If you ever come to one of our 3-day rigging workshops, you will at some point find yourself passing lengths of rope around the room. Dacron and Nylon andvHigh-Modulus, single- and double-braid, ropes optimized for halyards or sheets or mooring lines or whatever the job is. You will look at helix angle, twist, texture, and all the other variables that ropemakers work with, and when we are done passing all the lengths around you will know how to decode the Great Wall of Rope at your local chandlery, so you can make meaningful selections for your boat. As a bonus, you will then get to wind all that rope back onto the spools.
The picture above is from our most recent workshop, with attendees from California, North Carolina, Nevada, and elsewhere, a wonderfully disparate collection of amateurs and professionals. I really enjoy those workshops.