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R - Z

Racking Bend Sheet Thimble
Racking Turns Sheet Bend Timber Hitch
Reef Knot Short Splice Tom Fool Knot
Reef Points Sinnet True Lover's Knot
Riding Turns Slipped Bend Tucked Bend
Rolling Hitch Slippery Hitch Tucked Eye Splice
Round Turn Snaking Turk's Head
Round Turn + 2 Half Hitches Spanish Bowline Turn
Running Bowline Square Lashing Wall Knot
Scaffold Hitch Standing Part Water Bowline
Seizing Strap or Strop Weaver's Knot
Shear Lashing Surgeon's Knot Whipping
Shears or Shear Legs Tarbuck Knot
Sheepshank Thief Knot




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.


Rolling Hitch - 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.


Round Turn and Two Half Hitches - Bearing in mind the definitions, the name is self-explanatory. A good hitch in almost all circumstances.
Running Bowline - The knot which was universally used at sea whenever a noose was needed. Useful for commencing to tie a parcel.





Scaffold Hitch - 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 heavy weights.


Shear Lashing - 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 be used.
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 purposes.
Spanish Bowline - 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.
Square Lashing - The standard lashing used to fasten two spars or poles together, not necessarily at right angles, where there is no tendency for them to spring apart.
Surgeon's Knot - 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, etc.


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 a lasso.


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.
True Lover's 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.
Tucked Eye 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.
Water Bowline - 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.
Weaver's Knot - 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.


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Copyright 2001 1st/11th Roscommon Scouts
Last modified: June 23, 2002


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