Author Topic: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch  (Read 11945 times)

Rixter

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Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« on: October 26, 2009, 05:48:03 AM »
In Budworth's book, Compete Book of Knots, he refers to the midshipman's hitch as an adjustable loop for moorings, guy-lines, etc., and he refers to the Tarbuck knot as a general purpose slide-and-grip loop that can be used to tension guy-lines, clotheslines, etc. 

They both seem to me to be general purpose slide-and-grip loops.  Is the Tarbuck superior to the midshipman's hitch?  It seems to have more holding power.  If so, when would one use the midshipman's hitch? 

DerekSmith

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 10:06:18 AM »
My guess would be that you would use the Midshipmans Hitch when you became a Midshipman and it was the only sliding grip hitch that you were taught.

Derek

roo

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 07:11:29 PM »
In Budworth's book, Compete Book of Knots, he refers to the midshipman's hitch as an adjustable loop for moorings, guy-lines, etc., and he refers to the Tarbuck knot as a general purpose slide-and-grip loop that can be used to tension guy-lines, clotheslines, etc. 

They both seem to me to be general purpose slide-and-grip loops.  Is the Tarbuck superior to the midshipman's hitch?  It seems to have more holding power.  If so, when would one use the midshipman's hitch? 

As typically depicted, the Tarbuck takes more rope and is significantly more difficult to remember and tie.  Just trying the Tarbuck in synthetic rope, I noticed that it took a lot more fiddling to get the rope to stop slipping.  Once I finally got it set, it did seem to hold better.

But all things taken together, it is quite understandable why the Tarbuck rarely sees the light of day in comparison to the Midshipman/Tautline family.
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Dan_Lehman

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 08:33:47 PM »
In Budworth's book, Compete Book of Knots, he refers to the midshipman's hitch as an adjustable loop for moorings, guy-lines, etc., and he refers to the Tarbuck knot as a general purpose slide-and-grip loop that can be used to tension guy-lines, clotheslines, etc. 

They both seem to me to be general purpose slide-and-grip loops.  Is the Tarbuck superior to the midshipman's hitch?  It seems to have more holding power.  If so, when would one use the midshipman's hitch? 

Friction hitches are sometimes tricky things to get to work, and they can
be sensitive to various cordage characteristics (frictive/smooth, stiff/flexible,
like-dia./diff.-diameter, twisted/braided) and loading rates (sudden/slow,
high/low).  I recall tying a Hedden in polyester (lubricated) cable-hauling
tape (1/2", solid, thin, very flexible) and standing on it tied around 1/4"
(or was it 11mm?) rope, and thereafter being UNable to get it to hold!? Huh???!

NB:  That book has the Icicle Hitch WRONGly loaded -- one loaded the OTHER
end from what is shown.  (Arborists have used the variant loading of BOTH
ends, btw.)
ALSO, next page to query, pp.68-9, the Reever Bend is what is shown but
with the purple (left side) rope loaded on the tail -- so, symmetric loading. FYI
FURTHERMORE, on p.73, forget this treacherous "Highwayman's Hitch"
-- this is even a worse version of the not-so-good original.  Rather, do this:
after Fig.1, bring left end up AROUND the first-placed bight (not through it),
working left-to-right (i.e., both ends will then lie on right side);
then as in Fig.2 take the tail in a bight and put it through its first-made
bight (crossing over and so locking in the S.Part).  THIS hitch is much
safer, though still should be used with close attention to circumstance,
where wide diameter objects relative to rope size and flexible cordage
or great load can press towards capsizing if not set well snug.

   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

To answer your question, the Midshipman's Hitch (which has absorbed some
other names, too -- "Rolling Hitch", e.g.) is MUCH faster to tie -- one just
throws in half-hitch turns, jamming the 2nd into the first, then going past
these to finish the knot (or repeat the jamming step (YMMV)); one can put
in an Overhand stopper in the end to prevent loosening/untying.
AND --importantly-- this tying can be done with the line under tension,
each tying step pretty independent of the prior ones.

The Tarbuck, nevermind its raison d'etre of being some shock-absorbing
hitch, has a more stable finish, obviating the need above for the stopper.
As presented in the book, the T. also has an extra turn.  Frankly, I think
I prefer (and think that rockclimber Rob Chisnall also prefers) the finish
to go the other way around the object rope -- making a Cow- vs Clove-like
relation.  (Hmmm, maybe this isn't all so secure as I thought?)
OH, note that the book is contradictory re the position of the tail:  in
Fig.3 it is shown passing above the S.Part, in Fig.4, below -- and in
this latter case seems better secured by the loading.

I'm now intrigued by the Cow-oriented finish with the tail being
tucked down through the initial turn of the S.Part -- much as
is the tail in Blake's Hitch (ProhGrip) :  makes for a very secure
finish; not sure of effects on grip or grip-&-release-&-regrip.

--dl*
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Rixter

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 06:07:54 AM »

OH, note that the book is contradictory re the position of the tail:  in
Fig.3 it is shown passing above the S.Part, in Fig.4, below -- and in
this latter case seems better secured by the loading.


I don't see the tail as changing its location, but I did find the purple arrow in fig. 3 to be confusing and inconsistent with how the tail ends up in fig. 4.  (Not the first time the arrows in the book have confused me.)

Interestingly, Budworth says on this page that "There is only one right way to tie this knot but many wrong ways."  But on page 196 of The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework by Budworth, the pic of the finished knot shows one less turn around the standing part than the drawing of the knot in Compete Book of Knots.  One of those ways has got to be wrong, at least according to Budworth.   

The copyright date for the update to the The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework is 2002 while the copyright date for the Compete Book of Knots is 1997.  So one would think that the fewer number of turns would be the latest thinking, but the extra turn seems to be better approach.


Rixter

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 06:09:15 AM »
My guess would be that you would use the Midshipmans Hitch when you became a Midshipman and it was the only sliding grip hitch that you were taught.

Derek

Are you suggesting that if one also knows the Tarbuck hitch, he would be advised to use that instead?

DerekSmith

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 08:40:37 AM »

Are you suggesting that if one also knows the Tarbuck hitch, he would be advised to use that instead?

Hi Rixter, no, I am suggesting that the widespread distribution of knowledge is very much a thing of the last half dozen decades and massively so with the explosion of the internet.  You only have to go back a couple of generations and knowledge transfer was quite 'linear' - as an apprentice you would learn the skills of just one man and generally, those skills were from within just one trade.  You would learn one way of doing something and that would be it, and you in turn would teach the same thing to any apprentices you later took on.  Learning and teaching were blinkered both within and between trades, so there would be virtually no opportunity for you to learn an alternative method - it would just be wasting time, when you should be concentrating on refining your skills to make the method you already knew work well and reliably.

I am suggesting that knowledge was sparse and that skill and doing were the order of the day (the term 'Jack of all trades' was an insult implying wide knowledge but no depth of skill).  I am suggesting that the knots you learnt were the knots of your Master, of your trade, possibly even of your town and that the chances of you being taught two ways of doing the same thing were remote.  Literally, you used the 'Tools of your Trade' and that was it, while around the corner, a different apprentice to a different Master in a different trade would be learning a different means of doing 'it'.

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 06:42:43 PM »
OH, note that the book is contradictory re the position of the tail:  in
Fig.3 it is shown passing above the S.Part, in Fig.4, below -- and in
this latter case seems better secured by the loading.
I don't see the tail as changing its location, but I did find the purple arrow in fig. 3 to be confusing and inconsistent with how the tail ends up in fig. 4.

?!  In Fig.3 the knot is depicted with two open spaces into which the tail
might be passed; the arrow indicates that the tail should pass through the
upper space, but the (botched) Fig.4 shows the tail going through the
lower space.  (It is botched in not showing a small part of the tail's reach
around the object line -- same image, roughly, is in the Budworth-Dalton
book.)

Quote
Interestingly, Budworth says on this page that "There is only one right way to tie this knot but many wrong ways."

This sort of utterance was made in general by Ashley, and is the sort of
utter nonsense that should've long ago been lambasted rather than
echoed -- it might be true of certain knots, but not in general.  In this
case, the simple variation of the number of turns the hitch makes for
grip is an obvious one that might depend upon the factors I laid out
above.  I surmise what Geoffrey was referring to was the finishing lock
of the tail, but as I also noted, there's a knot-savvy rockclimber who
prefers a different orientation, IIRC.  The working part of the knot are
the turns, gripping; the finish of the tail affects security.
  
And I know a physicist who rejects the fundamental premise of the
knot --to make a frictional noose able to absorb shock loading.

--dl*
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Rixter

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 07:20:13 AM »

?!  In Fig.3 the knot is depicted with two open spaces into which the tail
might be passed; the arrow indicates that the tail should pass through the
upper space, but the (botched) Fig.4 shows the tail going through the
lower space.  (It is botched in not showing a small part of the tail's reach
around the object line -- same image, roughly, is in the Budworth-Dalton
book.)



Some follow-up questions, if I may.

First, what did you mean by "?!" ?

Second, in terms of botching the drawing in fig. 4, are you referring to the fact that a portion of the working end seems to disappear as it passes in front of the standing part before it loops around the standing part (above the two and a half turns)?

Third, assuming that I have correctly understood what you were referring to as the botched aspect of the drawing, do you think that fig. 4 correctly depicts the knot as it is customarily tied by knowledgeable knot-tyers?  FWIW, I tried tying the knot with the tail going through the upper space, but when I worked the knot and put it under load, the tail ended up in the lower space.   

Finally, is "object line" a term of art in the knotting world as is the case with standing part, working end, etc.?

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Tarbuck Knot vs. Midshipman's Hitch
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 06:03:55 AM »
First, what did you mean by "?!" ?

Second, in terms of botching the drawing in fig. 4, are you referring to the fact that a portion of the working end seems to disappear as it passes in front of the standing part before it loops around the standing part (above the two and a half turns)?

Third, assuming that I have correctly understood what you were referring to as the botched aspect of the drawing, do you think that fig. 4 correctly depicts the knot as it is customarily tied by knowledgeable knot-tyers?  FWIW, I tried tying the knot with the tail going through the upper space, but when I worked the knot and put it under load, the tail ended up in the lower space.   

Finally, is "object line" a term of art in the knotting world as is the case with standing part, working end, etc.?

The "?!" was to your not seeing Fig.3 as wrong; your third comment above
goes some way to explaining your view, I suppose, but as I noted, there
are two places and at least SOME reasonable chance of two outcomes
(but I know what you mean about the end finding its way elsewhere).

Yes, that's the botched part (along with not-very-good alignment of lines
for continuing parts after a visual interruption).

I don't know how the knot is tied by "knowledgeable" tyers -- of which
there might be few to none, for this particular knot.  But it looks otherwise
reasonably drawn up.

Knotting lacks a good terminology; "object line" is my term for the making
clear that the object that is hitched is a cordage.

 :)