Recently Brion Toss a well respected Pacific Northwest Yacht Rigger and author of several books on yacht rigging had a contest to find a knot that might not be as well known as the Bowline but worthy of more people being aware of it.
I entered the contest and won, please see below for Brion’s original question and my winning answer.
This week’s Puzzle will be a little different: instead of asking you some tricky rigging question, I want you to convince me that you have the best answer to the following:
What is the best knot? The Bowline is called the King of Knots, but it has its limitations, and might be overrated. So what other knot would you nominate as a usurper? What other knot do you think is the most valuable, versatile, important knot? It need not have the same function as a Bowline, or any function at all. It is the knot that you think would make the world a measurably better place if only more people knew about it, a knot that, in your mind, deserves fame and glory.
It can be some currently obscure arborist’s complication, or an undeservedly unknown theater knot, or it might be already well-known, afloat and ashore, but not well-known enough to suit you. Tell us about it! Sell it! Send pictures, or links to videos, if you like! The answers will be reviewed by a panel of experts, amateurs, and hangers-on. Entries will be judged on eloquence, ferocity, hilarity, and (utterly subjective) value.
My entry is below:
My nomination for unknown knots is the Towboat Hitch / Capstan Hitch
I use this sometimes at public boating safety events as a display to get people to stop a moment since the Hitch looks like a mess but when I demo the Hitch people’s jaws just sort of drop open with a “I didn’t know this – WOW – never seen this – but know where I can use it”
I use it on my winches when they need to be used for mooring lines, and it does not jam under load and does not put any rotation on a winch so the pawls are not under load
See below for a link to my web site for more info and how to tie it.
Do I get extra credit for having found it in one of Brion’s books – the small one Chapman’s Knots?
Here is a link to Brion’s picking of the winner and his reasoning for the winner: Depose the Bowline: the Winner!
Link to my instructions on how to tie the Towboat Hitch or Capstan Hitch.
Long time friend and Yacht Broker at Shilshole, Lee Youngblood received mention for Lee’s Fender Knot, however my go to fender knots are the old reliable Round Turn and Two Half Hitches and another not well known theSpar Hitch – Fender Knot which looks a bit like a Clove Hitch but will hold without slipping in 1/2 inch Double Braid line around a 1/4 inch diameter polished chrome rod!
Thanks for your interest in and support of boating safety.
– c / m –