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Ian McColgin
06-21-2014, 01:23 PM
The little primer on Making Fast, Getting Started in Boats, WoodenBoat #239, is excellent but includes a couple of points with which I disagree and a notable omission.

Like all bits in the series, there are also points made in such an abbreviated way that I doubt whether people who need the point made will even get it. The most glaring example of this is on page 5 under Pilings. The illustration shows the correct way for a second party to pass a loop over a piling. It does not mention or make obvious the reason, which is (everyone here knows this of course) that this way allows either boat to depart without disturbing the other's mooring.

Now to my disagreements. On the same page is illustrated the common hitching rail. I happen to loath the rolling hitch though it's not so evil as the clove hitch in terms of jamming. It's just that as illustrated this hitch involves a lot of inconvenient passing the line under and around, inconvenient to tie and inconvenient to release. And it gets more inconvenient when the line is longer than needed and you have excess. I favor passing under and then a bowline. If you make the loop almost snug the boat won't drift up or down the dock but it can be easily moved a bit by someone else needing to make a little space to board his or her own dink.

If the line's long, pass a bight under and then a bowline. Note that the bowline ties better than the illustrated alternative of two half hitches when you’re using a bight instead of the bitter end.

Which brings me to a more meaningful disagreement - the last page. The authors are right that leaving lines around is dangerous, sloppy, inconsiderate, unseamanlike - really just plain farmer. But I do not approve of flemishing. Flemishing is not just fussy. If you’re leaving the boat for a while it’s bad for the line as it holds moisture under. And a flemished line does not run freely.

If the line's too long, coil the excess, pull the coils into a narrow ovoid, and lay that alongside the cleat. This takes up less dock space than a flemish. Laid next to the cleat reduces the chance of a stumble, though there are people who find cleats an ideal site for stubbing toes but for them a flemish does not help anyway.

If the line is way too long, too large to coil conveniently and must be on the dock, consider faking it in figure eights to allow it to run properly when needed.

Rather than pictures of flemishing, I’d rather have had an illustration of the problems caused by tying off too short on a crowded dock and the advantages of giving enough painter to allow more people to use the dock. Like the picture at the top of page 6 but with some people having difficulty getting their dink next to the dock where some boats are tied short and others having no trouble pushing longer tied boats aside to bring their in close for boarding.

There’s an old saying, “Different boats, different long splices.” True here. The “Getting Started” series is really valuable and I don’t envy the editing process of illustrating just enough to be helpful without getting too long for the purpose. So my remarks here are in the nature of fan mail.

slug
06-21-2014, 01:38 PM
Dont read Woodenboat so I cant relate.

all lines should be coiled in a figure 8.

if a crew cant coil a line I freeze them out , then dispose of them in the first port

Lewisboater
06-21-2014, 01:48 PM
Like all bits in the series, there are also points made in such an abbreviated way that I doubt whether people who need the point made will even get it. The most glaring example of this is on page 5 under Pilings. The illustration shows the correct way for a second party to pass a loop over a piling. It does not mention or make obvious the reason, which is (everyone here knows this of course) that this way allows either boat to depart without disturbing the other's mooring.


I'm not competent on commenting on all the other stuff but you are mistaken here. It states in the text (on page 7) on Making fast to pilings that...
There must come a time when your boat must share a piling with a previously docked vessel. There is a bit of nautical etiquette... If however you bring your loop up through the previous boat's loop and pass it over the top of the piling (see the drawing, page 5), the first docked boat can remove its loop over the top of the piling without casting you off for even a moment".

slug
06-21-2014, 02:13 PM
Dont use finished docklines.....spliced eyes..and you avoid the problem of trapped docklines.
Use a bowline...then untie it

Ian McColgin
06-21-2014, 02:43 PM
Steve, you're right. My problem was that sure I knew it all I glanced at the pic and didn't bother to read the text there. Mea maxima culpa.

I don't agree with slug about 'coiling' in figure eights. A figure eight laid horizontally is superior if the line is meant to run out hot and if it won't be diisturbed or capsized before the run. A figure eighted halyard hung from a cleat is a charlie foxtrot in waiting. And a coil can be thrown while a figure eight cannot.

I agree with slug that if you've tied a knot you should always untie it. One of my pet bugaboos is when people leave knots in place for multiple uses. But for mooring lines, I like the dock end to be an eye splice as it's more secure and better on the line than a knot, especially if you've left the boat for a week or so. Beats coming back to a jammed and messy knot.

But there are many right ways so even though there are even more wrong ways, it's always best to do it the skipper's way.

slug
06-21-2014, 03:12 PM
Steve, you're right. My problem was that sure I knew it all I glanced at the pic and didn't bother to read the text there. Mea maxima culpa.

I don't agree with slug about 'coiling' in figure eights. A figure eight laid horizontally is superior if the line is meant to run out hot and if it won't be diisturbed or capsized before the run. A figure eighted halyard hung from a cleat is a charlie foxtrot in waiting. And a coil can be thrown while a figure eight cannot.

I agree with slug that if you've tied a knot you should always untie it. One of my pet bugaboos is when people leave knots in place for multiple uses. But for mooring lines, I like the dock end to be an eye splice as it's more secure and better on the line than a knot, especially if you've left the boat for a week or so. Beats coming back to a jammed and messy knot.

But there are many right ways so even though there are even more wrong ways, it's always best to do it the skipper's way.

No worries, coil as you like , but if they are my ropes you are coiling be assured that I will heave you off the boat to join the seagull picked carcasses of crew who didn't do what they were told.

poor buggers.

here...a technical document concerning braid rope , twist and tourque loading


http://www.samsonrope.com/Documents/Technical%20Bulletins/TB_Effect%20of%20Twist%20on%20Braided%20Rope_MAR20 12_WEB.pdf

wizbang 13
06-21-2014, 05:35 PM
Short dingy painters at crowded docks, ....
I loathe that more than a rolling hitch Ian.
Specially when folks lock em up with a cable and padlock.
When at Horror Fright, I like to pick up a few cheapo padlocks.
Put an extra lock on the cable for the folks.

Hwyl
06-21-2014, 05:44 PM
I rarely leave excess line on the dock and certainly never Flemish it. If you have too much line on the dock and don't want to go to the trouble of putting a second line,, properly tied on until you release the first ad then on to the next Make a bowline in your line end, drop the bowline over the cleat that the line is cleated to, release the cleat, while someone on board, swiftly take in the slack.

I think the reasons for not having excess line on the dock are: The line is kept cleaner, there is less chance of someone tripping and it keeps chafe in one place, so the line can be shortened as it chafes (although one does one's best to mminimise chafe).

Ian McColgin
06-21-2014, 06:31 PM
The Sampson document [#6] is interesting. My average coil is about four feet in diameter and the amount of induced twist needed to make it lay flat is a bout a quarter turn. Most people coil about that way but often with smaller coils but even so, I don't know anyone who gets even a quarter of a 360 degree twist per meter, so I don't see that coiling a line produces a problem.

Some torsionally rigid lines, like heavy electic cable, don't relax the cumulative twist - one full twist per 16' if you coil like I do. For those you can coil one over, one under, by simply reversing the moving hand position every other turn as you grab the line. The people who use this the most are riggers and roadies who lay out cables for stage shows, concerts, movie locations, etc. Dropped level or run off you hand this over/under coil will run as well as a regular coil and it leaves no twist.

But I summed the extent of my agreement with slug in the last line of #5.

shade of knucklehead
06-21-2014, 06:53 PM
I make my help put our lines away the way I like them. Coiled in a nice sized loop about 20 inches long and then the end dropped and the loop wound around the line twice and through it so it can be hung up. You better not coil it up left handed either. This way I can uncoil them and throw them and they fly out nicely.

It better look like a coil when you are done too, none of this half coiled and half figure eights and twists...

one of the things that really bothers me is owners who come into the yard and don't know how to tie up a boat. One line, wrapped around a piling and tied to the middle cleat on the boat is not right. And it drives me nuts.

I make everybody use 4 lines, bow, stern and two springs. If they don't want to tie up like I want then they can take their boat to another yard.

And what's with people showing up with not a single rope on the entire boat?

Binnacle Bat
06-21-2014, 07:22 PM
Figure eight is for ship size tow ropes & docklines, garden hoses etc. Halyards a nice round coil like SOK talks about, though I tend to make them bigger that 20 inches. That depends on how long your arms are, the size of line, and where you will hang it. Maybe two coils if the halyard is long enough and big enough around that you can't hold a single coil.

If you know what you are doing you can drop the coils to the deck, one on top of the other, uncleat and drop the sail. With a topping lift and lazy jacks, everything will fall in a manageable heap and you can go on to the next task (picking up mooring, heaving docklines or whatever). Believe it or not, it works for 100 foot extension cords too.

Allan

Canoeyawl
06-21-2014, 09:08 PM
I always use a cable coil or "fireman's" coil. Taught to me years ago by a long-liner there is no excuse to not do it that way. Sometimes referred to as "one over, one under"' it will run out nicely for a mile or so... And it will heave cleanly. I've always been surprised that more people don't use this or understand it. If you work with wire rope (without a winch drum) or swede wire there is no other way it will coil.
The Sampson document is referring to rope spooled on a drum, and has no resemblance to rope coiled by hand. Unless you unspool it and rewind it on a drum it doesn't work. The "cable coil" will alleviate the problem by one twist to the right followed by one twist to the left. When the line is uncoiled it has no twist.

Hwyl
06-21-2014, 09:15 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j1Wdc-ymbI

Canoeyawl
06-22-2014, 12:02 AM
Yup - that's it

Ian McColgin
06-22-2014, 01:22 AM
The vid is one good way. I end up with the same thing by making every other grab underhanded.

Dave Hadfield
06-22-2014, 09:59 AM
My pet peeve with guests is when they help coil a line by choosing to make tiny, tiny coils. Uncountable numbers of them. Or use their elbow and forearm as a coiling spool with thick anchor or dock line.

Or, when they make remarks about how wonderful bungees are....

However, those are small things easily remedied. It's nice to have an enthusiastic guest on board, regardless of how much you have to coach.

Dave

Ian McColgin
06-22-2014, 10:05 AM
I used to have a leadline with the traditional markings - string, leather, cloth, knots, like that - with a left hand lay, just for the fun of the tradition.

pcford
06-22-2014, 06:52 PM
A former client owned a beautiful 55ft. Fellows and Stewart boat...late 20s. BUT could not tie ONE KNOT. He invite me and gf on a to San Juans..."all expenses paid" I worked 12 and 14 hours a day...He would get pissed when it took so long to tie the boat up....like one should be able to just come into a mooring spot...shut it down and go have a drink.

pcford
06-23-2014, 12:19 AM
Hmm...

Can't believe no one addressed the obvious reason, unless I skimmed over it, to never flemish a dockline as Flemished Dock lines = Otter Poo poo pads

Those creatures are demonic...we were over at Westsound for a few months...otters lived under the dock...when you walked over them they made human like groaning noises. They would "save" a fish under the dock and after a while it would be kicking real good.

xflow7
06-23-2014, 09:30 AM
I used to have a leadline with the traditional markings - string, leather, cloth, knots, like that - with a left hand lay, just for the fun of the tradition.

What's the significance of the left-hand lay for a leadline?

Ian McColgin
06-24-2014, 10:38 AM
The way an old time ship's leadsman stood over the rail on the starboard side, threw forward with his right hand, noted the depth when the leadline was vertical, and turned aft to recover the lead coiling left handed and thus anticlockwise required left hand lay line. If you coil right hand lay line anticlockwise you tighten the lay of the line causing kinks.

You can coil still facing forward and using your right hand but with the line streaming behine you, your natural hand grip is reversed and you still make the coils anticlockwise.

Breakaway
06-24-2014, 01:55 PM
Pet peeve: folks who think adding untold figure of eights on a cleat increases the security ( and leaving no room on the cleat for anyone else).

Flemishing is for newbies who saw it in a book or movie. They'll learn.

Given a choice, I'd prefer open ends to eyesplices. Much easier to untie a knot or cleat hitch than to get loose an eyesplice under tension ( wind, current, tide dropped out, whatever)

Kevin

Ian McColgin
06-24-2014, 02:00 PM
I have a friend for whom the motto was made:

"When you can't tie a knot, tie alot."

xflow7
06-24-2014, 08:24 PM
The way an old time ship's leadsman stood over the rail on the starboard side, threw forward with his right hand, noted the depth when the leadline was vertical, and turned aft to recover the lead coiling left handed and thus anticlockwise required left hand lay line. If you coil right hand lay line anticlockwise you tighten the lay of the line causing kinks.

You can coil still facing forward and using your right hand but with the line streaming behine you, your natural hand grip is reversed and you still make the coils anticlockwise.

Very interesting. I knew that right-hand lay rope should be coiled clockwise, but was unaware that there was a traditional side on which the leadsman would cast from.

shade of knucklehead
06-25-2014, 01:52 AM
What's the significance of the left-hand lay for a leadline?

Probably the same sort of idea behind why I keep a left handed 3/4 inch drill bit sitting on the bench in my shop for when a certain joker comes in and asks for a 3/4 inch drill bit. (the pranks are getting tiring, I believe he has stuck bloody deer nuts in the gas fill of my truck at least 7 times)

Ian McColgin
06-25-2014, 07:55 AM
Like many human traditions, it's based on human anatomy. Most are right handed. Lefties can heave a lead and coil a line right handed but it's just not as natural for them.

slug
06-26-2014, 02:02 PM
Same traditions apply to hammers...all hammers are right handed.

Ian McColgin
06-26-2014, 02:41 PM
http://www.stortz.com/Portals/92/SmithCart/Images/83_C_Slate_Hammer.jpg

Phillip might recognize how this shows slug wrong.

Doug Schultz
06-26-2014, 10:15 PM
Ive been working in stage production for 25 years. I find it difficult to wrap anything without doing it over under. No twist in the line or cable. if you need to put a lot of electrical cable coiled on the dock this method breaks the transformer in every loop.