As their name implies, these invaluable knots are used to shorten long lines. Short ropes may be needed temporarily to tow a car or haul a load, for example, and a shortened rope is always more secure than two cut lengths joined together with another knot. In any case, a longer rope may be needed at some later date, and a rope shortened by means of a knot can always be lengthened at some later date. Shortenings can also be used to take up weakened or damaged lengths of line so that they are not subjected to any strain. These knots are well worth mastering. ♦ ♦ ♦

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