"Dead ending" a line

Thread starter #1

I meticulously followed the instructions for installing the Laser
XD Powerpack outhaul and cunningham. One is supposed to
"dead end" lines to blocks and to the boom fitting.

A couple of days ago the line dead-ended to the boom fitting came off
in strong winds, and thus the sail, and I capsized quite spectacularly,
and spent some time in the water sorting the outhaul out. Now I'm using
a bowline (is it called that in English?) to tie the outhaul to the boom fitting.

What's the advantage of "dead ending"?

Sincerely Bernhard


Active Member
I foundn that when 'dead ending' the lines you needed to be careful how you do the second knot. You can do it 1 way and it will come apart, you do it the other way and it is fine.

I can;t say which way is which but 1 way looks like it is pulling apart when you put tension on the rope (and it will come apart). The other way the rope locks against itself and will work just fine.
I don't want to hijack the thread, but what does 'dead ending' a line mean?
It means: One knots the aft end of the primary control line of the outhaul system to the fairlead at the end of the boom, related to the question "mehlig" is asking for.

Here is a link to a photo that TLF's sponsor APS offers on their websites:


There you view to that "dead end" of that line. There, on that photo, the knot seems to be "unsafe", too, in the way "mehlig"'s Laser did have, before he sailed out in that strong breeze, I would say.

A "Bowline" knot is more safe, especially if another "half hitch"-knot is added to the end of the knot of the "Bowline"knot. Usually 3 half hitches (not 2 half hitches) would be enough to dead end the control line of the outhaul sytem to the fairlead of the end of boom safe (Advantage of 3 half hitches compared to a bowline: the clew of the sail is able to move quite a bit more near to the fairleads eye).

To dead end that line at the fairlead of the boom offers the advantage of less power to that control line at the other end, in front of the boom, where this first control line "transmit" the force of the sail to the secondary control line (that finally ends at the deck cleat).


For translation: