Who’s up for a little French whipping? A reader asked me to explain what was going with my stick. My tiller stick that is. He noticed is was a bit knotty.
Years ago, it was just a piece of varnished ash, but it kept grinding on the starboard gunwale, so I sewed a nice piece of marine leather on it. Aside from it being crooked, it was a good start. But on certain points of sail the stick was still rubbing: enter a scrap of nylon rope and an instructional video that’s a little too long, but is narrated with a charming accent:
That piece wasn’t long enough, so enter the next section, this time using a scrap of cotton clothesline. This is the best because you can do the French hitching as tight as you can, then soak it, let it dry/shrink and you’ve got a pretty snug, grippy, and cool looking place to put your hand and protect your varnish.
It looks fancy, but the secret is that it is just a whole lot of half hitches.