General Information - Knots, Bends and Hitches

General information - Knots, Bends & Hitches

General information - Knots, Bends & Hitches

Ashleys Book of Knots defines the following:

Hitches. - Hitches are used to make a rope fast to another object, such as a ring, a spar, or a stanchion.

Bends. - Bends are used to secure two rope ends together.

Knots. - The term 'Knot' is applied particularly to 'Knobs' and 'Loops', and anything else not included in the Bends or Hitches class.

In ropes made of Polyester, Polyamide, Polyproylene and Polyethylene,

the inclusion of a Knot, Bend or Hitch will weaken the rope by approximately:

40% reduction in breaking strain for a Bend

40% reduction in breaking strain for a Knot

20% reduction in breaking strain for a Hitch

However, in high modular ropes (Dyneema, Vectran, Kevlar, ETC), a Knot, Bend or hitch can reduce the breaking strain of the rope by at least 70%

This is due to the high modular fibres being quite weak in compression. Also, high modular rope is quite slick, and knots like the bowline will crawl apart, even under low loads.

BowlineKnotThe Bowline makes a secure loop in the end of a peice of rope. It can be easily undone with the load off.Fastening to a Mooring Ring or attaching a sheet to the clew of a sail to name a few.
Figure of 8 KnotKnotQuick and easy Stopper knot that does not bind.Stopper knot to prevent rope from un-reeving through a block or tackle
Sheet BendBendEasy to tie, and is easily adjustable.Used for temporarily joining two ropes of unequal size. (It works equally well if the ropes are of the same size!)
Double Sheet BendBendEasy to tie and adjustable.Used for joining two ropes of significantly unequal size.
Reef KnotBend !Although the Reef Knot is a Bend it should NOT be used as a Bend, as it can spill apart.Used to tie around an object ie binding rolled sails or tying packages.
Round Turn & 2 Half HitchesHitchEasy to tie and undo after useFastening to ring or stanchion with a right angled load.
Fishermans KnotBend !These can be single (2 x overhand knots) or double (2 x double overhand knots - Better)Used to connect 2 lengths of simular size rope
Fishermans BendHitch !Similar to the Round Turn and two half Hitches, but the first half hitch being through the round turns.Used to secure a rope to an Anchor.
Rolling HitchHitchEasy to tie and adjust, constrict as load is applied.Used for tying a rope around a pole or onto another rope with a sideways load.
Clove HitchHitchEasy to tie and undo when the load is off.Used to secure a load with a vertical pull.
Timber HitchHitchEasy to tie and undo, constricts as more load is applied.Used in conjunction with a half hitch for pulling or lifting a light load, eg a plank.
Monkeys FistKnotRelatively simple knotUsed to weight the end of a rope for use as a Heaving Line
Turks HeadKnotThis is mainly Decorative RopeworkUsed on poles, tillers and wheels, can also be used to strengthen cracked poles

For more information on how to tie these and more Knots, Bends & Hitches, please visit Animated Knots