Author Topic: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]  (Read 12151 times)

deckhandiana

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2009, 07:22:22 PM »
" i](There is some tempering of
all this by consideration of what
tall-ships sailing[/i] represents:  this is I think the
preservation of a way of life for the sake of preservation, not practicality.)"[/i][/i]

I know this slightly strays off the subject but, Dan, I really cannot let you get away with that!  I defend to the hilt the concept of Tall Ships sailing - it is unique and invaluable in teaching seamanship, leadership, team-work, communication and self-confidence - to name but a few of the skills learned during a trip, however short.  It stretches the comfort zone for able-bodied, disabled and the elderly in ways unlike any other experience, and covers all ages and abilities.  I think that's pretty practical.

Thank you, Icurious, you've done my work for me! 

Diana.

J.Knoop

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2009, 07:37:35 PM »
@deckhandiana

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Thank you, Icurious, you've done my work for me! 


This means you are not going to share any field work results? Wonder why?


deckhandiana

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2009, 08:52:12 PM »
Well, I don't think I shall be able to better Icurous' list, which seems pretty comprehensive.    However, I'll take it with me and check it out, if I have time. It's not till October, anyway, but looking for the knots'll give the crew something to do ... and hopefully capture a couple of new knotters.

Diana.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2009, 11:26:58 PM »
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So what's so controversial about this?
GeminiJim, please read the first msg. here (the "OP"); it states what controversy there is,
which is a matter of fact .  Beyond that, though, this thread ventures into broader seas
of thought and insight.

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(There is some tempering of all this by consideration of what tall-ships sailing represents:
 this is I think the preservation of a way of life for the sake of preservation, not practicality.)
I defend to the hilt the concept of Tall Ships sailing -- it is unique and invaluable in teaching seamanship, leadership, team-work, communication and self-confidence , to name but a few of the skills learned during a trip, however short.  It stretches the comfort zone for able-bodied, disabled, and the elderly in ways unlike any other experience, and covers all ages and abilities.  I think that's pretty practical.
Well, I'm all happy for that aspect of it, but it remains beside the point of regular use
of the mechanism as it was originally intended -- sailors of old were drafted (often in less
than meritorious methods) into service more for the purpose of providing cheap labor than
of bettering their physical & moral constitutions; and the boats themselves served the purpose
of transport of goods, not of individuals to a higher Goodness.  Today, one can count the
old-fashioned boats on one hand, maybe (using digits qua binary digits => 2^^10 - 1 = 1023?).
GREAT to see it done, preserved (are these boats paying for themselves by the fee-for-betterment,
or only w/other funding?), but it's like having cycling machines for the purpose of fitness in
a gym/rec-center vs. actual bicycles out & about.
There is also the serious question about where those who instruct on what knots to use
on these currently operated vestiges of the past get their information.  It can be shown
easily enough that there are, as J.Knoop remarked, glaring errors in much documentation
-- and errors that, although obvious (ly impossible, say), are nevertheless copied in
some later publications (!!?).

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Thank you, Icurious, you've done my work for me! 
---
Well, I don't think I shall be able to better Icurious'{s} list, which seems pretty comprehensive.
Whoa, you're t/asked with making one particular observation of knots/cordage usage; unless
another person's on your boat w/you, s/he can't replicate that.  And, yes, thanks to LCurious's
good memory, we have enriched our data by a ship.  I'll have something to say about the list,
though.  And it goes again to the point about these boats being put to good commercial
transportation/hauling use vs. being preserved for that sake.  (Re this data collection, I should
be able to learn something about what is used aboard The Pride of Baltimore -- a boat on
which I've had opportunity yet unrealized to work, and is an hour distant if in the named port
(by the USS Constellation, on which I've put up a few ratlines).

--dl*
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2009, 12:00:12 AM »
Thank you lcurious for sharing your recollections. I note your list runs short of ABOK's declared "over 3800 knots".
Oh, that number !!  Elsewhere on this forum I've put the spike in that marketer's
hype, though I don't expect it to so much stop the ghost from reappearing, as hope
that there are more who can point out the error.  We might spare attributing the number
to ABOK , noting that it comes only on the book's wrapper/cover, over which good
Clifford has now no control.  But even 30 is well less than, say, 500 -- a safer count.

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On the one hand he lived in a world of which he spoke as if square riggers still sailed the seas.
He frankly admitted that [ABOK, p3]
Ah, good:  this really begs the question to the BQ quibblers!

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Otherwise Dan should explain his motive(s) for raising this thread. Rocking the boat in order to make waves?
Keeps the barnacles from forming?  And, so far, might raise some field reports,
and other interesting comments.  We still have the two published quibblers to hear from.

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ABOK (and EKFR by Graumont and Hensel) are snapshots of knot-usage
The latter is some kind of snapshot, but it's not so clear, what.  It makes for a good
laugh at times, and a motivation to hurl the book -- which could have some of those
beneficial fitness aspects mentioned above, but ... .   ::)

--dl*
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2009, 12:50:24 AM »
...some of the knots we have used and are using.
   Bowline ABOK 71 very common, the standard for making loops at the end of a line..  Is used for gangway lifts etc.  Some of our hawsers eye?s are done with bowlines rather that a splice (lazy..)
-- or flexible (re size of the eye!).  Ever seen a bowline capsized?  Because I've seen such
in trawler mooring hawsers so often as to wonder if it's intended (by forming the knot with a
loose/large collar)!?  --attached image
And your hawsers, are they laid, or a braid of some sort?

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   Figure Eight ABOK 520 at the ends of all our running lines
   Clove hitch ...  Used to tie heaving line to hawser.  Little used elsewhere unless with two half hitches to the standing part as a native Clove hitch will loosen

And for the messenger-line hitch, is the Clove unguarded -- i.e., no precaution against loosening?
And, re that, how about a simple stopper (the Fig.8, or the more-easily-tied-snug-to-object Overhand)?

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   Constrictor ABOK 1249 used in conjunction with whippings.  Fore topmast ratlines use a constrictor to the shrouds with the ends sized
Interesting, this.  -- someone's notion of improved security; I think that comes from
the seizing, beyond which anything else is redundant/unnoticed.  Frankly, I have long wondered
why the ends of ratlines are spliced to the shrouds, which is a bit of pain to do, rather
than simply tied (and seized).  Brion Toss said that this was to avoid some abrasion on sails
hitting the knots; to me, it seems that hitting the (sometimes steel) shrouds alone would
be a problem to avoid, nevermind the knots that might lie along it!?

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   Overhand knot tied in a double end.  ABOK 518 Used for tying down cargo.  Used only with surplus small rope that will be thrown away.
And is it reliably so tied; or quickly, w/o much regard for dressing, and maybe with
what Ashley shows (there & #1009) as the tail end being loaded?  It is a common
knot in commercial fishing bridles, and as a mid-line eyeknot.

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   Loop knot ABOK 532 Used when a loop is required in a bight of good rope
Ah, I'd bet better than even odds that this was an educated (vs. naturally arising invention) import.
Did you take note of this forum's Alpiner's nice contribution of a quick tying method for it? !!

   
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   ...  Timber hitch ABOK 1733 general use
   Rolling hitch ABOK 1735 Used to tie off a line under tension.  We have used this when moving hawsers off bits to the capstan
Is the Timber h. like this, with the HHitch guards (often mistakenly (IMO) called "Killeg/K..." h.)) ?
-- or w/o, plain.  Here it will take less load, being guarded, and so be easily untied.
In some other uses, I'd think that Ashley's recommendation of #1669 would work well.

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   Backhanded Mooring Hitch ABOK 1795 I used this when I worked on a tug boat...
"... when working on a tug boat":  as well (also)?  (We don't want to contaminate the data.  ;D  )
Did you make that first bight-cast as Ashley shows?  -- for Brion Toss, in Rigger's Apprentice ,
gives the alternative orientation, where the immediate continuation really is "backhanded",
wrapping in the opposite direction.  Frankly, in using the knot to tie off rope that I put into a
pulley hook for stress-testing something, I find Ashley's way maybe a bit kinder on the hitched
rope.  -- could be a flip-of-the-coin variance; the multiple wraps work either way.

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   Carrick Bend ABOK 1439 Have used this to tie two hawsers together - bulky
Funny how even the simplest knots seem so monstrous in big rope, eh?!  -- and how much
rope that they consume (to me, who might find a scrap of maybe 12-25' of such rope) !
I think that Rosendahl's Zeppelin bend would make a good alternative.

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   Sheet Bend ABOK 1434 I had the loop end of a hawser start to slip through the nip.  Fortunately I was right there and was able to hold the loop end until it set up.
!! Wow, good catch!  Dave Richards did testing in kernmantle ropes and found it to
slip in sometimes both ends, but at rather high loads.

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   Zeppelin Bend I use for joining ropes, lines etc 
Tyer's perogative, here?  Did you ever have cause to try some other bends,
such as #1408, #1452, #1425?                                                                                                                                                                                        

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Most of these are taught from one sailor to another as needed, there is no formal training.  New knots do not often appear as the "tried and true" are part of the continuity of the ship, and who is going to tell the Capt his knots are out of date???
Oh, did the Capt. pass along Rosendahl's knot, then?

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New rope is closely watched as some if is very slippery and we take extra care when using anything new. - Old fashioned I guess but who wants a spar dropped on their head???
Indeed.  But this sounds like just watching w/special attention, but not, say,
putting in some extra knotting such as a stopper knot, or extra turn?

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There are probably many ?knots? that I have missed, but that is a good first memory...
Excellent recall, thanks much!
I guess two knots that might be missed in the above list are the Fisherman's Bend / Anchor
Bend/hitch, and Two Half-hitches.  Yes, you mentioned the latter, as a securing to the Clove,
but not as a main knot for hitching directly.  No Reef knot, either -- but you bind sails ?

--dl*
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J.Knoop

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2009, 11:16:41 AM »
Some posts back, moderator Dan attempted to bring this discussion back on course and I declared the quibble braindead and proposed to move on by asking why ABOK and EKFR emerged when they did?. GeminiJim agreed with the lacking substance of the controversy and wrote about Clifford Ashley:

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He was trying to preserve a valuable body of knowledge that was in danger of fading away.

Positively dripping with nostalgia into the bargain and that good old Clifford was probably (?) the first to agree that he wasn't representing then-modern usage of cordage and knots. That is exactly what he did admit and furthermore pleaded guilty,  which caused Dan Lehman to write:

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Ah, good:  this really begs the question to the BQ quibblers!

So, where do we stand now? The quibble-quibblers have just been abandoned by their deity; the quibble is obvious. The verdict is that knots do not belong to the sailor, although Clifford Ashley tries to logically infer that they actually do, but by means of bogus argumentation [ABOK, p1]. In the mean time some Tall Ship knotters stood up and stated things pertaining to "doubters", "very many", "still in use" and "invaluable". We can continue the quibble by wondering what this means, as deckhandiana is not telling us. Let's breathe some fresh dragon breath onto this quibble - as I think Dan Lehman would say: to burn off the barnacles.

Doubters: in doubt of what? That to this day Tall Ship knots live on in the same way as Clifford Ashley described in 1944? Complete and utter nonsense. The knots and ropework techniques afloat described in ABOK were not specific to neither The Sunbeam nor any other ship under sail. They were quite generic and occurred on land too, in fact where most (if not all) of them originated. Prior to ABOK there are many individual sources recording these techniques. Were these techniques actually performed on Tall Ships? Well, if you have spent in excess of 5 minutes at sea, you will know that reality out there differs from the romantized accounts in the books. This is particularly true for knots. I do not see any reason why Tall Ship Knotters would be any different from the average Joe Knot. Naval repositors agree (with me). The word doubt used here by  a Tall Ship sailor, seeking confirmation for that way of life, must be in a quite special way. In any case, yes, I doubt that knots were used on Tall Ships like Clifford Ashley described. For one, most sailors could not then (and still cannot) knot - actually they do not need knotting skills beyond a Reef Knot, an occasional Bowline and an assortment of Half Hitches. Secondly relatively complex techniques, such as splicing and netmending, are beyond most able-bodies at sea. Thirdly ABOK represents a knotting range well beyond that of a boat.

Very many and still in use. Let me bundle these two as they relate. ABOK shows hundreds of knotting and cordage processing techniques. My claim is that very few of them can be found on any given boat. In a sense Clifford Ashley collected knots in the wild and presented them in his book. What does that mean? Well, that on a global scale you will likely encounter any of his structures at some point in time. Somewhere along the arrow of time, somebody, somewhere actually used most of the structures which are recorded in ABOK. By recording them he gave them a formal status as a solution (of some sort), but most of his readership  read that differently - in a localized manner to so to speak. They interpret ABOK's batch of squiggles as "all knots used at sea - and hence good quality stuff". So, "very many" is dubious and "still in use" even worse. As Icurious indicated and Dan Lehman extrapolated, the "still in use" set may be about 500.

Invaluable invaluable for what? For the solving of every day practical tasks: coil or flake a rope, bend a heaving-line to a messenger-line, attach a flag to a line to run it up a post? I am not sure what deckhandiana meant with this word/concept. Having available the (impressive) collection in ABOK, not having to reinvent the wheel over and over again, or something else? Come on deckhandiana, enlighten us/me. Thanks. 

After this long post I was left wondering: what if good old Clifford had promoted Scouting instead of Sailing? Well, moderator Dan, should we go there......

knudeNoggin

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2009, 08:00:04 PM »
The issue as raised here is that two men responding to Budworth's Quibble
assert that in their many decades at sea well beyond the publication of
Ashley's work one would and still can find considerable knotting in play.
This is what Budworth denied and which denial irked them.  They, however,
must answer the denial in understandable detail in order to be believed, or
better understood; it is not for others to answer on their behalf, though others
can provide confirming or counter examples.  That answer is wanting, and it
might take a published Letter to ask it of them, and then a follow-on reply.

It is not a matter of whether ships have sails still, and so on, which seems
to be what some others here want to argue.  Irrespective of that, these two
fellows maintain that some kind of good knotting such as Ashley presented
can be yet found at your local busy port.  As a continued practice beyond
the Age of Sail.  And that all those good terms used in the sail-rich environment
are still used (or useful, somehow).  I would like to see them put detail to this.

Of course, other topics can be discussed, preferably under threads appropriately
titled, at the press of a e-button.  Or some old one revived, such as that What
is a Knot ? thread from many years ago.

*knudeNoggin*

J.Knoop

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Re: Budworth's Quibble (w/Ashley) [km102:16]
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2009, 06:37:54 AM »
Thanks knudeNoggin,

So, this thread is dead till the "believers"  start providing evidence to substantiate their claim.

Thanks for the discussion so far.