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Thread: Jet Boat and Amsteel Rope

  1. #1
    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Default Jet Boat and Amsteel Rope

    Anyone use this Amsteel rope when trying to pull a stuck jet boat off a sand bar? I'm thinking about getting some and having a hard time believing this light rope will do what they say it will hold/breaking point. I run my boat across a scale several years ago and with a full load of fuel (105 gal) and all gear (no passengers) it was 5600 lbs. Yes it was on a trailer when I done it. This Amsteel rope is rated 5/16" 12,300 lbs and 3/8" 17,000 lbs. I'm wondering if I'm stuck and have another boat try and pull me off, what kind of pull/force poundage power may be generated. This rope is expensive, but if it will hold up to another boat pulling you off a bar, I guess it is worth it. Okay what is your feeling on this.

    My boat is a 22' TJ inboard with a 1/2 hard top
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    I don't think that amsteel is the right rope for pulling with another boat because it has no stretch, its like towing with cable just snap/bang when it comes tight, unlike nylon that stretches and has that shock factor built into it.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Wut he said....you will be breakin stuff. Stretch is good for pulling with other vehicles....boing - pops you out like a sunday morning.......O - nevermind.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would be nervous about pulling with a stretchy rope, if I can't budge the load then I assume the rope will pull be backwards. My boat is not very hydrodynamic in reverse and I can just see my little hole in the water getting filled in.

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    A stretchy rope is good for pulling IF you can anchor the puller after applying the tension. Like stepping on the brakes. Also good for long distance towing.
    A snatch and grab like this might be better achieved with a low stretch rode. Let the water take the shock.

    We use the Amsteel at work. We use it to pull big wire, cable and rigs out of the hole they are stuck in. It is some tough stuff. You can believe the break rating.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I didn't think about getting pulled backwards if the stuck boat stays stuck....

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    As mentioned it isn`t intended for yanking...steady loading it works great. Alot of the vehicles I`ve run with offroad have used it with good results except for when nicked. You will need to use proper knots as well or it will break there every time. Sun also takes it`s toll.


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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Any time you think about pulling on anything with your boat there are a lot of considerations to be made, hopefully well in advance (as opposed to "on the fly"... my most commonly employed consideration!)

    I keep a 600 foot spool of the 1/2" amsteel on hand in case I ever need to use it with the capstan winch... to pull a big boat like your taking off anything serious, I've often had to double up through a snatchblock to get it moving. Of course, using a capstan winch brings with it a bunch of safety considerations in that its a trap waiting to remove your fingers or worse if you let the rope wrap or snare you and it slips. It also will make a believer of you that even 1/2" amsteel has a certain amount of stretch... more than you'll feel comfortable with when using that capstan if you have half a head on your shoulders.... although its still my weapon of choice for a long pull and once you familiarize yourself with the risks and compensate for them you ought to be good to go...

    Certainly, with amsteel or any other ropes, you need to be aware of the "slingshot effect" should your rigging go bad. I've heard too many horror stories of winchlines whipping back with all or parts of their rigging and killing, cecapitating, even amputating leggs from innocent bystanders. (mostly from my days of running winch truck or cat on the slope) the thought of dealing with such an event on the river really has my respect any time we start dealing with stuck boats and lines.

    You never want to "hard link" (ask your rock climber buddies about this if you need more definition) I ripped countless bow eyes and stern eyes off before I learned this lesson... no hooking up with clips or carabiners or hardlinks... I even had a 5/8 nylon rope rip the bow eye of an aluminum boat plumb off when I had it side loaded even though I had no "hard link". If you think about it, having any metal (even the half of the bow eye) coming flying back at you when it breaks free is a very dangerous thing... to tell the truth, even with all "soft links" a knot in a 1/2 rope can kill you or really ruin your day if it comes back at you.

    If you do intend to tugboat the deal, try pulling upstream if at all possible... then if the rope loads and consequently pulls you backwards, its pulling you with the current which if a much better situation for "transom protection".... if you need to pull down river, pulling in reverse is an option, even you can just sort of hang there and let the current work in your favor... at least your bow is facing the danger... a rule I had beat into me from my first whitewater rafting lessons...

    Of course, I'l talking about bigger boats here too, a flatbottomed, or open boat brings a whole bunch of more challenges with respect to swamping.

    I'll always make sure to have a line tender in the back, and that they get down below the transom before I load the line. Everyone needs to have a sharp knife handy in case you need to get loose in a hurry... even for the most benign of rope use on a river.

    If I know we're going to play stuck games and be towing with boats, I rig 3/4" double braid loops in the bow eye and each stern eye of the tow boat and the stuck boat too, then tie my 1/2" double braid tow rope into those tow loops to eliminate the hardlink situation, I tie my towline loops into them with bowlines, they seem to bethe fastest to tie and the easiest to untie afterwards, and least likely to break, I tie big long loops too so when they do snap the Knot isnt the last thing on the rope, (and if you start hooking towlines bwtween boats, its a given that you wll be snapping lines) that extra line in the loop tends to work with gravity and friction to pull the knot down to the surface and slow it down vs letting it go airborn head high and unfettered to your niggin.

    Just a few thoughts for consideration from my school of bad decisions!

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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    I use amsteel on my ocean boat. I got 500' of amsteel followed by 70' of 3 strand, and 60 of chain. the 3 strand is necessary for some elasticity and to keep the pick set. The amsteel is very stiff and doesn't budge a inch, not sure it would be the best for pulling or towing.
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    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good info, a lot to think about. Chriso, when you say never hard link, I'm not sure how you are hooking up. Do you use a break away rope in the hook up point and the hook to the break away. Sounds good but confused on how to rig it up.
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  11. #11
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    I never hook anything metal into your bow or stern eyes... in fact, never hook anything metal to metal... thats the worst combination for breaking stuff, sometimes even things will break from the twisting motion if you go metal to metal. ROck climbers always seperate their carabiners from their anchors with a small nylon sling to prevent this. Of course when pulling a jetboat you arent worried about falling, but the slingshot effect with metal involved can be devastating.

    I'll try get some pics dug out, but like I said, if I know we're going to be getting stuck and pulling back and forth a bunch, I've found that 3/4" double braid nylon just barely fits through the eves on most standard welded bow and stern eyes, if you are doing your pulling with a 5/8" doublebraid and rig your attachements out of this 3/4" stuff, you can be pretty much assured any breaking will occur on the smaller line and you wont have that big knot on the 3/4" ever coming back your way.

    So, once I have loops hanging on both the bow and stern of both boats, we have the flexibility to tie the tow rope between them easily. And like I said, I try to leave a large (3 foot of larger) diameter loop in my 5/8" tow line where I tie it to the stuck boat, and to the tow boat as well. This way I have no metal in the system to come flinging back at me if/when I snap something (I've actually yet to break my 5/8" and its been going on 4 seasons now.... I've pulled lots of boats off with 1/2" but I've snapped it a lot, which is why I finally broke loose with the cash and got the 5/8")

    When we set up to tug, I try leave enough slack to just barely get on step before it loads up, once I get on step I pull power to the bare minimum to stay on step, and when I feel the line loading up I power into my jet and load it as mch as I can before it cavitates (with my hami that is, I've jet to cavitate that scott!)

    I know I said not to side load the system, but I admit I always try to pul from about 10-15 degrees off center, if you twist the stuck boat slightly as you start pulling, you break suction much easier and will then expend your energy towing the boat instead of spinning out trying to get it broke free from the suction factor..

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    Chris, is it a good idea to use the pump gaurd as an attatchment piont?

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    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Thanks Chriso, hope to see the pictures. I have talked with you several times on another jet boat forum from the lower 48 and got a lot of good info. Been trying to get up your way and take a tour with one of your boats, but have not made it yet. It is a must do.

    Ha pumper are you talking about the swim step supports that run down next to the jet? Lots of good info!!!!!
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    yes, just giving chris a bad time

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    Nobody ever "proved" that was me who tied off there did they? I thought you "fix it" guys were sort of sworn to secrecy and all that kind of like a defense lawyer arent you?

    If a pump guard cant take the pulling, it probably aint strong enough to protect a jet from my uses!

    Its after you've destroyed the guard, ripped loose the stern and bow eyes, dropped the capstan winch into the water so many times it wont start anymore, shredded the parachute, buried all your deadman, and are down to about 60ft of usable rope... that stuff really starts to get torn up!

  16. #16

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    chriso,

    That was very good information you posted.

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