Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I came home to three more books tonite.
Sailmaker's Apprencice, Marlinspike sailor and and Riggers Apprentice.
Funny, I was just thinking about that rhyme yesterday that goes,

"Worm and parcel with the lay,
turn and serve the other way."

I can't even tell you why I know that line, must be from pre-history.
Anyway the scanner is broken so no pictures today.

The meaning of the rhyme is how you serve rope. When hemp rope is used as standing rigging it needs to be protected from water and chafe. To do this you lay in, along with the lay, or twist of the line, a smaller line. This kind of fills in the space between the strands to make a more circular cross-section. That's the worm. Then canvas strips are wound overlapping tightly over that, also with the lay, sort of spirally bandaging that keeps water out. Last, tarred marline, a kind of twine, is wound tightly against the lay over all that and usually painted, making a very stiff watertight covering.

I want to eliminate standing rigging from my boat design. I was forever tuning my 420 rig. My 420 only had three stays: a fore and shrouds. I helped John tune Torch's rig last summer while bouncing along on the foredeck, much fun. A-cats have 7 stays: a forestay, four shrouds, and two running backstays. So when sailing, six are in use: the five standing on the foredeck, plus one of the backstays. The leeward one is slacked off, until you come about or jibe, then the leeward becomes the windward and vice versa, so a quick change is required. Port & starbord backstay handlers are part of the designated cockpit crew. The two others are Skipper, the driver manning the helm and a mainsheet tailer. When racing you will also have a navigator looking for the marks and planning the course headings. Everyone else is rail meat or movable ballast subject to the whim of the skipper in balancing the boat to the breeze and also fore & aft to make her speedy.

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