Originally Posted by FrankSchwab
Hey H2ORidr -
But, I don't understand your comment above. Mechanically winding onto a spool (where the spool turns and pulls in the rope, like a winch) shouldn't twist the rope at all. Or am I mistaken?
Not always. It depends if the rope is already twisted along the long axis and if it cannot twist. Lots of people start with the end attached to the boat and ropes often have twists along the long axis at that point. If the handle is dragged and cannot twist then those twists cause dimple type defects in the rope. The rope winding zealots I have been around insist that one start handle first so that the end of the rope can untwist if needed. As a rope is being wound one can feel the amount of long axis twist that is present and turn them out with their fingers once they recognize them.
I thought this was all bunk and bananas until I watched countless skiers hand the loop end to the boat, and the skiers put the rope coil on their hand while outstretched and palm up, handle in other hand, and watch as the rope uncoiled flawlessly time after time after time. I watch barefooters doing flying dock starts where they stand on the dock holding the coils and the boat takes off full throttle and the coils just unfold perfectly at high speed. At about 20' left to the coils they toss the remaining loops, jump into the air just as the rope starts to become tight, they clamp their feet around the rope, and the boat snaps them off the dock and into the water and 100-150' away from the dock they are up on their feet barefooting. First time I saw that I was amazed, and it was then I realized the importance of proper coiling.
Our little group does a ton of double dock starts where kids are sitting on the shoulders of adults, and again the coils of the rope must come off perfectly every time, and proper coiling allows that. One snag or loop catching and both the adult the kid get yanked on their face into the water because the snap is too early and they are not ready.