Hunter s bend

Also known as: Rigger's bend

On 6 October 1968 The Times (London) carried a report on the front page describing how Dr Edward Hunter, a retired physician, had invented a new knot. The article generated a lot of interest in both Europe and the United States, but at the height of the publicity it was found that the knot had already been described by Phil D. Smith, an American, in about 1950 in a publication called Knots for Mountaineers. Phil Smith had been working on the waterfront in San Francisco during World War II when he had devised the knot, which he had named a rigger's bend.

It is also easy to untie. It is based on two overhand knots and is stronger than the fisherman's bend, the sheet bend and the reef knot, although it is not as strong as the blood knot.

Sheet bend

Also known as: Common bend, flag bend

The sheet bend is unusual in that it can be used to join lines of unequal diameters, it is probably the most often used of all the bends, but it is not 100 percent secure and should never be used in circumstances where it is going to be subject to great sham. Its breaking strain is further reduced in proportion to the difference in the diameters of the lines joined.

Although the knot may be seen in Ancient Egyptian paintings, the name did not appear in print in 1794, The sheet was originally the rope attached to the clew {the lower or after corner) of a sail, which was used for trimming the sail, and it was from this usage that the knot derived its name. It is also traditionally used to join the two corners ofa flag to the rope used for raising or lowering it. On such occasions it is sometimes referred to as a flag bend. It can also be used to make a rope fast to anything with an aperture—a handle on a spade, for example- through which the line can be passed and trapped under itself. When the knol is tied with the short ends on opposite sides it becomes a left-handed sheet bend, but this is to be avoided as this knot is not secure.

A slipped sheet bend is formed by placing a bight between the loop of the heavier rope and the standing part of the lighter rope. The slipped knot may be more easily untied when the rope is under strain.

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