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Join Date: Apr 2006
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It is much easier to turn one long line into two short lines, than the other way around. So I was taught to never cut a rope or string unless I really needed to cut it.
And, that it only takes one slip for a line to wrap itself around a wrist, an ankle, a couple of fingers, and you can have a traumatic amputation or a severe crushing injury in less than a minute. I think you'll find that almost anyone who spends full days (working or playing) around "rope" also carries a sharp knife, because IF someone gets caught in it, you need to cut the line and release the pressure "NOW NOW NOW" not in two or three minutes after you've putzed around looking for a blade.
And for the same reason, I keep a very sharp edge on that knife and make a point not to use it for cutting much of anything. There's always something else around for general cutting, which I don't spend as much time getting as sharp.
Leaving one strapped to the binnacle, or on the mast, is a nice idea--but then you still have to go fetch it. Which only works if you're not tied down at the time.