to cheese down

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A method of coiling down the tail of a rope on deck to present a neat appearance. The end of the tail is in the centre and the remainder coiled flat round it in a tight spiral, each flake touching those on either side of it so that the finished coil looks like a spiral rope mat lying on the deck. When a fall has been cheesed down, the final result is itself called a cheese. The end of a rope should be never be cheesed down if it is required to render quickly through a block, as the tight coiling which forms a cheese is apt to make the rope kink when uncoiled quickly and it might therefore jam in the block. A rope so coiled is also known as a Flemish coil.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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