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Old 26-07-2014, 02:43   #31
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Steve Bean beat you to this suggestion :



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 .
Its the Zeppelin bend (couldn't remember the name) but tied with a loop of line instead of the ends of the line,probably many reasons it's inferior to other suggestions.
I've just been quietly following these knot threads learning new things,that idea popped on my head and I'd see if it was of any value


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Old 26-07-2014, 02:58   #32
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post
Its the Zeppelin bend (couldn't remember the name) but tied with a loop of line instead of the ends of the line,probably many reasons it's inferior to other suggestions.
I've just been quietly following these knot threads learning new things,that idea popped on my head and I'd see if it was of any value
Just give me a little time to look at it. The Zepp loop is an endline loop, not a midline one. At the moment I am struggling to see how it would work midline. You have obviously managed to tie something unique though!
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Old 26-07-2014, 03:16   #33
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Just give me a little time to look at it. The Zepp loop is an endline loop, not a midline one. At the moment I am struggling to see how it would work midline. You have obviously managed to tie something unique though!
Ah, yes - I see it now.

Just grab a couple of bights in the line and tie them together with a Zeppelin.
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:25   #34
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Ah, yes - I see it now.

Just grab a couple of bights in the line and tie them together with a Zeppelin.
Ah, yes - I see it now too.
Thanks for saving me the trouble of working out what was done. Guess it would work, just a little messy looking.

For now:

I think if a short length needs to be taken up midline I would go for the Alpine Butterfly loop. That is unbeatable if you don't mind a bit of loose loop flapping about.

For longer lengths the sheepshank with marlinspike hitch looks good.

For really long lengths the handcuff knot and marlinspike would be my choice (the handcuff secures the inner portion so that it is neater).


A word of caution for anyone using the marlinspike. The bit of line drawn through the hitch at the end (the bit that secures the big portion of loop in the sheepshank/handcuff) needs to be picked up from the standing end, ie the long end of the rope. It would not be very secure picking it up from the other direction.

I have no idea how easy the marlinspike is to untie after load has been applied though. I will try it out on the winch sometime.

Anyone with any better offerings?
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Old 26-07-2014, 13:50   #35
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I would put two alpine butterflies if I wanted to take in more and take the loops and attach them to the standing line with a rolling hitch. Or you could put a small loop in one a large loop in the second, put the long loop through the small loop and you would have an adjustable length line
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Old 05-08-2014, 00:32   #36
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Re: Best knot for shortening a line (temporarily)

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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.


Off topic here because this knot isn't used for midline shortening when you have no access to an end, but I was curious and have been exploring this knot a little more.

I can't find any reference to "Franciscan" in Ashley's? (Stu may be able to help here, he seems to know Ashley's backwards).

The Franciscan friars don't currently use the YouTube knot in their rope belts. They use a multiple overhand as far as I can find. They seem to have been using this at least since around 1300. I had a look at photos of the frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (did anyone mention I was a knot geek? ) and you can see a multiple overhand has been painted.

Is this one of those times were one person gets it wrong and then it is copied and the error multiplies that way?

This is one of the frescoes I am referring to. It is definitely not what is shown in the YouTube link. The link demonstrates another of the heaving line knots:
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