International Guild of Knot Tyers

The Complete Rigger - Wire and Rope by Brion Toss

The Complete Rigger - Wire and Rope by Brion Toss

Littlehampton Book Services Ltd.(1985), ISBN 9780540073146

Brion Toss is an I.G.K.T. member who runs his own loft in Maine, U.S.A., and has rigged yachts and bigger commercial vessels. He’s taught rope and wire work, done fancywork, and made industrial gear for cranes and lifts and logging. His excellent book is enhanced by the apt, humerous drawings of Robert Shetterly, although the genial, bearded, horny-handed old rigger he portrays is nothing like the quietly charming young American author we met at the Guilds Extravaganza. Back in the U.S.A. - when originally published by International Marine - this book was titled (I believe) The Rigger’s Apprentice; just so, for in it Brion lets us see jobs after showing and encouraging us to cope with each one in turn. We serve an apprenticeship with him the master. All one will ever need to know of traditional marlinespike seamanship is explained to suit needs and materials. Amateur or professional, beginner and expert, there’s something for all, from basic beginnings to wire splice strain test results ...even a little relevant maths and physics when it will help. Brion‘s text is delightfully punny, yet all the while teaching and taking a fresh look at techniques you thought you knew, He even reveals what worries a rigger (generally; “Did I measure it right?” “Please let it fit.”) and shares the lessons he’s learned which stop future fretting. This book cannot be too highly recommended. If the only rigging you will ever do is inside your head on the living-room sofa, it’s a marvellous look at a rare trade. For the determined do-it-yourselfer, it’s an investment that’ll pay back the first time you use it. This could be the ropework publication of the decade.

G.B