Jump to content

Excess rope coils?

Recommended Posts

If you consider that each rope on a ship is either being hauled on or slacked off to accomplish some task you will quickly see that there needs to be some length on the hauling end of the rope that will need to be coiled on the belaying pin.


Take for example a halyard.  With the yard in the lowered position the blocks for the halyard tackle are at their farthest apart.  There is a certain amount of rope that makes up this tackle.  As the yard is hoisted by hauling on the tackle fall these blocks get closer together and all of that rope that used to be in between the blocks is now in your hands at the working end.  That is the rope that must be coiled and hung on the belaying pin.


All of the lines on the ship function this way.  So, there will almost always be a coil of line to be found at the working end.





Laissez le bon temps rouler ! 



Current Build:  Le Soleil Royal

Completed Build Amerigo Vespucci

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the sails on the model are set, this means many ropes had to be used to pull the sails into position. In some cases this can be a lot of line that has to be hauled and now it is just sitting on the deck in a heap. Sailors coil it and hang it so that it is off the deck. The coil will run out without forming knots when the time comes to lower the sail again. Take a Jib, a triangular sail on the bow on something the size of the Cutty Sark.  The line that hauls it up will be long enough to raise the sail from near deck level where it lives when the sail is not set, to the point it occupies high over the deck when the sail is set and drawing. All that line is pulled down to the deck and must be coiled so it is out of the way and free to run again when the sail returns to the deck.  To add to the complexity, many lines are actually running through two or more blocks to give the needed mechanical advantage, so these lines are longer still since they also have to run through the blocks, in many cases three or four times, which makes them three or four times longer than if it was just a single line. So every pin on the ship will have a coil on it at one point or another, and some of the coils are big and some of them are smaller, depending on the job the line is doing and how much line has to move to complete the task its doing. But what if you are showing the model with the sails down or off? If the sail is down or furled or whatever, you still need the working end of the line to be long enough for many people to grab onto it and pull on it, to haul the sail into position when the time comes. If its a large bit of the rig, like the Topsail Yard, you will need all the available crew to lift the heavy load, picture fifteen or twenty guys stretched in a line all getting ready to haul on this line. So this line needs to have at least enough extra on the end to allow twenty people to get a hand on it, and this bit will have to be coiled and hung on the pin too.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie




 Niagara USS Constitution 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...