2Learning ObjectivesLearn the art and science of working with rope and lineUnderstand knots, bends, hitches and splicesalso the selection and use of line andthe proper care of lineMarlinspike seamanship encompasses the art and science of working with rope and line.With the completion of this material the recreational boater should understand knots, bends, hitches, and splices.The selection and use of line and its proper care are also included in this chapter.
3Definitions Marlinespike Marlinespike Seamanship A pointed tool used in splicing to open the strands of rope or cableMarlinespike SeamanshipGeneral knowledge of knots, bends, hitches, splices, and care of rope
4DefinitionsRopeCordage made of natural or synthetic fibers, also can be made of steel wireLineName given rope aboard a boatEach line is given a specific name, such as:anchor line,halyard, main sheet, spring line or dock lineA few are still called rope, as in bell rope
5Rope Strengths Safe load is 20% of breaking strength Dacron® is the trade name for polyester fiberThe safe load or working strength of a line is 20% of its breaking strengthDacron is the registered trade name for polyester fiber.See Table for Breaking Strength of Rope
6Effect of Knots Lines are weakened by: Knots – typically to 50-60% Splices – least reduction to 90%Any bend or kink in a line will weaken it.Different knots, bends and hitches have varying effectsSee Table
7Definitions Working Part Standing Part Section of line used in forming a knotStanding PartThe part of a line that is:made fastnot used in forming a knotaround which the knot may be tiedIn use, normally under strain
8Definitions Bitter End Working End Inboard end of a line, chain or cableThe end made fast to the boatWorking EndAttached to an anchor or cleat, etc.
10More Definitions Bight Standing part Free end Turn Round turn Turn Bight – formed when a rope is doubled back on itself and never around an objectStanding Part – previously defined (see slide for example)Free End or bitter endTurn – a 180 degree to 270 degree wrap of a line around an objectRound Turn – a 540 degree turn around an objectKnot – General sense – includes three classes of knots – knots, bends and hitches with each having specific characteristicsKnots – specific sense – either creates a loop or a lump (stopper) in the end of a line. Bowline, figure 8Bend – used to attach two lines together. Sheet bend, square knotHitch – used to attach a line to an object. Cleat hitch, clove hitchFree End
15Round TurnLine looped aroundobject one and a halffull turns
16Choosing A Line Braided Common laid rope Diamond braid over a core Easy on handsHigh strengthSlipperyCommon laid rope3 strands twistedTends to kinkStretches moreHard on handsInexpensiveLaid Line or rope –3 strands twisted made from fibers, yarns and strandsTends to kinkStretches more then most other typesHard on the handsInexpensiveLine ends should be whipped to keep from unravelingSingle Braid LineDiamond braid over a coreEasy on the handsHigh strengthLess stretch then laid lineCan be slipperyDouble Braid LineSame appearance a single braid but inside the cover is another smaller braided line.Can be stronger and have less stretch then single braidBraided core may be made of less durable but enormously strong high tech fiberParallel Core LineA wear resistant braid cover over a core of extremely high strength but somewhat fragile fibers like Kevlar or SpectraCore runs lengthwise inside the cover without being twisted or braided and usually takes the entire load
17Material Polypropylene Nylon Polyester (Dacron®) Strongest and most elasticElasticity absorbs shockGood for anchoring and mooringPolyester (Dacron®)Minimum of stretchGood for running rigging aboard sailboatsPolypropyleneNot as strong as nylon or DacronSubject to abrasion, chafe & deterioration from sunlightGood point - it floatsNylonStrong and the most elastic to help absorb shockResists rotGood resistance to environmental elementsPolyester LineStrong with medium stretchGood for running rigging on cruising sailboats and dock linesPolypropylene and polyethylene LineNot as strong as nylon or polyesterSubject to abrasion, chafe & deterioration from the sunIt floats
22Caring for Lines Overloading Avoid kinks & sharp bends Avoid chemicals Protect against chafingRegular cleaningOverloadingUse at 20% of breaking strengthLoading at 75% of breaking Strength may cause damageAvoid kinks & sharp bendsAvoid chemicalsProtect against chafingRegular cleaning
23Caring for Lines Stow carefully Coiling Flemishing Stow carefully Loose line is dangerous on a boatAll line not in use should be coiledCoilingCoil into the left handWrap the coil and run the free end through the upper loopUse the free end to hang the lineFlemishingSee a flemished line on board or on a dock; see an educated and “professional” boaterNo loose end to become a hazard
24Common Whipping Whipping Methods Used to keep the end of a line from unravelingMethodsWith ‘small stuff’ or twineTapingLiquid whipMelting nylon line endsWhippingA general term covering the treatment of the ends of a line to keep them from unraveling or frayingMethodsWith ‘small stuff’ or twine – use either waxed 40# test 3 strand Dacron twine or 50-80# test Dacron braid fishing lineTaping (don’t expect long lasting results)Liquid whipMelting nylon line ends – you want a melt plug at least 1/16 inch thick to form in the end of the linePlastic shrink sleeves
25Chafing Gear Protects line from chafing on chocks and hawse pipes Commercially availableHome made using old Water hoseOverloadingUse at least 20% of breaking strengthLoading at 75% of breaking strength may cause damageDamage might be indicated by a noticeable reduction in the size of the line or a noticeable permanent increase in the length of the lineAvoid kinks & sharp bendsAvoid chemicals – most modern marine line is resistant to most common chemicals but why take the chanceEnvironmental – sunlight and ozone are both weathering agents and can affect linesProtect against chafingRegular cleaning – can be laid out and hose down with clean fresh waterAll lines must be protected from chafingTry to rout the line to avoid rubbing contact with hard objectsProtects line form chafing on chocks and hawse PipesCommercially available through marine stores or can be home made using old water hose
26Classes of Knots Hitches Bends Knots secure a line to an object attach two lines togetherKnotsinstall a loop or a stopper in a line
27Coiling a Line Start by lacing line over your hand Form generous loops until line is coiledMake two turns around coilFeed working end through coil1234If one end is attached, coil the line from the fixed end to the loose endStart by lacing line over your handTwist line with your fingers so the coils lay flat against each otherForm generous loops until line is coiledMake two turns around coilFeed working end through coil
28Basic Knots or Bends A good knot is easy to tie and easy to untie Knots or bends weaken line by as much as 50%A good knot:Performs the intended jobis easy to tie and replicateeasy to untiedoesn’t capsize or untie itself unexpectedlyKnots or bends weaken line by as much as 50%The five basic knots to be learned are the Figure 8 Knot, the Bowline, the Sheet Bend, the Clove Hitch, and the Cleat Hitch.Two phases to successfully tie a knot:Crossing the lines in the correct orderTightening or closing the knot properly
30Figure Eight Start by forming an underhand loop Lead the free end under the standing partFeed the free end through the loop formed by the underhand loopPull the knot tightUsed to put a “lump” in the bitter end of a line or sheet so it can’t pass through a block or grommetStart by forming an underhand loop or bightLead the free end under the standing partFeed the free end through the loop formed by the underhand loopPull the know tightOptional method – twist bight 1 full turn and slip the bitter end through the bight loop and pull until tight
33Bowline Form overhand loop Feed free end: through loop around standing partinto loopThe most respected knot for creating a loop in the end of a line.Form an overhand loop leaving the bitter end 3 times as long as the length of the loop you are creating with the Bowline.Feed the free end through the loopFeed the free end around the standing partFeed the free end into the loopTo finish the knot- hold the bitter end and the part of the large loop next to it in one hand and place the other hand on the working part and pull.Can be easily loosened and untied by pulling back on the loop around the working part
36Sheet Bend Use to join two lines of different diameter Form a bight in one lineLead free end of second line through bight and around Standing part of first lineTuck free end of second line under standing part of line twoSnug up the bend
39Clove Hitch Form an underhand loop around post Lead free end above the turnNow form another underhand loop around postUse a half hitch as a “locking knot” to keep the clove hitch from slippingUsed to attach a line to a round pile or postGood Properties:A tenacious slip knot that will tightly constrict a wood pile.It will not slip down the pileIt is easy to tie and untie under strainNegative – if the load moves back and forth the hitch will rotate on the post allowing the working part to pull out the hitch and for the bitter end to be drawn into the hitch. This can be solved by adding 2 half hitches with the bitter end around the working partForm an underhand loop around the postLead the free end above the turnNow form another underhand loop around the post and pull it tight
42Cleat Hitch Take 3/4 turn under horn away from the load Lead free end over and under opposite hornLead free end over and under other hornTuck free end under last turnSecure and reliable and can be untied under loadUsed to secure a line to a cleatTake at least a ¾ turn under the horn away from the load – can use up to 1 ½ turns on a standard cleat or more if the base is smooth, polished and roundedLead the free end over and under the opposite hornLead the free end over and under the other hornTuck the free end under the last turnThe first and third diagonals should be parallel and under the second diagonalUse a Flemish Coil to stow the free end
44Round Turn & Two Half Hitches Make a round turn around post or ringLead free end around standing part forming an underhand loopRepeat the last stepCan be used to secure a line to a round post or ringMake a round turn around the post or a ringLead the free end around the standing part forming an underhand loopRepeat the last step
45Anchor Bend Take round turn around anchor ring or post Make turn around the standing partFeed free end through center of round turnMake round turn around standing part and snug up the bendNot a required knotA variation of the Round Turn with Two Half Hitches but is more secure when fastened to the ring on an anchor shank.Take a round turn around the anchor ring or a postMake a turn around the standing partFeed the free end through the center of the round turnMake a round turn around the standing part and snug up the bendYou might want to seize the bitter end to the working part as a further security precaution
46Reef or Square Knot Good Uses Should not be used for a varying load Furling sailsReefing sailsLashing small stuffShould not be used for a varying loadNot a required knot for classGood UsesFurling sailsReefing sailsLashing small stuffShould not be used for a varying loadLines should the ends of the same line or be identical in size and typeIt is critical that the two bitter ends are in line and on opposite sides of the bend.
47Heaving a Line Tosser Receiver Splits line coil in half Tosses one coil underhand to the receiverReceiverHolds arm out as targetLets line fall over out-stretched armThis is the art of passing a line between boats or between a boat and a pier or the shore.Use line 3/8 to ¾ inch for best weightPractical throwing distance is 2/3 the length of the line up to about 30 feet.TosserSecure bitter end to a fixed objectSplits line coil in halfAim for extended arm and not the body of the receiverTosses line underhand, like you are bowling, to the receivers sideReceiverHolds an arm out as a targetLets line fall over an out-stretched arm
48The correct way to wrap a line around a winch. Start by wrapping line clockwisePile wraps up from bottom to topMake more turns for a heaver loadThe correct way to wrap a line around a winch.This will not jam.Winch - Geared drum turned by a handle and used to pull lines such as sheets and halyardsWinches are mechanical devices designed to multiply your pulling force found normally on larger sailboats and used for halyards and sheetsStart by wrapping the line clockwise – need about 3 turns of line on the drumPile the wraps up from the bottom to the topMake more turns for a heavier loadTo pay out line from a winch, reduce the tailing tension until the line slips backwards around the drumSome winches have a self-tailing feature
49Winch This is the incorrect way to lead a line to a winch. This will jam.This is the incorrect way to lead a line to a winch.This will jam.
50Blocks and Tackle Block Sheave A nautical name for a pulley Roller in a block over which line passes as it goes through blockBlocks and tackle are a time honored way of multiplying your forceBlockA nautical name for a pulley one or more rope wheels called sheavesSheaveRoller in a block over which a line passes as it goes through the blockTackleArrangement of line running through the block or blocks used to provide increased mechanical advantage
51Blocks and Tackle Tackle Winch Arrangement of line and blocks used to provide increased mechanical advantageWinchGeared drum turned by a handle and used to pull lines such as sheets and halyardsBlocks and tackle are a time honored way of multiplying your forceBlockA nautical name for a pulley one or more rope wheels called sheavesSheaveRoller in a block over which a line passes as it goes through the blockTackleArrangement of line running through the block or blocks used to provide increased mechanical advantage
52Blocks and Tackles A B C D E 1:1 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1 Determining the mechanical advantage of a block and tackle system can be relatively simple if you remember one basic rule – count the number of lines directly supporting or directly pulling the load.No free lunchWith a 5:1 advantage, the distance moved by pulling the line will be 5 times the distance moved by the load – you don’t have to pull as hard but you have to pull a lot fartherFriction in the line will reduce the actual mechanical advantage that you are seekingSee examples of mechanical advantages achieved1:1 – 10 lb pull lifts 10 lbs2:1 – 10 lb pull lifts 10 lbs3:1 – 10 lb pull lifts 10 lbs4:1 – 10 lb pull lifts 10 lbs5:1 – 10 lb pull lifts 10 lbs1:12:13:14:15:1