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Old 10-12-2013, 11:38   #16
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Re: It's all about the rope...

I, too, like the constrictor knot. Here's how to learn a quick way to tie it, when you can slip it onto the thing to be constricted. Tie it as shown in the YouTube video. Slip it off the stick, and carefully twist it apart. You'll see how simple and quick it is to make it in hand by throwing a half hitch and twisting it around. This method can be applied to the double constrictor as well. The principle is that any knot that can be untied in the middle of the line (ie: without passing the end) can be tied without passing the end.
Now, here's a quick, easy way to tie a bowline where you must pass the end, such as a jib clew or ring bolt: pass the end of the line and make a half hitch on the standing part. Then pull on the end so as to capsize the half hitch. The bowline is nearly done! No need to remember which way to make the loop.
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:54   #17
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In what part of England did you say you are whiling away those cold winter nights?


For sailing, you really only need a few knots. But you need every one of those few, and you need to be able to do them behind your back and without thinking about it. So forget the 100 knots and concentrate on these.

The main knot - the so-called King of Knots - is the bowline. Accounts for probably 60% of knots on board. For tying sheets to cringles, or really, tying almost anything to anything. A universal, simple, very strong and very secure knot. Just don't tie it backwards.

Clove hitch. Not very secure, but great, quick utility knot. Might be renamed "fender hitch".

Rolling hitch. This awesome, almost magic knot is for gripping anything on one direction. A million applications. Number two in frequency of use after the King.

Round turn and two half hitches. Tie up your dinghy with this.

Sheet bend. Quick way to join two pieces of rope.

That's really about all the essential ones. Get these down cold, so that you can tie them in your sleep, before picking up anything more exotic.
+1 That's a great list of essentials that will get you through most anything. The only thing I'd add personally is if you're going to climb the mast learn how to tie in to your bosuns chair with a climbing 8. My experience rock climbing (and I'm sure some will argue this) is don't climb on a bowline use what rock climbers use.
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:35   #18
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Re: It's all about the rope...

Our Sailing 101 class covers the knots used to rig a Sunfish. Those are figure of eight. rolling hitch, clove hitch and bowline. Cleat hitch, round turn and two half hitches and anchor bend are three I'd include. There are so many more but those are the ones I use the most.
And once a rope goes aboard a boat it becomes line.
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:49   #19
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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And once a rope goes aboard a boat it becomes line.
Or a sheet if it is used for the sails
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:51   #20
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Re: It's all about the rope...

Everything else is optional, a bowline should be able to be tied hanging upside down being drug backwards thru the water, while ducks peck at your face, with one hand blindfolded.

I am not kidding about the ducks!
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:58   #21
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Or a sheet if it is used for the sails
I think you mean controlling the clew for trimming...

There's a lot more lines that attach to sails ... none of them are called sheets...
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Old 10-12-2013, 15:46   #22
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Re: It's all about the rope...

So far there has been an amazing degree of agreement on this thread so I must have been wrong earlier; knots threads aren't like anchor threads or perhaps it is MG's calming influence

As a side note, although I agree that one should know the sheet bend, I rarely use it; instead I almost always use the double sheet bend. It is no harder or slower to tie and IMO, performs better than the standard sheet bend. If someone knows any disadvantage of the double cf the standard, please let me know as I haven't found any disadvantage yet.
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Old 10-12-2013, 15:52   #23
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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Thanks everyone for your input. I shall chase up those links this week, and Google is already my best friend....
In case you aren't aware, in the drop down search menu (near the top slightly RHS of every CF page), there is a "Custom Google Search" option. This by far the best way to search for stuff on the CF site. Really it's the only useful way, the other search functions available don't cut the mustard.
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Old 10-12-2013, 17:07   #24
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Re: It's all about the rope...

Carrick bend is on my short list.
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Old 10-12-2013, 17:49   #25
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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I would add one which I use a lot, the constrictor knot. This thing, first described by Clifford Ashley, many, many years ago, can even substitute for a hose clamp in an emergency. I know this for a fact. Here is the link:

Once applied correctly, you need to cut it with a knife to remove it.
That last comment confirms that it is not a good knot at all. Every good knot is easy to untie.
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Old 10-12-2013, 18:19   #26
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Re: It's all about the rope...

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That last comment confirms that it is not a good knot at all. Every good knot is easy to untie.
Usually true, but the whole point of the constrictor is that it NOT slip or untie. Once tightened up it stays put no matter what, and that can be bloody useful at times. If untying is important, use a different knot.

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Old 10-12-2013, 18:43   #27
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Re: It's all about the Rope...

Good point, Jim. One different knot is the Slippery Constrictor Knot. Just bend one of the ends back beside itself and out alongside the other end; to release, pull on the slippery end. This principle can be applied to other knots as well: square knot, clove hitch, bowline, two half hitches, and more.
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:18   #28
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:22   #29
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Re: It's all about the Rope...

Good points raised above. My two cents:

5 most used knots on my boat - bowline, 2 half hitches, clove hitch, sheet bend, figure '8' knot

I am not aware of ever using a square knot, or several other knots learned in my youth.

Be able to tie any knot clockwise and counter clockwise, as well as with minimal light. Have several knots so natural to you that you can bet your life on them, as it may come to that.

Know how to properly cleat a line (my wife still fumbles with this, grrr...)

Know how to coil and stow a line, and flake a dock line

As some of the posts above made clear, a rope or line is just that, until it has a purpose. It then becomes a halyard, or sheet, or outhaul, etc.

Have fun!
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:25   #30
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Re: It's all about the Rope...

Footrope, manrope, boltrope...
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