HNSA Crest with photos of visitors at the ships.



THERE are four varieties of rope in the United States naval service: that made of the fibres of the hemp plant; the Manilla rope, made of the fibres of a species of the wild banana; hide rope, made of strips of green hide, and wire rope.

In some countries, ropes made of horse hair, of the fibrous husk of the cocoanut, called coir-rope, and of tough grasses, are quite common. In our own country, rope has been made from the flax and cotton plants. The metals have also been put in requisition, copper-wire rope being used for particular purposes, principally for lightning conductors, and iron and steel wire are in general use for standing rigging; steel wire being some fifty per cent. stronger than iron wire of the same size.

Of the many vegetable substances that are adapted to rope-making, the best is hemp-hemp-rope possessing in a remarkable degree the essential qualities of flexibility and tenacity.

Hemp in its transit from its native fields to the ropewalk passes through the operations of dew-rotting, scotching and hackling. In the first process water dissolves the glutinous matter that binds the fibrous portion to the woody core, thus partly setting the fibres free; scotching breaks the stalk and separates it still further from the fibre, and hackling consists in combing out the hemp to separate the long and superior fibres from the short and indifferent ones or tow.

The hemp of commerce is put up in bundles of about 200 lbs. each. If good, it will be found to possess a long, thin fibre, smooth and glossy on the surface, and of a yellowish green color; free from "spills" or small pieces of the woody substance; possessing the requisite properties of strength and toughness, and inodorous.

Russian and Italian hemp are considered the best, for the generality of purposes. Rope made from the best quality of Russian hemp, is more extensively used in the navy than any other kind.

Italian hemp is only used in the navy for packing for engines, its cost being more than double that of Russian hemp.

The Native American dressed hemp, easily distinguished


by its dark grayish color, is preferred for many purposes, such as for marline, houseline, hambroline, and all cordage spun by hand, the fibre being finer-than that of the Russian hemp.

Cotton is a poor substitute for hemp, in rope-making, lacking its strength and durability. It retains moisture when once wet, and is liable to rot.

Flax is used sometimes for deep-sea sounding-lines, though reeled piano wire has replaced it for this purpose where great depths are measured.

Sail Twine is made of cotton or flax.

The size of Rope is denoted by its circumference, and the length is measured by the fathom. The cordage allowed in the equipment of a man-of-war ranges from 1 1/4 (15-thread) to 10 inches inclusive.

For a brief description of the process of rope-making, see Appendix A.

Varieties of Rope. In rope-making the general rule is to spin the yarn from right over to left. All rope yarns are therefore right-handed. The strand, or ready, formed by a combination of such yarns, becomes left-handed. Three of these strands being twisted together form a right-handed rope, known as plain-laid rope. Fig. 14, Plate 7.

White Rope. Hemp rope, when plain-laid and not tarred in laying-up, is called white rope, and is the strongest hemp cordage. It should not be confounded with Manilla. It is used for log-lines and signal halliards. The latter are also made of yarns of untarred hemp, plaited by machinery to avoid the kinking common to new rope of the ordinary make. This is called "plaited stuff," or "signal halliard stuff."

The tarred plain-laid ranks next in point of strength, and is in more general use than any other. The lighter kinds of standing rigging, much of the running rigging, and many purchase falls are made of this kind of rope.

Cable-laid or Hawser-laid Rope, Fig. 15, is left-handed rope of nine strands, and is so made to render it impervious to water, but the additional twist necessary to lay it up seems to detract from the strength of the fibre, the strength of plain-laid being to that of cable-laid as 8.7 to 6; besides this, it stretches considerably under strain.

Back-handed Rope. In making the plain laid, it was said that the readies were left-handed, the yarns and the rope itself being right-handed. If, instead of this, the ready is given the same twist the yarn has (right-handed), then, when brought together and laid up, the rope must come left-handed. This is called left-handed or back-handed rope. It is more pliable than the plain-laid,

Plate 7, Fig 14-18, rope and ropemaking machine.

less liable to kinks and grinds when new, and is allowed, in the navy, for reeving off lower and topsail braces.

Shroud-laid. Rope, Fig. 16, Plate 7, is formed by adding another strand to the plain-laid rope. But the four spirals of strands leave a hollow in the centre, which, if unfilled, would, on the application of strain, permit the strands to sink in, and detract greatly from the rope's strength, by an unequal distribution of strain. The four strands are, therefore, laid up around a heart, a small rope, made soft and elastic, and about one-third the size of the strands.

Experiments show that four-stranded rope, when under 5 inches, is weaker than three-stranded of the same size; but from 5 to 8 inches, the difference in strength of the two kinds is trifling, while all above 8 inches is considered to be equal to plain-laid when the rope is well made.

Four-stranded rope is now but little used except for lifts, preventer-parrels, Jacob's ladders and rigging laniards.

Tapered Rope is used where much strain is brought on only one end. That part which bears the strain is full-sized, tapering off to the hauling part, which is light and pliable. Fore and main tacks and sheets are made of tapered rope.

Twice-laid Rope is made from second-hand yarns. This rope may be readily known by the different shades of color of the yarns, but it is often difficult to determine, by mere inspection, whether it is relaid from what was good rope, and, consequently, still good, or made up from junk or condemned rigging, and worthless. Twice-laid rope is only met with on board ship when necessity has compelled its purchase on foreign stations.

Manilla Rope seems to be better adapted to certain purposes on board ship than hemp, being more pliable, buoyant, causing less friction, and not so easily affected by moisture. It is used for hawsers, tow-lines, and for light-running rigging and gun-tackle falls. Manilla is now less used in the navy than formerly. The Book of Allowances states that the cheap first cost of Manilla as compared with hemp is more than compensated by the greater market value of the hemp when worn-out. This statement is not correct if applied to the current relative values of hemp and Manilla junk in this country.

Hide Rope is made of strips cut by machinery from green hides. Formerly used for topsail tyes, and for tailing on to such ropes as are exposed to much chafe in some particular part, as topsail sheets, etc., it is now allowed only for wheel ropes. Its strength is about one-third that of hemp.

Hide rope requires care to keep it in good order, and should not be exposed to the weather unnecessarily. It should be given a lick of thin tar (Swedish preferred)


as often as may be necessary, usually about twice a year.

Avoid serving the splices of hide rope. When spare wheel ropes are stowed away they should be well oiled and headed up in a barrel to preserve them from rats and mice.

One set of wheel-ropes is now supplied of flexible iron wire-rope.

Bolt Rope is the name applied to rope used for roping sails. It is made of the best hemp and finest yarns, and is the most superior kind of cordage.

Wire Rope for general use in the navy is made from one quarter to seven inches, inclusive, in circumference, those being the maximum and minimum sizes likely to be needed.

Each strand has a hemp heart, and the rope itself has a heart usually of the same material; this adds greatly to its pliability.

When first introduced, it was thought that great difficulty would be found in manipulating wire rigging, but our best riggers cut, fit and splice it as readily as they do hemp rigging.

In its less bulk and cost, wire rope has decided advantages over hemp for the standing rigging. of ships, and now all vessels of the navy are provided with standing rigging of wire.

Besides the great advantage that wire rigging possesses of not being affected by the heat and sparks from the smokestack, its durability is at least three or four times that of common rope, and, when once completely set, does not require further pulling up.

Wire rope may be used for strapping blocks, and will be found neat and serviceable.

In Appendix A will be found a table of comparative dimensions of chain cables, hemp, iron and steel rope, with breaking strains and weights per fathom.

Small Stuff is the general term applied to small rope. It is particularized by the number of threads or yarns which it contains, and is further known either as ratline stuff or seizing stuff.

Ratline Stuff is three-stranded, right-handed small stuff of 24, 21, 18, 15 or 12 threads. It is measured by the fathom.

Seizing Stuff, Is of 9, 6, 4 or 2 threads, and is measured by the pound. While all varieties of small stuff may be spoken of as "24, 18, 9, &c., thread stuff," the smaller varieties have also special names, according to their number of threads and the manner of laying up. We have:

Hambroline, two-stranded, right-handed, and

Roundline, three-stranded, right-handed. Both of


these are made of fine back or left-handed yarns, so that the stuff itself is right-handed.

Marline, two-stranded, left-handed.

Housline, three-stranded, left-handed. Both of these are made of finer dressed hemp, and have altogether a neater, cleaner and smoother appearance than spun-yarn.

Spun-Yarn is also left-handed, and of two, three or four strands. Spun-yarn is always in great demand aboard ship, being used for seizings, service, and a great variety of purposes. In its manufacture, "long tow," as it is termed, or the tow of the first hackling, is hackled again, and laid up loosely, left-handed, and to keep it from opening is well tarred and rubbed down.

For fine seizings and service, hambroline and roundline (right-handed), or marline and housline (left-handed) are the kinds of small stuff selected. For ordinary purposes, spun-yarn is used.

Nettles, used for hammock clews, and where very neat stops are required, are made by laying up two or three yarns in a taut twist with the thumb and fingers, and then rubbing it down smooth.

Foxes, used for temporary seizings, making mats, sennit, gaskets, reefing beckets, boat gripes, bending studding sails, &c., are made of two or more yarns, as required, laid up by twisting by hand, and then well rubbed down with a piece of tarred parcelling.

A Spanish Fox is a single yarn twisted up tightly in a direction contrary to its natural lay-that is, left-handed, and rubbed smooth. It makes a neat seizing, and is used for the end seizings of light standing rigging, and for small seizings generally.

Rumbowline is the name sometimes applied to coarse, soft rope, made from outside yarns, to be used for temporary lashings, &c.

Rogue's Yarn is a single untarred thread, sometimes placed in the centre of the rope, or in the centre of each strand, denoting government manufacture.

Junk is supplied for the purpose of working up into various uses-such as for swabs, spun-yarn, nettle-stuff, lacings, seizings, earings, gaskets, &c.-of all of which the supply, in proper kind, is generally inadequate. Good junk is got out of such material as condemned hawsers-they having been necessarily made of the best stuff, and condemned before being much injured. Old rigging makes bad junk, not being condemned generally until much worn.

Of the worst junk, swabs and spun-yarn should be made; of the best, nettle and seizing-stuff, lacings, earings, &c.

Large junk, such as lengths of towlines, should be unlaid


before being put below, that it may admit of being snugly stowed.

Shakings are odds and ends of yarns and small ropes, such as are found in the sweepings of the deck after work. They are collected, put in a bag kept for the purpose, and at certain times served out to the watch to be picked into Oakum, a good supply of which should always be on hand for any calking that may be required, for stuffing jackasses, boat's fenders, &c.

Use of the Ropermaker's Winch, Fig. 18, Plate 7. A ship's winch, which will make very fair 2-inch rope, is about 15 inches in diameter. In the frame, which is double, are placed five hooks-the three upper ones for general use, the fourth for four-stranded rope, and the centre one for hardening up large rope after it has been laid up by the upper ones (the latter not being sufficiently strong for the purpose). The shanks of the hooks, between the two parts of the frame, are inserted in cogged barrels, which are turned by the wheel, one revolution of which gives nine to the hooks-any one of which can be thrown out of gear by hauling it back close to the after part of the frame.

A loper is a swivel hook, Fig. 17 (a), which, by revolving freely, allows the strands to twine up together, by the twist put in them as the top is withdrawn.

The top, Fig. 17 (b), is a conical piece of wood, scored on the outside for the reception of the strands. Its use is to keep the strands separate between it and the winch, and to regulate the amount of twist in the rope behind it, by being moved along either slowly or rapidly. When four-stranded rope is required, a hole is bored through the centre, as a lead for the heart.

A length of junk being brought on deck, you proceed to unlay it by attaching the strands to separate hooks, and the loper to the other end-one hand holding back on it, and then heaving back-two hands following the rope down to separate the ends.

Spun-Yarn is made by hooking all the yarns that compose it (according to the size required) upon one hook. You then heave round, the reverse way to the lay of the yarns (which in ordinary rope are all right-handed) until there is plenty of back turn in them, holding on the ends by hand; then rub down and make it up.

In rubbing down, a boy puts the end of a strand over his shoulder, and walks away with it, another hand holding on the rubber (which is the end of the strand doubled up loose) round the stuff they are laying up.

As many lengths of spun-yarn can, of course, be made at once as there are hooks on the winch.

Nettle-Stuff. Hitch the yarns to separate hooks; let a couple of hands then take hold of them, and commencing close to the winch, walk back while it is hove round the


reverse way; the yarns are thus hove up the contrary way to what they were originally, to soften them; for when drawn out of rope, they are usually hard and angular; and would not lie square, or bear an equal strain, if laid up in that condition. When thus relaid, the ends are knotted together, the loper hooked on-one hand holding on to it, the top put in, the winch hove round the same way as at first, and the top moved along towards the winch. When up to it, the top is taken out, the yarns unhooked, and hitched to a single hook, then the winch hove round the opposite way to what you have just been heaving it, to harden the stuff up; rub down and make up.

Thus, the yarn will be left-handed, and the nettle-stuff right-handed; for, though the winch is hove round the same way with both, the twist in the yarns causes them to unite abaft the top with the lay of contrary denomination, and the revolutions of the loper prevent the turn coming out again.

Six (or nine) Thread Stuff: Put two (or three) yarns on three separate hooks; hold on the end by hand, keeping each of the three lengths separate, and heave round a reverse turn, as with spun-yarn. When sufficiently hove up, knot the ends together, hook on the loper, put in the top, and proceed as with nettle-stuff.

Fig. 18 gives a general idea of the winch, in operation.

General Remarks on Rope. The strength of a rope-yarn of medium size is equal to 100 lbs., but the measure of strength of a given rope is not, as might naturally be supposed, 100 lbs. multiplied by the number of yarns contained in the rope. The twist given to the yarn, after certain limits, diminishes its strength, as already stated, and with the best machinery it is scarcely possible that each yarn of the tope should bear its proper proportion of strain. The difference in the average strength of a yarn differs with the size of the rope. Thus, in a 12-inch rope, the average strength of each yarn is equal to 76 lbs., whereas, in a rope of half an inch, it is 104 lbs.

Experiment has shown that by applying a constant, or even frequent, strain equal to half its strength, the rope will eventually break. This seems to be particularly the case with cable-laid rope, which is the weakest of all.

It has been ascertained that a good selvagee, carefully made with the same number and description of yarns, as the common three-stranded plain-laid rope, possesses about the same degree of strength.

It has been shown by experiment, that where a span is so placed as to form an angle less than 30 degrees, the strength of the two parts of the rope or chain of which it is composed, is less than the strength which one such part would have if placed in a direct line with the strain.

Right-handed ropes are coiled down with the sun, or in


the direction pursued by the hands of a watch; the left-handed ropes, against the sun. An exception to this rule is in the hemp cables and hawsers, which are left-handed and are coiled away with the sun.

In taking out new rigging from a coil, the end should be passed through the coil and coiled down against its lay to get the turns out.

Avoid covering hemp rope with leather, especially green hide, unless good and well-tarred parcelling be interposed.

Rope contracts very considerably by wetting it. Advantage may be, and often is, taken of this, by wetting lashings, which are required to be very taut and solid, and are not permanent, as the lashing of a garland on a lower mast for taking it in or getting it out. For the same reason in rainy weather, braces, halliards, sheets, clew-lines, and other rigging requiring it, should be slacked up to save an unnecessary strain on the rope, and avoid the risk of springing a yard or carrying something away.

Running rigging has nothing to protect it from the effects of the weather, excepting, in hemp, the tar taken up in the process of manufacture, and after being wet the air should be allowed to circulate through it freely. Rope should never be stowed away until thoroughly dry.

Running rigging, when not in actual use, should be kept neatly coiled down near the pin to which it belays, taking care always to capsize the coil that the running part may be on top, so that it may run clear. In port, during good weather, the rigging may be coiled down in flemish coils, that is, perfectly flat, as soon as the decks are dry enough in the morning, and left so until the decks are cleared up at seven bells in the afternoon, when the ends should be run out, the rope coiled down snugly and triced up in readiness for washing decks in the morning.

When scrubbing clothes or hammocks, soap at times unavoidably gets on the rigging: it should be carefully washed off before the decks are dry.

One rope may be rove by another by putting the two ends together, and worming three yarns or pieces of spun-yarn in the lay for three or four inches on each side, and clove-hitching the ends around the rope, or opening the strands and laying them in. This is always done when reeving new braces by old ones, and with running rigging generally.

To Find the Breaking Strain of Government Rope:

Untarred Hemp: Multiply the square of circumference in inches by 1371.4 = strength in pounds.

Tarred Hemp: Use in above formula 1044.9 as the multiplier.

Manilla Rope: Use 783.7 as the multiplier.


Iron-wire Rope: Weight in pounds per fathom x by 4480 = strength in pounds, but if

Steel-wire Rope, use 7098 as the multiplier. Or by the

Practical Rule for ascertaining the Strength of Rope. The square of half the circumference gives the breaking strain of the weakest plain-laid rope in tons, and is therefore a safe rule.

Thus, by the table, the breaking strain of a 6-inch rope is 10 tons, and by the rule (6/2)2=9 tons.

The breaking strain of a 10-inch rope is, by the table, 28 tons, and by the rule (10/2)2=25 tons.

No cordage should be subjected to a strain above one-third of its estimated strength.

For ascertaining the Weight of Rope. Three-strand, plain-laid, 25-thread yarn, tarred. Multiply the square of the circumference by the length in fathoms, and divide by 4.24 for the weight in lbs.

Ex. 2-inch rope, 113 fathoms. (22 x 113)/4.24 = 106 lbs. - actual weight, 105 lbs.

The divisor for hempen cables is 4.79.

A Practical Rule for determining the relative Strength of Chain and Rope. Consider the proportionate strength of chain and rope to be ten to one-using the diameter of the chain and the circumference of the rope. Half-inch chain may, therefore, replace five-inch rope.

The absolute strength of chain, at the breaking point, may be found by dividing the square of the diameter in eighths, by 2.4 for round link crane chain, and by 2.7 for chain cable.

To find the Weight a Rope will lift when rove as a Tackle: Multiply the weight the rope will sustain by the number of parts at the movable block, and subtract one-fourth of product for resistance.

To find the size of Rope when rove as a Tackle to Lift a given Weight: Divide the weight to be raised by the number of parts at the movable block to get the strain on a single part, add one-third of this for the increased strain due to friction, and reeve the rope of the corresponding strength.

To find what Number of parts of a parts of a small Rope are equal to a large Rope: Divide the square of the circumference of the larger rope by the square of the circumference of the smaller, and the result will be the number of parts of the smaller equal to one part of the larger.

To find the Proportionate Strength of Wire and Hemp Ropes: Multiply the square of the circumference of a hemp rope by .223 for


iron wire, and by .12 for steel wire, and the square root of product will be the circumference of a wire rope of corresponding strength.

The wire-rope referred to has a hemp heart.

By multiplying the square of the circumference of a wire rope by 4.5 for iron wire and 8.4 for steel wire and extracting the square root of the product, the circumference of a hemp rope of corresponding strength may be obtained.

Plate 8, Illustation of 10 different knots. Fig. 19-28.



To Knot a Rope Yarn, Fig 19, Plate 8. Split in halves the two ends of a rope-yarn, scrape them down with a knife, crotch and tie the two opposite ends; jam the tie and trim off the ends.

An Over-hand Knot, Fig. 20, Plate 8. Pass the end of a rope (b) over the standing part (a) and through the bight above (c).

Figure-of-Eight Knot, Fig. 21, Plate 8. Take the end of a rope (a) round the standing part (b), under its own part (d), and through the bight (c).

A Reef Knot, Fig. 23, Plate 8. Make an overhand knot, as before directed, Fig. 22, round a yard or spar; bring the end (a), being the next towards you, over to the left, and (b) to the right, take (a) round (b), draw them taut, and it is done, Fig. 23. This knot is used in tying reef points and small stuff generally. Observe to bring the end out next its own part, otherwise it will be a Granny's Knot, which jams and is difficult to cast off.

A Bow-Line Knot, Fig. 26, Plate 8. Take the end of the rope (a), Fig. 24, in the right hand, and the standing part (b) in the left, laying the end over the standing part; with the left hand turn a bight of the standing part over it, Fig. 25; lead the end round the standing part, through the bight again, and it will appear like Fig. 26. The bight turned in the standing part is often called a Cuckold's Neck.

A Running Bow-Line Knot, Fig. 28, Plate 8. Take the end of a rope, Fig. 27, round the standing part (b) and through the bight (c); make the single bow-line knot upon the part (d), and it is done.

A Bow-Line Knot upon the Bight of a Rope, Fig. 30, Plate 9. Take the bight (a) in one hand, Fig. 29, and the standing parts (b) in the other; throw a kink or Cuckold's Neck over the bight (a) with the standing parts, the same as for the single knot; take the bight (a) over the large bights (c, c), bringing it up again: it will then be complete, Fig. 30. The best way to sling a man by a bow-line is to shorten up one of the lower bights, using the lower part as a seat and putting the arms through the part next above.

A Prolonge Knot, Fig. 31, Plate 9.

A Bow-line Knot, formed with a bight to hook


into, as in Fig. 218, Plate 29, is used for heavy pulls, on the ends of rigging luffs, by riggers. Fig. 79, Plate 14, shows an ordinary bow-line knot formed over a ring-bolt to make a temporary stopper. Shove the bight through the ring-bolt, take a half hitch with the short end over the bight, then pass the short end through the bight. A handy knot when you wish to use a short end of a long coil.

A Wall Knot. Unlay the end of a rope, Fig. 32, Plate 9, and with the strand (1) form a bight, holding it down on the side of the rope at (2); pass the end of the next (3) round the strand (1); the end of the strand (4) round the strand (3) and through the bight which was made at first by the strand (1); haul them rather taut, and the knot will then appear like Fig. 33.

To Crown this knot, Fig. 35, Plate 9. Lay one of the ends over the top of the knot, Fig. 34, which call the first (a); lay the second (b) over it, and the third (c) over (b), and through the bight of (a); haul them taut, and the knot with the crown will appear like Fig. 35, which is drawn open, in order to render it more clear. This is called a Single Wall, and Single Crown.

To Double-Wall this knot, Fig. 36, Plate 10. Take one of the ends of the single crown, suppose the end (b), bring it underneath the part of the first walling next to it, and push it up through the same bight (d); perform this operation with the other strands, pushing them up through two bights, and the knot will appear like Fig. 36, having a Double Wall and Single Crown.

To Double-Crown the same knot, Fig. 37, Plate 10. Lay the strands by the sides of those in the single crown, pushing them through the same bights in the single crown, and down through the double walling; it will then be like Fig. 37, viz. single walled, single crowned, double walled, and double crowned. The first walling must always be made against the lay of the rope: the parts will then lie fair for the double crown. The ends are scraped down, tapered, marled, and served with spun yarn. This knot is often used for the ends of man-ropes, and hence frequently called a Man-rope Knot.

Matthew Walker's Knot, Fig. 39, Plate 10. This knot is made by separating the strands of a rope, Fig. 38, taking the end (1) round the rope, and through its own bight, the end (2) underneath through the bight of the first, and through its own bight, and the end (3) underneath, through the bights of the strands (1 and 2), and through its own bight. Haul them taut, and they form the knot, Fig. 39. The ends are cut off. This is a handsome knot for the end of a laniard, and is generally used for that purpose.

A Single Matthew Walker. With strands (1 and 2) form a Wall knot, omitting strand (3); then with strand (3) dip down, round all parts, and come out next its

Plate 9, Fig29-35, 7 knots.

Plate 10, Fig36-41, 6 knots.

Plate 11, Fig 42-47.

own part, Fig. 40. Render the parts through, jam taut, lay up and whip the end, Fig. 41. This knot is used for bucket ropes, &c. It should have a leather washer around its neck when exposed to chafe.

A Single Diamond Knot, Fig. 43, Plate 11. Unlay the end of a plain-laid rope for a considerable length, Fig. 42, and with the strands form three bights down its side, holding them fast. Put the end of strand (1) over strand (2), and through the bight of strand (3), as in the figure; then put the strand (2) over strand (3), and through the bight formed by the strand (1), and the end of (3) over (1), and through the bight of (2). Haul these taut, lay the rope up again, and the knot will appear like Fig. 43. This knot is used for the side ropes, jib guys, bell ropes, &c.

A Double Diamond Knot, for the same purpose, Fig. 44, Plate 11. With the strands opened out again, follow the lead of the single knot through two single bights, the ends coming out at the top of the knot, and lead the last strand through two double bights. Lay the rope up again as before, to where the next knot is to be made, and it will appear like Fig. 44.

A Sprit-Sail Sheet Knot, Fig. 47, Plate 11. Unlay two ends of a rope, and place the two parts which are unlaid, together, Fig. 45. Make a bight with the strand (1). Wall the six strands together, against the lay of the rope (which being plain-laid must be done from the right hand to the left), exactly in the same manner that the single walling was made with three; putting the second over the first, the third over the second, the fourth over the third, the fifth over the fourth, the sixth over the fifth, and through the bight which was made by the first; haul them rather taut, and the single walling will appear like Fig. 46; then haul taut. It must be then crowned, Fig. 47, by taking the two strands which lie most conveniently (5 and 2) across the top of the walling, passing the other strands (1, 3, 4, 6) alternately over, and under those two, hauling them taut; the crown will be exactly similar to the figure. It may be then double walled, by passing the strands (2, 1, 6, &c.) under the wallings on the left of them and through the same bights, when the ends will come up for the second crowning, which is done by following the lead of the single crown, and pushing the ends down through the walling, as before, with three strands. This knot, when double-walled, and crowned, is often used as a stopper knot, in the Merchant Service.

A Stopper for a Stranded Foot or a Leech Rope, Fig. 48, Plate 12. This is made by double walling, without crowning, a three-stranded rope, against the lay, and stopping the ends together, as in the figure. The ends, if very short, are whipped without being stopped.


A stopper knot on the end of a deck stopper is made as in Fig. 49, by a single crown and single wall. The ends are whipped singly and cut off. A deck stopper has a laniard spliced around the neck of the knot, and a hook and thimble spliced in the other. When made of wire rope, a deck stopper is fitted as in Fig. 50, where an iron toggle is spliced. into the end of the stopper in place of the knot.

A Shroud Knot. Unlay the ends of two ropes, Fig. 51, placing them one within the other, drawing them close as for splicing; then single-wall each set of ends-those of one rope, against the lay (i.e. from left to right if the rope be cable-laid, as in the figure), round the standing part of the other. The ends are then opened out, tapered, marled down, and served with spun-yarn. This knot is used when a shroud is either shot or carried away. Fig. 54 and Fig. 55.

A French Shroud Knot. Place the ends of two ropes as before, Fig. 51, drawing them close. Laying the ends on one side back upon their own part, single-wall the remaining ends around the bights of the other three and the standing part, and it will appear as in Fig. 52. When hauled taut, it appears as in Fig. 53. The ends are tapered, &c., as before. This knot is as secure as the other, and much neater.


Hitching a Rope, Fig. 56, Plate 12, is performed. thus: Pass the end of a rope (b) round the standing part; bring it up through the bight, and seize it to the standing part at (d). This is called a Half-hitch. Two of these, one above the other, Fig. 57, are called Two Half-hitches or a Clove-hitch. Fig. 58 represents a half-hitch around a spar; Fig. 59, Plate 13, a clove-hitch, with a ratline around a shroud.

A Timber-Hitch, Fig. 61, Plate 13. Take the end part of a rope (a) round a spar or timber-head, lead it under and over the standing part (b), pass several turns round its own part (c), and it is done, Fig. 60; when taut it appears as Fig. 61.

A Round Turn and a Half-Hitch, Fig. 62, Plate 13. Used for bending a hawser to the ring of an anchor.

A Timber and Half-Hitch, Fig. 63, Plate 13. Used for bending a line to a spar, for towing, &c.

A Blackwall Hitch, Fig: 65, Plate 13. Form a bight (c), Fig. 64. by putting the end (a) across under the standing part (b). Put this bight over the hook of a tackle, Fig. 65, letting the part (b) rest upon it, and the part (a) be

Plate 12, Fig48-58 illustrations of knots.

Plate 13, Fig 59-70 illustrations of knots.

Plate 14, Fig71-83, illustrations of knots.

jammed by the standing part at the cross. This is sometimes used with a laniard, when setting up the shrouds.

A Double Black-wall Hitch, Fig. 66, Plate 13. Under a heavy strain a blackwall hitch is likely to carry away or slip, so that a Bill hitch, Fig. 67, is preferred. This is simply a marlinspike hitch [see below], with the hook thrust into the bight, the bight shoved well up on the hook. It is still better, however, to use a strap when a heavy strain is expected.

A Cat's Paw, for the same purpose, Fig. 70, Plate 13. Lay the end of a rope (a), Fig. 68, over the standing part (b), forming the bight (e), take the side of the bight (c) in the right hand, and the side (d) in the left, turn them over from you three times, and there will be a bight in each hand (c d), Fig. 69. Through these put the hook of a tackle, Fig. 70.

A Sheep Shank, Fig. 71, Plate 14. This is made for shortening a back-stay, &c.-a half-hitch is taken with the standing parts (a) round the bights (b), when it will appear like the figure.

A Rolling Hitch, Fig. 73, Plate 14. With the end of a rope (a), Fig. 72, take a half-hitch round the standing part (b), take another turn through the same bight, jamming it between the parts of the hitch; when hauled taut, it will appear like Fig. 73. The end may be taken round the standing part, or stopped to it. It is thus a tail-jigger is clapped on a rope, or fall, to augment the purchase. This is a good hitch for a stopper, as it will not slip, and is in very general use. Fig. 74, Plate 13, shows how a stopper is passed, one of the hitches being omitted.

A Marling-Spike Hitch, Fig. 75, Plate 14. Always used in heaving on seizings. The spike is used as a pry, to heave the seizing taut.

A Harness Hitch, Fig. 76, Plate 14.

A Marling Hitch, Fig. 77, Plate 14, is used in marling down the yarns left out from a splice; for the marling put over parcelling; and for making selvagee straps, &c. It is the same as used for lashing up hammocks, Fig. 78, where seven such turns are allowed.

A Weaver's Hitch. See Sheet-Bend.

Hitching the End of a Rope. Trim the end off with a knife to the shape of a cone then, with a sail-needle and twine, stitch it around with a loop-stitch, first taking a few round turns with the twine. When finished it will resemble Fig. 80, Plate 14. All running rigging have the ends hitched to prevent unlaying, as in the figure, instead of the ordinary whipping. All the gun-tackle falls should have their ends hitched, as it is neater and better than the ordinary whipping.

To Hitch over a Ring-Bolt, Fig. 81, Plate 14. A ring-bolt is usually hitched over with either two or


three ends. With two ends,-after seizing or hitching the ends you are not working on to the ring-bolt, you commence by taking a left-handed hitch, Fig. 82, with one of the tails, keeping the cross on the centre of the bolt, which brings the end out to the right; you then double this end back over its own part to the left, bring up the other tail over this, take a hitch as with the first, double it back, bring up the first end, and so go on, taking alternate hitches with each, and bringing the end out to the right with each hitch.

With three ends, you begin by taking a left-handed hitch with the first leg, a right-handed hitch with the second, Fig. 83, then a left-handed with third, right-handed with first,-left, second,-right, third,-and so on, each hitch being passed in the opposite way to the preceding one-two ends and one end alternately lying on each side. The ends are finished off by scraping them down and either passing a whipping or working a Turk's head round them. When finished: it has the appearance shown in Fig. 81.

Kackling, Fig. 84, Plate 15. To prevent chafe, secure one end and hitch right and left handed, alternately.


A Sheet Bend or Single Bend, Fig. 85, Plate 15. Pass the end of a rope (a) through the bight of another rope (b), then round both parts of the rope (c d), and down through its own bight. It is sometimes called also a Becket-bend, sometimes a Weaver's Hitch.

A Double Bend, Fig. 87, Plate 15, is simply taking the end around a second time. The single bend is the most common one in use. The standing part of most purchase falls are thus secured to the becket in the strap of the purchase block, as in Fig. 86.

A Fisherman's Bend, Fig. 88, Plate 15. With the end part of a rope take two turns (c) round a spar; a half-hitch round the standing part (b), and under the turns (c); then another half-hitch round the standing part (b). This is sometimes used for bending the studding-sail halliards to the yard, but more frequently for bending a hawser to the ring of an anchor, in which case the end should be stopped down with spun-yarn, Fig. 89.

The Studding Sail Halliard Bend, Fig. 90, Plate 15, is preferred to all others for bending halliards to yards, as it is safe and snug.

A Carrick Bend, Fig. 92, Plate 15. Form a bight (c), Fig. 91, by laying the end of a rope (a) across the upper surface of its standing part (b). Lay. the end (e) of another rope (d) under (a and b); then following the lead of

Plate 15, Fig84-96, illustrations of knots.

Plate 16, Fig 97-111, illustrations of knots.

the dotted line, pass it over (a), through the bight, under (d), and up through the bight again, Fig. 92; (c) there representing the end (e) in the other figure. This bend is much used for hawsers.

Hawsers are sometimes bent together thus, Fig. 93, Plate 15; the hawser has a half-hitch cast on it, a throat seizing clapped on the standing part (b) and a round one at (a). Another hawser is rove through the bight of this, hitched in the same manner, and seized to the standing part (d, e).

And frequently the ends of two ropes (a, c), Fig. 94, Plate. 15, are laid together; a throat seizing is clapped on at (e), the end (a) is turned back upon the standing part (b), and the standing part (d) brought back to (c); another throat seizing is put on each, as at (1), Fig. 95, and a round seizing near the end at (g); the same security is placed on the other side.

A Reeving Line Bend, Fig. 96, Plate 15, may also be used for small hawsers.

In any case of bending hawsers, towlines, &c., the end should be securely stopped down with spun-yarn, using racking turns if much strain is anticipated.

The best bend for a hawser to a kedge is a Fisherman's bend, Fig. 102, Plate 16, or a round turn and a couple of half-hitches, Fig. 101, with the end stopped down with spun-yarn.


The clinch is made like Fig. 97, Plate 16; the end of a bridle or leech line, for example, is rove through the cringle (f), taken round the standing part (e), forming a circle; two round seizings (d) are then clapped on. The clinch on any rope is always made less than the cringle, &c., through which the rope is rove.

There is an outside clinch, Fig. 98, Plate 16; and an inside clinch, Fig. 99.

To Bend a Hemp Cable, use an inside clinch. The end of the cable (a), Fig. 100, Plate 16, is taken over and under the bight (b), forming the shape of the clinch, which must not be larger than the ring of the anchor (d). The seizings (c), which are called the BENDS, are then clapped on and crossed.


Ropes are joined together, for different purposes, by uniting their strands in particular forms, which is termed Splicing. A splice is made by opening, and separating the strands of a rope's end, and thrusting them through the others which are not unlaid. The instruments used for this


are Fids, Marling-Spikes, and Prickers. Ropes reeving through blocks are joined by a long splice, otherwise a short splice is used. The splice is weaker than the main part of the rope by about one-eighth.

A Fid is made according to the size of the rope it is meant to open and is tapered gradually from one end to the other, Fig. 103, Plate 16. It is commonly made of hard wood, such as Brazil, Lignum-vitae, &c., and sometimes of iron when of the latter, it has an eye in the upper end, like Fig. 104.

A Marling-Spike is an iron pin of similar mould, on the upper end of which is raised a knob, called the Head, Fig. 105, Plate 16: or it may be similar to Fig. 104. It should always have a good laniard attached, and when used aloft, either slung around a man's neck, or to the rigging.

A Pricker is made of metal, hard wood, or bone, and is used for light work.

An Eye-Splice, Fig. 106, Plate 16, is made by opening the end of a rope, and laying the strands (e, f, g) at any distance upon the standing part forming the Collar or Eye (a). The end (h), Fig. 107, is pushed through the strand next to it (having previously opened it with a marling-spike); the end (i) is taken over the same strand, and through the second, Fig. 108; and the end (k) through the third, on the other side, Fig. 110. After sticking the ends once, one-half of the yarns may be cut away from the under part of the strands, and the remainder stuck again, in order to taper the splice and make it neater. In a four-stranded rope, the left-hand end lies under two strands, Fig. 111.

An Eye-Splice in a Wire Rope. Wire requires more end for splicing than hemp. Stick the whole strand once, once two-thirds, and once one-third of a strand, which will make a good taper; then set it up and stretch it well, break off the yarns close to the rope by working them backwards and forwards quickly, two or three times; then parcel and serve over with spun yarn. After sticking the ends once, clap on a good stop around all to keep the parts close together while sticking the second time, and so on.

A Short Splice. To splice the two ends of a rope together, proceed thus: Unlay the strands for a convenient length; then take an end in each hand, place them one within the other, Fig. 112, Plate 17, and draw them close. Hold the strand (a, b, c) and the end of the rope (d) fast in the left hand, or if the rope be large, stop them down with a rope-yarn; then take the middle end (1), pass it over the strand (a), and having opened it with the thumb, or a marling-spike, Fig. A, push it through under the strand (c), and haul it taut. Perform the same operation

Plate 17, Fig 112-115, illustrations of splices.

Plate 18, Fig117-123, illustrations of splices.

with the other ends, by leading them over the first and next to them, and through under the second, on both sides; the splice will then appear like Fig. 113; but in order to render it more secure, the work must be repeated; leading the ends over the third and through the fourth; or the ends may be untwisted, scraped down with a knife, tapered, marled, and served over with spun-yarn.

When there is to be no service used, the ends should be stuck twice each way, otherwise once and a half is sufficient. In anchor straps, and heavy straps generally, the ends are stuck twice and not trimmed off but whipped.

In whipping the strands they should be split and one part of each whipped, or seized, with one part of another so as to enclose a strand of the rope on each side of which they appear.

A Short Splice with a Four-Stranded Rope, Fig. 114, Plate 17.

The Long Splice, Fig. 115, Plate 17. To make this splice, unlay the ends of two ropes to a convenient distance, and place them one within the other, as for the short splice; unlay one strand for a considerable length, and fill up the intervals which it leaves with the opposite strand next to it. For example, the strand (1) being unlaid for a particular length, is followed in the space which it leaves by the strand (2). The strand (3) being untwisted to the left hand, is followed by the strand. (4) in the same manner. The two middle strands, (5 and 6), Fig. C, are split; an over-hand knot is cast on the two opposite halves, and the ends led over the next strand and through the second, as the whole strands were in the short splice; the other two halves are cut off. When the strand (2) is laid up to the strand (1), they are divided, knotted, and the ends cut off in the same manner; and so with 3 and 4. This splice is used for lengthening a rope which reeves through a block, or sheave-hole, the shape of it being scarcely altered. After splicing, the ends should not be trimmed off until after the splice has been subjected to a good strain.

The following is somewhat neater. Fig. 117, Plate 18. Unlay the ends alike, and marry them together; unlay a strand on each side, and lay the strand of the Other end, that is opposite to it, up in the lay that it comes out of, making both equidistant from the centre pair of strands, which you do not touch. Twist each pair up as you have done with them, to keep them in their places, and grease the strands. For a large rope, such as the fore brace, instead of knotting the strands, merely lay them alongside each other in the score of the rope, then put the ends in once, a half, and a quarter, and back it with the remaining quarter of a strand to taper it off. In splicing, instead of laying a strand over one, and under the next, you back it by putting the strand in left-handed, under the strand you


would otherwise have laid it over, Fig. 118; which gives it an exceedingly neat and serviceable finish.

The same with four strands, Fig. 119, Plate 18.

A Cut or Bight Splice, Fig. 120, Plate 18. Cut a rope in two, and, according to the size of the collar or eye you mean to form, lay the end of one rope upon the standing part of the other, and push the ends through, between the strands, in the same manner as for the eye-splice, shown in Fig. 106, Plate 16. This forms a collar or eye (u) in the bight of the rope. The yarns left out from the strands should be scraped, marled down and served over, when neatness is required.

A Horse-Shoe Splice, or span-splice, Fig. 121, is formed by splicing the two ends of a piece of rope into each side of the bight of another rope, where an eye is to be formed. The length of rope used is one-third the length of the eye required, with twice the round of the rope on each end, in addition, for splicing.

To Long-Splice a Three and a Four-Stranded Rope Together. Unlay the ends of the two ropes to a sufficient length and crotch them; unlay one strand of the three-s branded, and fill the space with a strand of the four-stranded rope; then unlay a strand of the four and fill up from the three-stranded rope; there remains two strands of the four, and one of the three; divide the single strand by taking out one-third, with which knot to one of the remaining pair, then unlay the other one, and fill up with the remaining two-thirds; knot and stick once, stretch well, and trim off.

Another way is to work three strands as usual, and stick the fourth strand where it lies. The first plan is the better.

To Short-Splice a Three and a Four-Stranded Rope. Unlay the ends, and divide one of the three strands in half, making four strands, and proceed to splice.

Lengthening a Rope with an Additional Strand, Fig. 122, Plate 18. Cut a strand at 1, unlay until you come to 2, and cut another strand; unlay both to 3 (equal to the distance from 1 to 2, or thereabouts), and there cut the last strand separate the parts, and they will appear as in Fig. 122, B. Measure off the increased length required from 1, mark it (a), and bring the end of the left-hand piece (b) down to (a), and lay it in. The second strand, at 2, must have been cut sufficiently far from (a) to allow end enough for knotting and laying in. Twist the ends (c and b) up together ready for knotting, on finishing the splice, and (d and e) in the same manner for the present; the splice will then have the appearance represented in Fig. 122, c. Cut a piece of rope, and unlay a strand sufficiently long to fill in the vacant lay between (f and g), and to knot with the ends (f, g); lay the strand


in, and finish off as with an ordinary long-splice, from which it will only differ in appearance by its having four breaks in the rope instead of three. In putting in the long strand, care must be taken to follow the lay along correctly, or it will not tally with the ends (f, g), with which it knots.

If it is required to give a sail more spread by inserting a cloth, the head and foot rope must be lengthened in this way. For all sizes of rope, take eight times the round for splicing, in addition to what is wanted to lengthen the rope. To lengthen two feet, cut the strands three feet apart; and the additional strand must be over nine feet long.

To Shorten a Rope in the Centre. Proceed precisely as in the previous case but, instead of separating strand (b) from 1, bringing it down to (a), take it up on 1 as far as you require to reduce the rope. No additional strand is used, so knot (b, f), (d, g), and (e, c); finish off the ends, and in appearance it differs in no way from the common long-splice.

To Splice a Rope around a Thimble. Whip the rope at twice and a half its circumference from the end. The length to go round the thimble should be once the round of the thimble, and once the round of the rope, from the whipping to where the first strand is to be struck. If the splice is not to be served, whip the ends of the strands, to prevent them from opening out into yarns, and stick them twice, whole strand. If to be served, after one half of each strand is put through, it is cut off, and the other half is opened out, wormed along the lay, and marled down. Parcel the thimble.

A Sailmaker's Splice is used when ropes of different sizes are to be joined neatly, and they require tapering, that the change may be gradual; as in splicing the leech and head rope of a topsail.

Unlay enough of the small rope to stick the ends once and a half, but of the larger one, unlay for a considerable distance, according to the relative disproportion of the ropes, and the degree of tapering required; crotch, as for a common splice. Take a strand of the large rope, cut away about one-fourth from the under part, and put it, left-handed, through the corresponding strands of the small rope; cut away a few more yarns, and pass it again, back-handed, round the same strand of the small rope; and so proceed, working with the same strand of the large rope round and round the same strand of the small one, cutting away gradually till it is reduced to nothing. Then, one at a time, put the other large strands through in a similar manner, cutting away more or less of the third strand, as may be necessary to give roundness to the splice. Finally, slue round and splice the small strands into the large rope, as in a common short splice, tapering the ends.


A Mariner's Splice is a long splice in a cable-laid rope. Proceed as in a long splice, when, instead of sticking the strands, they in turn are long-spliced; get it on a stretch with luffs, and trim off the ends. This splice is not very often used, for it can be done only with old soft hawsers, which should rather be shroud-knotted, the ends marled down and served over.

Splicing a Hawser, Work a long splice, as with a plain-laid rope, but, instead of knotting the strands, unlay them, marry them together, and tuck them in under the strand that you would reeve them through if you had knotted them in the usual manner; under this first strand of the hawser put all three parts of the strand; under the next, two only; then one, and, lastly, back this one.

To Splice a Small Rope to a Chain, Fig. 123, Plate 18. Unlay the end and reeve two of the strands through the end link; unlay the third strand (3) some distance back, following it up as in a long splice with one of the other strands (2); half-knot and stick as in a splice; the remaining end. (1), one of the two rove through the link, is stuck where it is, near the link, as in an eye-splice. This is a very neat and strong splice, and is used for tailing rope to chain topsail sheets; for the standing part of a fall where neatness is required, &c.

A Ropemaker's Eye is used for forming the collars of stays. A four-stranded stay is unlaid, two strands each way; then each half is doubled back, and laid up with its own part. At the fork, four strands are worked in as in splicing, tapering off by thinning the strands each time they are stuck. The eyes and fork are then wormed and served over. If, instead of laying back both strands to the crotch, but one is so treated, while the other is opened out and used for worming, then each lay will be three-stranded, and look much neater.

If the rope is three-stranded, the eye may be formed in the same way. Unlay the rope, say seven times its own circumference, marl two strands together, tar, parcel and form the eye, putting in a thimble or not, as required; unlay the third strand, following it up by one of the strands that formed the eye, to a distance of about eighteen inches; cross the ends and stick, as in a long splice. The other strand that formed the eye is divided into three equal parts, a portion of each is put in the lays of the rope for worming, and the remainder is tapered, marled down and served over with spun-yarn. This, too, may be termed a ropemaker's eye. It is strong enough to break the rope.

A Flemish Eye, Fig. 125, Plate 19. Take the end of a rope, and unlay one strand (7), Fig. 124, to a certain distance, and form the eye, Fig. 125, by placing the two strands (8) along the standing part of the rope, filling up the intervals (marked by the shade) with strand (7),

Plate 19, Fig 124-131.

till it returns and lies under the eye with the strands (8). The ends are scraped down, tapered, marled, and served over with spun-yarn.

An Artificial or Spindle Eye, Fig. 126, Plate 19, sometimes, though improperly, called a Flemish eye. Put a whipping on the rope at three and a half times its circumference from the end, which unlay. Take a piece of round wood twice the size of your rope, and lash it to a convenient place, having yarn stops on it to stop the eye after it is formed. With a four-stranded rope, unlay the heart and divide it in two; bring the rope under the spar with two strands, and half the heart on each side; pass the heart over and half knot it on top, heaving the rope close up to the spar with a bolt on each side. The width of the eye should be one-third the round of the rope; take from each strand two yarns for every inch of circumference of rope; if a 10-inch rope take twenty yarns, twist them up, and half-knot them on top of the spar, heave taut and pass them down the lay of the rope for wormings; put a spun-yarn seizing on close to the eye, and another about nine inches below, and put a yarn stop around the ends to keep them in the lay of the rope. Take two-thirds as many yarns from each strand as were used for worming, haul them taut, half-knot them on top, hauling them well taut, and so continue until the yarns are all expended. The yarns must be set well taut alike, or they will not bear an equal strain. Smooth the yarns down and put a stop round all, close underneath the toggle. Half-knot the stops laid lengthwise on the spar, heave them taut with a marling-spike on each side of the eye; form the other half-knot and heave it taut. Marl the eye with two or three yarn spun-yarn; the hitches to be about an inch apart, commencing at the centre of the eye and working both ways; cut the stops as you come to them. Pass a strand round all, close to the spar underneath, and heave taut with marling-spikes, to work the worming taut along the lay; then put on a good spun-yarn seizing. Now tar and parcel the eye and serve it with spun-yarn, fid out, and it is finished, Fig. 127.

This makes a neat eye for the end of a stay. It is frequently used, too, for the lower end of man-ropes where the laniard is spliced in.

When hemp cables were in general use and splicing necessary, they used a TAPERED SPLICE, Fig. 128, Plate 19, where the strands were thinned out gradually and the splice served over with spun-yarn a little beyond the entire length; looking, when finished, something like a mousing.

Also, the Drawing Splice, Fig. 129, Plate 19, used that the splice might be drawn and the lengths of cable separated. After making a short splice, the ends,


which are left long, are tapered off and neatly pointed; these are wormed into the lay, after splicing, and good seizings clapped on at intervals.

A Grommet, Fig. 131, Plate 19, is made by unlaying a strand of a rope, Fig. 130, placing one part over the other, and with the long end (f) following the lay till it forms the ring, Fig. 131, casting an over-hand knot on the two ends, and, if necessary, splitting and pushing them between the strands, as in the long splice. The test of a well-made grommet is, to throw it on the deck when it should lie perfectly flat. Worn or four-stranded rope makes the best. For grommet straps for yard or block, take three times the round of yard or block and three times the round of the thimble, allowing six times the round of the rope for splicing. The length to marry the strands is, once the round of the block and thimble.

Working a Cringle in a Rope. Unlay a single strand from a rope of the size that the cringle is required to be; begin on the left, and put this strand under two strands of the rope you are working it on; divide it into thirds and haul two-thirds of it through, so that the long leg is from you; lay the two parts up together so as to form sufficient for the round of the cringle, but always with an odd number of turns, ending with the long leg towards you, Fig. 132, Plate 20; stick it from you under two strands; bring it round and work back to the left; put it under two strands towards you, leaving one strand intervening between the place you entered it, then back over one, and down under two, Fig. 133. Now tuck the short end in under the same two strands in the rope that the cringle is already worked through, then over one, and under two; cut the ends off, and serve the cringle over.

If a cringle is to be worked into the leech of a sail, the strand is taken round the rope and through the eyelet-hole in the sail, Fig. 134, Plate 20, and the ends are finished off by taking a hitch round all, and then passed under two, over one, and under two, as before.

Grommet Muzzle-Lashing for Housing Guns. A grommet made of rope double the size of the gun-tackle falls, with two cringles worked into it for the frapping lashing, which will be of stuff half the size of the tackle-falls.

The grommet should be made large enough just to slip over the swell of the muzzle when the bight is over the housing hook-bolt, and the gun is in position for housing. It should be wormed throughout, and parcelled in the wake of the housing-bolt and frapping-lashing, and when there is no swell, in the wake of the muzzle ring.

When the housing-bolt is an eye-bolt, the grommet is secured to it by means of a toggle which has a laniard.

Plate 20, Fig 132-138

Breechings for all guns are to be made of the best hemp, of three-stranded rope, shroud laid.*

In fitting breechings, a thimble is to be spliced into one end, the strands stuck through twice and marled down. A thimble is to be turned into the other end, so that the length of the breeching may be conveniently altered. Thus fitted, when the gun is run in and levelled, breechings must be long enough to allow the muzzle of the gun to come a foot inside of the upper port sill, if the breadth of the vessel will allow it. With guns of violent recoil, this distance may be advantageously doubled, where there is room enough, as thereby the strain will be much lessened.

Breechings are neither to be covered, nor blacked, nor rendered less pliable.


Seizing a rope, is binding the two parts together with spun-yarn, house-line, marline, or small stuff.

All seizing stuff should be well stretched before use.

A Spanish Windlass, Fig. 135 (a), Plate 20, is used for heaving two parts of a shroud, or any rope requiring it, together at the nip, before passing the seizing, and for many similar purposes. A strand is laid on the top; the ends are crossed underneath, and brought up on opposite sides, the bights taken round a bar or heaver, laid on the top, a twist is taken in them, and a marling-spike stuck through the bights, and hove upon. See also Fig. 135b.

A Round Seizing, Fig. 138, Plate 20. Splice an eye in the end of a seizing, Fig. 136, and taking the other end round both parts of the rope, reeve it through the eye, pass a couple of turns, haul them taut by hand; then, with a marling-spike-hitch, heave these two turns well taut, by the heaver or marling-spike; pass the rest, and bind them in the same manner, making six, eight, or ten turns, according to the size of the rope; then push the end through the last turn, Fig. 137. Over these, pass five, seven, or nine more (which are termed Riders), always laying one less above than below. These are not to be hove too taut, that those underneath may not be separated. The end is now pushed up through the seizing, and two cross turns, Fig. 138, are taken betwixt the two parts of the rope and round the seizing (leading the end through the last turn), and hove well taut. If the seizing be small stuff, a Wall Knot is cast on the end; but if spun-yarn, an over-hand knot. When this seizing is clapped on the two ends of a rope, it is called an End Seizing. If upon the bight, as in the

* Shroud-laid: laid up of the same kind of yarns as used for shrouds, and in the same way.


figure, an Eye Seizing, and if between the two others, a Middle Seizing.

A Throat Seizing, Fig. 140, Plate 21, is put on when ropes cross, and is passed with riding turns, but not crossed. A bight is formed, Fig. 139, by laying the end (a) over the standing part (b). The seizing is then clapped on; the end put through the last turn of the riders, and knotted. The end part of the rope, Fig. 140, is turned up and fastened to the standing part, as in the figure, with a round seizing. This is used for turning in dead-eyes, hearts, blocks, or thimbles.

The riding turns are one less in number than the under ones, as 7 and 6, 10 and 9, etc.

A Round Seizing, second method. Splice an eye in the seizing, pass it under both parts of the rope, and reeve the end through the eye; slack up, lay hold of the upper turn and end part with your left hand, and under turn with your right, and work the seizing round left-handed until enough turns-six, eight, or ten-are wound round, Fig. 141, then reeve the end back between the upper and under turns, and bring it up through the eye; heave each turn taut separately, keeping the eye on the left-hand side, Fig. 142. When you have hauled the end taut through the eye, pass the riding turns round, in the same direction as at first-one in number less than the under turns, and haul hand-taut, Fig. 143. When all on, pass the end down between the last two parts of the upper side of the inner turns, between both parts of the rope, and pass two round turns, crossing all parts of the seizing, Fig. 144; then slue the rope over, and finish off with a reef-knot, Fig. 146, on the under side, or as in Fig. 145.

Racking Seizing, Fig. 147, Plate 21. This seizing is generally made use of in seizing two parts of rope together temporarily, but very securely. When the seizing stuff is fitted with an eye, as in the figure, it is taken around both parts of the rope-the end rove through the eye, and hauled taut, after which it is passed between the two parts of the rope, around the part opposite the eye (of the seizing), back between the ropes, and so on, each full turn, when passed, resembling a figure 8.

Each turn is drawn taut in succession, and the last one is secured by passing the end between the parts of rope inside the last turn, thus jamming it by the hitch formed.

The two lower turns of a throat seizing should be passed as racking turns; and, thus passed, serve well to fill up the open space between the parts of rope, as they are brought together.

A Flat Seizing is commenced the same as a round seizing, but, on the end being rove through the eye, it is finished off at once with a reef-knot without any riding turns.

A Cuckold's Neck, or Half Crown, is

Plate 21, Fig 139-149, seizings.

Plate 22, Fig 150-160, lashings, service and pointing.

formed as Fig. 148, Plate 21, with a round seizing. Used when ropes are fitted for going over a spar, as in Fig. 149, at a.

A Rose Seizing, or Rose Lashing, Figs. 150 and 151, Plate 22, is used when rigging is lashed to yards, etc., such as foot-ropes, &c. It is passed alternately over and under each part of the eye, and the end passed around the crossings instead of cutting it off.

Stopping, is fastening two parts of a rope together, like a round seizing, but not crossed.

Nippering, is making fast the two parts of a laniard or tackle-fall, while the purchase is fleeted. The turns are taken crossways, Fig. 152, between the parts to jam them; and frequently a round turn is taken over the laniard, before every cross: these are called racking turns. Riders are passed over these, and the end fastened with a round turn and half hitch, or with a clove hitch, to a part of the laniard or fall.


Spun-Yarn is used for Worming, Serving, Seizing, &c., as a general rule, but Hambroline, Rounding, and small seizing stuff is frequently substituted.

Worming a Rope is filling up the division between the strands (called the lay of the rope) by passing spun-yarn, &c., along them, Fig. 153. This is done in order to strengthen it, for various purposes, and to render its surface smooth for parcelling. After being passed by hand, worming is hove on by a soft strand knotted and taken round the rope; a bolt is then passed through the bights, and the strap twisted up and hove round the rope, which tautens the worming as it proceeds. With very large rope, the worming requires backing* on each side with smaller stuff, in order to fill it up properly. If the rope is not to be served, a seizing, snaked, should be put round the worming at intervals, to keep it in its place, as it is liable to work slack.

Worming is in length about once and a half the length of the rope to be wormed, for each piece.

Parcelling a Rope, is wrapping strips of old canvas round it, well tarred, with edge overlapping, which prepares it for serving and secures it from being injured by rain-water lodging between the parts of the service when worn, Fig. 156. Parcel with the lay, if service is to be used, otherwise against it.

Service is put on to protect the rope from chafe and the influence of weather. It is clapped on by a wooden mallet, Fig. 154, made for the purpose. The mallet is round at the top, but has a groove cut in the head of it to receive the rope, that the turns of the spun-yarn may be passed

* Also known as sister or side worming.


with ease and dispatch. The rope is first bowsed hand-taut by a tackle, then wormed. The end of the spun-yarn for the service is laid upon the rope, and two or three turns passed round the rope and over it (the end), hauling them very taut. The mallet is laid with its groove upon the rope, Fig. 156; a turn of the spun-yarn is taken round the rope and the head of the mallet, close to the last turn which was laid by hand; another is passed in the same manner, and a third also on the fore part of the mallet, leading up round the handle (i), which the rigger holds in his hand. The service is always passed against the lay of the rope, so that as the latter stretches, the tension of the former is not much decreased. A boy holds the ball of spun-yarn (k), at some distance from the man who is serving, and passes it round, as he turns the mallet, by which he is not retarded in the operation. The end is put through the three or four last turns of the service, and hauled taut.

A serving board, Fig. 155, is used for small jobs.

Two men can worm, parcel and serve two fathoms of twelve-inch rope in an hour.

Spike-serving is used when you have a small eye or similar piece of gear to serve. The turns are passed by hand, and each is hove taut separately by taking a marlingspike-hitch over a marling-spike, and with the point prizing it against the rope until the service is taut.

Whipping a Rope, Fig. 157, Plate 22, is done to prevent the end from fagging out. Place the end of the whipping stuff in the lay of the rope, pointing up towards the end, and pass a few turns round the rope, binding the end of the whipping; then laying the other end on the turns already passed, pointing downwards, pass the remainder on the bight, hauling through on the end part and cutting off.

The "Square" and "Sharp-up" marks on braces are put on in a similar manner; the last turns being passed slack, and the end stuck through.

A Sailmaker's Whipping is put on with a needle and twine-a reef point has such a whipping. Pass a stitch through the point, take several turns, stick through again, and pass cross turns from one end of whipping to the other in the direction of the lay of the rope.


Crowning the end of a Rope is a rough substitute for a whipping. With the three strands form a crown, then stick the end once or twice as in splicing.

To Crown a Hawser. Put a stout whipping on the hawser, a sufficient distance from the end to allow for crowning. Unlay the strands to the whipping, and lay the three inside, or heart strands up together. Then form

Plate 23, Fig162-165, Pointing and cross pointing.

the crown with the three outside ones, taking them above, and covering the remaining three, which, with the heart strands, should be whipped, and cut off even. Lastly, worm the ends of the crowning strands back into the lay of the hawser, and clap stout smooth seizings close up to the crown, and at the extremity of the worming. Sometimes an artificial eye is formed with the inner strands.

To Point a Rope, Figs. 160 and C, Plate 22. Unlay the end of a rope as for splicing, and stop it. Take out as many yarns as are necessary, and make nettles: (this is done by taking separate parts of the yarns when split, and twisting them.) Comb the rest down with a knife, Fig. 158. Make two nettles out of every yarn which is left; lay half the nettles down upon the scraped part, and the other, back upon the rope, Fig. 159. Take a length of twine, which call the Filling, and pass three turns very taut, jamming them with a hitch at (a). Proceed, laying the nettles backwards and forwards as before, and passing the filling. The ends may be whipped and snaked with twine, or the nettles hitched over the filling, and hauled taut. The upper seizing must also be snaked, Fig. 160. The pointing, will appear like Fig. C: a small becket is often worked at the end, when the rope is large (g). If the tapered part be too weak for pointing, a piece of stick may be put in, proceeding as before.

Snaking is for the better securing of a seizing, which is passed round the single part of a rope, and therefore cannot be crossed. It is done by taken the end part under and over the lower and upper turns of the seizing, Fig. 161, Plate 22.

Pointing Large Hawser. Clap on a whipping of three-yarn nettle-stuff, snaked. Open out the strands, lay the heart up three-stranded, and splice a becket into it, which has previously been eye-spliced into its own part. Lay the outside yarns up into five-yarn sennet; use, for filling, a two-yarn fox; and continue as already shown Fig. 162, Plate 23.

Cross Pointing. Commence as for straight pointing, and, having laid the nettles, one up and one down alternately, bring an upper nettle down to the right of its corresponding lower one, Fig. 163 a, lay the lower one up, and work in this way once round to the right; commence again, and bring what are now the upper ones down to the left of the lower nettles, lay the lower ones up, and so work round backwards; then, bring them down again to the right, and so go on. Finish off with two turns of straight pointing as in Fig. 163 b, Plate 23.

Hitching is a very convenient method for covering boats' awning-stanchions. The nettles to be used are middled, laid along the article to be covered, and secured in their places with a turn of filling. If working from one


end, as in the cut, Fig. 164, all the nettles are taken up; if working from the centre towards the ends, the nettles on each side of the filling supply their own end. The turn of filling being passed and hitched as in pointing, commence hitching the nettles round the filling, hauling each taut separately, working to the left, keeping the filling taut, and going round and round. If what you are covering, contracts in circumference, you must leave out a nettle occasionally, and cut it off; and should it increase, lay fresh ones in. It is finished off by keeping the bights of the last round slack until you have passed a couple of turns of the filling and hitched it as in finishing off pointing, when in the same manner haul the bights close down, and cut the ends off.

Grafting, as understood now, is when a strap, ringbolt, or other article, is to be covered over entirely. It is done as in pointing, using instead of the rope-yarn nettles, log-line, or fishing-line, according to the size required.


Pudding Fenders, or Dolphins, are used in the navy for launches, being placed outside the boat just under the gunwale, and permanently secured there.

A piece of rope of the required length is cut, and an eye spliced in each end, by means of which it is set up to small eyebolts under the gunwale; the rope is then marked where the puddings are to be worked. Worm the rope and form the puddings with any old stuff, such as old strands laid lengthwise along the rope, raising the pile in the centre and scraping off the ends to a taper. Or make a tapering pudding by winding spun-yarn around the rope. In forming the pudding, the sides intended to be next to the boat are flat, and the outer sides a half round.

When formed to the required shape, parcel the pudding and graft it over, as in Fig. 165a, or cover with leather, as in Fig. 165b.

The whole fender is commonly known as a dolphin.


Foxes for gaskets, &c., are made by taking a number of rope-yarns, from three upwards, according to the size intended, and twisting them on the knee, rubbing them well backwards and forwards with a piece of canvas. Spanish foxes are made by twisting single rope-yarns backhanded in the same manner.

Gaskets, Fig. 167, Plate 23, are made by taking three or four foxes, according to the size, middling them

Plate 24, Fig168-175, Turk's head and selvagee.

over a pin, &c., and plaiting the three or four parts together for the length of the eye, Fig. 166. The plaiting is formed by bringing the outside fox on each side alternately over to the middle. The outside one is laid with the right hand, and the remainder held and steadied with the left. When this is done, take the other parts (b), (having shifted the eye part so that it lies over the bolt, Fig. 167), and work the whole together in the same manner; add another fox at (a), and work it for a convenient length, then diminish it towards the end, taking out a fox at proper intervals. When finished, one end must be laid up, the others plaited, and then the one end hauled through. This is the same work used in making ordinary sennit.

Sea gaskets or furling lines are made in this way, though not tapered.

Turk's Head. Take two round turns round the rope, Fig. 168, Plate 24, pass the upper bight down through the lower, and reeve the upper end down through it, Fig. 168 (a); then pass the bight up again and reeve the end over the lower bight, and up between it and the upper one, Fig. 168 (b); dip the upper down through the lower bight again, reeve the end down over what is now the upper bight, and between it and the lower, Fig. 168 (c); and so proceed, -working round to your right until you meet the other end, when you pass through the same bight, and follow the other end round and round until you have completed a plait of two, three, or more lays, as you wish. Fig. 168 (d), shows a Turk's head of two lays.

Turk's head worked into a Rope. This is done when the knot has to resist a strain, as the rung or round of a Jacob's ladder. You middle the marline or nettle-stuff that you are working with, and splice a second piece into the centre so as to form a third leg; then pass an end through the rope, and haul it through to the junction of the third leg, which reeve through the third strand of the rope, bringing an end out between each strand, Fig. 169 (a), Plate 24. Then crown the ends round the rope, left-handed; slue round, and crown them back, right-handed, and the knot will appear as in the Fig. 169. Follow each part round with its own end, cut the ends off, and it will appear like a Turk's head. With four-stranded rope use four ends.


A Selvagee is made by warping. rope-yarn, spun-yarn, or small stuff, according to the size required, and marling down as in Fig. 170, Plate 24.

A small selvagee may be made by warping rope-yarn


around two marling-spikes, stuck in the holes of a grating at the proper distance apart.

Large ones are sometimes made of small stuff, for getting in lower masts, and are called garlands.

As selvagee straps are soft and pliable, they are the best for clapping on rigging, spars, &c. as in Figs. 171 and 172.

For the same reason, stoppers &c., braces, &c., are made in a similar manner, as in Fig. 173.

Selvagees may be used for various purposes. A very neat and expeditious way of bending studding-sail halliards is to use a strap, as in Figs. 174 and 175.

Very neat straps for blocks, may be made of selvagees.

Reefing Beckets, Fig. 177, Plate 25, are made like sennit, after a variety of designs.

These points may be made of manilla-yarns, or four-yarn spun-yarn, with four or five parts in the eye, and worked down with seven or nine parts; the length of the spun-yarn on the two parts to make a point, is once and a half the length of the point to be made. The eye is made around a toggle which remains in. If fitted to go around the jack-stay, plait down six inches from the toggle, then separate the foxes and plait an eye eight inches long, then plait down nine inches solid, whip the end with twine and it is finished.

Sometimes the points or beckets are fitted to go round the yard, with a short eye to go over the toggle, and the toggle part is seized to the jack-stay. To make these, plait down from the toggle four inches longer than the round of the yard, where it would be placed, separate the foxes and plait an eye three or four inches, according to size of sail, then plait down solid four inches, another eye eight inches long, and solid again for nine inches, whipping the end with twine. When rope points are used, they are made as follows, supposing them to go round the yard: Cut the rope, which should be four-stranded, about three feet and a half longer than the round of the yard. Splice one end round the toggle, put a whipping on the rope about four inches longer than the round of the yard from the toggle; then divide the rope in two up to the whipping, and form an eye four inches long, with two strands on each side, then lay up four inches solid, and form another eye eight inches long; then lay up nine inches solid, and whip the end with twine. Now finish the eyes by taking a strand of the same sized rope four times the length of the eyes, pass it through the rope at the lower part of the eye, and lay one end up each side of the eye to form a three-stranded rope, splice them into the standing part and it is finished, as in Fig. 176, Plate 25.

Plate 25, Fig 177-186, Beckets and sennits.



Common Sennit is made with an odd number of nettles. If, however, an eye is to be formed, you commence with an even number-one being a short one; and after the eye is formed, the short end is worked in, or, if too long, left out and cut off-leaving an odd number to go on with. We will suppose that a reef-point is to be made of seven parts of spun-yarn:-Cut off four lengths (one being but little more than half the length of the others), middle them, toggle the bights through a becket triced up before you, halve the nettles, lay the right-hand nettle over the next one to it, bringing it over to the left, making three now on your left, and one on your right; Fig. 178, Plate 25, bring the outside nettle on the left over two, which will equalize them again; then the right over one, left over two, and so on alternately till you have worked length enough for the eye; next bring all eight parts together, halve them, and go on as at first-right over three, and left over four. When two or three lays are worked in this way, leave out the short end, and continue with seven parts-right over three, and left over three in succession. Finish off by forming a bight of the left-hand nettle when you bring it over, laying the end up; and as you work the remaining nettles in, point them down through this bight; and, when all are in, secure them in their places by hauling the bight taut through upon them, and cutting the ends off, Figs. 179 and 180.

French Sennit, like common Sennit, is made with an odd number of nettles. If about to make a harbor gasket for a royal yard in this manner, of nine parts of nettle-stuff, cut off five lengths (one being a short one), middle them, put a seizing round the bights to form the eye, which marl down, and serve over; then bring all nine parts together(having left out the short one after the seizing was passed), and divide them, with five to the right, and four to the left; weave the outside one on the right, over and under the nettles on its own side, bringing it out to the left, then do the same with the outside nettle on the left, and lay it out to the right, when there will be again five on the right, and four on the left, and so continue.

Harbor gaskets are made in this way, and also the backers which nail on the topsail and lower yards for head-earings to haul out to, as in Fig. 181, Plate 25.

Round Sennit is used for man-ropes, yoke-lines, &c., Figs. 182 and 183. Stretch a heart of small rope taut along between two belaying pins, or other convenient fixture; take 8 (12, 16, or more) nettles, put a whipping round the heart and ends, to hold them, divide them into fours of 2 (3, 4, or more) parts each; then lay No. 1 pair


over the heart, to your left; then No. 2 to your right, crossing the first pair; next No. 3 pair under all to the right, and over No. 2; No. 4 round under all to the left, and over No 3; then No. 1 round to the right, under No. 2, and over 4, 2 round to the left, under 3, and over 1; and so on, always bringing the upper pair on the opposite side, to cross over the pair last passed. Finish the end off by pointing the heart with the nettles made into smaller ones; and finish the top by walling and crowning the heart, covering it with duck to round it, then double-walling and crowning the nettles over the heart knot, previously whipped underneath, with a Turk's head to cover the whipping. Or, after forming the knot of the heart, and covering it, and putting the whipping round the nettles underneath, you may cut 1 them off, and cover the knot with Turk's heading of mackerel line, begun very slack, and spread over the knot, by passing with a sail-needle, as many lays in the plat as will be required to cover the knot.

Square Sennit is used for the same purposes as round sennit, and also by engineers, as packing for pistons. It is made somewhat in the same manner as round sennit, but without a heart. Nettles are used in the same ratio, increasing by fours, but are worked singly instead of in pairs. Having put a whipping round the (eight) ends, divide the nettles, and lay half on each side; bring the uppermost left-hand nettle round underneath all, and up inside two, and over two of the right-hand ones-crossing over the latter ones to the left, and making four on each side again; then take the uppermost of the right-hand nettles, pass it underneath, and under two, and over two of the left-hand ones-still keeping four on a side, because the nettle taken up always comes round to its own side again. To proceed, take the upper nettle on each side alternately, and finish off as you finish round sennit. One man can make a fathom and a half of 9-yarn sennit in an hour. Fig. 184, Plate 25.


Sword Mat. At a distance apart, equal to the length of the mat, sling a couple of bars in a horizontal position. Hitch one end of the warp to the bar at the end on which you intend to terminate the mat; take up the comb, which is made of a wood perforated with holes and slits alternately, Fig. 185, reeve the other end through the first hole, over and under the bar at which you intend to begin, back through the first slit, under and over the other bar; and so wind off as many parts as are required for the breadth of the mat, the last turn being rove through a slit, and secured to the bar at which you finish off, Fig. 186. This done, lift the loom up, middle the filling, and lay it

Plate 26, Fig 187-190, Sword mat.

between the upper and under parts; then lower the loom, and the parts that were lowermost will rise in the slits, become the uppermost, and thus put a cross in the warp. Next put the sword, made of hard wood in the shape of a knife, in between the upper and under parts, and drive the crossing close up towards the bar, and harden it well up, Fig. 187; then pass a turn of filling to secure the crossing, reeving the ends through contrary ways, haul it taut, take out the sword, lift the loom up, and go on again. When you come to the last turn of filling, half-knot it with two turns.

If you have to make a mat for which your loom is not large enough, you rig a fiddle, by slinging a handspike athwartships to the main-deck beams overhead; pick up every other part of the warp, and with a piece of nettle-stuff passed over the handspike with two round turns, and rove round the alternate parts of the mat, trice them up. The upper parts will thus cross the under parts before and abaft the fiddle, and you will require two swords. Reeve the filling, and secure the first crossing already formed, by the parts being triced up, in the ordinary manner, hardening it up with the first sword; now, put the second sword in between the crossing and the bar abaft the fiddle, give the mat a shake, to disengage the parts, and with the sword lift the upper ones up. The crossing will thus be extended before the fiddle; so withdraw the first sword, put it in abaft this crossing, drive it up and secure it with a turn of filling; again lift up the fiddle, keeping the second sword fast (which is never removed); a crossing is again formed at each end; and you again repeat the operation. Fig. 187, Plate 26.

With a heavy boom-mat five or six feet wide, you require a second fiddle underneath, to rouse the parts through. A couple of hands jump down on the handspike; and the upper one, which is triced up by a couple of jiggers, is lowered at the same time.

To finish off or selvage the mat:-After passing the last turn of filling, and securing it with a half-hitch with two turns, you lay the laniard across on the top of the filling, and commence unreeving again the front row of nettles, one at a time, beginning on the right. As you withdraw them you bring the corresponding nettle, at the back, over the laniard and filling, and reeve it back through the hole left vacant by the one hauled out. See Fig. 188, Plate 26. Go right across and haul the bights taut down to the laniard. On slueing the mat round, you will find that this will leave the second row of filling bare; so go on withdrawing the same ends again, along the second row, and pointing the same reeving ends, as at first, through the holes the others came out of, covering the filling, and complete four or five rows of this in the same manner. Then, to cover the last row of filling, and to secure the ends of the nettles, you lay them up and down alternately, the long


ends that you have withdrawn going up, and the short ones that you have been reeving, laying down; haul them taut, beat them in, and then tuck them under the bights of the next lay, the lower ones left-handed through the bights to the right, and the upper left-handed to the left. Beat the mat down and cut the ends off. Fig. 189.

To finish off by shouldering, as for the upper part of a lower rigging mat (when, after reaching the top of the dead-eye, it is contracted in order to cover the shroud for a few inches), you leave as many nettles out at each edge of the mat as will reduce it sufficiently, then lay the laniard (to secure the mat above the dead eye), along the top of the last turn of filling, and go on working on the centre nettles that you have retained, as far up as you intend to go. Knot the filling, tease the ends of the nettles out a bit, place them round the shroud and serve them over. The ends that you left out, on each side, you finish off by selvaging, as already explained. As the rigging stretches, turn the bottom of the mat up, with the end inside. Permanent coverings for laniards are not approved of.

Splicing a Sword Mat. Unlay six or eight inches of each mat, open the ends out, marry them together, lay one up and one down flat along the mat, withdraw the nettles on one side of one (No. 1) mat, and point the nettles of the other mat (No. 2) through the holes they came out of; all ends will then disappear from that side, and there will be four rows of ends on the other. Slue over, pick out the proper nettles of the side, which have been married together, withdraw the ends belonging to No. 2 mat, and introduce the corresponding ends of No. 1 through the holes. The same operation has now been performed on each mat, and on each side there are now two rows of ends; marry those together on each side, laying one up and one down, and go on splicing by withdrawing and reeving, for two or three rows more in each mat. Leave off with the ends all out on the same side, and finish off with selvaging.

Cobbler's Stitch is used for joining the sides of mats together, Fig. 190, Plate 26. Take a filling of roping twine, middle it, and reeve each end through two bights in each mat (if a heavy mat, through three bights at each edge), then reeve the lowermost end back through the same bights as the upper end, which will bring the ends out at opposite sides; draw the mats together, and reeve both ends through two turns in each mat again, passing each other through the same hole opposite ways; and so work on, like a cobbler stitching a sole. Finish off each end, by taking a hitch through a bight in the mat of the next lay above, and cut the ends off.

Paunch Mat. For heavy-rigging mats, strands of 3-in. or 3 1/2-in. rounding would be used for foxes, with a laniard of 2 1/2-in. Stretch the laniard along at a convenient


working height, middle the foxes and lay them across it, and, commencing on the left, lay up one turn in the first pair, right-handed. Repeat this with the second pair, and Jay up the nettle that comes round to the front and left, one turn with the underneath nettle of the first pair, which was brought out to the right; then lay this latter up, one turn with the other nettle of its own pair, and take a hitch with it-which do with the last two nettles on the left, each time that you work down to them, to keep the mat from unlaying again. Now commence with the third pair-take the underneath nettle round the upper one, which lay up with the underneath and right-hand nettle of the second pair, which lay up with the other one of the second pair, which lay up with the under one of the first pair, which lay up with the left-hand nettle of all, which lay up with two or three turns to prevent unlaying, round which take a hitch. So proceed until all the nettles are brought in-a second hand holding them back as you lay up, and when you have come to the last, and the full breadth of the mat is formed, go on in the same way, working down for length. When you have obtained this on the left edge of the mat, it will appear as in Fig. 191, Plate 26; and you then begin to work down square, taking a hitch with each pair as you have finished with them, to prevent them unlaying.

To selvage it, take it down, and lay it on a grating; commence with the first left-hand fox, which bring round under the next one, arid lay up along the mat, laying the one that it comes round (which is the second fox) downward, and in this manner go right across; then stretch the laniard along the nettles where they cross, and hitch the ends to the grating. With the first fox laid upward take a right-hand hitch round the laniard, as in Fig. 192, and the first one down; then take the down one (a), dip it back under the laniard, and haul it taut down, another hand at the same time hauling back on the upper one, and so knot the foxes right across. When done, haul all the lower ends taut up, and, beginning on the left cross the upper nettle (which is on the left of the lower) over it, and reeve it through the bight in the mat in the immediate lay to the right, bring the end out to the left (rove left-handed). Beat the hitches down, and cut the ends off, but not close; for if left of the proper length, they will form two rows of thrums. Tuck a thrum in every third bight up, and in every other lay across, which is quite thick enough; and_ beat down the bights in the mat that they are rove through, each time separately.

To Repair a Digging Mat which has had a hole chafed through it. Stick sufficient foxes through the bights of the mat at the top of the hole, to cover it, lying well over the edges, and back clear of the hole, and middle them. Bring the left-hand fox round the next one to it, lay


its end up, and the one it comes round downwards, like the commencement of selvaging; go right across and secure it by sticking the left-hand nettle, right-handed, through a bight in the mat in the edge of the hole, and the right-hand nettle, left-handed, through a similar bight, the ends of each pointing outwards; then work the next and succeeding rows as a paunch mat is worked, but working square across, laying one fox up with its next only, and securing each row as it is completed, by tucking the right and left-hand nettles in as you did with the first row. When you have thus covered the hole, stick all the ends through the bights below them left-handed once or twice, and cut them off; then slue the mat over, and either stick the broken ends into the new piece, or bring the edges together with a lacing.

Net-Making. Fill the needle, stretch the head-rope along, and begin on the left by securing the end of the twine to it. Regulate the size of the mesh by taking it over your finger, and then clove-hitching it to the head. When you have worked as far to the right as the head is intended to extend, get round on the other side of the net, and work back again; but this row of meshes, and all the subsequent ones, are formed by hitching them to the upper row with a sheet bend. When the second row is finished, shift round to the other side again, and work the third row. The last row is hitched to the foot-rope, which is weighted with leads; the head-rope is floated with corks; and side-ropes are afterwards seized on. Figs. 193 and 194, Plate 27.

To repair a seine, cut it away until you get a straight row of meshes, and replace them as at first made.

A Shot or Treasure-Net is made like a cabbage-net; the head-rope is circular, the meshes are formed in the usual way, and the circumference of the net is reduced as you work down, by bringing two meshes into one, at regular intervals; at first, one mesh in a row; in the next row, two meshes; then taking up every fourth mesh, next every third in a row, and so on. Finish off by working a small grommet through the meshes at the bottom, to keep them together; and reeve two straps through the head for beckets, so that by hauling them apart, the mouth of the net is drawn up. Fig. 195, Plate 27.

Boats' Fenders. A paunch mat fender is made of a piece of mat rolled up taut, with the ends of the foxes placed in the centre; the end is sewed to the part of the mat where it terminates, and the edges are laced together. The laniard of the mat forms the laniard of the fender. Fig. 196, Plate 27.

The usual hanging-fender for boom-boats is made of as many parts of spun-yarn as will give it the requisite dimensions. These are middled and doubled over the laniard, and a small grommet is driven over the bights to make them snug, as in making a swab. It is then grafted over, either

Plate 27, Fig 193-203, Net and hammock details.

with sennit or foxes, and finished off as grafting is usually finished; or by crowning the end over with the foxes. Figs. 197 and 198, Plate 27.

You can crown in this way with any number of ends that are a multiple of four, by dividing them into four parts, and laying a part down on each side; then bringing 1 over on side 6, keeping the bight up, laying 6 over between 1 and 2, bringing 2 over between 6 and 5, and laying 5 over outside 2; then laying 7 over 1, under 6, over 2, and under 5; 4 over 5, under 2, over 1, under 6; then reeving 8 across, and lastly 3;-when it will be found that all the ends are secured. Haul the bights taut down, and either put a whipping round underneath, or tuck the ends under the grafting and cut them off. Fig. 199, Plate 27.

A grommet fender is merely a rope grommet grafted over.

A canvas fender is stuffed with oakum, roped at the edges, and has a small grommet sewed on the centre, to keep the chafe off.

Leather fenders are used for gigs and cutters.

For another kind of fender for boom-boats, see DOLPHIN.

Hammock Clews. Take twelve lengths of nettle-stuff, middle them, serve round all at the centre, and pass a seizing to form the eye; then lay one up and one down, as for a sword mat, bring the outside nettle on each side across for filling, and leave it out; form the other rows in the same manner, and when reduced to two, knot the last pair. Fig. 200, Plate 27.

Spanish Clews are without plaiting, and are made by serving the nettles round below the seizing, leaving one out on each side, at regular intervals.

Sennit for Hats. Split the grass up, take a couple of lengths, cross one over the other, Fig. 201, double the underneath one over the upper, then the right-hand one over and under the other two, and what is now the right-hand one over two and under one, then the left-hand one over one and under two, and again the left over two and under one; then work two in on the right, and so on. Join the grass when you come to an end, by laying the end of another piece on the top, and then go on working it in; and always join on the upper side, because the under side is the proper right side of the sennit. Afterwards clip all the ends off, and rub the sennit down smooth with a bottle, or anything hard. Fig. 202.

The button is formed of a broader piece of grass (a). It is first doubled short over itself, then 1 under 2,-leaving a space, then 2 over 1, and down through the centre of the triangle; next 1 over 2, and down through the centre, coming out on the opposite side, and so on until an octagonal figure is formed (b).

The hat is begun by stitching the sennit to the button, Fig. 203, commencing with the end finished off with, and


working round left-handed. The sennit is kept as slack as possible, and stitched through every other corner for the first few rounds; then afterwards through three thicknesses of sennit, and through every corner, the stitch being kept out of sight, by the needle being pointed underneath the strands of the sennit.

Coir Brushes. Shape a piece of hard wood for the back (stave of a salt-meat cask, for example), burn out the holes in rows with a marling-spike; and out of another piece of wood cut a former. Make the coir up into fillings proportionate to the size of the holes, pass the bight of the marline down through the first hole, slip it over the filling, take a turn or two round the former, and heave the bight of the filling through the hole, up to the level of the top of the back, Fig. 205; then slue over, put the filling between the notch of the former, and cut it off square, Fig. 204; dip the bight of the marline down through the next hole, and in the same manner proceed with each, until all are filled in.

To Mouse a Hook. This is done when hoisting a heavy weight to prevent the hook from straightening out, and on sails, &c., to prevent unhooking. Fig. 206, Plate 28.

Hogshead Slings. A piece of rope about five fathoms long, and from five to six inches in circumference, with a large thimble spliced in one end and the other end well whipped. They are used to sling large casks, being more secure than can-hooks. They are put on in this manner: pass the bight over one end of the cask, reeve the end through the thimble, and haul it well taut; then take the end round the other end of the cask, and take two half-hitches round the standing part, and it is done. Fig. 207, Plate 28.

Can-Hooks are broad, flat, iron hooks, in the eyes of which thimbles are inserted. Into these thimbles are spliced the ends of a piece of rope long enough to span a cask from chime to chime. The rope is then got on a stretch, wormed, parcelled, and served. A thimble is sometimes seized in the bight.

Some can-hooks are fitted with chain, with a large iron ring in the middle. Fig. 208, Plate 28.

Gun Slings are made of chain of three-quarter-inch iron, and tested to secure proper strength; the rings are of one and a quarter inch iron. The length of the slings should exceed by one foot that of the longest gun on board. The two parts should be parcelled and marled together for a space of two feet before and one foot behind the trunnions of the longest gun, and a piece of three-inch rope spliced around both parts in the wake of the parcelling, long enough to take four or five turns round the chase of the largest gun.

Plate 28, Fig 204-212, Rigging of barrels.

Plate 29, Fig 213-218, Ladders and slings.

A Tank-Toggle, Fig. 209, Plate 28, is used when hoisting tanks. The toggle is put in the man-hole, and the yard tackle hooked to the ring. By the superior weight of one end, it is readily withdrawn. Small ones are convenient to use with empty casks.

To Sling a Cask with a Rope's-end-make a bowline knot in the yard-whip, and stick the end back so as to form a short bight, to which bend the stay-whip. Turn the bight of the bow-line over its own part, and slip each bight thus formed over one end of the cask. Fig. 210, Plate 28.

To Sling a Cask with the Head Knocked in-slip the bight of the whip under the cask, take a hitch with each part over the head, and knot them together above. Fig. 211, Plate 28.

Another way, though not quite so safe, is to make a figure-of-eight knot, and slip the bight under the barrel, as in Fig. 212.

Bale or Barrel Slings are generally made of three-inch rope, and of sufficient length to go round the bale or barrel. They are similar to a long strap, spliced together with a short splice; are passed round the barrel and one bight rove through the other. Fig. 213, Plate 29.

They are sometimes made long enough to sling two or three barrels at a time.

A Parbuckle, Fig. 214, Plate 29, is a purchase contrived with a single rope for raising a heavy cask or other similar weight. The same kind of purchase, though on a larger scale, is used for getting on board the sheer legs when masting a ship with one's own resources.


Jacob's Ladders are made of rope, as in Fig. 215, Plate 29, for convenience of passing into the boats, into the rigging, &c. They lead from the spar deck to the lower rigging, to enable the topmen to get in the rigging without getting on the hammocks; on the lower booms and main brace bumpkin to facilitate getting in and out of boats; and in large ships, to the after-end of the spare topsail yard in the chains; and also from the top-gallant mastheads, the lower end setting up to the afterpart of the cross-trees.

Take twice the length, of four-stranded rope, the ladder is to be, and seize a thimble in the bight, having first wormed the rope; then at equal intervals, say sixteen inches, places the "rounds" or rungs between the strands, working Turk's heads on each side; splice a thimble in each end, and splice a laniard in the thimble. Those for the lower


boom, stern, and rigging generally, have sister hooks, and hook into eye-bolts placed for the purpose.

Formerly a small line was rove through holes made in the centre of the rounds and ran the entire length of the ladder, and was called a concluding line.

Snaking on Backstays, &c. Seizing a small rope alternately from one stay to another, to keep either-from falling if shot away. This is only done when preparing for action. Fig. 216, Plate 29.


Netting, Fig. 217, Plate 29, are made by seizing together the bights of small ropes-such as ratline stuff-leaving uniform spaces or meshes between. The rope is first marked off at equal intervals with chalk, and neat seizings of twine clapped on. They are used in different parts of the ship for various purposes.

Jib Nettings seize to the jib guys on each side, passing under the boom, and are for the purpose of catching and holding the jib when hauled down, and to save men from falling overboard when stowing the jib in bad weather.

Staysail Netting, for stowing the foretopmast staysail in.

Boarding Nettings trice up from the rail to the ridge-rope to prevent the enemy from boarding. These, when made of ratline stuff well soaked in tar, sanded, and allowed. to harden, defy the sharpest knife.

Quarter-deck nettings are stretched over the deck like an awning to prevent spars, &c., from falling on the heads of the officers in time of action.

Boarding and splinter nettings as well as exterior nettings for defence against torpedoes are only furnished in time of war.

Plate 30, Fig 221-232, Blocks.



Blocks are mechanical contrivances, possessing the properties and powers of pulleys. They are generally made by machinery, of ash, and are, what are called, made or mortised.

The made block, Fig. 220, Plate 30, consists of four principal parts, as follows:-The shell or outside, consisting of two or more pieces pinned together; the sheave or wheel. (b), over which the rope passes; the pin or axle (a), on which the sheave turns, and the strap, either rope or iron, which encircles the whole, and by which it is confined to its particular place.

The sheave may be of metal or of lignum-vitae; if the latter, it is bouched (c), in all blocks except those used for the gun tackles. In the patent blocks the bouching contains friction rollers. Fig. 221.

In the common block the bouching is counter-sunk, and made of a composition of 100 parts of copper and 16 of tin. The sheaves of blocks used for gun tackles are not allowed to be bouched, and the pins are made of hardened copper. The pin of the common block is made of iron.

Mortised blocks, Fig. 222, Plate 30, are made from a single piece of wood, mortised out to receive the sheave.

Blocks are single, double, treble or threefold, and fourfold, according to the number of sheaves contained within the shell; are either single or double scored, and are measured by their length-that is, the length of the shell.

The scores are the notches cut at the ends of the shell to admit the strap.

The sizes of blocks used in the navy range from 4 inches to 22 inches inclusive, as follows:-4-inch, 5-inch, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22, single and double of each size, and treble blocks for the largest purchases.

Not included in the above are viol blocks, large blocks used for warping, &c.

Blocks take their name from the purposes to which they are applied, or from some peculiarity of form, the following being the principal ones in common use:-

Bee-Blocks, or simply BEES, are thick pieces of oak bolted to the sides of the bowsprit, having heavy metal sheaves in them for the fore-topmast and fore-topmast spring stays to reeve through.


Cat-Block, a large, double or three-fold block, iron-strapped and composition sheaves. It has a large hook connected with the strap by a link, to admit play. It is used to raise the anchor to the cathead. Fig. 225.

Cheek-Blocks are made of a half-shell, and bolt against a mast or spar, which acts as the other cheek or half of shell. The chief bolt serves as a pin for the sheave to turn on. Used on gaffs for brails, &c.

Clew-garnet Blocks are single, iron-bound, and hook or shackle to the iron bands on the quarters of the fore and main yard. They hang under the yard and receive the clew-garnets, by which the courses are hauled up. The name also applies to the blocks which hook in the clews of the sail.

Clew-line Blocks are those which are attached to the clews of the topsails for the clew-lines. Formerly, the name applied only to the block on the yard, now called QUARTER-BLOCK.

Clump-Block. Strongly made blocks with a thick metal sheave, having a large swallow or opening in proportion to the length. Used for the topsail and topgallant lifts in the top; also on collar of main stay for fore-topsail brace, &c.

The same name is applied to any short thick block, such as fore and main tack blocks, &c.

Dasher-Block is the small block sometimes strapped to the extremity of the spanker-gaff, for reeving the ensign halliards.

Euphroe. A long piece of wood having a number of holes in it, through which the crow foot for the awnings is rove. It has a score around it for a strap, and is strapped with a thimble for bending the crow-foot halliards.

Fish-Block. For fishing the anchor; a large double or treble block, iron strapped, fitted with several links of chain and a hook to hook on the arm of the anchor.

Fiddle-Blocks, Fig. 223, Plate 30, are made with a long shell so as to have one sheave over the other, the lower being smaller. Used for top-burtons and as hanging blocks. When used for fore or main buntlines the two parts are connected by a swivel.

Fly-Block is the upper block of the topsail halliards. It is double, has sister hooks and thimble for hooking to the topsail tye. Friction rollers.

Gin-Blocks, Fig. 224, Plate 30, are large composition sheaves which turn in a metal framework. Used principally for topsail tyes, and hook to iron bands, made to fit snugly over the topmast tressle-trees. The name is also applied to the small metal blocks used aloft for various purposes, such as for topgallant and royal braces, topgallant buntlines, etc.


Girt-line Blocks are single, through which girt-lines, or single whips reeve, as the mast-head girtlines, in rigging ship, etc. Sometimes called gantlines.

Hanging-Blocks. Any block depending at a mast-head, as a lead for running rigging; such as the fiddle-blocks at fore-topmast head for head halliards and topsail buntlines, etc.

Jack-Blocks are large single blocks, used for sending up and down topgallant and royal yards.

Jeer-Blocks are large double or treble blocks for reeving the purchases for sending up and down the lower yards.

Jewel-Blocks are single blocks at the extremities of the topsail, topgallant, and sometimes, though rarely, royal yards, through which the studding-sail halliards reeve. The head of the studding-sail, when set, is hoisted to them.

Main-sheet Block is a double or treble block, strapped to the main-boom of a schooner or sloop, for the main-sheet, or a single block for main-sheet of square riggers.

Quarter-Blocks, on the topsail or topgallant yards, are double, and are iron-strapped to the quarters of the yards, to give lead to the sheet of the sail above and clewline of the sail below. On the lower yard they are single, for the topsail sheet alone, and on the royal yard they are single, for the royal clewline alone. Those for the topgallant and royal yards go with sister hooks, that they may be readily detached.

Sister-Blocks, Fig. 226, Plate 30, are formed of one solid piece and two sheaves, one above the other; between the sheaves is a score for a middle seizing, and on the sides a score for the shrouds to fit in. They are seized between the two forward shrouds of topmast rigging, and give lead to the topsail lift and topsail reef tackle, Fig. 270, Plate 38. Frequently, of late, the reef tackle is given a different lead, in which case but one sheave is seized in.

Secret-Blocks, Fig. 227, Plate 30, are so made that the sheave is entirely screened, the rope leading through an orifice in the shell just large enough to admit its free passage, the object being to prevent its fouling by small gear catching in the swallow and choking it. Used for clewlines, which are frequently fouled by reef-points, and for clew-jiggers. The shell of the block, Fig. 227 (a and b), is made of lignum-vitae, and has an iron half-strap. The hooks fitted to this block are known as clip hooks. Similar hooks are shown in Fig. 228, but opening perpendicular to the sheave instead of opening in line with it. Hooks fitted as in Fig. 228 are known as sister hooks.

Snatch-Blocks, Fig. 229, are always single and iron-bound, with swivel hooks. The shell at the breech is


left open, and the strap at that part fitted with a clamp, so that the bight of a rope may be "snatched."

Telegraph-Blocks are pyramidal shaped blocks, with a number of small brass sheaves, used for making telegraphic signals.

Top-Blocks, Fig. 233, Plate 31, are large, single, iron-bound blocks, used for sending up and down topmasts. They hook to an eye-bolt in the lower cap, hooking from in, out, so that the bill of the hook points outward, and the top pendants reeve through them. Sometimes shackled.

Topgallant-top Block is similar to the above, but smaller. It is used for the topgallant-mast rope, and hooks from in, out, to an eyebolt in the topmast cap.

Tye-Blocks are large, single, iron-bound blocks, which bolt or shackle to iron bands on the topsail yard, for the topsail tyes to reeve through.

Viol-Blocks are large single blocks, with a swallow large enough to take a small hawser.

In the navy-yards there are fourfold blocks of 30 inches and over, for heavy purchases.

Block-and-Bock, or "two blocks," is the term applied to a tackle when its two blocks are drawn so close together that they cease to operate. The act of drawing the blocks apart is called fleeting the purchase, or overhauling it.

Blocks should frequently be examined, not only as to strapping, but also by knocking the pin out and inspecting the bouching. The loss of power, and strain on rope, occasioned by a worn bouch, is considerable. The working blocks of tackles (for instance, the fly block of topsail halliards) are always more worn than the lower ones, and, therefore, without waiting until the sheaves shriek and become dumb, the blocks should be shifted and the sheaves transposed. This remark applies also to quarter-davit blocks.

The sheave, on which the hauling part of the rope works, does most duty; and this calls for greater strength, and frequent alterations in upper blocks.

All blocks which stand horizontally must be placed with the square end of the pin upwards: as, when the shell shrinks, it is liable to fall out if placed otherwise.

Hanging, Tye, and Quarter-Blocks, undergo great strains when bracing sharp up; if the former are two blocks, the weather halliards should be eased up sufficiently.

Hooks. There is no proportion for hooks, so that while handling heavy weights, unless the hooks be evidently very strong, it is safer to use a shackle or a good mousing. More accidents happen from open hooks than from chain or cordage. Great support may be given a hook by slipping a link or a shackle over the point, Fig. 234, Plate 31.

Thimbles are made both perfectly round, and also,

Plate 31, Fig 237-243, Blocks.

with the ends nearly joined. Two are sometimes united for the purpose of giving easy play to the adjoining straps or block, as well as a different stand. These are called LOCK-THIMBLES.


The majority of the largest blocks supplied to men-of-war are iron-strapped; quarter-blocks, brace-blocks, clew-garnet-blocks, top-blocks, cat-blocks, blocks for boat falls, and many others are of this class. All the above, except the cat-blocks and top-blocks, are also provided with friction rollers, and the same may be said of nearly all iron-strapped blocks which are not subjected to very heavy strains. Some blocks are made entirely of iron, such as the jeer-blocks for small vessels, secured permanently in the chain sling. See also Fig. 231, for a treble iron block.

Figs. 229 and 233 show one method of strapping blocks with iron. Another plan is to use inside iron straps, as in Figs. 230 and 232, which are probably the strongest straps yet devised.

When not iron-strapped, blocks are fitted with straps of hemp or wire-rope.

A wire-rope strap differs from a hemp one in being wormed, parcelled and served, and in being usually made of rope one half the size of the corresponding hemp strap. In wire straps for ordinary single blocks, the splice comes on the side instead of the breech, to avoid a nip near the splice.

Hemp-rope for block-straps should be well-stretched, or until it begins to look "long-jawed," that is, the angle of the lay diminished.

The common but rather rough rule for the size is, that the rope for the strap should be in circumference one third the length of the block, increasing the size for the straps of heavy purchase blocks; and the old rule requiring the block to be in length three times the size of the rope it reeves, brings the rope reeving and the strap about the same size.

Once and a half the round of the block gives a good measure for the common strap, in which the two ends are joined by a short splice; first reeving the ends through the eye of the hook; a seizing of marline, houseline, spun-yarn, hambroline, or larger stuff, according to the size of the block, is then clapped on between the thimble and the block.

The splice should be placed at the breech of the block. After getting a good strain on the strap, the splicing ends may be trimmed off.

Covering block-straps at all is objectionable, particularly


if they are much exposed, as they decay more rapidly, and break without warning.

To preserve straps from chafe, however, as in the case of purchase-blocks, they are either served or covered with canvas or leather.

All blocks below twelve inches should be measured for straps with a piece of spun-yarn, around the block, in the score; and those above twelve inches, with a piece of small stuff, such as 6, 9, 12, or 15-thread ratline, in the same manner, as the size of the strap increases.

A Threefold Block Strap. Large blocks for heavy work, such as the main purchase of masting sheers, &c., are strapped with eyes for toggling, as in Fig. 235, Plate 31.

These blocks, being so unwieldly, require a purchase to heave the strap out, and a wedge, or large fid, to fix it in. When this block is strapped on board merchant ships, it is generally done in a vertical direction; reeving a rope through one of the sheave-holes, and making it fast to a ring-bolt, &c.; then hooking a stay tackle (c), Fig. 236, to the two bights of the strap, and setting it taut. A frapping, or temporary seizing, is next put on above the block, and hove well taut by a heaver. A large fid (e) is driven in betwixt the head and the frapping, and a stop of spun-yarn (d-which is too low down in the plate) is clapped on; being rove through the upper part of the sheave-hole on each side, and nippered round the strap with a heaver, which keeps it in its place. The fid is then knocked out, the frapping taken off, and the seizing clapped on as before. In men-of-war, when these blocks are strapped, they use a chock, instead of a fid, and a wedge is driven in between the chock and the block. The nipper (d) is taken round both the strap and block, and hove taut with a heaver.

A Grommet-strap. Measure with a rope-yarn the neat round of the block, and the thimble, the latter placed at the proper distance from the end of the block. With this measure of rope-yarn, lay off on the rope intended for the strap (having previously got it on a stretch) three lengths from the end, marking each one distinctly, with chalk, and cut a little beyond the last mark, to allow for sticking the ends. Unlay the strand, bring the first and second chalk marks together, lay up the grommet and stick the ends. If well made, the grommet will lie flat on the deck. Before forming the grommet, the end must be rove through the eye of the hook. Get it on a stretch; worm, parcel and serve-cover with canvas, leather or point, as required; pass the seizing of marline, spunyarn, or small stuff, according to the size. These seizings are always crossed. This makes a neater strap than one which is spliced.

A Common Strap, Fig. 237, Plate 31. First,


cut the rope once and a half the round of the block, get it on a stretch; worm, parcel and serve as near the end as possible, not to interfere with splicing; then splice the ends together with a short splice, and finish serving snug up to the splice. Stretch it and cut the ends off, or you may serve over the ends. If there are a number of these straps required, it would be best to get the rope on a stretch, and serve off the required number before cutting.

The Single Strap, with Lashing Eyes. Besides being fitted with hook and thimble, the single strap may be fitted with lashing eyes, as in the case of jewel-blocks, &c. when they are made as in Fig. 238, Plate 31.

The Double Strap, Figs. 239 and 240, a and b, Plate 31. When strapping large blocks, requiring considerable strength, as in heavy purchases, or when a certain lead is required, the double strap is used, which is simply a single strap of twice the usual length, doubled.

The double strap may be fitted with the thimble only, Fig. 240, with the hook and thimble, or with lashing eyes, Fig. 239.

The leading blocks at the fife-rail are strapped, as in Fig. 240, the thimble playing on a thwartship-rod of iron, otherwise they would not give the fore-and-aft lead.

The Two Single Straps, Fig. 241. It may happen that the double strap will not give the block the desired lead, in which case two single straps are used.

When not iron-strapped, the tye-blocks on the topsail-yards are fitted as in Fig. 241 (a), Plate 31, with lashing eyes.

The same strap is required for jeer blocks when rope strapped, to give a fore-and-aft lead.

Strap and Pendant. When a single block is strapped with a pendant, an eye is spliced in the latter much larger than the circumference of the block, and a good seizing, is then hove on as in Fig. 242.

Tail-blocks, Fig. 243, Plate 31, are used for single whips, and, generally, whenever a single block is used temporarily. A piece of rope may be spliced around a block, leaving a long tail with the end whipped, or may be unlaid and plaited, as in the figure. Such a block is used in the main rigging for the fore topmast studding-sail tack, and a double one when the boom-brace is used. Sometimes the yarns of the tail are merely opened out and marled down, selvagee fashion.

The double block of a jigger is often strapped with two such tails, and called by sailors a handy billy. This is very convenient for clapping on anywhere, as when getting the topsail sheets close home. &c. Fig. 264, Plate 35.

Rules for Cutting and Fitting all the usual kinds of hemp straps will be found in Appendix B.




A Tackle is an assemblage of ropes and blocks, and is known in mechanics as a system of pulleys.

The simplest contrivance of this kind is the single whip, or girtline, which consists of a rope rove through a single stationary block. By this arrangement, a better lead is given the rope, but no power is gained by it.

But this arrangement is extremely convenient and often absolutely necessary, as in hoisting articles from the holds to the upper decks, or from the decks to the masts and yards.

It is quite different, however, when the single block is movable, or attached to the weight to be moved, and generally these two principles obtain in all tackles, namely, that stationary blocks give no gain, but only serve as a lead to the rope, and all increase of power is derived from movable blocks.

The block having the greatest number of parts of the fall should be attached to the weight to be moved, in order to gain the greatest mechanical advantage. The power gained is equal to the number of parts at the movable block.

As, in all purchases, a considerable proportion of power is expended in overcoming friction alone, and as stationary blocks, while they serve to augment friction, yield no mechanical advantage, there should be as many movable blocks as possible.

To Determine the Relation of Power to Weight in any system of pulleys, we have to remember that the tension on a rope is the same throughout, from the point hauled on to that at which it is made fast, friction not considered. If we then make a figure of a system of pulleys, tracing up the tension on each part, marking the hauling part as 1, we find the purchase by adding the values thus assigned to each part of rope at the weight, or reeving through the block at the weight. When the rope itself starts with a doubled power as at A, Fig. 253, each part of such a rope must be marked 2; if it starts with a quadrupled power as at B, Fig. 255, each part must be marked 4, &c.

Plate 32 shows the manner of estimating the power in this way, with the forms of purchase in ordinary use.

Plate 32, Fig 244-255, Tackle diagrams showing mechanical advantage.

Fig. 244, Single whip; power gained, none.
Fig. 245, The same with block at the weight; power gained, 2.
Fig. 246, Gun tackle, purchase, power gained, 2.
Fig. 247, The same inverted, power gained, 3.
Fig. 248, A luff tackle, power gained, 3.
Fig. 249, The same inverted, power gained, 4.
Fig. 250, Double purchase, power gained, 4.
Fig. 251, The same inverted, power gained, 5.
Fig. 252, Single Spanish burton, power gained, 3.
Fig. 253, Double Spanish burton, power gained, 5.
Fig. 254, Bell purchase, for topsail halliards, power gained, 7.
Fig. 255, Luff upon luff, power gained, 16.

In the above estimate for Bell purchase, the angle between the two parts, C, D, should be considered.

The general rule for ascertaining the power necessary to raise a given weight with a tackle, is to divide the weight to be raised by the number of parts of rope at the movable block or blocks, the quotient being the power required to produce an equilibrium, friction not considered.

To ascertain the amount of purchase required to raise a given weight with a given power, divide the weight by the power, and the quotient will be the number of parts of rope which must be attached to the lower block.

To ascertain what weight given tackling will raise, the weight a single rope will bear is multiplied by the number of parts at the moving block.

When one tackle is put upon another, multiply the two powers together to get the total amount of purchase gained. Thus with a luff tackle, with four parts at the movable block, the gain is four. A luff upon luff would give an increase of 16 times, another luff clapped on to the fall of the second, 16 x 4, or 64 times, &c.

These rules require considerable modification for friction.

Power can only be increased at the expense of time, hence there are many cases on board ship where a great deal of purchase would be a positive disadvantage. Were treble-blocks used for the side tackles of a broadside gun, the gun could be run out more easily than with a double and a single block, but then it would be longer in running out, and there would be an inconvenient accumulation of fall.

The tackles of a broadside gun furnish a good illustration of the relative advantages of the stationary and movable blocks. The train tackle, as ordinarily hooked, yields the greatest advantage for running the gun in. If, through inadvertence, the blocks were reversed, the effort would be applied to rouse the train bolt out of the deck, rather than to run the gun in. The side tackle is necessarily hooked so


as to afford the least mechanical advantage, in order to give a proper lead to the fall.

Friction. Perhaps we shall not be far wrong if we estimate one sixth of the original force to be consumed by friction each time the rope passes round a sheave. Thus, supposing the tension or strain on the hauling part be 6, that on the next will be 5, the next 4, the next 3, and so on. So that if the strain on the fall of a two-fold tackle be 6, the strains on the parts of the rope will be represented by the figures 6, 5, 4, 3, and their sum, 18, will nearly represent the power of the tackle, instead of 24, which it would have been had there been no friction; or about one fourth of the force would have been consumed by it.

If the rope which passes round the sheave of the block be small, it will be more flexible; a less force will be necessary to "nip" it round the sheave, and there will be less resistance by friction against the inside of the shell of the block.

From these considerations, we gather that work is lightened by using large blocks and small ropes; the boatswain's rule, that the hauling part of a fall bears double the strain of the standing part, is not far wrong; that as the pin of a block is more worn on one of its sides, it should be frequently turned; and that as sheaves nearest the standing part do least duty, they should be shifted occasionally with the others.

There are about five different purchases in common use, viz.:

A Single Whip, Fig. 256, Plate 33, which consists of a single stationary block and fall. By it the power can be more convenient y applied to the weight, but no power is gained. It is therefore, in reality, no purchase at all. The term whip is sometimes applied to tackles, as the water-whips.

A Runner, Fig. 257, Plate 33, a single movable block and fall. In this case, the fall is called the runner, and has a thimble spliced in the end, for hooking a purchase to. By it the power is doubled. The main bowline and topsail tyes are instances of runners. Runners, as in the figure, are used for setting up backstays, and generally wherever they can be applied to advantage.

A Gun Tackle Purchase, Fig. 258, Plate 33, is composed of two single blocks, strapped with hook and thimble, the standing part of the fall bent to the becket, or spliced into the strap of the block from which the fall leads. The advantage derived from this purchase has been given already. Its gain is as 1 to 3.

A Luff Tackle, Fig. 259, Plate 33, consists of a double and single block, each strapped with a hook and thimble, the standing part of fall bent to the becket, or spliced into the strap of the single block. If the double

Plate 33, Fig 256-262, Various tackle and puchases.

block is hooked to the weight, the power is multiplied four times; if the single block, then but three times, &c.

A Twofold Purchase, Fig. 260, Plate 33, consists of two double blocks, the standing and hauling part leading from the same block, and on opposite sides, so that the block will not cant. The power gained is four or five times, as it may be applied.

A Threefold Purchase consists of two treble blocks, having the fall and standing part leading from the same block, and from opposite sides. Its power is six or seven times.

The foregoing are the principal kinds of purchase in use on board ship; all others are combinations or modifications of these, and take their names from the purpose for which or place where used, the following being those in most general use.

Boom Tackle, or boom-jiggers, used in large ships for rigging in and out the studding-sail booms. In schooners, the tackle which guys the main boom forward, when going large.

Burtons are light tackles. The term burton by itself, is generally understood to apply to those which are nearly always kept hooked to the pendants, at the topmast heads, ready for use, and called top burtons. They are the same purchase as a luff, but instead of the common double block like a luff, it has a fiddle block, both for neatness and convenience, there being but little room close up under the eyes of the topmast rigging. The falls of these burtons are long enough to permit both the lower block and hauling end to reach the deck, with plenty to spare, while the upper block is hooked to the topmast pendant.

Spanish Burtons are of various styles.

A single Spanish burton, Fig. 261, Plate 33, consists of two single blocks, the standing part spliced in to the strap of the movable block and the bight seized or bent to the hook. This increases the power three times.

The double Spanish burton, Fig. 253, Plate 32, has one double and two single blocks the standing part spliced in the strap of one single block, then rove through the double or fixed block, and the bight seized to the strap of the lower block, to which the weight to be lifted is hooked. The end is then rove up through the double block, through the lower and lastly through the single block to which the standing part is secured. This purchase gives an increase of five times the power applied. Figure 254, Bell's purchase, increases the power seven times.*

A Deck Tackle is a heavy purchase, of a double and single, or two double blocks. It is used for rousing in chains, and for heavy work generally.

* See also Bell's purchase, and Plate, Chapter IX., HALLIARDS.


Fish Tackle is a heavy purchase of double or treble blocks, used for fishing the anchor; that is, for raising the crown to get the inner fluke up to the bill-board after catting.

A Fore-and-aft Tackle is one used to get the awnings on a fore-and-aft stretch. The term is also of general application to any tackle whose use, for the time being, may be in the direction of the length of the ship. In the same way we have thwartship-tackles.

The Griolet Purchase, Fig. 263, Plate 34, for dismounting guns on covered decks, is composed of-

A toggle block, made of elm or oak, the outer end or head of which is made rather greater in diameter than the inner one, which exactly fits the bore of the gun. The head has two sheaves in it, so as to form the lower block of the muzzle purchase, and is bound at the outer end with an iron band.

A double cascable block of iron is made usually with a shackle, to fit between the jaws of the cascable, where it is secured by the cascable pin. The iron pins on which the sheaves revolve are formed with eyes, for the convenience of hitching the standing part of the purchase.

Two iron treble blocks, one for the upper muzzle and the other for the breech purchase.

The muzzle purchase block is so fitted as to be either shackled or toggled to the housing bolt above the port, and the breech purchase block has an iron strap terminating above, with an eye by which it is shackled to a bolt passing through the deck above the gun. This bolt has an eye in one end and a screw or key-slit at the other, and when in place, is secured above the deck with a nut or key, between which and the deck a washer of hard wood or iron, of suitable breadth and thickness, is placed.

The hole through which this bolt is put, should be directly above the cascable block when the muzzle of the gun is under the housing bolt, and may be bored at the time the gun is to be dismounted; and bouched with a composition screw-tap.

The purchase falls should not be less than three and a half inches in size, and should be made of manilla rope of sufficient length to reeve full, the gun being supposed to be on deck and the upper blocks in place, allowing also sufficient end for splicing in the thimble and hitching the standing part of the purchase when rove.

An iron thimble large enough to hook the double block of a side, or train tackle, is spliced in to the end of each purchase fall.

Garnet Tackle is the purchase used in getting guns in on a covered deck. The garnet itself is a single piece of rope or a pendant passed through a hole, bored for the purpose in the spar deck, and has a hook and thimble

Plate 34, Fig 263, Griolet purchase on a gun.

Plate 35, Fig 264-268, Tackle and purchases.

spliced in one end, and a thimble in the other, or upper en 1, to which the pendant tackle hooks.

Girtlines are, generally, single whips. The name applies particularly to those used at the mast-head in getting up tops, rigging, &c., when rigging ship. Hammock Girtlines are simply lines on which to stop scrubbed hammocks for drying. They are fitted in various ways, and formerly had permanent (nettle) stops attached; but now the "long" or harbor clothes-lines are used for the purpose.

Gun Tackle. A double and a single block, or two double blocks. Gun-tackle falls are made of manilla, or such other pliable rope as may be directed from time to time by the Bureau of Ordnance. It is prohibited to blacken them or to diminish their pliability. Three-inch rope will be found large enough for the heaviest, and from 2 1/4 to 2 1/2-inch for the lighter guns.

The rope being well stretched, the falls are cut of sufficient length to allow the full recoil, leaving end enough to hitch round the straps of their double blocks, when hooked to the middle or fighting bolts.

Gun Tackle Purchase. See ante. Two single blocks.

Hatch Tackles. These are common luff purchases, and are used generally in the hatches over the holds. When the upper block is required to be above the spar deck, it should not be permitted to hook to the lower stay, but to a long pendant, hooking to the lower cap and stopped out to the stay by a lizard.

Jeers, for sending up and down the lower yards, are variously rove. The plan now is, to have one or two double or treble purchases according to the size of the yard. For small vessels the blocks (iron) are fitted in one with the slings, Fig. 262, Plate 33.

Jiggers, Fig. 264, Plate 35, are small luffs, having the double block strapped with one or two tails, and are used for a great variety of purposes about decks.

Luff Tackle. Double and single block, as already described. But rigging luffs used in setting up rigging are either double or single. Double rigging luffs may be ordinary luff tackles or double purchases, used for setting up lower stays, and called stay luffs. Single rigging luffs have two single blocks, and are used in setting up shrouds.

We then have-

Luff tackle One double, one single.
Rigging luff Two single.
Stay luff One double, one single, or, two double.
Gun tackle (i.e, a tackle for a gun) One double, one single, or, two double.
Gun tackle purchase Two single.

In former days when ships' batteries were light, the gun tackles had only two single blocks, hence the term, gun-tackle purchase; a heavier purchase is required with modern ordnance.

Rigging luffs in former days were composed of double and single blocks, but in time were made up with two single blocks instead, as the double block was too large, much in the way, and liable to split in setting up shrouds.

Retaining the old names, and changing the tackles themselves, has caused a confusion of terms which the above table is intended to simplify.

Pendant Tackles are large tackles, composed of double blocks. They hook to the mast-head pendants, whence their name, and are used for setting up lower rigging, staying the mast, or steadying it under certain emergencies.

Propeller Purchase. A purchase used in tricing up the propeller. See Fig. 277, Plate 40.

Reef Tackles are for rousing the leeches of the top-sails and courses up to the yard arms for reefing. They are variously fitted, and may be either a luff or a gun-tackle purchase, as will be explained hereafter.

Relieving Tackles are for the purpose of hooking to the tiller, in order to steer the ship in the event of the wheel ropes being shot away in action, or to assist in steering in very heavy weather, when the motions of the rudder are sudden and violent. Double and single block.

Rolling Tackles hook to the quarters of the yards (lower and top-sail) and to the mast, for the purpose of steadying the yards in a heavy sea, when the ship rolls much, and to relieve the strain on the trusses, slings, or parrel.

Rudder Tackles hook to the rudder chains or pendants, to steer the ship in case of accident to the tiller or rudder head.

Runners have already been described.

A Runner and Tackle, Fig. 265, Plate 35, is simply composed of a tackle (double and single block) attached to a runner. They are for aiding in staying the lower masts. The power gained is eight times.

Stay Tackles are those which hook to the triatic stay, or a lower stay, and are called respectively, forestay tackle and mainstay tackle-used in getting the boats in and out. These are large double or treble purchases with a hook and several links of chain on the lower blocks. One link is round, and into it hooks the yard tackle.

Side Tackle for running out and training broadside guns. A double and a single or two double blocks.

A Sail Tackle, Fig. 266, Plate 35. The upper block is often double; the small single block below is to act as a fair leader, and the fall to act as a guy in keeping the


sail clear of the yards and top when swaying aloft. The burtons are used as sail tackles.

Stock and Bill Tackle is a small tackle used when securing the anchor.

Train Tackle is composed of a double and a single or two double blocks for running in a broadside gun, or to prevent it from running out in a sea-way, while loading.

Tricing Lines are generally single whips. Sometimes, however, they are gun-tackle purchases, as the fore-topmast studding sail boom tricing lines.

Watch Tackle. A common luff purchase or jigger.

A Whip and Runner. Similar to a runner and tackle, but smaller. The main bowline of a large ship is a whip and runner.

Yard Tackles are large tackles used on the lower yards, in connection with the stay tackles, for getting the boom-boats in and out, purchasing anchors, &c. They are called fore and main yard tackles, respectively, and are fitted with large double or treble blocks, strapped with single hooks. Fig. 230 shows an inside iron-strapped treble block for yard tackle.

Water Whips are tackles for hoisting in water, when it is brought off in gang casks; or for medium weights generally.

Besides the yard and stay tackles described above, for hoisting in and out boats, lighter purchases, known as the yard and stay water whips, are used for getting in provisions, Fig. 267.

This purchase consists of two water-whips. The upper block of the stay whip has a pendant which hooks into the lower cap, and is fitted with a lizard hauling it out to the collar of the lower stay, where it is secured.

The upper block of the yard whip is fitted with a strap as in Fig. 267 to go around the yard arm. Both lower blocks may be fitted with chain pendants and hooks. Sometimes the lower stay block alone is fitted with chain, the lower yard block having a hook only.

Besides the foregoing, there are various jiggers and whips, all of which will be explained when used.

General Remarks. One great advantage of a tackle on board ship, which renders its application of constant occurrence when mere power is not wanting, must not be overlooked; as, for example, when hoisting, a jerking is to be avoided, and a steady, gradual strain required, as in staying a mast. Another advantage of a purchase, when fitted to any part of a ship's rigging, is that on coming up, when some little must necessarily be given back, only a mere fractional part is lost on the rope itself, as in the laniard of a dead-eye, &c.


The greater the amount of purchase used, the steadier will be the strain.

The swallow of a block should be full large in proportion to the size of the fall; generally one-tenth of an inch swallow for every one-fourth of an inch in circumference of the rope.

The fall of a purchase should have as clear a lead as possible, and the hauling part be in a line parallel to the rest of the purchase.

A score is generally cut in the breech of a block to admit the standing part of the fall being passed under the strap, so as to splice the end into its own part. When this is done, the splice should be tapered and neatly served over with marline. But in jiggers, luffs, deck and pendant tackles, the standing part is bent to a becket, worked around the strap of the single block, with a sheet or becket bend, and the end stopped down. This is to allow the fall to be shifted, end for end, or to be unrove at pleasure.

By reason of friction, the becket in the breech of the standing block may be much less in size than the fall, as the fall there bears less strain than at the hauling part, and the greater the number of parts of a fall, the greater will this difference be. Notwithstanding this, in heavy purchases, where great weights are to be moved, the standing part is hitched around the neck of the strap, between the block and the thimble; and it is a good precaution, when using any tackle for a great strain, to cast off the standing part from the becket and hitch it around the strap. In large blocks, the standing part is made to go on the side opposite to that from which the fall leads, making it lead fairer, and preventing the tendency of the block to slew in the strap. Fig. 268, Plate 35.

When a racking is to be put on a purchase fall, the hauling part is racked to the part next to it.

Sometimes, as in the case of a boat's fall, by the block capsizing, or through carelessness in overhauling, the fall gets a thoroughfoot in it-that is, the parts get crossed; before use the thoroughfoot must be taken out.

The following is the result of a carefully-executed experiment with tackles:

A tackle of 2 upper and 1 lower sheave requires on the fall 3/5 of the weight of the resistance in order to raise it, but only 1/4 to sustain it in its place. In hoisting, the standing part takes a strain of about 1/3 of the weight suspended, 1/4 in keeping it suspended, and 2/5 in lowering the weight. When composed of one upper and one lower sheave, the fall of the tackle requires the exertion of a power equal to about 5/9 of the weight to move it, and 4/9 to keep it in equilibrium, so that the strap should be 3 times the strength of the fall, or 1 1/2 times its size.

The Purchase gained by Swigging Off.


What is called swigging off-that is, pulling at right angles to a rope, is, at first, a very great power; but it decreases as the rope is pulled out of the straight line. A purchase upon this principle may be conveniently applied to several purposes. By it a boat may be hauled up on the beach. At some distance up from the water, drive in a stake, and near the water, in a line with the boat, drive in another. To the upper stake secure the boat's painter, passing it along against the lower one. Now, by swigging off upon the painter midway between the stakes, the boat's crew will pull with an increased power, and if this be insufficient, it may be increased by moving the stakes farther apart.

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