Lifetime guaranteed elastic...

Common problem. The winch traveler loop popped its elastic after about a two year run, so now I must replace it. Again.

I was using some elastic supplied originally from Germany, but let’s guess it was probably a little oxidized before I installed it.

There must be a hundred ways to come up with an elastic insert for traveler loops. I have seen it done with rubber bands, o-rings, homemade o-rings created by sectioning a rubber hose, Model airplane rubber (pirelli contest rubber, even.)

Just wondering what lasts a really long time, in your experience and, whatever the solution – where did you source the stuff?

Thank you for your insights.


party hat elastics or anti dust mask elastics

Party hats & dust masks use cheap rubber bands… I have a dust mask in the drawer and I pulled the rubber, and it broke. :frowning:

AFAIK, there is no rubber or elestic thing that doesn’t get old and break. It’s the sulfur and other vulcanizing agents ( and the heat used) that causes the rubber to start oxidizing as soon as it gets into the air.

Some car collector guys use lanolin on the tyres of the old cars to keep them soft.

Michael, here in New Zealand some of us use “Docking Rings”.:tapedshut:evil:
No, dont laugh, they seem to last a couple of years and they are so cheap to buy. My funny story is that when I went to purchase a supply I expected to buy say 10 or so. [b]Hello[/b], they are sold by the pound or Kilo in our case. I bought the minimum amount which I cant remember now as it was so long ago.:mouse:
I have attached a link to show those who haven`t a clue what I am talking about.
Michael, where do you live in the world? If you would like to update your profile we will all know.
If you would like me to send you a few docking rings then let me know.:flirt:

I thought UV wasn’t too good for rubber as well?!

Yeah, UV too, but I usually include UV light (or sunlight) with exposure to air ( I mean the air outside your garage or house).


Ian -
thanks for the photo - I needed it, as my mind was … well … I guess I thought docking rings might have a …well … ummmm … different connotation if you know what I mean?

Michael - The only thing I have used that retains it’s elasticity is surgical rubber tubing. I also have seen instances of someone using 1/8 inch diameter bungee cord - and it can usually be purchased at big-boat retail stores like WEST MARINE, or similar. In both cases they were used for tension on the sheet line to keep it from coming off the winch drum. Another place to look is in the sewing notions area (WalMart, JoANN Fabric, Michaels) - since there are many kinds of elastic used for clothes and dress-making. Finally, if you can get an old bicycle tire, you can slice the bicycle tube to what ever thickness you need - and thickness is usually proportional to the amount of tension you will have.

The last one sells 1/16 dia cord, but I really don’t think it would be up to the job of tension on a mainsheet - this is the stuff like they put on children’s face masks for Halloween. If bungee with braided nylon, it should give you some extra UV protections - also from abrasion.

Dick, docking rings are for the non surgical removal of tails and gonads from calfs and lambs.:witch:

Not pleasent but necessary. ( NO correspondance will be entered into):darth:

hmmm…the partyhat elastic that i use to tension the sheets of my iom have 7 strands inside a woven fabric sheath.since i run them under the deck away from uv rays, it still going strong since '99.

I dont use rubber for winch line tension due to above problems. I have installed a bowsie on the line loop which works very well and has not given any trouble at all.

nautic12,s & others use an adjustable pulley wheel to keep the tension on the sheets,no elastic no trouble.Pic avalible if interested

no elastic

Rusty, it is not quite clear to me exactly how this is rigged. The pulley is an adjustable idler that tensions the line extending from the outer drum of the smartwinch? But could you describe in more detail how the line is rigged? Looks like a good way to do it.

Dick, I found some of the bungee you mentioned, sold in small quantities.

The stuff I was using is a familiar Pekabe product. It is bungee, but much finer in diameter. Great Basin has some.

Docking rings. Hmn. I guess we would check a veterinary supply for these?

Best, Michael

I use the round, fabric covered elastic sold in the sewing department, about 1/16" diameter (around 1.5mm). I use it on the non-tension side of my trolley line, all the way back to the winch drum. That way, you don’t need to stretch it the entire length of your sheet throw. It will wind and unwind as the winch turns, just taking up the small differences in length due to the changing diameters of the drum’s sections. If you need a little more tension, it is easy to wrap another turn around the drum and you’re done. Mine lasts several years, without giving it a second thought. I do change it every so often in the course of normal boat maintenance.

I have heard of “roach pole elastic” that fishermen use. I don’t fish, so I couldn’t even guess how they use it, but the material is an elastic silicone cord, again around 1/16" diameter. I checked with my local fishing supply store and they never heard of it. It is said to be impervious to the effects of heat, cold, fresh water, salt water, blah, blah. I do know they make radiator hoses out of the stuff for the big diesel tractors because it lasts forever.

If I ever get my hands on some, I’ll let you know more…

mcg,the line from the idler pulley cont the loop back to a bow mounted block(on deck)the sheets for jib and main are attached to the loop by a swivel.when setting boat up slide the idler back in a slot till lines are taught then tighten the idler pulley.This only needs to be done about once every 6months ,or about 500 hours sailing time.Visit photo page for detailed deck set up.Main down haul is also fitted inside Bantock boom and adj from the boom.:ihat:

For a cheap option I use “hat elastic” from local haberdashery. For around 3 bucks I get 5m. Needs changing more often (every couple of months) but its cheap and readily available.:party:

I use elastic bands that my sister uses for her ponytail.
Free, if I don’t get caught.

same but wife’s:sonar:

There is an important point raised by keelhauled:

“[the elastic] … will wind and unwind as the winch turns, just taking up the small differences in length due to the changing diameters of the drum’s sections.”

A drum winch is a mechanical system whose dimensions change as it works, so for this type of rig, which is the type I use, the fixed-in-place solutions like a bowsie or an idler are not going to work as well as elastic.

In looking at the remains of the original bungee, I think maybe it did not simply pop at a random location. I think it was gradually gnawed through by the “bite” of the rather thin, Micron rigging line that was tied to it.

To avoid the point stress where the rigging line is tugging directly on the elastic, maybe I will try these thimbles. I copied the photo from the GBMY site – he evidently carries two different makes of thimbles.

The idea would be to loop the bungee around a thimble at each end, secure it with a crimp, possibly. Then tie the rigging line through the steel thimble, so that the thimble takes the “cutting” loads of the line.

It might add some months to the life to the system.

For my Marblehead I make up 3 or 4 elastic assemblies for the sailing season during the hard water season. Dritz brand white or black elastic cut to length, brass or aluminum ferrules cut from tubing. If the elastic becomes weak or broken, just replace(5 minutes). Cost about $1.10 for 6 yds. of elastic and the scrap heap for the brass or aluminum tubing.