Synthetic Rope Comparison
Comparing the Major Synthetic Rope Materials
When deciding what rope best suits your need, it is often a matter of compromise.
There are 5 major synthetic ropes in use for boat and marine applications. Polypropylene, Polyester, Nylon, UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) and Aramids (Kevlar®, Technora®, Vectran®, etc). Each has outstanding virtues and each has faults.
Rope Manufacturers often combine different fibers and add specialized coatings in order to benefits from the good quality of each material.
This is often the case of ropes like Kevlar® which are very strong but UV sensitive and water absorbent.
Synthetic Rope Comparison Table
||Dinghy Mainsheets, Rescue and tow lines, Water ski lines, light anchor lines.
Shoreline Marine Polypropylene Anchor Line, 1/4-Inch x 100-Feet
Rope King HBP-381000Y Hollow Braided Poly Rope - Yellow - 3/8 inch x 1,000 feet
||Stretch reduces shock load so Anchor lines, Some tow lines, Mooring lines, Safety lines.
Attwood Nylon Twisted Anchor Line with Thimble (1/2-Inchx100-Feet)
Norestar Braided Nylon Anchor Rope, 150-Feet x 3/8-Inch
||Best all round line when you don't need ultra strong or light lines. Most common halyard rope material for boat use.
1/2" X 100' Double Braid/Yacht Braid Premium Polyester Halyard Rigging Line
1/4" By 100 Feet Double Braided Polyester Rope
||High performance yacht lines, winch lines, fishing lines.
AMSTEEL BLUE WINCH ROPE 1/4 inch x 50 ft - MILITARY GREEN (9,200 lb strength) (4X4 VEHICLE RECOVERY)
AMSTEEL BLUE WINCH ROPE 1/2 inch x 100 ft Blue (34,000 lb strength) (4X4 VEHICLE RECOVERY)
Kevlar, Twaron®, Technora®, Nomex®
||Winch lines, Sometimes as steel rope replacement where weight saving is important. Used in large ships where having a non conductive cable with no electromagnetic interference is useful. Not much used in boats except for stays. Lifting straps, paracord/survival line.
X-cords Paracord 850 Lb Stronger Than 550 and 750 Made By US Government Certified Contractor (100' BLACK DIAMOND KEVLAR ON SPOOL)
SGT KNOTS® Technora 950 Survival Cord - 100 Feet
HRC has technora/nomex sheath.
New England Rope New England HRC X 50 ft
This synthetic rope comparison is offered for general information. New materials are developed every day.
I try to be accurate and check my figures, but mistakes happen. Check the suitability of any material against the technical information provided by the manufacturer.
Many of the strength figures I quote come from Wikipedia or from the actual manufacturer if available. I sometimes make mistakes (!!?!) in transcribing the data.
There are many companies manufacturing synthetic fibres to be used in ropes. They have many different trade names. I have not tested any of these other than in a casual sailor use. I don't make specific recommendations of specific brands. It's useful to have links in order to compare prices and availability, my links are not endorsements.email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine [HOME]