Knowing The Ropes A Sailor's Guide to Selecting, Rigging and Handling Lines Aboard By Roger C Taylor, Illustrated by Kathy BRAY
International Marine 1989 ISBN 9780877423911
"I just love....all that new rope.....you can never have too much rope around a boat...I'm always tempted to buy some." So starts the author. Already I like him. He then sets out to show how - when mechanised fittings fail - to introduce simpler, cheaper, less strenuous and more elegant ways of handling lines on modem yachts and dinghies. An introduction describes the choice, use and care for rope; making basic knots and splices in it; and how to coil, whip, marry, haul on, reef and lash it. This is followed by traditional cordage contrivances which include lazy jacks, downhauls, vangs, preventers and tackles. Anchoring, mooring and berthing, securing gear, and hoisting loads, are also detailed. It's an easy but instructional read, with just the occasional trans-Atlantic word to remind us that the author was a V.S. Navy Commander, editorial director of the V.S. Naval Institute, and founder of 24 International Marine Publishing Company. He now sails full-time. This is a soft cover book. approx. 9" x 7.5", with 146 pages and abundant clear line drawings. Appended - nothing to do with knots - is a discussion of sea language, helpful if you don't know a luff from a lazarette, or sea from scend. My only quibbles: Mr. Taylor omits to say that his rope sizes are diameters (I guess they are); I'm not keen on triple square (reef) knots or round turns with THREE half hitches; and the book is a trifle pricey here in the U.K. Otherwise, sailormen and women (blue water, coastal, sheltered or armchair), with 60 to 600 square feet of sail, could spend a worse winter than assembling versatile standing and running rigging from this useful manual.