Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Knowing the Ropes: A Sailor's Guide to Selecting, Rigging, and Handling Lines Abroad by Roger C. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Plenty of great ideas in this book make it a useful read for boaters of any stripe, large or small, motor or sail powered. There are useful ideas here for amateur riggers as well. Perhaps the only negative comment I might have, and it's a weak one, is that some of the knots and hitches used with the rigging ideas are a bit dated. Knot tyers have come up with more secure, stronger alternatives. However, sailors tend to stick with what experience has taught them. The author has put the knots presented to the test in his own sailing experience, and they've proven themselves adequate to the tasks he's set. So, if it ain't broke, don't go trying to fix it. Maybe something might snap. It's no big deal, however, to substitute a different knot or hitch to one of the author's setups, if you've learned an interesting and perhaps innovative alternative.
This book as lasting value, and I'm sure I'll be going back to it again and again.
A quick aside about a gentlemen the author mentioned several times in this book: A few years ago, I knew nothing of knots and ropework, and happened to travel through the charming seaside town of Port Townsend, WA during a festival while on vacation. It's too bad I hadn't yet heard of the man, master rigger Brion Toss, who the author holds in high esteem. Brion's rigging business is located there, and I missed a chance to stop in and watch a seasoned professional at work!
I'd like to visit the town again, and when I do, I'll be by to see that knot tying celebrity.
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