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Old 11-09-2005, 07:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Default ROPE

can anyone help me with the difference between S lay and Z laid rope? is it really important to notice this difference?

What is the definition of creep? why are some cores (spectra / vectra / dyneema) plaited and others not?

Should you always check core diameter separately from sheath thickness or can you assume that core is always a particular percentage of the rope thickness?

we always use halyards as a primary and safety line while going up the mast. in such a case would you say that the lack of stretch in a halyard is a bad thing since in the event of a fall, there is less shock absorption?

waiting to hear from you folks


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Old 11-09-2005, 09:09 PM   #2
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Hi Chetan. When going aloft you will either be climbing mast steps or be hauled up under a halyard. Either way the dedicated safety line should be tailed by crew on the deck so that there is very little slack. Consequently I suggest the less 'give' in the halyard, the better. As for the physical aspects of cordage, most manufacturers list specifications on their websites.....the West Marine catalogue (available free from westmarine.com) has a wealth of information on all categories of cordage.

best wishes. David.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:54 PM   #3
Gord May
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Three strand twisted line can be "laid" right or left, and should always be coiled with the lay of the line. This rope is described as S-laid (left-laid) or Z-laid (right-laid) according to whether the twist follows the line of the center part of the letter S or Z. Most three strand rope is Z-laid (right-laid) If you hold a length of 3 strand right-hand laid twisted line at arm's length and eyeball it, you will see the wrap of the line twisting to the right.

8-strand Multiplaited (“Brait”, “Octoplait”, etc) is braided with 2 pairs of Z-laid and two pairs of S-laid strands – it is flexible and does not kink.

Proper “Fall Arrest” safety lines must be elastic (stretchy) to prevent severe injury. This is not practicable on sailboats where we use relatively inelastic halyards for the purpose. As Auzzee (David) notes, this is why it is imperative that the deck crew maintain the tag line tight, so that there is little/no slack (hence no appreciable fall).


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Old 11-11-2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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thanks very much for your replies

is there any intrinsic difference in the behaviour and uses of S / Z laid rope?

when you say coil rope along the lay, do you mean that S rope would be coiled anti clockwise and Z rope would be coiled clock wise?

is this relevant in the case of line which has an outer sheath as well? and if so how can you discern the lay of the the core?
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Old 11-11-2005, 07:12 PM   #5
Gord May
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From: “Animated Knots by Grog”: http://www.animatedknots.com/index.php

Many techniques are described for coiling ropes. The underlying expectation is the same: when the rope is needed, it should pull smoothly from the coil without forming knots or twists - far easier said than done. Opinions vary as to: whether the coil should consist of stacked figure 8 turns or should consists of alternate loops twisted in opposite directions; whether the coil should be folded in half before completion; and how the coil should be secured. In general the worst way to store a rope is flat on the ground as a Flemish Flake (spiral coil). Not only will it get dirty, it is too likely to have multiple twists and kinks if pulled out in a hurry.

Coiling The Unattached Rope:


Coiling The Attached Rope:


The Figure 8 Flake:


This also describes the basic method of “stuffing” a storage bag or bucket.


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