Rope Chafe Damage to Gelcoat Surfaces

Rope Chafe
Many yachts suffer from damage to gelcoat surfaces around the cockpit, cabin sides and decks caused by rope chafe or rope ‘burn’. Usually this is associated with poor design of the deck layout and it is recommended to look at this before considering other options. The photo below was taken from an almost new charter boat and shows just how extensive the damage can become in a short space of time. The value of the boat was correspondingly reduced.


There are a couple of solutions available on the market, one of which has now been well proven over a number of years. Called ‘WearAndTearPads’, the product comprises  ultra thin sheets of marine grade stainless steel in two sizes; 6” x 2” (150mm x 50mm)or 9” x 2” (225mm x 50mm). Each pad has a high performance self-adhesive backing making fitting quick and easy. Unlike the traditional strips or ‘chafes’, no drilling or screws are required thus preventing further damage to the fibreglass matrix. The photos below show two typical applications. See here for more examples and testimonials.

Before selecting this product you should check the following points:

1) Is the gelcoat surface smooth and clean of all grease and dirt?
2) Is the application area flat or single curvature? The stainless steel will not stretch around compound curvatures. Consider as an alternative a flexible plastic tape by ‘PSP tapes’ in this case.
3) What length do you need? Longer lengths are available on demand.

Over 5000 WearAndTear Pads have now been sold wordwide and stockists are available in most countries. Alternatively they are available ex-stock from


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