Blue Flower

Hints & Tips

Hints and Tips - Knots and Pioneering

- Use a Sheet Bend instead of a Square / Reef knot when joining ropes of the same thickness that MUST NOT come accidentally undone.

- Use a Double Sheetbend when joining ropes of very unequal thickness, or when the rope is slippery.

- Always use a Sailmakers whipping when whipping ropes - it lasts much longer than a standard whipping, and looks better too!

- The length of a whipping should be approximately the same as the diameter of the rope.

- Burn the ends of synthetic ropes instead of whipping them.

- Used waxed cotton to whip natural material ropes, and nylon whipping twine when you whip a synthetic rope - but see above!

- Use a Japanese lashing to form a tripod, the lashing is self tightening when the legs spread.

- Always bind whippings with the lay of the rope (usually anticlockwise). It tightens the rope fibres, and when the rope relaxes, it tightens the whipping further. If you whip in the opposite direction - against the lay of the rope - when the rope relaxes the whipping will loosen.

- Use man made fibre ropes for water based activities such as raft building - the ropes will not jam so easily. Some man made ropes will float - a boon when a raft comes apart!

- Use a Figure of Eight knot instead of a Thumb or Overhand know when tying stop knots - it does not jam so readily.

- Undo a Square / Reef knot by pulling one end sharply back over the knot - the other end will (should?) form a Larks Head around the first end, and slip off.

- Be wary of using a Clove Hitch when starting or ending lashings. The poles can turn and allow the Clove Hitch to unroll. Use a Round Turn and two Half Hitches instead.

- Always lock a Clove Hitch with a Half Hitch or two to stop it unrolling.

- Be wary of lashings made with wet or damp sisal ropes - they loosen when the rope dries out!

- Sticky tape wrapped around the end of a rope makes an excellent temporary whipping if you are in a hurry.