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Hi All,
I'm a new boat owner and have certainly been learning a lot.
Can someone tell me what the purpose of rigging tape is?

It *seems* to me that it is mostly used for holding in cotter pins. But I get the feeling that some people are using it for more than just that....I feel like I must be missing something.

2nd part of the question: Any thoughts on using that new self adhesive silicone, "rescue tape" stuff instead of what basically looks like white electrical tape?

thanks!
 

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Hi All,
I'm a new boat owner and have certainly been learning a lot.
Can someone tell me what the purpose of rigging tape is?

It *seems* to me that it is mostly used for holding in cotter pins. But I get the feeling that some people are using it for more than just that....I feel like I must be missing something.
Yes, it's to keep the split rings in and keep lines and sails from snagging on it.

2nd part of the question: Any thoughts on using that new self adhesive silicone, "rescue tape" stuff instead of what basically looks like white electrical tape?

thanks!
Yes, it works better but is more expensive. I go through about 2 rolls of vinyl tape a year racing on other peoples boats, so they get the cheap stuff.
 

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Good rigging tape is rubberized. You stretch it when you wrap your fitting, and then it melds itself into a more or less solid mass that will likely need a knife to cut open when you want to pull the rig at the end of the season. Maybe the "rescue tape" is similar to this. Tape not only keeps cotter pins & rings in place, and keeps sails from getting snagged, but can also help to cut down on chafe: spreader tips, for example.
 

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I like the Dupont vinyl plastic tape which is the “rigging” tape at the chandleries. You can get the same stuff for cheaper at your local hardware store or Frye’s Electronics. I also use butyl rubber tape to build up areas (like where the lifelines attach to the pulpit) then tape over with the rigging tape.
 

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My experience with Rescue Tape on topside fittings is that UV damages it quickly and it breaks. Rigger's tape is the way to go.
 

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If anyone is depending on the rigging tape to keep cotter pins in they are installing the pins incorrectly. A pin that is opened 15 degrees will not fall out.

The tape is used to keep sails and lines from snagging on the pins.

I have used rigging tape to make a bandaid in the past - a little paper towel and some antibiotic ointment and it will not fall off when soaking wet.:)
 

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I have used rigging tape to make a bandaid in the past - a little paper towel and some antibiotic ointment and it will not fall off when soaking wet.:)
I did the same thing last week...deep cut on index finger. No first aid kit available but a piece of paper towel and rigging tape put enough pressure on to stop the bleeding and prevent a mess. I removed it about six hours later when I got home after working on the boat for the rest of the day. Better than a band aid.
 

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I've always used duct tape and replaced it as necessary… I use the patterned "Duck" brand tapes. Right now Miz A has 'Hello Kitty' taped to her fittings.

Depending on how your fittings are set up, be sure to tape them such that the tape doesn't trap water. I did that by accident and husband caught it or it could have been messy, and of course rust isn't good for the rigging :)
 

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Duct Tape leaves behind a really sticky mess that seems like it could make further turnbuckle adjustment really messy. Rigging tape sticks to itself, but not the turnbuckles, so when you remove it everything is very clean. Rescue tape works similarly, but I don't think it will last as long out in the sun.

Rigging tape isn't that expensive, a roll of it will last you a very long time.
 

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Oh, to answer the original question, here're some things I used tape for. Bear in mind that I race of club J/24s that I have neither the permission nor inclination to make changes to, so I use tape for a lot of things that I'd just fix if it were my boat.

* Taping cotter pins/ring-dings to keep them in place and from snagging things
* Taping closed pelican hook on lifelines to keep them from opening unexpectedly
* Keeping loose snap shackles from opening unexpectedly
* Fixing damaged whipping on lines
* Taping the downhaul bridle to spin poles (boats don't have a foreguy)
* Streamlining exposed bolts, mooring line fairleads, etc that might snag lines/sails
* Attaching the topping lift to the side stays
* Giving the vang some girth so a blown-out cleat can grab it
* etc...

Suffice to day, I don't keel okay on a boat unless I have my tape with me. (And I go through like 4 rolls a year.)
 

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White 3M Super 33

7 mil electrical insulating tape that applies well in broad temperature range. Flame-retardant, hot- and cold-weather resistant; resists UV rays, abrasion, moisture, alkalies, acids and corrosion.

cheep everyplace works well
 
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