R - Z
||Racking Bend -
When two ropes of widely different thicknesses have to be bent together,
the conventional bends are virtually useless. The Racking Bend, however,
serves the purpose excellently.
Racking Turns - Definition.
The turns in lashings taken in figure-of-eight fashion. See also Racking Bend.
||Reef Knot - The
best known and most useful parcel knot. It should preferably only be
tied with the two ends of the same material, but should never be used as
a bend. It is the best knot for tying a triangular bandage.
Reef Points - Definition.
Short lengths of rope sewn through a sail by means of which it can be snugly
tieddown when 'reefed' - with Reef Knots, of course. Called 'points' because the
earliest ones which were made of sinnet were tapered or pointed.
Riding Turns - Definition.
In seizings or whippins, a second layer of turns over the first and always one
less in number.
- A knot used to fasten a small rope to a larger one when the pull is at
an acute angle. Used, for example, for hauling a tow rope by means of a
thrown line. See also Magnus Hitch.
Round Turn - Definition.
When the two legs of a loop cross the rope has 'taken a turn'. If one leg is
taken round a second time, i.e. a second cross, it is a Round Turn. Taken round
a third time makes Two Round Turns.
Turn and Two Half Hitches - Bearing in mind the definitions, the
name is self-explanatory. A good hitch in almost all circumstances.
- The knot which was universally used at sea whenever a noose was
needed. Useful for commencing to tie a parcel.
- A first-class method of slinging a plank to make a platform for such
purposes as painting, etc.
Seizing - Definition.
A binding or lashing of small stuff for example, to secure an end to the
standing part after making a bend or hitch, to make an eye round a thimble, to
draw two ropes together, etc.
Shears or Shear
Legs - Two spars lashed together at one end and guyed. Used for lifting
- A lashing used to produce Shear Legs or, alternatively a lashing to
secure poles or spars end to end.
|Sheepshank - A
knot tied in the bight for shortening a rope or taking up the slack,
without cutting it. It can also be used to protect a weak, damaged or
frayed section of the rope. See also Tom Fool Knot.
Sheet - Definition.
A rope used to trim the lower edge of a sail.
|Sheet Bend - The
most useful and practical knot for bending (tying) two ropes together.
Note that to be correct the two ends should be on the same side of the
knot. If the two ropes differ in thickness, a Double Sheet Bend should
|Short Splice -
The best method of joining two ropes together end ofr end, provided that
the spliced rope does not have to reeve through a block. It is stronger,
more secure and more permanent than any bend.
Sinnet or Sinnit
or Sennet - Braided cordage, formerly always made
by hand but now often by machine. Its particular advantage, apart from being
decorative, is that is does not have the same tendency to kink as laid rope.
|Slippery Hitch -
A method of securing a load temporarily and ready for instant casting
off, in which a bight is simply held by the tension on the standing
part. Not to be confused with a Slipped Hitch.
Slipped Bend, Hitch or Knot
- Definition. Any bend, hitch or knot in
which the final or securing tuck is made with a bight instead of an end. By
pulling on the end, the knot can then break and release the load. Thus a 'Half
Bow' is a Slipped Reef Knot.
|Snaking - An
addition to plain whipping on a rope. It is added partly to strengthen
the whippin, particularly on large ropes, and partly for devorative
- A double loop knot that is tied in the bight in which the two loops
are splayed. Formerly used at sea for lowering a man from a height, or
raising him aloft.
- The standard lashing used to fasten two spars or poles together, not
necessarily at right angles, where there is no tendency for them to
- This is a variation of the Reef Knot in which an extra turn is taken
at the start to help prevent the knot from tending to loosen while being
completed. Used by surgeons for tying a ligature and by us for parcels,
Standing Part - Definition.
That part of the rope which is not actively in us in tying a knot, as distinct
from the bight and the end. See illustration under Bight.
Strap or Strop
- Definition. An endless loop of rope,
usually a length the two ends of which are spliced together; used for slings, to
hold a block or to fasten one to a rope along its length. Also the rope (wreath)
fixed round a wooden block.
||Tarbuck Knot -
A loop knot used in climbing and mountaineering and intended primarily
for nylon ropes. Usually attached to a karabiner on the waist loop.
Named by its inventor, the well known British climber.
||Thief Knot - A
variation of the Reef Knot in which the ends are on opposite sides.
Useless but interesting owing to the legend that it was made by sailors
to catch thieves who presumably assumed it to be a Reef Knot.
Thimble - Definition.
A metal eye, round or pear shaped, inserted in an eye splice or a cringle, etc.,
when another rope is intended to run through the eye. Often used in the Honda of
||Timber Hitch -
One of the simplest yet most effective of hitches. Used on spars, bales,
etc., for commencing a diagonal lashing, and with extra half hitches
added, for towing or dragging, etc.
||Tom Fool Knot -
This is sometimes considered as a Handcuff Knot but is somewhat inferior
for this purpose to the knot which usually bears that name. It is a good
knot with which to commence a slightly fancy Sheepshank. It is also used
as a trick knot (it can be tied in a flash in almost a single movement)
and is sometimes called the Conjurer's Knot.
Knot - There are a number of knots which have been given this
name from time to time, including the Middleman's Knot, but the on shown
here, also known as the Shamrock Knot, appears to have the best claim to
the title. It is also known in the Far East where it is often found on
Chinese Priest Cords.
||Tucked Bend -
Also called the Tucked Splice. When two ends of small stuff have to be
joined together in the middle of a job, such as a serving, a knot might
be too bulky. The Tucked Bend bulks less than a Reef Knot and is useful
for such purposes.
Splice - Sometimes known as the Makline Eye Splice. It is mainly
used in small stuff but is often used in the centre of a long guyline
when it is required to fit over the 'dolly' on the top of a tent pole.
||Turk's Head -
The Turk's Head is, more accurately, a system rather than just a knot,
generally tubular in form, decorative and very useful. Basically a
binding knot, but can be worked flat for decorative purposes. Can be
made with separate strands (Standing Turk's Heads) or with a single,
continuous strand (Running Turk's Head).
Turn - Definition.
See Round Turn.
|Wall Knot - A
knot worked in the end of a rope with the unlaid strands. Occasionally
used on its own as a Rope End Knot but more often as part of a more
complex knot, e.g., the Man Rope Knot, etc. It is the exact opposite of
a Crown Knot.
- When a rope has to be pulled through water, any knot has a tendency to
tighten and jam. In the case of a Bowline, an extra hitch as shown will
lessen this tendency.
- A weaver frequently has to tie knots and many different ones have been
used by him. The one shown here is the one most frequently known by this
name: it is the Sheet Bend but tied in a special and rapid manner
originally peculiar to the weaver.
|Whipping - When a
rope 'whips' in the wind the end will quickly unravel and fray.
Protection can be given by a knot or a Back Splice but the best and most
used method is to use a Whipping. There are a number of different types
used, one of the best known of which is shown here.