There is not enough room in a small boat to be sloppy when stowing gear not in use. Tarps, sleeping pads, and sails (almost anything made of fabric) can be kept from occupying more space that necessary by being rolled tightly. The trick is to keep it that way. Putting a length of cord around the bundle and tying it with a bow knot, as if tying one’s shoes, is likely to lose tension in the process and a bungee, while it can stretch and keep the bundle compressed, may not be the right length to get the hooks on the end engaged.
I’ve found three ways to tie bundles using cord that are easy to use, increase the compression as much as you like, and release easily. All rely on friction, so it’s best to use cord that has some texture to it. Smooth-braid nylon cord is very slippery. If that’s what you have to work with, you can hold the tension by adding a slipped hitch around the standing line where it meets the loop, taking a couple of turns around and underneath the toggle, or square-knotting the tail ends over the lark’s head.
Loop and Twist
Christopher Cunningham is the editor of Small Boats.
You can share your tips and tricks of the trade with other Small Boats Magazine readers by sending us an email.