If a load-bearing rope gets a sharp or sudden jolt or the rope shows signs of deteriorating, it is recommended that the rope be replaced immediately and should be discarded or only used for non-load-bearing tasks.
The average rope life-span is 5 years. Serious inspection should be given to line after that point. However, the use to which a rope is put affects frequency of inspection. Rope used in mission-critical applications, such as mooring lines or running rigging, should be regularly inspected on a much shorter timescale than this, and rope used in life-critical applications such as mountain climbing should be inspected on a far more frequent basis, up to and including before each use.
Avoid stepping on climbing rope, as this might force tiny pieces of rock through the sheath, which can eventually deteriorate the core of the rope.
Ropes may be flemished into coils on deck for safety, presentation, and tidiness.
Many types of filaments in ropes are weakened by corrosive liquids, solvents, and high temperatures. Such damage is particularly treacherous because it often invisible to the eye.
Shock loading should be avoided with general use ropes, as it can damage them. All ropes should be used within a safe working load, which is much less than their breaking strength.
A rope under tension – particularly if it has a great deal of elasticity – can be dangerous if parted. Care should be taken around lines under load.
"Rope" is a material, and a tool. When it is assigned a specific function it is often referred to as a "line", especially in nautical usage. A line may get a further distinction, for example sail control lines are known as “sheets” (e.g. A jib sheet).
A halyard is a line used
A halyard is a line used to raise and lower a sail, typically with a shackle on its sail end. Other maritime examples of “lines” include anchor line, mooring line, fishing line, marline. Common items include clothesline and a chalk line.
In some marine uses the term rope is retained, such as man rope, bolt rope, and bell rope.