|This page is all about ropes,
sheets, knots and all that is to do with the sailing and mooring lines on
vessels of all kinds.
Do you prefer the traditional lines or the modern versions? What
sort of lines do you use for each type of job to be done? Ever
tried your hand at splicing? Here we can share knowledge and advice,
ideas and tips.
The Skipper has a few words of
wisdom to impart on the subject of sheets aboard yachts in general and his
own in particular:
"I can tell you what my policy
is on any cordage that I buy: Bigger is better!
I find that any extra initial expense is more than compensated for by the extra longevity
of heavier line. This is probably due to the fact that heavier line stretches less under load, and
localised chafe is therefore reduced.
There was a time when there was a choice of perhaps three types of
Today the choice is endless but, as far as I am concerned, Spectra is hard to beat for
usefulness all around the boat. If, however, you are on a tight budget, most
low-stretch Dacron line will do the job adequately.
One thing is certain: I would sooner have thick low-quality line than thin
high-quality line if that were the choice I had to make.
Attaching the sheet to the sail is, I find, best achieved by a bowline, plain and simple.
Splices ,in this context, I find an infernal nuisance, an unnecessary complication. Shackles, and snap-shackles, are to be avoided at all
costs. If you are wondering why, just imagine the damage a flogging headsail could do, with a lump of stainless steel attached to the
clew. It might well result in someone aboard being, to quote Shakespeare, "Sans
eyes; sans ears; sans teeth; sans everything."
Chafe is the killer of sheets and, where possible, potential "sore points" should be traced and blunted by a suitable
medium. Sewn leather; split hose pipe; pieces of carpeting or heavy cloth
can be used either on the chafe-producing item or, where that is not
practicable, on the line itself. Electrical insulating tape can help or, better still, self amalgamating tape."
you come across any ingenious ways to protect lines aboard? Do you have
favourite lines aboard? Tell us all about it!