Heaving Line Knot(s) - SailNet Community
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Question Heaving Line Knot(s)

Hey all,

I have a life ring on the aft of my boat, and of course I have a heaving line on it. My line is 100 ft long. My question is, how do I tie the other end to my boat, and still properly stack the rope? How do I stack the rope such that I can uncoil and throw it in very short order? I'd love to hear how others attack this.

Thanks so much!


p.s. My first boat goes in the water Friday - wish me luck!
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post #2 of 4 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Heaving Line Knot(s)

Any good strong knot will do to attach the rope to a 'hard point' .... one of the best knots to use for this would be a doubled figure-of-eight with a loop and then 'cow hitched' to a rail or other hard point, etc. http://www.animatedknots.com/fig8fol...matedknots.com
Animated Knots by Grog | How to Tie Knots | Fishing, Boating, Climbing, Scouting, Search and Rescue, Household, Decorative, Rope Care,

I'd recommend against 'coiling' a line ... as surer than hell ... one or more of the coils will get twisted and tangled and can/will cause a time-consuming 'mess' (birds nests, etc.), especially when time is vital.

Rather than coiling, Id recommend that you store the rope in a 'throwing bag' ... in your case on a boat you throw the ring and the line automatically pays out of the bag attached to the boat. 99.9% of the time the rope pays out 'straight and tangle free'.
All rope throwing bags should have a grommet hole in the bottom of the bag through which you pass the terminal end of the rope which is tied/knotted to some hard point, etc.

If you're handy you can sew-up your own bag (out of 'Sunbrella' which is UV stable and long-lasting in the marine environment; or, purchase one at a 'climbing' shop or 'mountain' shop but since a 'store bought' will be NYLON fabric, wont last long in constant sunlight/UV exposure: NRS Standard Rescue Throw Bag at nrs.com

You can easily practice or do a 'preliminary trial' with a throwing bag before you make your selection on the size of a throwing bag needed .... just take your line, stuff it haphazardly but compactly and as 'tightly' as possible into any moderate sized nylon, etc. bag, (12" diameter X 18-24" long will probably do for the typical 100ft. of 'rescue' line) etc. and do some trials by stepping on the excess line that doesn't fit into the bag, and simply 'throw the bag' (or attached ring while hold your foot on the 'tail' of the rope) as far as you can. Do this a few times and you'll quickly and intuitively be able to arrive at the proper throwing bag dimensions you'll need.

How to 'load' a throw bag.
Throwbag fundamentals
... the use of a 'throw bag' AND with the additive use of (non-tangling) 'butterfly coils'

Doing your sailing on 'the Rock' ... most definitely you'll need to do a FAST rescue. :-)

hope this helps. ;-)
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Last edited by RichH; 1 Week Ago at 03:22 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Heaving Line Knot(s)

I butterfly the rope, same way a climbing rope is "coiled" for when you toss it over a cliff, figure 8 on a bight on the free end. This gets put under the strap that holds the ring into the holder on the rail.
All I have to do is pull the strap and toss the ring. The line gets replaced every couple of years because of possible UV damage.

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post #4 of 4 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Heaving Line Knot(s)

In my previous life, I did a lot of whitewater paddling and rock climbing.

On/at the rivers, we practiced throwing the life line a LOT. I recommend that sailors do the same. We stuffed our rope bags just as shown in the first video that RichH linked to. Never had a problem, not even 0.1% of the time. A bad throw means a re-throw is necessary, but there's not enough time to stuff the rope back in the throw bag. Newbies always want to coil the rope as they retrieve it. That takes too long and increases the chance of fouling to better than 75%, in my estimation.

We treated our climbing ropes the same. Didn't coil them for sport routes, just stacked them in a bag. Coils = tangles.

Now, I sail the same way. No active lines get coiled. Rope stored in coils gets flaked before use.
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