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West Country whipping

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West Country whipping
Category whipping
Related Sailmaker's whipping
Typical use Whipping
ABoK #3458
West Country Whipping

The West Country Whipping is a quick practical method of using twine to secure the end of a rope to prevent it fraying. It has several advantages: it can be tied without a needle; it is simple to understand and remember; if the whipping fails, the loose ends can usually be re-tied to temporarily prevent the rope's end from fraying.


Half hitches are tied alternately behind and in front of the rope until the width of the band of twine approaches the diameter of the rope. A reef (square) knot, or better a series of reef (square) knots, completes the whipping. If a needle is available this string of reef (square) knots can be pulled through the rope to bury the ends. Alternatively, a short bight of another rope can be laid first and used to pull the rope ends through. If the rope is a stranded rope, the ends can usually be pulled through without a needle.


Sailmaker's Whipping

The Sailmaker's Whipping is the yardstick for comparison. It is the most durable because the turns are wrapped with frapping turns which are threaded through the rope. However, it requires a needle and is harder to understand and remember.

Burning the Rope's End: The end of many synthetic ropes can be melted using heat, e.g., a flame. While this is simple and quick, it tends to fail in ropes subject to heavy use. Ideally a rope's end should be both melted (if applicable) and whipped.

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