Rigging on old sailing ships

It's been my experience that lines need to twist as they get coiled up. However, I"ve always wondered how those old sailing ships, w/all those lines, sails, blocks etc. kept on working w/o much trouble. I have a small boat lift, w/small line/pulleys that gets so twisted after a few uses that it will not work. I have to take it apart and untwist it.

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RE: Rigging on old sailing ships

For longer lines that have a tendency to kink up, you can flake them in an overlapping figure 8 pattern.   

RE: Rigging on old sailing ships

What type of line (laid or braided) and what material?

Traditional sailing ships used triple laid natural fiber lines with a right-hand (Z) lay for running rigging and left-hand (S) lay for standing rigging. They avoided hockles (knobs in cordage caused by twisting against the lay) and kinks by either making sure to coil the lines in the direction of the lay or flaking them in a figure 8 fashion.

So if you're using laid rope for your line, don't hand coil it in either direction. Flake it either flat on the floor (only for very temporary storage) or vertically (for long term storage) and you'll never have major problems again. Note that the process of flaking requires you to remove any twist while you're doing it, but if properly and consistently done twists will be small, if any.

The alternative is to use braided line which does not have built-in twist and will never develop hockles and only mild twist.



RE: Rigging on old sailing ships

Ninja'd by Mark  

RE: Rigging on old sailing ships

 Thanks for the response, that helped me to understand the problem 

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