show I saw quite a few new and innovative products that you will soon see aboard many high-end boats, but one of the items that most impressed me was a simple and inexpensive piece of gear that should be part of every mariner’s arsenal. The item was Chafe-Pro chafing gear for dock lines, mooring lines, and anywhere you want to fight wear and tear on your lines.
Someone I met at the show mentioned that during the passage of Hurricane Irene through New England about four boats broke loose in his harbor due to mooring pennants chafing through. And, these were special polyester-nylon combo pennants designed to take lots of abuse. Quality chafing gear could have prevented this problem.
Chafe-Pro comes in sizes and materials suitable for commercial and pleasure boat use. I examined some designed for lines from 3/8-inch to 1-inch in diameter, which would be very suitable for pleasure boat use. It is made of a very heavy, black nylon material, which the company claims is very highly resistant to abrasion and UV, and has good strength and stretch characteristics. But, the characteristic that was most obvious at the boat show was that it features full-length hook and loop type fastening material that allows a boat owner to tightly wrap a line and have the material seal back on itself, while at the same time gripping the line tightly. The result, according to the manufacturer, is chafing gear that does not allow the line to saw back and forth through the chafing gear. Chafe-Pro sticks to the line, meaning the chafing gear takes all of the abuse when your boat is surging in the waves.