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Last update, February 7, 2002


Knots and Locks


You probably know all this. Anyway, if you are a EE major, walked from class to class with your briefcase clutched to your chest and hummed and have a solderless breadboard within sight right now, you may need a review of this stuff. Oh, I forgot the Frederick Post Company slide rule...sorry.


Some of these knots are noted to not come loose when tension is upon them, like the Bowline. Wrong! Few have used fine Spectra or Spiderwire braid with Spectra line in high load stress. Spectra may not stretch but it will slip and certainly will fray on anything but a polished surface.


While the knots shown here were easy to do, our line used on the EC12 yacht is not. It may be our age or eyesight or in the case of our shop hangout, Vern, it is the trembles. He can't tie anything as it approaches 5 o'clock. Learning the use of tweezers will make you stand out in a crowd and you will be proud of the work. Medical doctors need not apply.


Knot Lock

An overhand knot finish to any knot will certainly do the trick in most cases. But some avoid this in the rigging because it adds to the aerodynamic drag of the rig. Instead, a slight dab of CA glue on the knot will do the trick. Touch it briefly with thin CA and it will flow through the line.


Overhand Knot

What you see is what you get...

Three Half Hitches

Piece of cake, just do it...

Square Knot

This is the most popular inline knot. Note the routing of the line through the central loop; they enter and exit on the same side. If they do not it will be a Granny and forget trying to untie it.

Bowline Knot

This is the mountain climber and big boaters friend. With nice pliable line like Double Gold Braid, you can tie this quickly and it will hold to save your life. This is a procedural knot and must be practiced so the fingers are trained. Get some larger line, run around something and go to it. Oh, by the way, don't forget your insect spray as part of the toolbox gear.

The first mistake which, is fatal, is the first loop you see here. Holding the line, in line away from you, rotate the line clockwise away from you to form this loop. Now, take the working end (on the right) of the line down through the loop. Then run the working end over the bight, under it and then up through the loop. Note the line where it runs over the bight and under. To break this knot, roll that turn down the bight and it will loosen.

For our applications, do all this with loose loops and turns so that you can work the line as you tighten it down to the size you want. That is the loop around the Cutters can. To some it would be easier to use a dowel fixed on something and tie around it to form a loop. It can help.


If the line slips as the knot is tightened, something is wrong. Take it apart and start over.


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