TIES AND HITCHES
All the knots I have so far described are used mainly for fastening the two ends of a rope, or of two ropes, together. Of quite a different class are the knots used in making a rope fast to a stationary or solid object, and are known as "hitches" or "ties."
One of the easiest of this class to make and one which is very useful in fastening a boat or other object where it may be necessary to release it quickly is the "Lark's Head" (Fig. 30). To make this tie, pass a bight of your rope through the ring, or other object, to which you are making fast and then pass a marline-spike, a billet of wood, or any similar object through the sides of the bight and under or behind the standing part, as shown in A, Fig. 30.
The end of the rope may then be laid over and under the standing part and back over itself. This knot may be instantly released by merely pulling out the toggle.
Almost as quickly made and unfastened is the "Slippery Hitch" (Fig. 32).
To make this, run the end of the rope through the ring or eye to which it is being fastened, then back over the standing part and pull a loop, or bight, back through the "cuckold's neck" thus formed (Fig. 33). To untie, merely pull on the free end.
Two half-hitches, either around a post or timber or around the standing part of the rope, make an ideal and quickly tied fastening (Figs. 34 and 35). To make these, pass the end around the post, ring, or other object, then over and around the standing part between the post and itself, then under and around the standing part and between its own loop and the first one formed. After a little practice you can tie this knot almost instantly and by merely throwing a couple of turns around a post, two half-hitches may be formed instantly. This knot will hold forever without loosening, and even on a smooth, round stick or spar it will stand an enormous strain without slipping.
A more secure knot for this same purpose is the "Clove Hitch" (Fig. 36), sometimes known as the "Builders' Hitch."
To make this, pass the end of rope around the spar or timber, then over itself; over and around the spar, and pass the end under itself and between rope and spar, as shown in the illustration.
The Clove hitch with ends knotted becomes the "Gunners' Knot" (Fig. 37). These are among the most valuable and important of knots and are useful in a thousand and one places. The Clove hitch will hold fast on a smooth timber and is used extensively by builders for fastening the stageing to the upright posts. It is also useful in making a tow-line fast to a wet spar, or timber, and even on a slimy and slippery spile it will seldom slip.
For this purpose the "Timber Hitch" (Fig. 38) is even better than the Clove hitch. It is easily made by passing the end of a rope around the spar or log, round the standing part of the rope and then twist it three or more times around, under and over itself.
If you wish this still more secure, a single half-hitch may be taken with the line a couple of feet further along the spar (Fig. 39).
It is remarkable what power to grip a twisted rope has, and the "Twist Knots" shown in Figs. 40 and 41 illustrate two ways of making fast which are really not knots at all but merely twists.
These may be finished by a simple knot, or a bow-knot, as shown in Fig. 42, but they are likely to jam under great pressure and are mainly useful in tying packages, or bundles, with small cord, where the line must be held taut until the knot is completed.
This principle of fastening by twisted rope is also utilized in the "Catspaw" (Fig. 43), a most useful knot or "hitch" for hoisting with a hook.
To make this, pass the bight of your rope over the end and standing part, then, with a bight in each hand, take three twists from you, then bring the two bights side by side and throw over the hook (Fig. 44).
The "Blackwall Hitch" (Fig. 45) is still simpler and easier to make and merely consists of a loop, or cuckold's neck, with the end of rope passed underneath the standing part and across the hook so that as soon as pressure is exerted the standing part bears on the end and jams it against the hook.
The "Chain Hitch" (Fig. 46) is a very strong method of fastening a line to a timber, or large rope, where one has a rope of sufficient length, and is used frequently to help haul in a large rope or for similar purposes.
It consists simply of a number of half-hitches taken at intervals around the object and is sometimes used with a lever or handspike, as shown in Fig. 47.
The "Rolling Hitch" is a modified Clove hitch and is shown in Fig. 48.
The "Magnus Hitch" (Fig. 49) is a method frequently used on shipboard for holding spars;
and the "Studding-sail Bend" (Fig. 50) is also used for this purpose.
Occasions sometimes arise where a tackle, hook, ring, or another rope must be fastened to a beam by the same rope being used, and in such cases the "Roband Hitch" (Fig. 51) comes in very handy.
These are all so simple and easily understood from the figures that no explanation is necessary.
Almost as simple are the "Midshipman's Hitch" (Fig. 52), the "Fisherman's Hitch" (Fig. 53), and the "Gaff Topsail Halyard Bend" (Fig. 54). The midshipman's hitch is made by taking a half-hitch around the standing part and a round turn twice around above it.
The fisherman's hitch is particularly useful in making fast large hawsers; with the end of a rope take two turns around a spar, or through a ring; take a half-hitch around the standing part and under all the turns; then a half-hitch round the standing part only and if desired seize the end to standing part.
The gaff-topsail bend is formed by passing two turns around the yard and coming up on a third turn over both the first two turns; over its own part and one turn; then stick the end under the first turn.