Becoming a sailor means “learning the ropes.” This is a general expression for getting to know all the various bits & parts of a complex task; and it holds true here.
How strong is rope?
Very Strong! Breaking strength of 1/4” line (like FJ halyards) > 1,000 lbs.
Safe working load can be anywhere from 1/10 to 1/3 of break strength.
Tying knots in a rope weaken it by approximately half
|Double Braid Rope|
There are different types of rope, & different material used. They have widely different strength & stretch characteristics
IMPORTANT: a ropes “strength” has no relation to its “stretch”
Abrasion resistance is very important, a hard edge chafing against the rope can cut thru
it within moments.
a. Coiling and flaking (also called “faking”)
i. Coiling a rope for storage, coiling for ready use, and coiling for throwing are all different
ii. Stored coils of rope are kept dry & out of the sun
b. When a rope is IN USE on a boat, it has a specific name.
i. generally, ropes on a boat are called “lines” not rope.
ii. Be prepared to learn to tie at least 3 kinds of knots
iii. During sailing sessions, remember to practice with ropes & lines, in addition to all other skills
i. Cadets may use a clove hitch or cleat hitch to hold the boat’s dock line, but until an instructor has checked, you must not leave a boat unattended while it’s afloat.
ii. Prevent the boat from hitting against the dock. Fend it off, but do not get any part of your body caught between boat and dock.
Repeat C ii : Do not get any part of your body caught between boat and dock… or between 2 boats
What is this CLEAT thing?
A “cleat” is just a rope-locking device. There are many types
Tying the knot: which one for which job?
Remember that tying knots in a rope or line will weaken it!
|Bowline Knot- Complete|
.... used to make a loop
.... very secure
.... always easily untied
note- the “bow” in “bowline” is pronounced just like the “bow” you shoot an arrow with.
The bowline is one of the most useful knots you will ever learn
|Bowline Knot- Step 1|
|Bowline Knot- Step 2|
|Bowline Knot- Step 3|
To tie a bowline, instructors often say to use your imagination.
Imagine the long part of the rope is a tree.
You make a hole in the tree with a slight twist of the rope... now the end of the rope becomes a bunny!
In Step 3 as illustrated, the bunny goes thru the hole and around the tree.
|Bowline Knot- Step 4|
In Step 4 and Step 5, the bunny goes back out thru the hole, and the only remaining work is to pull the "tree" tight and the knot is complete.
|Bowline Knot- Step 5|
Figure-8 or stopper knot- keeps a line from running out thru a pulley (block) or a fairlead.
The Figure-8 is commonly tied at the ends of sheets.
To tie a Clove Hitch- bring the rope around the pole and under itself. Move up a little, then go around & under (thru the middle) again.
Cleat Hitch (below)- used for specific lines where cleats are provided, such as halyards & dock lines.
Why is this important to learn?
Lines & knots can be critical rescue tools