But if is subject was "Just learning
the lines", I'd think he was some kind of actor.
"Many boaters will inform you that rope
mysteriously turns into line the moment you get it aboard your boat and is never again referred to as rope
. But perhaps that is an affectation born of a desire to be more nautical than one’s knowledge or experience permits, because there has always been rope on boats....
It’s true that for practical purposes ropes are given other names on boats, and may turn into sheets
, halyards, warps, rodes, pendants, painters, hawsers, strops, cables
lines, docklines, leech lines, heaving lines, downhauls, uphauls, out-hauls, guys, reef points, lashings, lanyards, preventers, and vangs, among others.But there are still also many “ropes” on a vessel, including the bolt rope, the tiller rope, the foot rope, the check rope, the dip rope, and others, including wire rope. ...
Most telling of all, a sailor’s own phrase for professional competence was “to know the ropes.” Not the lines."