How to correctly coil line....

Sep 30, 2013
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
If you really want "pretty" coils, you can use an alternating overhand-underhand twist as you coil the line (if that makes any sense). Like the figure 8, you end up with zero twist. It takes a little longer to do though.
Feb 20, 2011
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
Ah, Winter. When a young man's fancy lightly turns to...
Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
In the Off Center Harbor videos Brian Toss shows the technique of alternating coils as Gene describes. I like the technique shown in the link - but we call it flaking to distinguish from coiling.
Nov 8, 2010
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
'Pretty' should not factor in this.... what you want is a line that runs free without hockles when used in anger. NOBODY likes a spinnaker caught half-way down because there is a loop of line at the clutch.
Jan 18, 2016
Catalina 387 Dana Point
I was taught to always flake as shown in the video. As Jackdaw points out, you want the line to run free when it's used.

I don't gasket with that many loops though - three or four is good enough.
Sep 14, 2014
Catalina 22 Pensacola, Florida
Coiling is for storage, flaking is for preparation in deploying a line.


Aug 18, 2015
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
Why not "coil" in a manner that lets you store, but eliminates the need to flake the line prior to use? If I need a line in a hurry, I don't want to have to flake it to make sure it will run true.
Jun 21, 2004
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
I mostly flake all lines. The additional time , is minimal, to drape the line over a winch and flake in a figure 8 manner.
When I need the line, it is ready to go, with minimal potential for fouling.
Jun 9, 2008
- -- -Bayfield
Just don't wrap it up around the palm of your hand and your elbow like some do with extension cords as that will put twists in the line for sure.
Mar 26, 2011
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I've never trusted anyone who coils pretty (;))
In truth, only 3 things matter:
  • Don't twist the line.
  • Use an effective cinch when done.
  • Remember how you did it and uncoil accordingly; any coil will go into a angle if uncoiled the wrong way.
Didn't we learn this doing yard work by the time we were 12? I did.