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Old 18 January 2019, 09:19   #11
Country: UK - England
Town: Lincolnshire
Boat name: Mousetrap
Make: Zodiac Cadet 310S
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mariner 4 stroke 9.9
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 328
Not sure much anyone is joking here.

However, painter is a standard word for the short length of rope tied to the bow of any small dinghy for tying off to a mooring. It is usually a word only associated with small boats.

It's nice to use the right words, and it can also sometimes be a matter of safety, but not always.

Frankly, it doesn't matter whether you call the rope leading down to the anchor the warp, rode, line or even rope if you call it the anchor warp/rode/line/rope. I can live with knot and bend being interchangeable terms, and grit my teeth and smile when people mix up "paddle" and "oar".

However, the reason we use port and starboard is to stop that silly and potentially dangerous "Your left or my left" situation when giving instructions.

If your boat has more than one mooring line, as many do, then only one of them ó the one at the bow ó is the painter. Tie off the anchor line to the painter can only have one meaning. "Tie off the anchor to the mooring line" could lead to a novice making a dangerous mistake. "Use a sheetbend" is far more precise than "tie a knot".

My other boat is a sailing dinghy. It's a fairly simple one, but nevertheless, there are several ropes and lines, each with a different purpose. Learning their names is as important as learning your work colleagues' names rather than describing which one you mean, and the names are easy enough to learn.

My novel, "Bridge of Otherwhere" 2018 by Michael Wilkinson, now available for download on
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Old 18 January 2019, 13:30   #12
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Country: UK - England
Town: Sidmouth
Boat name: Various
Make: Avon, Ribcraft
Length: 4m +
Engine: Mercury 40, Honda 50
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 261
Well said!

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Old 14 March 2019, 19:26   #13
Country: New Zealand
Town: Auckland
Boat name: Harpoon
Make: Takacat
Length: 3m +
Engine: Yamaha F6
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Thank you everyone - I found the discussion very helpful AND the use of the correct terms also makes a follow up search on Captain Google quicker and more accurate. I recently purchased a 3.4m TakaCat with an open bow - so the discussion was such that I could work out what matters and what didn't and how I might safely anchor.

But, as for needing a painter and decorator.......

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