Chapter 13
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Knot, Bends Hitches etc.

  There are many kinds of knots that have been developed over the years for specific purposes. Those used by seamen have stood the test of time and weather, and there is a correct knot, hitch or bend for every purpose on board. To be fit for their purpose they have to satisfy a number of requirements; they must not come undone when shaken or rocked about, they must not slip under load, they must not jam and they must be easy to undo.

  The number of knots with which the average yachtsman must be familiar is not large, but he should be able to make them rapidly and correctly under any conditions, and in the dark if necessary.

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

  A simple and useful method of making fast to a ring or a post.  As the load is taken by the round turn, the two half hitches will not jam.

Ch 13 RT&THH

CH 13 Fishermans

Fisherman's Bend

  A variation of the round turn and two hitches in which the first half hitch is made inside the round turn.  This prevents the round turn from tightening up on the post or ring.  As an added safety measure the free end may be seized with twine to the standing part.  The fisherman's bend is invariably used when attaching a warp to an anchor.

Clove Hitch

  A simple non-slipping hitch which must be used with caution. It should not be used to secure the end of a rope which may be subjected to strain as it may jam and prove very difficult to release. It may be used for attaching fenders to lifelines, or for attaching the signal halyard to the burgee staff.

Ch 13 Clove Hitch

Ch 13 Rolling H

Rolling Hitch

  This hitch will not slip when a sideways pull is exerted, and is in effect a clove hitch with an extra turn on the side of the pull. It is often used for securing the tail of a purchase to a warp or a sheet so that the strain can be temporarily transferred in order to release a riding turn from a winch or some other jamming of the sheet or warp.

Figure of Eight Knot

  A simple stopper knot formed in the bitter end of a rope to prevent it running through a block, or fairlead. The knot looks just like its name

Ch 13 figure 8

Double Overhand Knot

  A non-jamming stopper knot used at the ends of sheets or halyards; it is used in preference to a figure-of-eight knot as it can always be released by breaking the two turns apart with the fingers.

Ch 13 Double  Overhand

Single and Double Sheet Bend

  An extremely useful bend can be used for securing the ends of two ropes together, especially when they are wet or of unequal size.  In the double sheet bend the running end is passed round twice for added grip and security.

Ch 13 Sheet Bend

Ch 13 Reef

Reef Knot

 A useful knot for joining two ends of two small ropes, but it should not be used for large ropes or ropes of different sizes, as it may capsize and fail under load.


  An essential knot for use at sea whenever a non-slip loop is required in the end of a rope. It will never jam, however much strain is put on the rope.

Ch 13 Bowline

Ch 13 Running B

Running Bowline

  A bowline with the standing part passed through to form a slipping loop.  It can be used when a very large loop is required to be passed over the top of a mooring post and then tightened up when in position.

Bowline on a Bight

  This can be used to form a loop in the middle of a line, as an emergency bosun's chair, and, with long loops, as a cradle for lifting a body.

  To form a bowline on a bight, take a bight of the rope, and begin the knot as if the bight were a single line.  When the loop is passed through the twist in the standing part, the protruding "ear" is spread and passed completely over the two hanging parts of the bight and the twist, to form the completed bowline on a bight.

Ch 13 Bowline on B


  The usual method of whipping the end of synthetic rope is to heat-seal it by melting the ends of the fibers into a solid mass.  This should be backed up by whipping.

Common Whipping

  There are a number of ways to make a common whipping, the differences being only in the ways in which the loose ends of twine are secured and concealed. One method, which works as well as any, is to lay a bight of twine along the rope, wind the long end of the twine tightly around the rope and both parts of the twine until the whipping is long enough, usually about 12 turns.  Hold the whipping tight and feed the spare through the bight. Pull the other end of the twine until the bight and the spare end disappear under the whipping. Cut off spare ends.

Ch 13 12

Short Splice

  A strong splice used for joining the ends of two ropes together: it's only disadvantage is that the splice is thicker than the rest of the rope. To form the splice, unlay the two ends of the rope to be joined and tape or whip the ends of each strand.  Marry the two ends, so that each strand is between two opposite strands.  Tape or whip one set of strands temporarily. Tuck each of the free strands in turn under and over the adjacent strands of the other rope, against the lay. After three or four tucks of each strand, remove tape or whipping from the free strands and repeat.  Cut off the excess from the strands leaving a small amount protruding. Roll the splice underfoot to settle it.

Ch 13 13

Eye Splice

  A strong permanent eye in the end of a rope.  Unlay a length of the rope and whip or tape the end of each strand. Tuck the middle strand under a strand of the rope at the point where the throat of the eye is required.  Now tuck the strand nearest the middle of the eye under the strand next to the first, both against the lay. The third strand is then tucked under the remaining free strand of the rope, but from around the back, with the free strand being turned so that it can be tucked under against the lay.  Finish as for a short splice.

Ch 13 14



Ch 13 15

Ch 13 16


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