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Old 25-07-2014, 23:09   #16
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Re: Best knot book????

Quote:
Originally Posted by biker6977 View Post
All the boat books I've been purchasing lately it seems like christmas every week with the books getting delivered. Hubby told me I'll sink the boat if I try to fit them all on it
It really isn't necessary to buy any knot books. There are very few knots you need to know. Grog's Animated Knots is an excellent way to learn.

And yes, you will sink the boat . I had a good attempt when I initially moved on board - I brought about 300 books with me, much to hubbie's disgust. I have about a dozen left. I now rely mainly on the internet and my e-reader.

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
And as others have said, just learn a few basics initially and practice them until you can do them with your eyes closed and without needing to think about it.

Certain people around here, who shall remain nameless, play with lengths of rope in the evening when they are watching TV, reading a book or whatever


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Originally Posted by kentobin View Post
......And don't forget lots of practice to develop that muscle memory. :-)
As Stu and Kent have said, this is certainly the key with knots. Keep a couple of metre long bits of line (I find 6mm double braided polyester is really easy to work with) and in the evenings practice the vital knots over and over. There is really no easy shortcut.

Eventually your hands will just tie the knots themselves without you needing to look at them or think about what you are doing .
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Old 25-07-2014, 23:23   #17
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Re: Best knot book????

> Keep a couple of metre long bits of line (I find 6mm double braided polyester is really easy to work with)

A single 4 metre line works well too. It's long enough to play with big loops and things like sheepshank variations.
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Old 25-07-2014, 23:26   #18
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
There's about four to six must-know knots on which most agree, and a couple of exotics, like the Zeppelin Bend and the Prussik, that have a certain cachet.

The Zeppelin Bend is not an "exotic", but a vital knot right up there with the bowline. It is the ant's pants when it come to joining together anything but slippery lines like Dyneema. Someone needs to rewrite a few books, re-educate the Sea Scouts and alter the curriculum of sailing schools . When it comes to knot tying, we just seem stuck a few centuries ago when natural fibres were used for ropes.

Apart from the Alpine Butterfly I challenge you to find another bend that can be untied after load is applied and can very easily be modified to take lines of very different diameters, that comes even vaguely close to the Zepp.

Here is the Zeppelin Bend underwater currently extending our snubber during an unexpected blow when we wanted to easily let out some more scope without pulling up any chain:
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Old 25-07-2014, 23:33   #19
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Learn about 5 important knots. I think Seaworthy Lass just named 'em in the thread about the Zeppelin Bend.

-Chris
Biker, here is my list
The boundaries between the three categories are soft:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post

Six knots for sailors that I think are vital (these we should be able to do without thinking and need lots of repetition to become engrained). This will cover you for 90% of knots you need to tie:
Loop: Bowline
Stopper: Figure 8
Hitches: Rolling, Cleat, 'Round turn & two half hitches'
Bend: Zeppelin plus variation for when lines are of different diameter

Nice next additions (take your pick):
Loops:
- Bowline on the bight (for when a midline loop is needed)
- Water bowline (very secure loop, better if line will be loaded and unloaded lightly or in water)
- Figure 8 (nice one for trucker's hitch)
Stopper:
- Double overhand (won't undo as easily as the figure 8 and just as quick)
Hitches:
- Clove (can either undo easily or jam, but very useful for light temporary attachment; also the basis for lots of other knots)
- Cow (useful midline hitch, but can both slip and jam)
- Buntline (very secure but jams)
- Truckers (when the standing part needs to be tightened securely down)
- Constrictor (to hold lines from unravelling while whipping or splicing, or for garbage bags)
- Icicle or Klemheist (to attach your snubber more securely than a rolling hitch if you are not using a soft shackle)
- Tugboat (where a line under load needs to be kept around a winch, but you want to take the pressure off the paws)
Bends:
- Sheet bend (very quick, holds reasonably if lines same diameter, load needs to be put on near instantly though and not released as it can shake loose very easily). Edited to add: you may want to move the sheet bend up into the 'vital' section, there are good reasons to do so.
- Fisherman and Double Fisherman (double is super strong, but both versions will jam), used to make a strong loop = Prusik loop
- Alpine Butterfly (nice midline loop if the load is only being put on the standing ends and the loop is needed to attach something on). It didn't take much armtwisting for me to move this up to this second group Edited to add:Excellent for isolating a damaged section of line or shortening a line midline
Edited to add:
Shortening knot: Man-o'war sheepshank (don't use an ordinary sheepshank, as it is very unstable if not under the perfect amount of tension)

More for keen knot tyers:
Loops:
- Single handed Bowline (emergency)
- Bowline with a Yosemite finish (not quite as secure as the Water B, but much better than the standard version when the line is being loaded and unloaded before much load has been put on it and it is easier than the Water B).
Stoppers:
- Ashley (bulkier than the above)
- Diamond (for soft shackles)
Hitches:
- Carrick (need to know it to learn the Diamond easily),

Note: Double sheet bend does not make an appearance at all. The version I had previously been using (#488) was not the one currently taught (#1434) and the Zeppelin replaces it hands down.
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Old 26-07-2014, 00:01   #20
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Re: Best knot book????

In general, I agree with SWL's list. But no one ever agrees about everything on an internet forum

Here's my modifications to that list:

Stoppers: I prefer the Stevedore's Knot to any that SWL mentions. On your own boat, I'd use it as the stopper every time. If on someone else's you need to use what the skipper uses - and generally that will be the poorer Figure 8 so you do need to learn that first.

Loops: I'd promote the Alpine Butterfly to at least the second and probably to the first category of loops.

Shortening knot: SWL has sold me on the MOW Sheepshank, the handcuff in the middle keeps the three lines neater when a large reduction is needed, but I'd still modify it with marlinspike hitches in place of the half hitches for greater security.
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Old 26-07-2014, 00:41   #21
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Re: Best knot book????

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
In general, I agree with SWL's list. But no one ever agrees about everything on an internet forum

Here's my modifications to that list:

Stoppers: I prefer the Stevedore's Knot to any that SWL mentions. On your own boat, I'd use it as the stopper every time. If on someone else's you need to use what the skipper uses - and generally that will be the poorer Figure 8 so you do need to learn that first.
New one for me. I'll check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Loops: I'd promote the Alpine Butterfly to at least the second and probably to the first category of loops.
OK, OK, I give in . It has been moved up to the second group. But only because it is such a good way of bypassing a damaged portion of line (or shortening a line a bit). Used to take load on the loop it sucks. Try undoing after significant load - you will swear at it too

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Shortening knot: SWL has sold me on the MOW Sheepshank, the handcuff in the middle keeps the three lines neater when a large reduction is needed, but I'd still modify it with marlinspike hitches in place of the half hitches for greater security.
Neat! Super easy. The Marlinspike hitch is one of those knots you know without knowing you know it .

I have just had a play. For something really secure, a double or even triple overhand (half a Fishermans or Double Fishermans) works REALLY well over the handcuff knot. Let me know what you think.
Let's move this conversation to Salty's thread so that this one is not derailed.
Edited to add: only problem with this is that you need to have access to the end, so that won't work. It does look very nice though and would be super strong.
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Old 26-07-2014, 04:59   #22
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Re: Best knot book????

Thank you all so much!!!! Making a list of knots, downloaded the free PDF of knots and added the links to the animated knots to my sailing reference spreadsheet. I'm trying to keep all the resources in one place. The people on this forum are wonderful. I look forward to one day meeting a few in some exotic port and having a cold drink
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Old 26-07-2014, 10:49   #23
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Re: Best knot book????

This thread, along with several comments has made me chuckle. I was in this very same position several weeks ago. Finally I decided to download two apps for my android phone ('useful knots' (actually installs under the heading of 'how to make origami'!!) and 'how to tie knots' (with step by step animation)) and just concentrate on the 8 or so most common knots in my 'Skipper's Pocketbook'.

I am currently sat in my hotel room, in Africa, with two short lengths of rope, bought specifically for this trip, trying them out!! Thanks StuM! :-)
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Old 27-07-2014, 07:21   #24
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post

Stoppers: I prefer the Stevedore's Knot to any that SWL mentions. On your own boat, I'd use it as the stopper every time. If on someone else's you need to use what the skipper uses - and generally that will be the poorer Figure 8 so you do need to learn that first.


Hmmm.... Sounds worth a look...

-Chris
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Old 27-07-2014, 09:20   #25
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Re: Best knot book????

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Hmmm.... Sounds worth a look...

-Chris
I thought so too .
I have just investigated it - it's a Figure 8 with an extra turn before the tail goes through the loop at the apex.

If a few more turns are thrown in, I think this becomes the Franciscan Monk's knot (bulky enough that it could even be used to weight the end on a heaving line).

I use a double overhand generally as a stopper. Easy and secure. The only problem with it is that I imagine that it may jam easily after load (just as the Fishermans bend does). I have never had enough load put on a stopper though to warrant this being an issue.
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Old 27-07-2014, 13:30   #26
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Re: Best knot book????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post

The Zeppelin Bend is not an "exotic", but a vital knot right up there with the bowline. It is the ant's pants when it come to joining together anything but slippery lines like Dyneema. Someone needs to rewrite a few books, re-educate the Sea Scouts and alter the curriculum of sailing schools . When it comes to knot tying, we just seem stuck a few centuries ago when natural fibres were used for ropes.

Apart from the Alpine Butterfly I challenge you to find another bend that can be untied after load is applied and can very easily be modified to take lines of very different diameters, that comes even vaguely close to the Zepp.

Here is the Zeppelin Bend underwater currently extending our snubber during an unexpected blow when we wanted to easily let out some more scope without pulling up any chain:
Well, it's not exotic to me...I had a bit of leather string with a little good luck pendant around my neck for years tied with a Zeppelin, but it is not commonly mentioned along with square, reef, bowline, rolling hitch and a couple of others. I agree that it should be, however.

I can't recall if I first saw it in Brion Toss's book or elsewhere, but I use it in lashings and it's easy to teach to kids.
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Old 27-07-2014, 13:35   #27
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Re: Best knot book????

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I thought so too .
I have just investigated it - it's a Figure 8 with an extra turn before the tail goes through the loop at the apex.

If a few more turns are thrown in, I think this becomes the Franciscan Monk's knot (bulky enough that it could even be used to weight the end on a heaving line).

I use a double overhand generally as a stopper. Easy and secure. The only problem with it is that I imagine that it may jam easily after load (just as the Fishermans bend does). I have never had enough load put on a stopper though to warrant this being an issue.
I use the Figure 8 as a stopper knot, but I have used the more elaborate "Oysterman's" or "Ashley's" stopper knot aft of a fairlead or something else that should ideally only move a short way. But sincerely, if I've tied four of 'em in 15 years, I would be surprised. It's a good way to make a rope belt, though, when combined with a bowline.
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Old 27-07-2014, 13:42   #28
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I use the Figure 8 as a stopper knot, but I have used the more elaborate "Oysterman's" or "Ashley's" stopper knot aft of a fairlead or something else that should ideally only move a short way. But sincerely, if I've tied four of 'em in 15 years, I would be surprised. It's a good way to make a rope belt, though, when combined with a bowline.
I firmly believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure . Our main halyard has always had a double overhand, I just wouldn't trust a figure 8 here, it shakes loose too easily.
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Old 27-07-2014, 13:49   #29
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Well, it's not exotic to me...I had a bit of leather string with a little good luck pendant around my neck for years tied with a Zeppelin, but it is not commonly mentioned along with square, reef, bowline, rolling hitch and a couple of others. I agree that it should be, however.

I can't recall if I first saw it in Brion Toss's book or elsewhere, but I use it in lashings and it's easy to teach to kids.
I am a recent convert. I used its sibling the Alpine Butterfly before, which is also very good, but converted as after a lot of reading decided the Zepp is better again.

I have just used in on a snubber extension for the first time. It held faultlessly in 48 hours of the meltemi blowing (we had almost continual gusts of 25-35 knots). It was a doddle to untie afterwards, child's play. I will post a few shots on the Zepp thread:
Zeppelin Bend - next best thing to sliced bread
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Old 27-07-2014, 18:13   #30
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Re: Best knot book????

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
I use a double overhand generally as a stopper. Easy and secure. The only problem with it is that I imagine that it may jam easily after load (just as the Fishermans bend does). I have never had enough load put on a stopper though to warrant this being an issue.
Yep the Stevedore's and Double Overhand are very similar in ease of tying, stopper size and security. It's the jamming potential that gives the Stevedore's the edge.
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