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Old 27-02-2021, 12:52   #1
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Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Seen recently: another sailor put down for using the word, "rope". The point is well made that usually we buy rope from the chandlery, and then after we install it on a boat that rope becomes a named "line." We are good so far. But if someone calls it a "rope" it's not a sin; we can understand what they mean. We all mis-speak from time to time.

Here's the deal: the claim that there are NO ropes in our terminology is not really accurate. I can think of six ropes on a ship, and I hope you will add more that I have missed, viz.:

bolt rope, in the luff of a sail
tiller rope, to tie your tiller when you need a rest
foot rope, to stand on when furling a sail aloft
bell rope, to ring the bell (sometimes rendered "lanyard" but never as "line")
tow rope, when you need a tow
manropes, on both sides of a rope ladder

cheers. doublewide
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Old 27-02-2021, 13:08   #2
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

The goal should be clarity.



I hear people speak of an "anchor line," but describing it as either chain or rope rode is more common and more clear.

You might say you "warped" a boat across the harbor, but perhaps kedging is more common usage. Opinions? Which is more clear?

You could trail warps (loops of weighted rope) in a gale, but that is something people talk about a lot more than actually do.

If it's coiled in a locker, it's rope to me, same as if it were in a store, unless it is a spare rode or a dock line. A retired halyard is a rope.
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Old 27-02-2021, 13:23   #3
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

And, there's bolt rope, in the luff of some sails that fit into "bolt rope slots" on headfoils.

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Old 27-02-2021, 15:32   #4
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Slightly stretching it... but if you put a loop in your dock line and "throw" it over a cleat, the old west name for that is "roping"
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Old 27-02-2021, 18:18   #5
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Last time we went through this I think we got up to 40 something possible "ropes"


Here's one such list:
1. Awning-Rope, A rope around an area to which an awning is laced
2. Back-Rope The rope or pendant or small chain for staying the dolphin striker.
3. Bell-Rope A short rope attached to the tongue of a ships's bell.
4. Boat-Rope A separate rope veered to the boat to be towed at a ship's stern.
5. Bolt-Rope A hard laid rope used in several places whee it is not required to flex, such as the Head Rope, Foot Rope, Leech Rope and Luff Rope of a sail.
6. Breast-Rope A rope fastened along the lanyards of the shrouds to secure the leadsman when in the chains, heaving the lead.
7. Breech-Rope A rope to restrain the recoil of a gun when discharged.
8. Bucket-Rope A rope attached to the handle of a bucket for drawing water to scrub the deck, put out fire, ect.
9. Bull-Rope A hawser rove through a block on the bowsprit and attached to a bouy to keep it clear of the ship.
10. Bouy-Rope A rope that fastens the bout to the anchor.
11. Cat-Rope A line for hauling the cat-hook about.
12. Check-Rope A rope made fast to anything stationary for the purpose of bringing a moving vessel to a stand.
13. Clew-Rope In large sails the eye or loop at the clew is made of a rope larger than the bolt ropeinto which it is spliced.
14. Davit-Rope Lashing that secures the davit to the shroud when not in use.
15. Drag-Ropes Two ropes that are trailed from the after quarters of a sailing vessel so that if fell overboard he could grab one of these ropes as the vessel passed him. They generally had Turk's head knots on them, spaced about 21/2 feet apart, to assist in climbing aboard.
16. Entering Ropes(Man Ropes)jg Ropes that hung from the upper part of the stanchions alongside of the ladder at the gangways.
17. Foot-Rope A rope suspended under a yard or boom for men to stand on. Also, that part of a bolt to which the bottom of a sail is attached.
18. Grab-Rope A line secured above a boat boom or gangplank for steadying oneself.
19. Guest-Rope A rope fastened to an eye-bolt in the ships side, and to the outer end of a boom, projecting from the ship's side, by guys, to keep the boats clear off the sides.
20. Hawse-Rope A rope used to take the strain off the anchor warp when clearing hawse.
21. Head-Rope A rope to haul out jib-booms, and the bowsprits of cutters, etc. Also, that part of a bolt rope at the top of a sail.
22. Heel-Rope A rope for securing the inner end of a studding-sail boom to a yard.
23. Jaw-Rope A rope over a jaw of a gaff to keep it from leaving the mast.
23. Limber-Rope A rope rove fore-and-aft throughout the limbers to clear them if necessary. ( Also a light bronze chain was used for this purpose and known as a Limber-Chain)
24. Luff-Rope That part of a bolt rope on a fore-and-aft sail nearest the mast.
25. Parrel-Rope A rope used to confine a yard to a mast at its center.
26. Passing-Rope A rope led round the ship, through the eyes in the quarter, waist, gangway, and forecastle stanchions forward to the knight's head.
27. Port-Ropes Ropes for the hauling up and suspending the gun port lids.
28. Ridge-Ropes Ropes sewed along the center of an awning to give it the pitch needed to shed rain.
29. Ring-Rope Ropes made fast to the ring-bolts in the deck, and by cross turns around the cable to confine it in stormy weather, Also used to reeve off the anchor cable through the hawsehole.
30. Slip-Rope A rope whose bight is passed through the ring of a mooring bouy with both ends on shipboard. By letting go one end and hauling on the other the ship is freed.
31. Span-Rope A rope made fast at both ends for hooking a block to the bight.
32. Spring-rope A rope led from a ships's quarter to her anchor cable, to bring her broadside guns to bear upon a given object.
33. Swab-Rope A rope tied to the handle of a swab for dipping it overboard.
34. Tail-Rope A rope, attached to the clew cringle, that is made taut when the sheets are transferred.
35. Tiller-Ropes Ropes leading from the tiller head round the barrel of the wheel. Also used to secure and control the tiller of a small craft.
36. Top-Rope Rope rove throught the heel of a topmast to hist it by its tackle to the masthead.
37. Trip-Rope Rope fastened to the tripping hook of the anchor tackle to release the anchor when the order, "Let fall!" is given.
37. Yard-Rope A temporary rope used for hoiting a yard for crossing or sending down.
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Old 27-02-2021, 18:30   #6
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Super list, Stu.

Disagree about spring rope, though, we always call that a spring line, even when it is led only to the anchor chain.

Ann
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Old 27-02-2021, 18:34   #7
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
The goal should be clarity.



I hear people speak of an "anchor line," but describing it as either chain or rope rode is more common and more clear.

You might say you "warped" a boat across the harbor, but perhaps kedging is more common usage. Opinions? Which is more clear?

You could trail warps (loops of weighted rope) in a gale, but that is something people talk about a lot more than actually do.

If it's coiled in a locker, it's rope to me, same as if it were in a store, unless it is a spare rode or a dock line. A retired halyard is a rope.
Thing is, you can warp a boat around from one pier to another without using a kedge but by simply leading a warp from the boat to the target pier.
Also, even when something is a line, it's still made out of rope. My anchor line is a 3-strand rope; my halyards are 12-stand rope. My bucket lanyard is made of rope, so are my dinghy painter, reef gaskets, stays and shrouds.
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Old 28-02-2021, 09:43   #8
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Last time we went through this I think we got up to 40 something possible "ropes"


Here's one such list:

37. Yard-Rope A temporary rope used for hoiting a yard for crossing or sending down.
I am not familiar with the term "hoiting" and can find no reference online. Please enlighten. Thanks.
Ahhhh, perhaps it should have read: Hoisting? In which case "for crossing or sending down" also could use some enlightenment. ???
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Old 28-02-2021, 09:55   #9
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Yes, and the expression is "to learn the ROPES", not to learn the lines. That's for actors! And if you look at the great sailing ships of the late 19th and early 20th century (like Balclutha in San Francisco), that was an awful lot of "ropes" to learn! There's a funny scene in Irving Johnson's film of going around The Horn, of the ship's dog chasing the cadets around the deck, nipping at the heels of any stragglers, as the mate called out the name of a "rope" and the cadets had to lay their hands on them.
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Old 28-02-2021, 09:55   #10
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Thanks, Stu
That's an amazing list.
d.
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Old 28-02-2021, 09:56   #11
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Quote:
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Thing is, you can warp a boat around from one pier to another without using a kedge but by simply leading a warp from the boat to the target pier....

True, I've used ropes to turn my boat in the slip a few times. As I recall, the engine was dead or acting goofy. With a cat, having one engine out makes close maneuvering a nightmare (they go in circles).
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Old 28-02-2021, 10:30   #12
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Manatees have been observed with line or rope in their mouths which have inadvertently and carelessly, been hung over the side.
As terminology follows function, neither the term line nor rope is correct.
Floss is the proper term.
Happy trails to you.
The manatees.
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Old 28-02-2021, 12:55   #13
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewide View Post
Seen recently: another sailor put down for using the word, "rope". The point is well made that usually we buy rope from the chandlery, and then after we install it on a boat that rope becomes a named "line." We are good so far. But if someone calls it a "rope" it's not a sin; we can understand what they mean. We all mis-speak from time to time.

Here's the deal: the claim that there are NO ropes in our terminology is not really accurate. I can think of six ropes on a ship, and I hope you will add more that I have missed, viz.:

bolt rope, in the luff of a sail
tiller rope, to tie your tiller when you need a rest
foot rope, to stand on when furling a sail aloft
bell rope, to ring the bell (sometimes rendered "lanyard" but never as "line")
tow rope, when you need a tow
manropes, on both sides of a rope ladder

cheers. doublewide
There are no ropes on a boat.
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Old 28-02-2021, 14:58   #14
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

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Originally Posted by RiverRat37 View Post
I am not familiar with the term "hoiting" and can find no reference online. Please enlighten. Thanks.
Ahhhh, perhaps it should have read: Hoisting? In which case "for crossing or sending down" also could use some enlightenment. ???
It's not my list! I just re-published it verbatin complete with spelling errors and ambiguities
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Old 28-02-2021, 15:38   #15
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Re: Just for fun: Ropes on a boat or ship

Hangman's Rope is another.
When hanged from the yard arm.
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