Throwaway thinking

It’s a throwaway society today.
If it’s broke, replace it and that so goes against the grain with me.

During our travels we came across a lot of this and most of the time it involved ropes. Eh?

Take 6-10 tonnes of steel boat. How do you secure it? You use ropes. Only it’s not quite as bad as you’d think. After all a boat DISPLACES 6-10 tonnes and can be easily pushed around once you overcome the initial “grunt” of momentum.

Thus ropes in the normal “end user” role don’t actually need to be rated at 6-10 tonnes breaking strain. Well sort of.

I witnessed from close range a fouled ¾ inch (15mm) rope snagging on a bollard and having to support an 8 ton steel boat as the water drained away beneath it in a lock.


Needless to say it would have got a bit dangerous except the helmsman was quick enough to cut the rope before the boat capsized. That parted like a winch cable under load, explosively, and dangerously whipping past his face.

Then Bang!
A VERY LOUD BANG as some tonnage of steel boat dropped 3 feet into the gap beneath it with me in the boat alongside it and yes I got soaked.

OK, drama over with and we were left with a parted line.
What everyone seems to use is three strand polyester rope, what the rope looked like when it parted was like the sisal rope shown above them.

parted ropeOnly what to do next?
The owner was to later replace the whole rope because it was “easier to buy a new rope” (aka he didn’t know how to splice a new loop on the end of it). Must be nice to have money.

Yet disaster was not far away from me and shortly after a freak squall blew a coiled rope clean off the roof and into my propeller. DAMN IT!

I slammed the gearbox into neutral but it was too late, the weed cutter blade fitted to the prop had done its job and I lost about 6 meters of line. $%$&*^*%^$£^%&^*$, and other profanity was offered to the Gods of wind!
They in return turned on the rain and it blew a gale for the next hour.
OK, they won that round.

Problem was my rope was now too short for the deepest lock on the river and passing through that meant you needed REALLY long 25 meter mooring ropes.

Do you hate knots? I do especially when you are relying on a rope slipping smoothly round a bollard under control of your good self. Thus I like to SPLICE a rope i.e.

It took just 20 minutes to complete a 12 inch splice onto a short 7 meter spare bit of rope. Curiously it attracted a lot of attention too. Except from our friend who was mysteriously missing.

Tooling?
Insulation tape and a cross head screwdriver to act as a spike, my knife, and a lighter to melt the ends nicely once finished. Thus making a complete 25 meter ‘no significant loss of strength’ mooring line.

I did a piece on splicing a while ago funny enough called “SPLICING”.
Apart from being fun, it’s a useful (and economical) skill to learn.

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2 Responses to Throwaway thinking

  1. I learned how to splice yarn like you would rope when I used to be able to knit. I liked a clean join between my hanks of yarn when I was making a big project, and mastered a good splice. 🙂

    • I never thought of splicing yarn.
      It’s not something that I’d even try seeing as though the yarn is so thin and my fingers aren’t exactly known for their dexterity.
      Must run that past SWMBO. I never thought about how she “jointed” wool as she knocked up jumpers for us.
      Interesting thought that, I may be living with someone who could splice and never knew it!

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