page is an "educational" page on which I talk about aspects
of my trade and projects / products that might interest visitors. Read
on to find out about aspects of marlinspike seamanship.
• About beckets
What is a becket? Why not just call them rope handles? The disctionary
gives this definition:
Nautical A device, such as a looped rope, hook and eye, strap, or grommet,
used to hold or fasten loose ropes, spars, or oars in position. [Origin
do know they are generally thought to be the hardest piece of knotwork
for the sailor to tie. Once tied, painted and installed on the side
of his personal chest (locker) the has every right to consider it a
I tie beckets I often catch myself holding my breath during a particularly
tricky step in the building process. It's hard to find words to convey
the special touch needed to tie a pair of these intricate beauties.
The key word here is "pair". It's hard to make one, never
mind making a masterpiece times two.
I've tried to imagine the sailors a hundred years ago working on one,
with roughened hands and calloused fingers, the ship pitching back and
forth. Now that's dedication.
of today still tie these elaborate box handles. I've had the pleasure
and privilege of visiting and sailing on a number of modern day ships
and I've seen a dozen beckets in different stages.
About ditty bags
I have an opportunity to view a nautical collection I always look for
a pair of beckets and a ditty bag. The heavily decorated canvas bag
is, like the beckets, a very useful item. The ditty bag holds all of
a sailor's personal small hand tools.
my beckets and ditty bags are available for purchase from Adriance Furniture
Maker, South Dartmouth, Mass.