[Public-List] Sex Bondage and Hemp

R Kirk isobar at verizon.net
Wed Mar 11 10:54:58 PDT 2020

Gordon Laco, in praising hemp rope said, amongst other things:

   First, being natural fibre, its longevity at rated performance is completely unpredictable
Actually, it's completely predictable: It rots away... it's no damn good. It has to be tarred to be of even short term use at sea.
That's reflected by the fact that (almost) no one uses it anymore. A quick internet search showed that it's not even in New England Rope's catalog. On Amazon I found a couple of boutique places that sold lengths of it for sex & bondage purposes. (Who knew that about Gord?)
In my toddler days I saw a greasy coil of rope at the back of our boat shed. I asked my father (the world's greatest hoarder who never threw anything away and could find anything - a treasure like our modern Mike Lehman) who said it was old hemp rope and that all *our* rigging was modern Manila. He said the hemp was a mess to work with and would rot from the inside. But he might find a use for it someday.
Later when I first entered the Navy, there was no longer any hemp - all Manila. A sailor was no longer a "tar". Soon nylon lines came in and completely replaced the manila. The nylon was wonderful for mooring lines because it would comfortably stretch like a rubber band and not jerk & break things. The one exception was that we were still required to use the non-stretchy manila for high lining - sending people between ships at sea on a boatswain's chair suspended on a taut rope. Didn't want to dunk them.
I suspect that nowadays the manila highlines have been replaced by some sort of  Staset or other low stretch synthetic. 
I wonder how sailors make Macnamara Lace now? Synthetics? Any idea Gord?
Bob Kirkex Isobar 181

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