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Line/Rope Terminology Question

Hello all,

I just took a job on a charter sailboat on a NY Finger Lake, and the captain posed a question for which the reward is a bottle of local wine.

After explaining that all ropes on a sailboat are called lines, he stopped and corrected himself. He said there are 4 ropes on a sailboat excluding this rule of thumb. My question is if any of you veterans know what they are.

We are currently working on a schooner, although I'm unsure if these ropes are exclusive to schooners. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Malabar VII newbie crewman
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hello all,

I just took a job on a charter sailboat on a NY Finger Lake, and the captain posed a question for which the reward is a bottle of local wine.

After explaining that all ropes on a sailboat are called lines, he stopped and corrected himself. He said there are 4 ropes on a sailboat excluding this rule of thumb. My question is if any of you veterans know what they are.

We are currently working on a schooner, although I'm unsure if these ropes are exclusive to schooners. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Malabar VII newbie crewman
 

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How many masts? Do the sails use bolt "ropes" to attach the luff or foot to grooves in the the mast or boom? (As opposed to slugs or cars.)
 

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Owner, Green Bay Packers
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Ashley says that traditionally there are seven ropes on board ship but that, in reality, over sixty have been called rope over the years. To the best of my knowledge he does not expand further on the matter!

bolt rope (already mentioned)
bell rope, for the ship's bell
foot rope, suspended beneath the yards for the seaman's feet

I'm sure someone will come up with another, if not all seven (for extra credit?), soon enough for you to pass muster, and win the wine.
 

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Size really does matter

According to the "Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea" the definition is...

"Rope -- the name given in the maritime world to all cordage of over 2.5 centimeters (1 in.) in diameter, whether made from natural, or manmade, fibres, or wire. ..."

I hope this helps...;)

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"

PS There were no listings under "Rope" specifying particular uses. Likely, the listing(s) would be under the word preceeding "Rope" in a multi-word name.
 

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What, only four?


According to The Art of Rigging By George Biddlecombe

ROPES. - All cordage in general, above one inch in circumference, which bear different names, according to their various uses.

BOLT-ROPE.—A rope to which the edges of a sail are sewed, in order to strengthen and prevent them from splitting. That part of a bolt-rope which is on the sides of a square-sail, are called the leech-ropes; that at the top, the head-rope; and that at the bottom, the foot-rope. Stay-sails have no head-rope. A Bolt Rope is the rope sewed to the skirts or edges of sails.

BREASTROPE.—To secure the leadsman when in the chains, heaving the lead. A Breast Rope is fastened along the laniards of the shrouds, for safety, when heaving the lead in the chains.

BUOY-ROPE.—The rope which fastens the buoy to the anchor. It should be a little more than equal in length to the depth of the water where the anchor lies, as it is intended to float near, or immediately above the bed of it, that the pilot or officer may at all times know the situation thereof. It should be always of sufficient strength to weigh the anchor, if necessary. (PL 6, fig. 10.) A Buoy Rope is a rope fastened to the buoy of the anchor.

DAVIT ROPE is the lashing which secures the davit to the shrouds, when out of use.

ENTERING ROPES hang from the upper part of the stanchions alongside the ladder at the gangways.

GUEST ROPES is fastened to an eye-bolt in the ship's side, and to the outer end of a boom, project- ing from the ship's side, by guys, to keep the boats clear off the sides.

HEAD-ROPES are the ropes sewed along the upper edge of sails, &c., to strengthen them; when applied to flags, are termed Headlines.

HEEL ROPE is to haul out jib-booms, and the bowsprits of cutters, etc.

MAN-ROPES — A general name given to the small sets of ropes, used for ascending or descending a ship's side, hatchways, &c. Bowsprit horses are also called man-ropes.

PASSING ROPES lead round the ship, through eyes in the quarter, waist, gangway, and forecastle stanchions, forward to the knight-heads.

RING ROPES are occasionally made fast to the ring-bolts in the deck, and by cross-turns round the cable, to confine it securely in stormy weather.
Slip Rope is to trice the bight of the cable into the head, and is also employed in casting off a vessel in a tide-way, etc.

SLIP-ROPE is a rope used to trice up the bight of other ropes; as, Get a slip rope round the bight of the cable, and trice it up into the head.

TILLER ROPE is the rope by which the tiller is worked. (Explained in Part III).

TOP-ROPE.—A rope employed to sway up a top-mast or topgallant mast, in order to fix it in its place, or to lower it in tempestuous weather, or when it is no longer necessary. The rope used on this occasion for the top-masts is, on account of their great weight, furnished with a top-tackle at its lower end, to hoist or lower the mast with greater facility. A top rope is a rope rove through the heel of a top-mast, to raise it by its tackle. to the mast-head,
 

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Rode [anchor], halyard, sheet, painter, spring, snubber, more no doubt that are not occurring to me. There are other trivial descriptors like "lashing" but I guess that's cheating. Either way I'm sure there are more than four.

That's without the words "rope" or "line" making an appearance, which I believe was the question.

You owe me a few glasses of that wine :)
 

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bolt rope (already mentioned)
bell rope, for the ship's bell
foot rope, suspended beneath the yards for the seaman's feet
tiller rope - to temporarily hold the tiller and keep the boat on course

I'm sure someone will come up with another, if not all seven (for extra credit?), soon enough for you to pass muster, and win the wine.
Which you will be expected to share with the rest of us :)

Sway, I'm surprised you didn't come up with them all! :)

Jim
 

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I found this while surfing. It was on this site.

Commander Bob's Boating Safety Notebook

Thought you might enjoy it too. :)


In commenting about his "love of rope" as a boy and into manhood, Lt/C Barry Briggs, S, of the Durham (NC) Power Squadron wrote this ditty, which was published in the August 1999 edition of the National Power Squadron magazine.


<center> Ode to Rope

As I cast off for that very first time,
The "rope" in my hand has now become "line".
And hauling the sails to the top of the mast,
That "rope", now a "halyard" holds strong, taught and fast.
Then sailing in brisk winds full force on a beat.
The sails are trimmed in by that "rope" that's a "sheet".
And now at my anchorage with sails safely stowed,
I trust in that "rope" that now serves as a "rode".
Through all my life I will never lose hope,
Of a reason or time to play with a rope.

</center>
 

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From the duplicate posting of the thread, and the other rope I was racking my mind for; manrope. Used alongside the jacob's or pilot ladder, also hung from the span wire of the lifeboat davits, and often found as well at the lower end of the gangway to aid embarkation.
 

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I'm thinking of the generic use of the word rope..
to say that all ropes on the sailboat are called lines except four..
my reply would be halyards, sheets, vang, outhaul, and even anchor rode..

all of those, when removed from a sailboat, would be called "rope" by the general public ..
 

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Cabin boy
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What would you use to hang a mutineer from the yardarm? Certainly not line, I think, but perhaps a hanging rope.
 

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I'm thinking of the generic use of the word rope..
to say that all ropes on the sailboat are called lines except four..
my reply would be halyards, sheets, vang, outhaul, and even anchor rode..

all of those, when removed from a sailboat, would be called "rope" by the general public ..
All of those are lines and the general public aren't seamen. And anchor rode describes function only and not the material used much like boat falls can be either wire rope or line. Rode can denote chain, line, or wire rope but not "rope".

Of course, the general public also calls a sheave a pulley and doesn't know starboard from port, either.
 

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This from Wikipedia



There are seven ropes on a ship:
foot rope
bolt rope
bucket rope
bell rope
tow rope
head rope
becket rope
 

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Don't forget the all important "goat rope". :D

FYI, I'm going to combine the two threads....
 

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"Hanging Rope"

OK, just asked the boss and she says, you can call it a rope or line but they are all lines on our boat except the "hanging rope" (or in boat speak the lynching line)
what about that rope thingy
sorry, I know this is very serious. :laugher
 
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