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A handy knot for going aloft



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What is the issue?
Going aloft and working on rigging can involve some danger and knots that fix in one place can be inconvenient.

Why address this?
A secure knot that allows some movement will be more likely to be used and prevent an accident.

How to address this?
A useful knot for a safety line is the Tarbuck knot presented above as a connector on the left and a loop on the right.

The knot is a very flexible knot that can be pushed along, as you go up for instance, but jams tight under load from the opposite direction. Although the knot grips adequately, under sudden stress it will slide to a limited extent which serves to reduce shock load. Hence it makes an excellent safety knot for working on rigging. The knot is non-jamming.

Tarbuck Knot
Photo: Tony Gibson

Developed by Kenneth Tarbuck for use by climbers it is very similar to a taut line hitch. The difference is that when tying the Tarbuck knot you take three turns instead of just two. The finish starts similar to the end of a clove hitch or taut-line hitch but instead of going under itself on the outside of the loop, the working end goes over itself outside the loop and then underneath itself inside the loop. This makes the dogleg bend in the standing part longer than in the taut-line hitch.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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