C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marking Control Lines on C'est la Vie

 While Anne piloted us ever northward along the ICW, I took advantage of the mellow conditions to properly mark the reefing lines on C’est la Vie’s mainsail.   To aid in efficiently reducing sail, it rarely seems that enlarging sail area is done under pressure, we mark the reefing lines at the cleat on the boom.  The first reef line receives a mark for the full sail and for the reef point.  The second reefing line receives a mark for the full sail, the first reef, and the second reef point. 
mainsail reefing lines marked with indelible ink
Initially we make the marks using a sharpie marker.  After a couple months of sailing and assessing the position of marks it is time to properly mark the line with some whipping twine.

Marking with whipping twine has the advantage of being both easy to see and easy to feel.  When working at night or under duress feeling the marks saves time and effort.

The tools required are scissors and a sewing awl.  Using a high quality whipping twine will enhance the quality and longevity of the marks.  

Resources with quality directions on whipping line can be found on the internet, example - Finish Whipping Method 1.  Look around and pick your favorite.

A hint for finishing the whipping is to use a sewing awl to pass the ends of the twine through the line. Using the sewing awl, I pass the ends through the rope three to four times.  
passing the ends of the whipping twine through the rope
This trick keeps the whipping from unraveling and gives the mark a clean look without loose ends hanged about.
completed mark 
 We use this technique to mark various lines around C’est la Vie – reefing lines, halyards, dinghy painter,  topping lift, etc.

new marks on first and second reef lines.

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