How running rigging is terminated tells a lot about the rigger or the boat's owner. When ends are made up neatly, with sewn whippings or flemish eyes they tend to stay neat and avoid unraveling. It is a sign of a conscientious sailor.
On the other hand, you can always tape the ends, or burn them with a hot knife (or a match). But these approaches end up coming undone, making a mess in the process. If you happen to need to run a new sheet or guy during a bouncy night, and the end is all fluffed up, this becomes a safety issue.
Sewing on a whipping is a simple task which can be accomplished in a minute or two. Start with heavy waxed twine and a sharp needle. Put a figure-eight knot in the end of the twine, and then push the needle through the body of the rope, snugging up the knot against the outer cover (upper left). Make three or four tight wraps around the rope (upper right) and then take the needle through the body and cinch it tight. Bring the needle across the wraps and back through the body (middle left), and then make a couple more lengthwise seizings to keep the wrapping intact (middle right). Finish off with a half hitch around a strand of the rope and bury the end. The finished whipping will look like the lower left photo—neat, and it will be there forever.
Making a flemish eye with double braid is quite simple. Start by pulling a fid length of core out of the cover, taping it and cutting it off. Then take the cover (shown beside— right photo) slip it into the fid body, tape it in place, and slide the fid into the empty jacket as shown below. Sets of fids which are handy for splicing, too, can be purchased in just about any marine store.
Pull the fid through the cover and cut off the excess.
The eye is then bound with a sewn whipping. While this is not a structural loop in the sense of a proper eye splice, having flemish eyes on reef pennants and halyard ends makes it easy to reeve new line by tying on a messenger line to the eye.
Intermezzo, broad reaching in the trades, heading for Fiji. One of the problems with going aloft is that the view is so spectacular it is hard to remember you are up the mast to check on things and maybe do some work.
On Intermezzo, because of the age of her rig, we made it a habit to go aloft every third day to check on things. Only once did this yield results—but that probably saved the rig.
On our newer boats we check the rig before every passage.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.