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Old 22-07-2014, 08:02   #1
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Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

My lines (jib and main sheets, furling line, halyards, etc.) are all having the same issue, which is leading me to believe I must not be doing something right. After several months of cruising they are all have a lot of twist in them. I am trying to get the twist out to prevent kinks and jams when I don't need them, but am amazed at the amount of twist. I coil them clockwise to work with the natural twist in the line.

Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong to put so much twist in my lines? Any suggestions on good ways to untwist them other than by hand, foot by foot?
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Old 22-07-2014, 08:17   #2
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

Don't coil them, flake them out in a figure 8 shape. If you have double braid lines there shouldn't really be any natural twist.
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Old 22-07-2014, 08:20   #3
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

You are putting a clockwise twist in the line when you coil it clockwise. I use the butterfly method or the figure eight method.

Also, I do not coil a line if it may be needed in the near future or in an emergency, like the main halyard when the main is up. I leave it in an "organized" pile with the bitter end on the bottom of the pile.

See links below.

Rope Coiling: Butterfly Coil

Figure 8 Flake | Coiling Rope Using the Figure 8 Flake | Rope Care Knots
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Old 22-07-2014, 09:39   #4
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

What they said.

This is a very common problem. I've had to stop many a guest from coiling the rope, carefully putting a half twist in the rope with each turn of the coil.

Butterfly coil. If you must coil in circles instead of a butterfly, expect many of the loops to make little figure eights. This is normal.

But seriously, butterfly coil.
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Old 22-07-2014, 09:45   #5
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
What they said.

This is a very common problem. I've had to stop many a guest from coiling the rope, carefully putting a half twist in the rope with each turn of the coil.
I had a friend who was a mountaineer. Took me a week to get him to stop twisting.

Actually it's easier to do without twisting.
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Old 22-07-2014, 09:48   #6
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I had a friend who was a mountaineer. Took me a week to get him to stop twisting.

Actually it's easier to do without twisting.
He must have been 100 years old. Every mountaineer I know butterfly coils. Twisted ropes are dealt in the mountains.

The old layed lines needed the twist. Braided don't.

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Old 22-07-2014, 09:51   #7
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

If it's double braid like most, there is no natural twist. I coil Counterclockwise and give each loop a spin with my fingertips while coiling it so that it has no tendency to twist at all coiled. I don't even think about it, it's automatic for me.
I have tried the figure 8 method, but I find it has a tendency to knot up if you have to release it fast etc. (one loop end seems to cinch itself around another)
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:01   #8
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

I am an amateur here but, I have read that it is important to look at the weave, or rove of the rope in question. Hold the rope up and take a look at the bitter end. If it is woven or roved in a clockwise direction - with respect to the bitter end, wind the rope in a clockwise direction to avoid twisting. If it is roved counterclockwise, wind the rope in that direction.

I hope this helps
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:35   #9
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

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Originally Posted by frgeorgeh View Post
I am an amateur here but, I have read that it is important to look at the weave, or rove of the rope in question. Hold the rope up and take a look at the bitter end. If it is woven or roved in a clockwise direction - with respect to the bitter end, wind the rope in a clockwise direction to avoid twisting. If it is roved counterclockwise, wind the rope in that direction.

I hope this helps
All modern lines are braided. There is no clockwise or counterclockwise difference.
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:35   #10
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
All modern lines are braided. There is no clockwise or counterclockwise difference.

Unless it's twisted
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:37   #11
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If it's double braid like most, there is no natural twist. I coil Counterclockwise and give each loop a spin with my fingertips while coiling it so that it has no tendency to twist at all coiled. I don't even think about it, it's automatic for me.
I have tried the figure 8 method, but I find it has a tendency to knot up if you have to release it fast etc. (one loop end seems to cinch itself around another)
If the figure 8 method is the same as butterfly coiling, then all you have to do to prevent the knotting is to run your hand down between the two halves. It will separate out. This would only be an issue if the rope has been stored for a while and gotten jumbled up.

I really find I can't do a coil without accidentally putting a bit of a twist in the rope. Maybe you have better wrists than I do.
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Old 22-07-2014, 11:28   #12
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

to untwist lines,trail them behind the boat whilst underway.

with halyards allways start coiling from where it is fastened,twisting each loop as you gather the line till you reach the end,never start at the end coiling to the fastened end.

coiling anchor line or otherwise long lenths of hard to manage line.
form a coil on the deck and feed the line into a neat coil,twisting each sucsessive loop in your hand.
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Old 22-07-2014, 17:32   #13
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

I think in some instances winches can also put twist into lines. Never quite been sure of 100% why, but seems like two factors, the way you put on the wraps, and the fleet angle, maybe inducing the line to roll slighly up or down the winch? Some winches do it bad, and some people do it bad. Adding turns to a loaded winch also often seems to do it. Self tailers seem to be less prone.
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Old 22-07-2014, 17:32   #14
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoid View Post

Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong to put so much twist in my lines? Any suggestions on good ways to untwist them other than by hand, foot by foot?
As Atoll says start from the captured end. I am right handed and hold the coil in my left. I "stretch" a length to arms width across my chest, then give a half twist with my right hand as I lay the coil into my left hand. Repeat. The stretch across the chest gives a consistent 3+ foot coil. For shorter lengths I stretch with my left hand in the middle of my chest. Gives a consistent 1.5 foot coil.

For active lines we do not coil them - Our piano is right above the companionway. All active lines are dropped into the companionway in case they need to be paid out quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If it's double braid like most, there is no natural twist. I coil Counterclockwise and give each loop a spin with my fingertips while coiling it so that it has no tendency to twist at all coiled. I don't even think about it, it's automatic for me.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post

with halyards allways start coiling from where it is fastened,twisting each loop as you gather the line till you reach the end,never start at the end coiling to the fastened end.

coiling anchor line or otherwise long lenths of hard to manage line.
form a coil on the deck and feed the line into a neat coil,twisting each sucsessive loop in your hand.
+2

Anchor rode should also be pre-flaked on deck ready for deployment - Nothing quite like the drama of an anchor rode going over the side in a big tangle - LOL...

For long lines - like anchor rode or towing line - coil as Atoll says - I use the bow to the stays as a "size" guide for the coil about 6-8 feet on my boat. When the coil is done tie off the coil with the free end then grab the stay end, flip it over to give a figure 8 and lay it back on the bow end. You can tie the now 3-4 foot coil in the middle if you like before laying it in a locker.
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Old 30-07-2014, 10:08   #15
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Re: Noobie Question: preventing twisted lines

Thanks everyone for the replies and links. I'm butterfly coiling now for my active lines. I was coiling with a slight twist from the cleat back to the free end but either that or the way I put the lines on and off the winch causing a lot of twist. The winch shouldn't really add twist as three turns to put on the winch would be canceled by three turns to take it off the winch.

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