When the sea puts on its happy face, any kind of fault or negligence might remain unnoticed. But when it is "wild", it does not forgive even the slightest negligence and things can become even more dangerous both for the safety of the boat and of ourselves.
So, if we want to belong to the category of those people who respect the sea in practice, we must treat it as if there is going to be a storm at any moment and not to rely on its sweet face and our good mood. Therefore, no matter how unpredictable and moody the sea is, we must be ready and self-contained in order to deal with it successfully when there is a need.
I do not think that there is anyone who does not agree that not only is the anchor useful at the boat but also the ropes, which are an integral part of its basic equipment, are important too. As we cannot set sail without our anchors, in the same way we cannot travel without having attended for the complement of the boat ropes.
But let's talk about ropes from the beginning...
There are two basic questions which must concern us in order to end up in the organization of the ropes of the boat:
- How many ropes should there be and which should be the length of each one?
- Where and how are we going to store them so that they will be close and directly accessible to be used when need be?
There are usually two places for mooring:
- Ports and marinas where there are particular lashing positions.
- Remote bays and beaches.
In each case we will need specific ropes.
So, in the first case we will need two ropes to tie up the bow or the stern and that depends on the part of the boat we will approach the dock.
These ropes must be of limited length, at about six metres.
It is necessary to have two more 'short' ropes which will be very useful if we need to come close to the boat of our co-traveller. That means that we have gathered four stern tie ropes which we now have to store in specific places in order to be directly accessible.
In case we moor to an isolated shore, we will need ropes of bigger length. Two bow lines of about 20 metres length and of course two more of 50 metres length, in case there are no nearby lashing places. That means that we have gathered four more ropes, two of twenty metres and two of fifty metres length with which, if they are tied, we can form a very lengthy rope in case we need it sometime.
These small but important details highlight an ordered boat and define a good captain!