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Old 07-03-2015, 04:05   #46
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by ryon View Post
I'll disagree with both of those statements. The bowline has nowhere near the strength of a round turn and two half hitches, nor its cousin the anchor bend. Both of which can be untied under strain, which a bowline cannot.

The go-to knot for whenever we encounter a tree or fence or whatever that is strong enough to take the strain is almost always a round turn and two half-hitches. Sometimes with a seizing on the tail, just to be sure.

We do use bowlines of course, for quick temporary loops to gantlines and lanyards and buckets. But not much at all in the actual rigging.
There are other factors that make a bowline versatile. No doubt, round turn two half hitches is a good option for tieing off to trees too. But it's an inherently different knot. Your bowline has good strength and creates a temporary eye- so you can tie it both before and after you need it.

Have you ever gone to use an eye splice, realised the eye was the wrong size for an application and thrown a bowline into the line- eye splice and all.

Let's assume you're dealing with a heavy water logged line, you've got to get a knot around a tree on a steep icey bank. You only need to get the line around a big tree once to form a bowline, twice for a round turn two half hitches. Not inconsequential if the weight of the line keeps dragging you down the hill plus there's the added benefit that you don't need to think about or be able to see to get the job done. When you're in the situation "what knot do I use here?" Most of the time you can just stop worrying about it and use a bowline somehow. Quick and easy.

Everybody is familiar with a bowline too. Which means if I come in for the night and need to raft off to you, but my mooring line is interfering with your whatever, you know how to break my bowlines back in the dark, and get it undone. There isn't a single factor that makes it a versatile knot. There are many.

I would say for a recreational sailor with only a half dozen or so knots in their repertoire a bowline is a key one.

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Old 07-03-2015, 04:20   #47
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
It hasn't been said yet, so I will. Never stopper knot your spinnaker sheets.

(There I feel better...)
Thanks for the tip. I hadn't thought about yhat, but I can see why.

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Old 07-03-2015, 04:34   #48
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Re: Knots

Granny Knott
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:51   #49
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by snort View Post
Thanks for the responses on the figure-eight. Steve Colgate thinks it accidentally unties too easily.
He's sailed quite a bit so I figure he knows what he's talking about. I learned the old-fashioned way. Maybe I'll upgrade for a change though.
On newish or heavier double braid the figure eight can come untied if not set properly. I use it on racing boats and on sheets that get frequently rerigged precisely because it's easy to untie...I just put a long tail on it...a foot or more.

I use a stopper knot on anything that stays rigged, like my halyards. The downside to it is that when it gets really tight it's a b!tch to untie.

For the one-handed bowline, the key is to wrap the loop around just your fingers, not the base of your hand, when you do the around and under move, which makes it easy to pull the tail through to complete the knot. Otherwise it gets hung up on your hand behind your knuckles and can be almost impossible to pull through depending on the shape of your hand.

Another good thing to practice is tying knots in the dark. I do that on night watches sometimes.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:13   #50
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
On newish or heavier double braid the figure eight can come untied if not set properly. I use it on racing boats and on sheets that get frequently rerigged precisely because it's easy to untie...I just put a long tail on it...a foot or more.

I use a stopper knot on anything that stays rigged, like my halyards. The downside to it is that when it gets really tight it's a b!tch to untie.

For the one-handed bowline, the key is to wrap the loop around just your fingers, not the base of your hand, when you do the around and under move, which makes it easy to pull the tail through to complete the knot. Otherwise it gets hung up on your hand behind your knuckles and can be almost impossible to pull through depending on the shape of your hand.

Another good thing to practice is tying knots in the dark. I do that on night watches sometimes.
That's a good point. I don't have any of the new slippery lines aboard so it hasn't been a problem for what I sail.

Ex makes a great point about spinnaker sheets. Don't use a stopper there.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:45   #51
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Let's assume you're dealing with a heavy water logged line, you've got to get a knot around a tree on a steep icey bank. You only need to get the line around a big tree once to form a bowline, twice for a round turn two half hitches. Not inconsequential if the weight of the line keeps dragging you down the hill plus there's the added benefit that you don't need to think about or be able to see to get the job done.
Bowline for tying to trees for sure..... and make it a big one so the knot is down in the water. Then when you come to let go you don't need to climb that icy bank a second time.....
Also ...use polyprop for shore lines... it floats


Back on track...

Bowline.
Sheet bend
round turn and 2 half hitches
reef knot
truckies' hitch
and 'figure of eight'
would be my short list.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:49   #52
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Another good thing to practice is tying knots in the dark. I do that on night watches sometimes.
It doesn't have to be in the dark . While watching a movie is a good time to practice or even while reading, or simply close your eyes. The trick is to get the moves ingrained in your muscle memory so you don't have to think about what you are doing. This then helps tremendously if a knot has to be tied under pressure.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:54   #53
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Re: Knots

A little factoid some may knot know...
The bowline and the sheet bend are - mechanically - the same 'knot'.... just that the bowline involves one bit of rope while the sheet bend 'bends' two together....
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Old 07-03-2015, 13:03   #54
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Re: Knots

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Back on track...

Bowline.
Sheet bend
round turn and 2 half hitches
reef knot
truckies' hitch
and 'figure of eight'
would be my short list.
El P, what do you use for tying two lines of different diameter together? The sheet bend is not good for that (and the double does not do a great job). This is a common task.
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Old 07-03-2015, 13:10   #55
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Re: Knots

I like sheet bend for different sized lines. Works fine.

Unless you''re talking like a heaving line then a clove hitch around the base of the eye, or a bowline through the eye of the bigger line.

You can always double or triple a sheetbend if you're worried.

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Old 07-03-2015, 13:24   #56
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Re: Knots

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I like sheet bend for different sized lines. Works fine.

Unless you''re talking like a heaving line then a clove hitch around the base of the eye, or a bowline through the eye of the bigger line.

You can always double or triple a sheetbend if you're worried.
Every tried this when joining two towing lines in the water or connecting two snubber lines together?

The sheet bend and double are pathetic for this. Unless dressed carefully they can easily slip if sudden load in applied and they will shake loose quite easily if load is continually applied and released in water.
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Old 07-03-2015, 13:29   #57
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Re: Knots

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Every tried this when joining two towing lines in the water or connecting two snubber lines together?

The sheet bend and double are pathetic for this. Unless dressed carefully they can easily slip if sudden load in applied and they will shake loose quite easily if load is continually applied and released in water.

Which is why we are both vociferous advocates of the Zeppelin Bend, right?
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Old 07-03-2015, 13:29   #58
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Re: Knots

Sure, Ya, I've tied two tow lines together.

If you're on and off the load a lot, then I'd still probably use a double sheet bend.

You might just have to finish things off a bit better. Longer tail and a mousing maybe.

I'm open to suggestions though. What do you recommend?

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Old 07-03-2015, 13:38   #59
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Re: Knots

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Which is why we are both vociferous advocates of the Zeppelin Bend, right?
Dead right .

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Sure, Ya, I've tied two tow lines together.

If you're on and off the load a lot, then I'd still probably use a double sheet bend.

You might just have to finish things off a bit better. Longer tail and a mousing maybe.

I'm open to suggestions though. What do you recommend?
Zeppelin

Truly a brilliant knot.
It has been around for almost a century, but no one has told the scouts about it or the RYA etc and it is simply not widely taught.

No need for excessively long tails, no need to dress it carefully, no need to mouse it etc. It won't shake loose, it can be easily undone after load is applied, it can be tied easily in the dark. It is quick. It is extremely reliable. And if the lines are significantly different in size an extra turn at the end with the thin line is all it needs.

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Old 07-03-2015, 13:43   #60
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Re: Knots

Re the Zeppelin bend. Far superior to the sheet or even double sheet blend.

I had used the sheet blend for decades and decades but since SWL converted me to the Zeppelin, I'm hard pressed to think of any reason to return to the sheet bend.

The Zeppelin is as easy to tie (perhaps easier), holds way way better, doesn't need dressing in 99.9% of the time and easy to undo. What is not to like?

BTW, thanks again SWL!
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