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Fairleads, Kinks, and Twists
Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
Tying Single and Double Becket Bends
Whenever possible, a right-laid line should be put on a winch drum or capstan right-handed, or in clockwise turns. Heaving on a right-laid line with left-handed  turns  eventually  creates  kinks  in  the line. A line with a kink in it, or a tackle that is twisted from having a dip in it, should never be heaved hard while  that  condition  exists.  A  strong  strain  on  a kinked or twisted line puts a permanent distortion in the line. Figure 3-10 shows what frequently happens when a line with a kink in it is heaved hard. Now the original kink has been forced into each strand. It is impossible to work out the kink; hence, the line is ruined. Deterioration of natural fiber line through age or exposure is indicated by the gradual change in its color from a yellowish white to a gray. Deterioration from use or abuse is shown by the bristling of the ends of broken yarns. An overstrained line also shows a decrease in diameter. An individual should never be sent aloft or over the side on such a line. If the identification marker tape indicates the natural fiber rope is 5 years old, it should not be used for critical  operations  or  those  involving  the  lives  of personnel. Figure 3-11.–Best type of knife for a Seaman. Figure  3-11  shows  the  best  type  of  knife  for working with line. This knife is available almost anywhere ashore. Its blade has a straight cutting edge rather than a curved one. The small spike on the knife is convenient for opening shackles, and it is indispensable for drawing up close knots like monkey fists, manrope knots,  and  Turk's  heads. The wooden fid is a long, tapered tool used for opening strands in line for splicing. Never use it for anything else, and never hammer the butt end of a fid to drive it through. It splits or splinters very easily. To open heavy line, set the butt of the fid on deck and hammer the line onto the point. Never call a fid a marlinespike. The marlinespike, a tapered steel tool, serves the same purpose with wire that the fid does with line. A good spike should never be used as a crowbar or a pin to open shackles, and care must be taken to avoid bending or blunting its point. Unlike the fid, you can hammer  the  butt  of  a  marlinespike. SEAMAN'S TOOLS KNOTS LEARNING  OBJECTIVE:  Recognize  and describe  the  most  common  tools  used  by Seamen. There are many tools used by a deck Seaman. We only discuss a few of them in this chapter. To find out more about the tools used in painting, you should refer to Boatswain's Mate, Volume 1, NAVEDTRA 10101. We discuss the Seaman's knife, marlinespikes, and fids first. We address the sail needles and the sail palms in the canvas section of this chapter. Figure 3-10.–Result of a strong strain on a line with a kink in it. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Define the types of knots used in a line. Identify the knots used to form a loop or an eye. Explain bending to a hook, ring, or spar. Learning the proper methods of handling and applying  knots  and  splices,  and  practicing  them,  are  an essential part of your job as a Seaman apprentice. Among Seamen the term knot must give way to its more specific meanings:  bend and hitch.  In addition, Seamen must know which knot, bend, or hitch will serve  best  in  a  particular  circumstance. First and foremost, a good knot must hold fast without slipping. Next, if it is a knot in general use and not an ornament, it should be easy to tie. The best knot is one that possesses all these advantages and is easy to untie as well. 3-10

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