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Old 22-07-2014, 14:40   #16
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

There's another improvement to the sheepshank that I use for superior security while maintaining ease of untying. Make a sheepshank and leave the bight at each end very long. Look at each end as a half-finished bowline, with the extra-long bight as the working end (rabbit coming out of the hole). Then finish the bowlines and equalize the tension on all parts. Very secure, but requires more line than a simpler sheepshank.
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Old 22-07-2014, 15:58   #17
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

Alpine butterfly loop?

OK, the loop flops around rather than lying along the line - but it's easy to tie and secure.
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Old 22-07-2014, 16:38   #18
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Alpine butterfly loop?

OK, the loop flops around rather than lying along the line - but it's easy to tie and secure.
What about a Bowline on a bite? Probably the same complaint as the Alpine butterfly loop, but pretty easy to take up a large section of line in a little less space.
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Old 22-07-2014, 16:40   #19
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
I am not familiar with this knot and can't find anything under this name that could be used for shortening.

Do you have a link? Or could you tie a Franciscan knot and photograph it?


Franciscan= heaving line knot, monks knot, friars knot. Ashley calls it the Franciscan. Used to finish the ends of the rope a monk ties around his robe. You can very quickly make 3-4' of line into an 8-10" Franciscan, and spill it very quickly, unless it's very heavy line. And it looks nice.


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Old 22-07-2014, 19:42   #20
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by tmelhiser View Post
What about a Bowline on a bite? Probably the same complaint as the Alpine butterfly loop, but pretty easy to take up a large section of line in a little less space.
I'd be very wary of using a bowline on the bight in this way if there is likely to be any significant load. This knot is not intended to be loaded this way. Look at how the two loaded legs of the line would bend as they come out of the knot if the ends are pulled in a straight line. This makes a very weak point.

The alpine butterfly would be better as it is intended to take a load in a straight line pull. Look at how the ends of the line come out of the knot pretty much in the direction of the pull. I wouldn't want to try untying it after it had been loaded though.

I tried to find some data to back this up but could only find this www.paci.com.au/downloads_public/knots/03_Cordage_Institute_Tests.pdf.
It shows some comparative load tests of knots. It does show the the bowline as weaker than the butterfly. However this is the standard bowline not on the bight and I'm sure it would have been loaded conventionally with the load on the loop. My educated guess is that using a bowline on the bight for shortening would be significantly weaker than this data suggests.
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Old 22-07-2014, 19:50   #21
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

Just thinking out loud now.

How about using a short length of line to tie opposing rolling hitches around the line you want to shorten? You would still have a potentially annoying bight hanging loose but it would be easily & infinitely adjustable. Also if you use a slightly lighter line for the short length and it does get overloaded, hopefully the short line would break first and the integrity of your main line would still be intact.
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Old 22-07-2014, 20:04   #22
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

maybe twist a cats paw then open the lay on the standing part and tuck it through

cheers,
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Old 22-07-2014, 20:06   #23
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

Sheepshank with two zip ties pulling the ends tight


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Old 23-07-2014, 01:46   #24
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Franciscan= heaving line knot, monks knot, friars knot. Ashley calls it the Franciscan. Used to finish the ends of the rope a monk ties around his robe. You can very quickly make 3-4' of line into an 8-10" Franciscan, and spill it very quickly, unless it's very heavy line. And it looks nice.
Ah, got it! Thanks for the explanation. You mean to shorten the end of a line just to get it out of the way, not to take a chunk out of the centre of a line and subsequently have load applied to the line. That's why I couldn't work out how it could be used .
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Old 23-07-2014, 02:08   #25
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by tmelhiser View Post
What about a Bowline on a bite? Probably the same complaint as the Alpine butterfly loop, but pretty easy to take up a large section of line in a little less space.
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I'd be very wary of using a bowline on the bight in this way if there is likely to be any significant load. This knot is not intended to be loaded this way. Look at how the two loaded legs of the line would bend as they come out of the knot if the ends are pulled in a straight line. This makes a very weak point.
Nev is correct. The bowline is designed to take the load on the standing end and the loop, not the standing end and the tail. Essentially the tail takes the load on a bowline on the bight if you try and use it to shorten a line midway.

The bowline on the bight would work well if you needed to shorten the line to make an end loop. It would work far better than the Alpine loop in this instance, the Alpine in near impossible to untie after load has been applied to one standing end and the loop.

Quote:
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The alpine butterfly would be better as it is intended to take a load in a straight line pull. Look at how the ends of the line come out of the knot pretty much in the direction of the pull. I wouldn't want to try untying it after it had been loaded though.
The Alpine butterfly loop acts exactly like the bend if the load is not applied to the loop. Unless it is dressed incorrectly it unties easily after load has been applied (I have found that in practice, as well as experimenting on applying load with a winch).

I have never needed to shorten a small amount of line, but this knot would work extremely well for that purpose, as long as there was plenty of slack to play with. As someone pointed out in another thread, it is also an excellent way of bypassing a worn section of line.

Where I most commonly have to shorten line is on an anchor buoy. It is often several metres and I have found an Alpine Butterfly bend just very messy to tie with so much surplus line.
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Old 23-07-2014, 02:33   #26
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

How about this,its the loop that was discussed recently for joining 2 lines but I grabbed 2 loops at where you want to shorten the line,seems to work,leaves an untidy loop though.

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Old 23-07-2014, 02:43   #27
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Where I most commonly have to shorten line is on an anchor buoy. It is often several metres and I have found an Alpine Butterfly bend just very messy to tie with so much surplus line.
If you are shortening several metres, the Sheepshank With Marlingspike [sic] Hitch ABOK#1155 is a better solution than the standard Sheepshank.
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Old 23-07-2014, 02:52   #28
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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After you posted a comment about the Sheepshank in the Zeppelin thread, I hunted a little and found a variant called the "Man-o'war sheepshank". Wikipedia says "The man-o'war sheepshank is a sheepshank knot with a Handcuff knot in the middle. This configuration with the half-hitches formed close to the central knot is used in rope rescue and is called a Fireman's chair knot."

This is the diagram that was shown. Anyone have any experience with this knot?
Ashley also shows this one as : ABOK #1157 Sheepshank from a Handcuff Knot.

Note that Ashley says about 1155:

"The Sheepshank with Marlingspike Hitches is the safest of the Sheepshank Knots. ALL other varieties should be seized or otherwise secured to make them safe, unless the need is very temporary" [emphasis added]
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Old 26-07-2014, 01:10   #29
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

On another thread, SWL said:
"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."

Another option would be a clove hitch - that doesn't need access to the end.

See ABOK #1161 where he uses this with multiple loops.
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Old 26-07-2014, 02:32   #30
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Another option would be a clove hitch - that doesn't need access to the end.
Steve Bean beat you to this suggestion :

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One way to make a sheepshank more secure is to use a clove hitch at each end rather than just one half hitch, and tighten up well.
Stu, I really like your marlinspike hitch on a sheepshank suggestion. This could also be added to the handcuff knot instead of just a half hitch. The clove hitch is another alternative there too.

If a huge amount of line needs to be taken up, the handcuff knot secures the centre of it nicely.

I have been looking through the posts in this thread at all the midline options to shorten a line. This is the collection so far:

- Sheepshank (uses a half hitch on the loops and as Salty said is very "loosely goosey") = Nudo Margarita in Spanish
- Sheepshank with a clove hitch instead of the half hitch
- Sheepshank with a marlinspike hitch instead of the half hitch
- Sheepshank with bowline type finish on each loop
- Handcuff with a half hitch on each loop = Man o'war sheepshank
- Handcuff with a clove hitch instead of the half hitch
- Handcuff with a marlinspike hitch instead of the half hitch
- Handcuff with a with bowline type finish on each loop
- Alpine butterfly loop (excellent as long as you only need to shorten a small amount of line, it becomes unwieldily to tie otherwise)

I suppose you could even use three half hitches on either the sheepshank or handcuff knot.

And using supplementary aids:
- Sheepshank secured with sail makers' twine or cable ties
- Use a short line to tie two rolling hitches to shorten the line


The midline bowline is not useful here as strain is put on the 'tail' not the loop.

Martinworswick, I haven't been able to make head nor tail of your suggestion .
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