Historic Rigging and Nautical Terms and some stuff we just made up.

Becket / Beckett  An attachment point. A closed eye or hook. In this instance, a becket means the eye or hook of a pulley block.

Bend  A knot used to join two ropes or lines. See also Hitch.

Bight  Made by folding a piece of rope so that the two parts lie alongside each other. When tied near the rope’s end, the parts will be the Tail lying beside the Standing End. A bight can be used to finish many knots – making them easy to untie by just pulling the tail. The term “Bight” does not imply a “Loop” and does not mean the same.

Block  Usually refers to the entire assembly that holds the pulley or pulleys. A pulley or set of pulleys.

Block and Tackle  A set of pulleys (the blocks) roved with line. (the tackle) Mariner slang Handy-billy.

Bridle  A line or wire secured at both ends in order to distribute a strain between two points. A rope or chain secured at both ends to an object, and itself held or lifted by a rope or chain secured at its center.

Chamfer To round off or smooth a machined edge.

Chock  A reinforced “U” shaped hole specifically for dock or anchor lines to prevent chafe.  See also Fairlead.

Chock-a-block  Rigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.

Dressing a Knot  Arranging the components of the knot to optimize security and/or strength.

Eye splice  A closed loop or eye at the end a line, rope, cable, etc. It is made by unraveling its end and joining it to itself by intertwining it into the lay of the line. Eye splices are very strong and compact and are employed in moorings and docking lines among other uses.

Fairlead  A lead in designed to minimize friction and reduce chafe on winch cables or lines sometimes including rollers.

Fiddle Block  A block that holds two or more sizes of pulleys with the larger outboard of the smaller. As in the Pocket Ox.

Guy Line   Lines or cables used to support masts and spars that are not normally manipulated during normal operations. Also see Standing Rigging.

Hitch  A knot used to tie a rope or line to a fixed object. Also see Bend.

Marlinspike   A tool used in ropework for tasks such as unlaying rope for splicing, untying knots, or forming a makeshift handle.

Messenger line   A small diameter line which is thrown and subsequently used to haul a larger line as in mooring.

Reeve   (Past tense: rove) To thread a line through blocks in order to gain a mechanical advantage, such as in a block and tackle.

Sheave A grooved wheel or guide around which a rope passes within a pulley. (pronounced shiv)

Snapback / Snap-back    The dangerous condition or event when rigging under load fails and cables and or stanchions etc. become projectiles.

Standing rigging  Rigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations. Also, commonly called guy lines.

STOL  Acronym for Short Take Off and Landing aircraft. Formally grouped with the broader collection referred to as Bush Planes.