Making Our Manila Authentic

For the past year, we’ve been making eye splices and wire-manila splices in our “manila”, which was made for us by Martin Coombs. Since manila fiber does not scale down in size, our manila line wouldn’t look correct if made from the real thing, so we opted for cotton.
To add a touch of manila color we steep our lines in Lipton tea. The irony of using Lipton Tea bags has not been lost on us! So I ask, who really won? Who is best remembered from the 1903 series?
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Lines have been hanging to dry and going slack. These had been pulled taut and all kinks and twists taken out when hung to dry.
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Our process also highlights old school seamanship items. From the Marlinspike seamanship chapter in “The Bluejacket’s Manual 1944,” given to us by Chris Bade:
1. “Line shrinks in length when wet and , unless allowed to shrink freely, subjects itself to a strain as great or greater than it would carry under a load. For this reason, lines which are belayed should be slacked when wet…”
2. “The size of fiber line, except small stuff, is specified by the number of inches in its circumference…the length of fiber line is given in fathoms.”
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