Join Date: Oct 2007
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We are still required to teach the sheet bend as part of one of our classes.
I've never used it in real life, however.
My thinking is that if you need the sheet bend you need a long line that you don't have. Right there I consider that some sort of failure or at least an issue is at play.
Either the boat was not provisioned properly with lines needed or I got myself into a situation I hadn't anticipated.
In either case, I wouldn't trust the sheet bend. It looks like it could shake loose too easily.
I know I could use a double sheet bend but what I usually do is use a bowline to bowline. Yes, they can shake out too but if I'm worried I can add a hitch to the tail.
One possible reasonable scenario is when docking or webbing your boat by tying it with long lines to the shore. Even then I 'm not sure I would trust it.
I would like to ask our experienced sailors. Do you ever routinely use the sheet bend? I would like to have an example to give the students where it would be an excellent choice.
As a side note, I never use a clove hitch to attach a boat to a piling. I had one come loose on me.
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.