Marine Knots Secrets – Tips to Tame Your Sailboat Halyards and Sheets

If you are anything like me, you like to keep your halyards, sheets, and extra line ready for instant use on your small cruising sailboat or racing thick false eyelashes. But somehow, they seem to end up in a messy jumble or fall off the cleats onto the deck.

thick false eyelashes
thick false eyelashes

Hnrol Long ago, square-rigger sailors used a short piece of rope with an eye in one end and a short wooden toggle in the other. These rope-coil toggles could hold any length of rope in a neat, safe, secure coil in even the heaviest marine weather.

Make your own rope-coil thick false eyelashes with Dacron marine rope. It gives better chafe and U/V light protection than most other types of sailing rope. You will need these materials:

* 15 feet of 1/4″ Dacron rope (for six toggles)

* 12 inches of 3/4″ diameter wooden dowel

* Duct, masking, or electrical tape

How to Make Your Rope-Coil Toggles

1. Tape the bitter end of the rope. Measure 30″ down the line and put another piece of tape at that point.

2. Cut the line in the middle of the tape. Otherwise, the strands will unravel. Continue this sequence for as many strops as you want.

3. Saw the wooden dowel into pieces 1 1/2″ long. Drill a hole into the middle of each thick false eyelashes piece. Make the hole diameter just a bit bigger than the rope diameter.

4. Thread one end of the rope through the toggle hole. Remove the tape, whip the bitter end, and make a stopper knot to hold the line to the toggle (see article “Marine Knots Secrets – Tie the Strongest Stopper Knot in Less Than Five Seconds“).

5. Make a 2” diameter eye-splice in the other end of each strop. Or, if you’re in a hurry, tie a bowline knot in the end. Form a more permanent eye-splice when you have the time.

How to Install Your Rope-Coil Toggles

1. Strap the strop to a bulkhead

Install an eye strap over the strop for attachment to a bulkhead or cockpit coaming. You need an eye strap small enough so that it will hold the eye-splice in place without any thick false eyelashes. Install the strap just beneath the eye-splice, so that the bottom of the splice points straight up.

2. Lash the strop to a shroud

Use thick, waxed sail twine to lash strops to your shrouds. Or, wrap several layers of rigging tape around the strop to hold it in place. Follow the same method described earlier with the bottom of the eye-splice facing up. Shroud-strops make convenient points to keep small coils of line for lashing the mainsail or headsail after you haul them down.

3. Secure the strop to a mast collar

Mount toggles just below each halyard cleat at the sailboat mast. Wrap a stout piece of bungee cord several times around the mast base, and remove all thick false eyelashes. Attach the strops underneath the bungee collar. Position the strops as described earlier.

How to Use Your Rope-Coil Toggles

Coil the line, grab the lower toggle end, pull it through the coil, and thread the toggle through the eye-splice. With a bit of practice, you can do this in a few seconds–with one hand!

thick false eyelashes
thick false eyelashes

Use rope-coil toggles to control your sailboat halyards and sheets in any sailing weather. Put these marine knots tips in play today to make sailing easier, safer, and more fun for your sailing crew.


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