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Chapter 3 Marlinespike Seamanship
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Use of Small Stuff
line. This type of construction in cotton is used for sash cord  (heaving  lines). Solid-braided lines are fashioned in various ways. One  familiar  construction  is  that  used  for  leadlines, taffrail log lines, and the like. This braid is of large yarns, either single or plied, tightly braided to form a hard, relatively stiff line that will not kink, snag, or swell in water. Single braided line consists of 12 strands in a twill pattern, where one strand of one direction of rotation about the axis of rope passes over two strands of the opposite direction and then passes under the next two strands of the opposite direction. Single braided line is used for mooring lines and towing hawsers. Double braided line is, essentially, two hollow braided lines, one inside the other. The core is made of large, single yarns in a slack braid. The cover is also made of large, single yarns but in a tight braid that compresses and holds the core. Double braided line is manufactured only from synthetics, and about 50 percent of the strength is in the core. It is used for mooring  lines,  towing  hawsers,  signal  halyards, dressing lines, and many other purposes. Plaited  line  is  made  of  eight  strands–four right-twisted and four left-twisted. The strands are paired  and  worked  like  a  four-strand  braid. Consequently, there are two pairs of right-hand strands and two pairs of left-hand strands formed into a line that is more or less square. Plaited line is used for towing hawsers,  ship  mooring  lines,  messengers,  and  other applications. USE AND CARE OF LINE Manila  line  is  not  used  as  it  once  was.  The replacement  lines  for  the  personnel  highline,  the  inhaul and outhaul lines, the light freight transfer line, and the replenishment-at-sea messenger are made of spun polyester. Other synthetics have taken over other uses with  some  exceptions  where  manila  will  be  retained. Manila lines of 4 inches or more should be reserved for  fueling-at-sea  riding  lines. Following are some pointers on the use and care of fiber line for you to remember: Coil right-laid line right-handed or clockwise. Flake  down  braided  and  plaited  line. Keep line from touching stays, guys, or other standing  rigging. When  surging  line  around  bitts,  take  off  enough turns so the line does not jerk but surges smoothly. If line becomes chafed or damaged, cut and splice. A good splice is safer than a damaged section. However, do not cut a line without your supervisor's permission. Do not lubricate the line. Whip all line ends. Inspect   natural   fiber   line   frequently   for deterioration. Open the lay and inspect the fibers. White, powdery  residue  indicates  internal  wear. Dragging a line over sharp or rough objects cuts or breaks the outer fibers. When line is dragged on the ground, other particles are picked up and eventually work into the line, cutting the inner strands. Natural fiber line exposed to the atmosphere deteriorates about 30 percent in 2 years from weathering alone. Natural fiber line received from supply that is 3 years  old  should  be  returned  to  supply  noting uneconomical  to  use. WARNING If a natural fiber line is more than 5 years old (either used or unused), you must not use it for critical operations or those involving the lives of personnel. You can use these lines only for  lashing,  fenders,  and  matting. Line  loaded  in  excess  of  40  percent  of  its breaking  strength  can  be  permanently  damaged. Inspection of the inside yarns reveals whether they are broken. Synthetic line that has been overstressed will have  inside  yarns  fused  together. SMALL  STUFF LEARNING  OBJECTIVE:  Identify  small  stuff line. Line 1 1/2 inches or less in circumference is called small stuff. Its size specification is governed by the number of yarns it contains (called threads in this instance). Line larger than 1 1/2 inches in circumference is always designated in size by its circumference in inches. In general, any line larger than 5 inches that is used in towing, mooring, and similar operations is 3-2

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