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Old 25-01-2024, 12:42   #1
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A story for old mariners

Fifty four years ago I was working on my boat in a well known yard in the south of England. Over a period of months I had come to know quite a few of the workers in the yard and we would sometimes meet up in the local pub for a drink. Remember that in those days most of the second hand boats were built of timber. In fact my boat had been built in 1934 of teak on oak with copper clenches. Inevitably the conversation would turn to adventures at sea as most of the guys were sailors themselves.
One night a young fellow joined us and every time someone told a story of some incident at sea this young guy would top the story off with one of his own. If someone had sailed through 40 foot seas, he had sailed through 60 foot seas. If someone had survived a hurricane, he had survived three hurricanes. It soon became apparent that the guy was full of bs and needed to be taken down a peg or two. So after a while I told of a storm in the Mediterranean in which I had been forced to put two reefs in the garboard strake. There was a pause in the conversation as we waited to see what the young fellow would say.

“Oh, I’ve often had to do that,” he said. At which point the group fell about laughing fit to burst.


For those that don't know the garboard strake is the first plank above the keel and is usually the hardest to fit.
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Old 26-01-2024, 16:19   #2
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Re: A story for old mariners

Sounds like sending the new crew to get the futtock spanner from the bosun, right away!
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Old 26-01-2024, 17:34   #3
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Re: A story for old mariners

Good story
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Old 26-01-2024, 17:41   #4
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Re: A story for old mariners

....so... how DO you put 2 reefs in the garboard strake?


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Old 26-01-2024, 18:29   #5
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pirate Re: A story for old mariners

Visit some S Pacific atolls..
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Old 26-01-2024, 19:15   #6
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Re: A story for old mariners

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....so... how DO you put 2 reefs in the garboard strake?



very carefully.... especially in a storm...


First you crash into one.. Then... bail like mad until you crash into the second reef....
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Old 27-01-2024, 13:21   #7
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Re: A story for old mariners

psk125 mentioned the "futtock spanner". The futtock shrouds on a square rigger supported the join of the lower and upper masts. In the old days, and if you were a hardened sailor you climbed up and over the crows nest using the futtock shrouds rather than going up through the hole provided. That is what I love about boats and sailing. You never stop learning. I was recently working on a 129 year old gaff rigged cutter. It had these small platforms sticking out from the hull amidships and opposite the mast. The shrouds came down to the chain plates that ran outboard of these protrusions. I found out these are called chain whales. By the way I have a friend who was the "button boy" on a sail training ship. Have a look at this video. It explains it well.
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Old 27-01-2024, 13:56   #8
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pirate Re: A story for old mariners

Wow.. A real blast from the past.. 1965 to be exact.
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Old 27-01-2024, 14:28   #9
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Re: A story for old mariners

I was told years ago, that there are no " ropes" on a boat.
Cordage before coming aboard might be known as " rope", but once aboard it is christened with a new name.....sheet...halyard...etc....

I've tried to explain these new names to a variety of past girlfriends, who simply insisted on calling various lines.." the white one with the green stripes, etc, etc...

These are the times, when I simply accept defeat as the nobler course to take
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Old 27-01-2024, 16:31   #10
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Re: A story for old mariners

There is actually one rope on a boat. It's the bell rope! However having taught sailing for 15 years in the past I was pretty insistent on the students learning every part of the boat by its proper name and being able to tie at least four knots quickly. One time I had a young man come on the boat who knew 40 different knots. I had to concede that was many more then I knew.



I know I am an old sailor and a bit of a pedant when it comes to boats, but it annoys me when I watch some of the Youtube sailors who constantly refer to bedrooms, bathrooms, downstairs etc and complain when the autopilot plays up and they have to hand steer. Try hand steering across the Atlantic, four hours on and eight hours off!
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Old 27-01-2024, 16:50   #11
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pirate Re: A story for old mariners

Try it sunrise to sunset coz your solo with a stuffed AP..
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Old 27-01-2024, 16:56   #12
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Re: A story for old mariners

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There is actually one rope on a boat. It's the bell rope!
Hmmm.... my mainsail has a bolt rope, square riggers had foot ropes on the yards, and some had tiller ropes.

If we are gonna be pedantic, let's be thorough!

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Old 27-01-2024, 17:06   #13
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Re: A story for old mariners

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If we are gonna be pedantic, let's be thorough!
Jim
Yep, a square rigger has 7 ropes, one of them is a "man rope(s).
Interestingly, when a pilot boat comes alongside a ship, a line is tossed down to the pilot boat next to the ladder.
You guessed it, it's called a "man rope".
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Old 27-01-2024, 17:22   #14
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Re: A story for old mariners

I have in my collection of nautical themed books, several books which detail the artistry required to make a variety of fancy knots.

I take my hat off to the sailors of yore, for whom attaching a line to particular thing, cloth, or whatever, was done with a specific goal in mind, which also included an artistic flair.

However, nowhere in these esteemed knot making epistles, have I come across the " granny" knot, a knot I learned in my early years and which I became rather adept at making and still use to this day.

In later years, I also became an avid fisherman, and had to learn yet another myriad of knots, and their respective names, to attach a line to a hook, line to a line, etc.

It would be quite fun to get a number of posters on this forum around a table (preferable located in a bar) to show off their knot making abilities whilst quaffing a beer or two. Knots made after the fourth round of beer would be automatically disqualified. Cussing while making the knot would be frowned upon.

New knot names will require a trip to the sin bin.
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Old 28-01-2024, 13:11   #15
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Re: A story for old mariners

Jim Cate. I concede you are right.
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