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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 09-22-2007
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Proper Line Coiling Procedure

When I was about 12, I'd purchased some line from F.L. Abbott Sailboats in Ocean City, NJ. I was coiling the line in the palm-elbow fashion when Mr. Abbott stopped me and said, "Son, there is only one way to coil a line. I'm going to show you how to do it right, and you'll never do it any other way." I haven't changed the procedure in 38 years.

How do YOU coil a line? Is there a better way? I'm talking about lines up to about 1/2" in diameter and am deliberately excluding the deck flaking technique used for large lines. The following link shows a video which I can not view with my Mac, but the written procedure and end-result photo seem like the procedure that I use (sorry). I expect that this thread will result in some passionate replies.......

From http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/coiling_lines.htm :

Coiling A Line : As you coil a rope [I hold the tail in my left hand and reach out one arm-length to get the next few feet of line and pass it to my left hand], place a slight twist [I twist Away from me] in the line to flatten the coils. Near the end of the line, wrap the line three times or more around the coils. Form a loop in the end of the line and pass it between the coils. Now you can either pass the end of the line through the loop to allow the coiled line to be hung for storage [I rarely use do this] or pass the loop over the top of the coil to allow the coiled line to be stored in a compartment.
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Old 09-22-2007
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The only thing not mentioned is coiling clockwise, otherwise known as 'with the sun', which will keep any kinks from forming in your line. Kinks are dangerous because, if allowed to remain, when the line is loaded they will cause hockling which results in permanent damage and weakening of the line. A clove hitch works well about the top of the coil also. The loop technique relies on the weight of the coil to keep it secure when hanging the coil.
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Old 09-22-2007
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I've been handling lines since I can remember, and that is he way the old salts taught me. That way the line does not twist or knot up. But I can't remember how to do a balantine or some times called a pretzel used on a larger line (say 2 or 3 inch) to prevent twisting.


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Old 09-23-2007
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All good and well as long as the lines are dry!
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Old 09-23-2007
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When there's lots of line (over 50'), I butterfly coil it. Doesn't introduce twists into the rope, and you can throw it on the ground later and it will unstack without tangles.
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Old 09-23-2007
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I was taught that way back when I was doing a little wall climging.

Sailaway is he coiling the correct way in the vid? clockwise? And how does counter clockwise put in kinks?


Hey Sabre. We also have macs and the vid works fine. I have added a couple of things to my Quicktime. We can even watch the vids off my wifes camera without modifying them first.

Both are free

http://perian.org/

This one you will have to look at the right side of the page and find the tiny "Get wmv player free" icon
http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm

This is another good freebee. Also works with windoze
http://www.squared5.com/

I've used VLC, but don't anymore since finding the above.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/


There's also a sort of easy way to download youtube clips if anybody is interested.


Don't you just love being able to download any software you want and run it without fear. No anti-virus or anti-spyware on my mac and we've had this one for a couple of years.
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Last edited by rewell6; 09-23-2007 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 09-23-2007
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To avoid kinking, I routinely flake long lines and certain other lines, usually using a winch as another hand. Being right handed, with my left hand palm up I coil figure eights between the left-hand and the winch. After tacking, I flake the jib sheets this way, and flake the spinnaker sheets and main sheets for storage.
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Old 09-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewell6 View Post
Sailaway is he coiling the correct way in the vid? clockwise? And how does counter clockwise put in kinks?
rewell6,
At one time line was twisted with a right hand lay as they called twist. Coiling clockwise just tightened the twist and coiling the other way took some twist out and after a few turns the line would start to kink. Today a braided line can be coiled either way but tradition says clockwise and there is always the possibility of running into line that is twisted or has a twisted core so coiling clockwise is a good habit to get into because it’s safe for all lines.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Old 09-23-2007
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Every line, except, dock lines get coiled in a figure eight. This Insures they wont develop kinks. Halyards get coiled this way then I roll the coil through the last few feet of line bring a loop up through the top and hang from a winch or cleat. If coiled in this fashion you can quickly lift the coil off the cleat, yank down and it all comes undone.
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Old 09-23-2007
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Denby , you mentioning balantine coils just brought back to memory my time aboard the schooner I crewed on in Baltimore . Working on the tall ship certainly afforded me and my wife the oppotunity to learn some of the less common line handling techniques . Balantines where used every day and its a great way to stow a hundred plus feet of heavy halyard on deck and not have to worry about passengers (landlubbers) sitting on it , kicking it , tripping over it and the like. Once that balentine is coiled , its very easy to strike sail knowing the balantine will uncoil without incident. Very usefull on a working tall ship. Dont recall it ever snagging or birdnesting on us ever . A great way to coil . Another coil we used was the in -out or flemming coil for the main sheet tail. This took up a good quater of the poop-deck however and passengers did mamager to bugger it up constantly. Arrrrgh
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