Knots

Moderator: GreenLake

Knots

Postby GreenLake » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:27 pm

Let's discuss knots. Clearly, knots and sailing go together, but curiously, there's rather limited discussion of this topic on the forum. Hence the questions:

Which knots do you use on your boat (or off)? Which ones can you tie reliably? Which ones would you like to learn more about?

What's your favorite reference? What's your favorite "not so standard" knot, or favorite way of tying one?

I use a few knots on my boat that not everyone seems to have heard about (or knows how to tie). There are also some that I have tied, but would need to look up again. I'll start with one of each to get this thread going, but would be curious to find out how you would answer some of the questions above.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Diamond and Button Knot

Postby GreenLake » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:36 pm

A diamond knot is used to provide the toggle on soft shackle. When tied, it looks like a little ball. They are not that hard to tie, but unlike most other knots, you never go and untie them (therefore, you also wouldn't tie them again and again unless you are making many soft shackles). I admit I have to look them up every time; although I have a rough idea of the underlying pattern, it's not enough to see me through. My favorite reference is https://L-36.com.

https://l-36.com/diamond_knot.php

There's a variant, or similar knot called a Button knot, with some interesting different properties:

https://l-36.com/button_knot_top.php

Image
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Buntline Hitch

Postby GreenLake » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:56 pm

The buntline hitch is a knot I tie regularly. It is very secure, and in modern rope it can be undone even if it has been loaded. It is very compact.

I use it to tie my spinnaker halyard to the swivel at the top of the spinnaker. Unlike a bowline, I don't have to worry about how loose I tie it, as it cinches shut, and I can hoist my spinnaker as close to the spinnaker block as I like, whereas with a bowline there's a fixed loop enforcing a minimal distance.

It's easy to remember how to tie it: effectively you are tying a clove hitch with the free end around the standing part. Now, there are two ways to do this, you can tie the clove hitch towards or away from the shackle, ring or swivel you are tying the hitch around.

If you start close to the inside and work out, you get a midshipsman hitch (and if you've read your Patrick O"Brian you may have your own ideas how reliable a midshipsman was considered in the old navies).

However, if you start away from the swivel and work towards when tying your clove hitch around the standing part, then you get a buntline hitch. As it cinches tight, it holds the "clove hitch" part tightly on the inside of the knot, making it impossible to shake it off.

To untie, you bend the knot apart, which creates a bit of freedom to work it open.

There are some other knots designed for attaching a rope to a ring or shackle, but I don't use them as often and some I can't remember reliably. May discuss them in a later post. First, a picture:

Image

This shows the knot before pulling it tight. It should be clear how to tie it. You know you got it right, when you have the two parts going parallel around the standing part, with a diagonal crossing over them and the inner one is the one with the end sticking out.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Knots

Postby GreenLake » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:07 am

I use this knot to tie up my main when at the dock for a while.
714

From the discussion in another thread:
GreenLake wrote:Starting on the left, tie the line around sail and boom using a slip knot. About a foot to the right, push a bight down and around, and underneath the rope, then forward about a foot. Take another bight, push it down and around, then continue by going through the loop left by the previous bight, and leave another loop going forward a foot. Repeat.

Finish off with a slip knot.

Easier to do than to describe. Has the advantage that you never feed the whole line through any of the loops. To untie, you simply undo the final knot, and pull. The line will fall away cleanly and you can undo the initial knot.

Second advantage: I always have some spare line around, which I can use for many purposes, and I don't need to make/bring dedicated sail ties.

Third advantage: Because of the way it's tied, it's easy to support the sail while tying it (half the time you are "embracing" the sail as you are going through the motions).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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