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WildPony 07-12-2001 07:54 AM

Bungee Cord
Has anyone any comments on the reliablity of the wonderful invention, "the bungee cord". In other words, is there such a thing as over using them and does anyone else find them very useful on a boat?


goduke 07-12-2001 01:14 PM

Bungee Cord
If they are marine-grade bungee cords, there are thousands of uses. Do not use those with the plastic coated steel hooks (at least where rust is a concern). Use stainless, nylon or delrin ends. They probably should not be used for long-term storage or storm preparedness - especially when the boat will go unchecked for a while.

I make my own and use them for many things - mostly to hold things while underway (especially racing). I generally release them when not aboard.

JeffH 07-13-2001 03:16 AM

Bungee Cord
First of all, to be a little bit pedantic for a moment, on a boat "Bungee Cord" is more properly called ''shock cord''. Growing up in sailing it was considered rather luberly to call it ''bungee chord''. Another similar pet peeve is calling ''Fenders'' ''Bumpers''. I know I see this all the time including in catelogs but technically they are Fenders because they are they are there to fend off and not absorb collision.

Back to the topic, there are a lot of uses for shockchord on a boat. I have several sets of shockcord with a hook on one end permanently attached to my toerail at the bow that I can quickly pass across the deck to belay my jib in a hurry when I drop it. I have loops of shock chord on my docklines so that they do not abraid my topsides. I use these same loops to hold my docklines across the inboard end of my slip so I can pick up my stern lines without getting off the boat when I am single-handing. I use shock cord to secure the bottom of the fabric wind scoop that I set on my forward hatch. I don''t use it to secure sails as I think that the tension is too harsh on the fabric prefering to use traditional webbing sail ties in stead. I use shock chord to hold my tiller while I am singlehanding and need to leave the helm or to hold the tiller on center when I am not underway. I use shock chord to gielguy my halyards away from my mast. I use shock chord to hold open lockers and hold lockers shut. The list is nearly endless.

Good sailing

Snap 07-24-2001 06:30 PM

Bungee Cord
Great stuff, that shockcord. I also use it for tensioning the windscoop. There are some very nice "plastic" end fittings with snap shackles that can be used for numerous clean installations such as holding snatch blocks off the deck and securing a sun shield or awning. I have used it to hold a flaked main on the boom with no problems. I fit a series of stationary SS loops on one side of the boom and on the other side a series of SS split rings in a zigzag pattern with the loops. I installed a length of shockcord through the loops with sufficient length to span the flaked main w/o too much pressure being brought to bear upon the sail when in use. After lowering the main into a friend''s designed, retractable lazyjacks and flaking it onto the boom, standing on the side of the boom with the split rings and starting at the forward end of the sail one can bring the shockcord across the sail and ease it into the split rings working one''s way to the end of the boom. Obviously the luff of the main is much larger and requires more cord than the leech and that is the reason to work from from the forward end, lots of cord with which to work. My boom is some 18 feet long, the main rather large and, with the lazyjacks, my small wife has no trouble quickly flaking and securing the main while I tend the helm, have a cool one, nod approvingly and praise her for her gallant efforts.

danield515 11-16-2001 11:10 AM

Bungee Cord
Im with jeff on this. An important thing to remember that shockcord left in tension, will stretch out untill it no longer will no longer go any further. When not in use for a long period of time always take the tension off! It is alright to have enough tension to hold it to what it is tied to, but do not have it past 1/2 full stretch.


EtherCat 12-21-2001 08:28 PM

Bungee Cord
I use it for securing the solar panel to the coach roof, short ones for temporary sail ties, for hanging the VHF mic, and as Jeff mentioned, have had great success with using it as a ''poor man''s autopilot''

JEFryar 12-22-2001 10:38 AM

Bungee Cord
In my humble opinion only "DUCK TAPE" marine grade or otherwise has more uses on land or at sea...
Lighten up,

Jeff_H 12-22-2001 12:24 PM

Bungee Cord
Ehr... JEFryar, you seem to be the only one who is not taking this topic lightly. We are in the topic ''Learning to sail''. Part of learning to sail is to learn boat husbandry and proper terminology. I think it was as very appropriate to point out that non-marine grade shock chord often does not have UV protection and often have steel hooks that leave rust stains. I also think that at least in U.S. sailing circles ''shock chord'' is the proper name for the material that in other sports might be called Bungee Chord. When people come here in good faith to share ideas and learn then it is incumbent on those of us who respond to posts to at least try to provide accurate information. While you or the fellow who first asked the question might elect to eschew traditional nautical vocabulary and materials, it stills seem appropriate to provide the information based on our own experience and knowledge.


JEFryar 12-24-2001 05:01 AM

Bungee Cord
Respectfully Jeff,
I really think that incumbering a new sailor with the responsibility to look up the proper nautical term before uttering a question is one reason they do not ask questions. Usage of terms comes with using them.
I have read many of your answers. Your knowledge is more than apparent and I think a discussion with you over a beer or two would be a wonderful experience for both of us.
I think we would disagree in the basic philosophy of sailing. I am not a traditional sailor, or maybe that is just what I am. Sailing, being on the ocean and not at the dock, accepting a few rust stains along the way rather than not experimenting with a new idea, and using what works for me and my vessel is my guiding philosophy.
For example this season, which has not yet ended for me, I threw a new roller furling system overboard and went back to a hanked on foresail with a downhaul because it works for me and my vessel.Nuf said.
I appologise to the board for taking space up with this reply and the attempt at a little humor in my previous answer. Since I too answer a few questions I just wanted the board to know my phylosophy. Accept it or not, it is mine.
If we don''t correspond before,Merry Christmas to you and yours. The invitation for that beer is good any time your around Cape Cod.
Good Sailing

Jeff_H 12-24-2001 07:05 AM

Bungee Cord
I agree that we are approaching sailing from a different perspective. I really don''t expect new comers to use the proper terms when the ask questions. But by the same token, new comers, (At least those who want to learn the correct terminology) won''t learn if we, more experienced sailors, don''t pass along the proper vocabulary. While the Shockcord/Bungee cord, Fender/Bumper examples are distinctions without a material difference, such distinctions as guy vs sheet or the proper names of sailing rigs, are meaningful and should be passed along accurately.

And I too extend my best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas and if you ever get to Annapolis, the beer is on me.


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