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Old 31-05-2013, 03:44   #106
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Hmm, Dockhead... I realise it's time for me to re-evaluate the whole question in the era of slippery, high-performance ropes, but I felt a little shy of the double fishermans, and felt a bit vindicated when I read this, further up this same thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
....I used to have access to a test bed and I did a few tests on climbing rope knots. The results surprised me, with a double fishermans bend failing before a single fishermans bend and an alpine butterfly knot. It seemed like the heat generated by the slippage through the double fishermans bend could not escape fast enough and the rope melted, breaking in the middle of the knot. ...
As regards the Alpine Butterfly, there was some discussion further up the thread on its merits (including the fact that it is outrageously versatile, seeing it can be adapted for use as a bend, as well as the usual end of line, or midline, loop knot - in the latter context, it causes relatively little weakening of the entire rope when both ends are put under tension)

and I posted some pictures showing the bend version, at

In defence of the sheet bend
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Old 31-05-2013, 03:48   #107
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In 99% of situations I find these enough:

bowline (and variations)
sheet bend
round turn & two half hitches
clove hitch
figure 8 stopper knot
rolling hitch
prussik
constrictor knot
double fisherman
The only thing I think you are missing are very secure knots to tie two lines together (including heavy line and different diameter lines) that can be untied.

I would add the Carrick and either an Alpine Butterfly Bend or a Zeppelin to your repertoire. The Zeppelin is a touch better, but learning the Alpine butterfly also gives you a fantastic loop to use on the bight - unlike the Bowline it can take load in any direction (and it looks lovely the Zeppelin is plain ugly).

For slippery line the very minor addition of double/triple Sheet Bend and Triple Fisherman's is also very useful.

A double overhand is dead easy (like a reef knot almost not worth mentioning, but is makes a very secure stopper knot).

And yes, a Trucker's hitch is handy too (although I used this more back home securing loads on trailers than I have done sailing). The directional Figure 8 is the best loop to use for this.

It is interesting that you include three I never use: Clove hitch (I only use it as part of other knots, eg Water Bowline, Handcuff knot); Constrictor knot (I tape the end of line when I am splicing it and just put reef knots on garbage bags) and Prussik (knot as opposed to loop). I use a Klemheist (for the snubber), but not a Prussik knot anywhere.

What do you use these three for?
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Old 31-05-2013, 03:55   #108
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I realise it's time for me to re-evaluate the whole question in the era of slippery, high-performance ropes, but I felt a little shy of the double fishermans, and felt a bit vindicated when I read this, further up this same thread
......
Snowpetrel's report was very interesting. I feel he may be wrong thinking the triple will be worse, as I think the mechanism of action may change (see my explanation in post #80). I have never seen reports of failure like this with a Double Fisherman's before, so it would be useful to work out why it occured (possibly inadequately hand tightened initially ???). It is a fantastic knot and the Triple version is invaluable for slippery line.
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Old 31-05-2013, 04:49   #109
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
The only thing I think you are missing are very secure knots to tie two lines together (including heavy line and different diameter lines) that can be untied.

I would add the Carrick and either an Alpine Butterfly Bend or a Zeppelin to your repertoire. The Zeppelin is a touch better, but learning the Alpine butterfly also gives you a fantastic loop to use on the bight - unlike the Bowline it can take load in any direction (and it looks lovely the Zeppelin is plain ugly).

For slippery line the very minor addition of double/triple Sheet Bend and Triple Fisherman's is also very useful.

A double overhand is dead easy (like a reef knot almost not worth mentioning, but is makes a very secure stopper knot).

And yes, a Trucker's hitch is handy too (although I used this more back home securing loads on trailers than I have done sailing). The directional Figure 8 is the best loop to use for this.

It is interesting that you include three I never use: Clove hitch (I only use it as part of other knots, eg Water Bowline, Handcuff knot); Constrictor knot (I tape the end of line when I am splicing it and just put reef knots on garbage bags) and Prussik (knot as opposed to loop). I use a Klemheist (for the snubber), but not a Prussik knot anywhere.

What do you use these three for?
Constrictor for whipping lines, and lots of other miscellaneous things, generally with small stuff. Prussik I use like a rolling hitch but when I need friction in both directions. Like putting stuff on flag halyards, for example, or for a safety line when going aloft. Clove hitch I use all the time as a light utility knot -- for fenders; to secure the tail of a rolling hitch; etc., etc. Hang a tied up a bundle of rope by its tail; etc. Throw onto a piling. Very useful, and the clove hitch is a pretty knot, if not very secure.

I'm not going to ask you what you use the Handcuff Knot for, but I can imagine. . .
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Old 31-05-2013, 04:53   #110
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Snowpetrel's report was very interesting. I feel he may be wrong thinking the triple will be worse, as I think the mechanism of action may change (see my explanation in post #80). I have never seen reports of failure like this with a Double Fisherman's before, so it would be useful to work out why it occured (possibly inadequately hand tightened initially ???). It is a fantastic knot and the Triple version is invaluable for slippery line.
I don't really use slippery rope for almost anything, and when I do, don't like to tie knots in it. I have some Dyneema running rigging, but it has splices (not done by me) and eyes. All the rope I play with is polyester and and nylon, so I cant' really comment.

For the kind of rope I use, I find the double fisherman to be the absolute go-to knot for joining rope by the end, totally secure, and almost as strong as the rope. As a bonus it is a doddle to learn and tie. It has one big drawback -- you need a fid to get it undone.

There was a big knots test a couple of months ago in PBO, using, interestingly, both Dyneema and polyester. They found the double fisherman to be the strongest of the many knots tested, almost as strong as a splice, and also with the Dyneema rope.


As we all know, I guess -- Dyneema rope with a polyester sheath is prone to breaking, when knotted, when the sheath separates, and as a result loses much more of its strength when knotted than polyester does. It seems to practically eliminate any strength advantage if you knot it. That's why I don't use Dyneema much, and don't knot it at all when I do. This does not apply to the single-braid unsheathed "racing" Dyneema, I guess.
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Old 31-05-2013, 04:57   #111
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm not going to ask you what you use the Handcuff Knot for, but I can imagine. . .
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:14   #112
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That's why I have consciously limited my repertoire of knots to a limited number which I can tie behind my back and in my sleep, giving up a number of knots which might be better in this or that situation.

In 99% of situations I find these enough:

bowline (and variations)
sheet bend
round turn & two half hitches
clove hitch
figure 8 stopper knot
rolling hitch
prussik
constrictor knot
double fisherman

..........
I concur although my list slightly shorter but similar....
bowline (and variations)
double sheet bend (never found a good reason just to use a "single" SB)
round turn & two half hitches
clove hitch
figure 8 stopper knot
rolling hitch
constrictor knot
Trucking hitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
............
And yes, a Trucker's hitch is handy too (although I used this more back home securing loads on trailers than I have done sailing). The directional Figure 8 is the best loop to use for this.
Have to disagree here but I can't describe the way I make the loop except to say that once unloaded, it just shakes out. I have checked it out briefly on google but none of the variations I saw came close . When I find some time , I tie it and post photo . Was shown to me decades ago by an old time truckie and its best claim is how fast it can be untied.

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
............It is interesting that you include three I never use: Clove hitch (I only use it as part of other knots, eg Water Bowline, Handcuff knot); Constrictor knot............

What do you use these three for?
Hmm... clove hitch (and slipped clove hitch) is used everywhere on my boat . Great for temporary attaching to any round smooth surface and the constrictor for permanent attachment
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:32   #113
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
There was a big knots test a couple of months ago in PBO, using, interestingly, both Dyneema and polyester. They found the double fisherman to be the strongest of the many knots tested, almost as strong as a splice, and also with the Dyneema rope.
Moyers's tests showed that the Triple Fisherman's made a loop about 20% stronger than a Double Fisherman's for UHMWPE/Nylon line (and absolutely no benefit for plain nylon). This may not apply to Dyneema single braid. It is so easy to throw in another turn that I think it would be worthwhile doing though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As we all know, I guess -- Dyneema rope with a polyester sheath is prone to breaking, when knotted, when the sheath separates, and as a result loses much more of its strength when knotted than polyester does. It seems to practically eliminate any strength advantage if you knot it. That's why I don't use Dyneema much, and don't knot it at all when I do. This does not apply to the single-braid unsheathed "racing" Dyneema, I guess.
It may still apply. The knot weakens the line dramatically. The reason it may still be used despite the reduced strength is for its abrasion resistance properties, so knowing if a Triple Fisherman's is better would be really useful.
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:44   #114
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

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Hmm... clove hitch (and slipped clove hitch) is used everywhere on my boat . Great for temporary attaching to any round smooth surface and the constrictor for permanent attachment
OK, OK, I give in . I guess I do use a clove hitch for lots without thinking about it.
Will see next time I am splicing if the constrictor works better than tape .
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:48   #115
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Dockhead, if you do decide to learn how to tie an Alpine Butterfly bend, I have a really simple, foolproof method that I have not seen illustrated anywhere (without the messy use of tape that Grog uses).

Step 1:
Wind one loose end around your hand as shown (change hands and reverse it if you are left handed), starting from your palm and winding the line around to grip it between your fingers:
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:50   #116
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Step 2:

Wind the other loose end also starting across your palm and around and grip between two fingers as shown:
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:52   #117
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
OK, OK, I give in . I guess I do use a clove hitch for lots without thinking about it.
Will see next time I am splicing if the constrictor works better than tape .
Interestingly I have never used the constrictor when splicing although this seems to be the main recomended use for this knot
I tend to see the constrictor as a "locked" clove hitch - almost impossible to come undone and certainly impossible to untie when properly tensioned up. Undoes easily with a sharp knife though

Also used at work a lot when tying electrical looms with waxed twine.
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:53   #118
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Step 3:

Bring the 2 loose ends down:
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:54   #119
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Step 4:

Tuck them under:
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Old 31-05-2013, 05:57   #120
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Re: In defence of the sheet bend

Step 5:

Tighten:
(As you can see I like to leave long tails for security )

It is a fantastic knot for securing two lengths of line if you need to be able to undo the knot after load has been applied. It is stronger and more secure than a sheet bend.
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