Chafe is the great enemy of the far-voyaging sailing vessel. From clipper ship to mini-yacht it’s the same old problem. Even on short runs, especially downwind, some rope somewhere is going to suffer damage from a nasty lead. This one has been worrying away at the cheek of its snatch block. The ideal answer is to rearrange the lead, but that’s not always possible. Sailing ships used to ease their halyards and sheets an inch or two every day, then sweat them up every so often to ‘freshen the nip’ in the sheaves. That’s what has been done here, and the rope will live to fight again – just.