Author Topic: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology  (Read 127265 times)

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #270 on: July 18, 2012, 11:16:42 PM »
  2. Now, there was also something fishy in my earlier position,

Oh, yes.    ;D

Quote
...  I was eager to accept a generalization of the notion of the "nipping loop",
so that it would be able to cover the standard double nipping loop, as well as some other similar double "nipping structures" ( like the Pretzel double nipping loop, for example ). However, when it came to the "collar" , I had accepted a much more restricted strategy : I had wished to name as a "bowline" only a loop that used a "proper" collar, i.e. a collar similar to the collar of the standard bowline. I have though/feared that, if we would have accepted different, more general types of collars, we would have been forced to describe as " bowlines" too many loops... that do not "look" like the standard bowline to most people.

I'm less concerned about look than fundamental function
--hence, look towards (only) the central nipping loop as
the essence of "a bowline".  But my fish tale wags, too,
in not recognizing the problem of tacitly accepting various
things as "a nipping loop", when I should be vigilant against
them, at least as acceptance w/o comment.  E.g., even
the common double/round-turn bowline must be noted
as having something other than a simple "nipping loop"
--it has a coil.  --and so, too, the water bowline and many
other constructs one can think of.  For these, though,
we might establish a means to recognizing them in their
place of *kinship* to the canonical "bowline"!?

What I did realize, at least, was that some of the
bowlinesque eyeknots I've discovered should be held
as "false" (or some better, more accepting qualifier)
bowlines --they've much the look & feel, etc.,
but deviate in the full nature of their nipping loop
--in that it doesn't directly flow into the eye (and
thus bear that 50% of tension one would expect).

Your outline of "strategies" for our nomenclature is good,
and we should proceed at least in classifying things into
various groups, w/o concern about whether that group
is later considered fully part of *bowline* or rather some
*like-a-bowline* naming : the group will stand together
regardless, distinct from other groups, later to see if
they share one or have more nominal umbrellas.


--dl*
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X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #271 on: July 19, 2012, 12:59:45 AM »
some of the bowlinesque eyeknots... should be held as "false" (or some better, more accepting qualifier) bowlines -- they've much the look & feel, etc..,
but deviate in the full nature of their nipping loop--in that it doesn't directly flow into the eye (and thus bear that 50% of tension one would expect).

   To flow directly into the eye, is much less than 50% of the "full nature" of the standard, common bowline s nipping loop ! The nipping loop of the bowline works as effectively as it does, because it is the direct continuation of the standing end ( the loaded end), which bears 100% of the the tension - and not because it is the direct continuation of the eye leg of the bight, which bears 50% of the tension. Having one of its limbs tensioned by 100% of the load, the nipping loop can grip the leg(s) of the collar with full force.
    At the double, crossed-coils "nipping structure"  of the loop shown in the previous post, the ( first, main) nipping loop/coil grips the second leg of the collar as effectively as the nipping loop of the standard common bowline, because one of its limbs ( the direct continuation of the standing end ) is also tensioned by the 100% of the load. The other limb flows into the second nipping loop/coil, that is squeezed in between the first nipping loop/coil and the tensioned standing end - therefore it bears less than 50% of the tension. However, I do not believe that this fact diminishes the gripping power of the first, main nipping loop substantially - or that it makes this nipping structure deviate from the true "nature" of the nipping loop of the standard, common bowline.

X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #272 on: July 19, 2012, 11:24:52 PM »
   Let us examine the "Sheet bend "bowline"" - the end-of-line loop derived from the Sheet bend ( shown at the attached pictures).
   If, in order to call an end-of-line loop "a bowline", we do not demand the existence of the "proper" collar of the standard, common bowline, then I am afraid that we will be forced to call this loop "a bowline", too. Now, to my view, although this loop might superficially "look" like the bowline, it works in a very different way. Its not-proper "collar" is, in fact, nothing but a half hitch, and the second leg of this collar/hitch is not nipped inside the nipping loop s ring ( as it happens in all bowlines). Moreover, the nipping loop itself is not a closed ring, but an open one ( although it is not as open as the helical coils of the "helical loops", shown at (1),(2).
    So, here is an end-of-line loop that, although we may say that it "looks" very much like a bowline, indeed, it functions very differently, as two interlinked half hitches - or three interlinked half hitches, if we take into account all the three limbs of this knot. Now, the standard common bowline does not function like this - it is a close relative of the Gleipnir knot rather than the Sheet bend. Neither the "proper" collar, nor the "proper" nipping loop of the common bowline are "half hitches" ! This is an example of the difficulties we will encounter if, in order to generalize the notion of the "bowline", we do not pay much attention to the characteristics of the collar structure, and we are ready to accept more general "collars"  than the "proper" bowline s collar.
 
1) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3020.msg21688#msg21688
2) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3020.msg23685#msg23685

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #273 on: July 21, 2012, 04:05:25 AM »
some of the bowlinesque eyeknots... should be held as "false" (or some better, more accepting qualifier) bowlines -- they've much the look & feel, etc..,
but deviate in the full nature of their nipping loop--in that it doesn't directly flow into the eye (and thus bear that 50% of tension one would expect).

   To flow directly into the eye, is much less than 50% of the "full nature" of the standard,
common bowline's nipping loop ! The nipping loop of the bowline works as effectively as it does,
because it is the direct continuation of the [SPart], which bears 100% of the the tension
--and not because it is the direct continuation of the eye leg of the bight,
which bears 50% of the tension.

I disagree : the nature of the "nipping loop" is that it is
exactly that : a loop --with consequent implications!
Otherwise, one has any sort of thing coming into play,
and, i.p., one can have a "hitch" (component) as you ascribe
to the sheet bend --100% feeding into 0%/free tail!

Quote
Let us examine the "Sheet bend "bowline"
 -- the end-of-line loop derived from the Sheet bend ( shown at the attached pictures).

Well, most people regard the bowline as derived from
(or kin to) this end-2-end knot; but the asymmetry of the
latter enables two *directions* for eye derivation.

Quote
Moreover, the nipping loop itself is not a closed ring, but an open one
( although it is not as open as the helical coils of the "helical loops", shown at (1),(2).

And that fact might be what casts it out of the group.
(There are some "anti-bowlines" that tend towards
helical vs. "closed ring" geometry --and, indeed, we
have even examples of this in the common bowline(!)--,
but they do so by forces upon the nipping loop, and not
by the physical presence of another part impeding closure.)

So, superficial "looks" should be discarded as a criterion.

Quote
Now, the standard common bowline does not function like this
--it is a close relative of the Gleipnir knot rather than the Sheet bend.
Neither the "proper" collar, nor the "proper" nipping loop of the common bowline [is a] "half hitch" !

And nota bene that the revered Gleipnir has no "proper collar"!
You might find my accommodations about collars consistent
in this essence?  --that whatever structure sustains the nipping loop
serves to keep the eyeknot in candidacy for bowliness ?!
 ;)


--dl*
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X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #274 on: July 21, 2012, 12:34:12 PM »
the nature of the "nipping loop" is that it is exactly that : a loop --with consequent implications!
Otherwise, one has any sort of thing coming into play, and, i.p., one can have a "hitch" (component) as you ascribe to the sheet bend --100% feeding into 0%/free tail!

   Of course, a nipping loop should, at the first place, be a loop. However, all loops are not nipping loops... The "generic", "perfect" nipping loop should be loaded from both legs. Moreover, those legs should barely touch each other - otherwise the total sum of the tensile forces that are supposed to flow into the nipping loop s ring by both legs is diminished. If the tensile forces are "wasted" at  the crossing point between the two legs, the total gripping potential of the nipping loop is also wasted.
   Those conditions do not happen in real life. No nipping loop is a "perfect" nipping loop ! We try to have nipping loops that utilize as much of the tensile forces present at the outer ends of both their legs, as possible. If the one (second) leg of the nipping loop flows directly into the eye of the bight, that is good, because we are assured it will be loaded by 50% of the total load - most of the time. However, if the other (first) leg does not flow directly into the standing end, that advantage can be wasted, because this leg would not be loaded with 100% of the total load. Given that wasting a certain percentage of the 100% of the total load is more severe than wasting the same percentage of the 50% of the same  load  :), I am more concerned with what happens before the first leg, than what happens after the second leg. If the flow of the standing end into the first leg of the main nipping loop is not direct, the nipping potential of this loop on the penetrating legs of the collar(s) would be severely wasted, and the negative result would be much more important than the result of a similar situation on the other (second) leg.

Well, most people regard the bowline as derived from (or kin to) this end-2-end knot...!

   Well, most people are wrong...  :) And I believe that they are wrong because they have been brain-washed by Ashley, for too much time !  :) Had Ashley put the two loops side by side, and pin-pointed their obvious differences, this thread would have been MUCH shorter. Those two end-of-line loops are two altogether different animals, and that is what I am trying to say, over and over again, right from Reply#2, 275 posts ago ! The bowline is a Gleipnir or a ABoK#160  or a Sheepshank with a "proper" collar, while the "Sheet bend loop" is more of an entanglement of three half hitches...I always hope that Derek Smith would modify his theory, otherwise we would miss an opportunity to analyse the bowline in more detail than we were doing two thirds of a century ago.

There are some "anti-bowlines" that tend towards helical vs. "closed ring" geometry ...
but they do so by forces upon the nipping loop, and not by the physical presence of another part impeding closure.

   I should have stressed that I was speaking about the dressed and tensioned by hand knots only...Under heavy loading, the geometries vary - unfortunately, I have not been able to examine heavy loaded and/or capsized bowlines till now...

So, superficial "looks" should be discarded as a criterion.

   Right ! Please, keep it in mind, and tell it also to Derek Smith, and all people that keep telling that the bowline is something of a Sheet bend transformed into a loop...

You might find my accommodations about collars consistent in this essence?  --that whatever structure sustains the nipping loop serves to keep the eyeknot in candidacy for bowliness ?!

   A very general - and I may add quite bold, too - view of the bowlineess...It will lead to a definition of what I have called "collar structure " as a structure that might not involve any "collar" at all, nothing that "looks" like a "collar" - be it the "proper" common bowline s collar, or not.
   Up until now, I have called such loops as "bowline-like" end-of-line loops, meaning that the moment the "collar structure " is pulled out of the standing part, the knot degenerates into the unknot. ( Notice that the "collar structure " might not even be necessary for the integrity of the "nipping structure" under moderate loading - as I have seen in the case of the "double, crossed nipping loops bowline" presented at (1). ) However, this was a consideration of the topology of the bowline, not its behaviour under (heavy) loading. To go as far as to characterize by "collar structure " anything that serves to stabilize the nipping loop,even if it does not look like a collar at all, or to disregard the "collar" element and concentrate on the "structure" , is a very bold movement, that only a few knot tyers would be ready to follow. The bowline is the king of the knots, no question about it, a marvellous thing that should come first in any knot compilation. Millions of people know it by its name, are able to recognize it and to tie it. This fact puts a certain limit on the generalization we may offer to the notion of the bowline. I have seen that the community of the knot tyers is conservative - to my view, too conservative...-, so will it accept such a very general characterization of its most used and admired loop ?

1) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3233.msg23683#msg23683
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 12:45:59 PM by X1 »

X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #275 on: July 26, 2012, 11:48:33 PM »
   There are two forms of the common bowline : the "left-handed" and the right-handed""  one. Similarly there are two forms of the "Eskimo" bowline, the left-handed and the right-handed.
   Right ? Wrong !  :) The two legs of the collar of the standard, common bowline remain almost parallel to each other - just like the penetrating-the-nipping-loop rope segments at the Gleipnir, the ABoK#160 and the Sheepshank. On the contrary, the two legs of the collar of the "Eskimo"  bowline are crossing each other, at an angle of about 90 degrees. (The more round the bight of the loop, and the larger the angle between the two legs of the bight of the loop, the smaller is this angle. At 120 degrees, it is almost zero - just as at the common bowline). So the second leg the collar ( the tail), can pass over or under the first leg ( the continuation of the eye-leg-of-the-bight). That means we do not have two, but four different forms of the "Eskimo" bowline.
   It can be seen that, when the second leg of the collar, the tail, passes under the first, it gets itself into a position where it is squeezed in between the first leg of the collar and the rim of the nipping loop - so, at the end, we have a "hitch-like" knot, and a most effective prevention of any slippage of the tail.
   Therefore, from the 4 different forms of the "Eskimo" bowline, the two -where we encounter this "hitch-like" configuration between the two legs of the collar- should, presumably, be more secure than the other two. I guess that the difference should be quite apparent with very slippery material ( like Spectra and Dyneema) - but I have not made any relevant experiments.
    Now, I  have noticed that the Sheet bend "bowline", -the bowline-like loop mentioned at Reply#275 (1), with its "not-proper" collar and "not-proper" nipping loop - is the "reversed" form of one of the two "hitch-like" "Eskimo" bowlines  (2). Does this mean anything ? Probably not - but I have imagined that the "Eskimo" bowline might have been discovered accidentally, when somebody would have grasped the (long) tail - instead of the standing end - of a "Sheet bend "bowline", and has realized that this "reversed" loop could also hold very well.  I guess that the standard bowline is probably a later refinement of the Sheet bend "bowline" - because the "proper" collar and the "proper" nipping loop would have not been such obvious solutions to the knotting problems of our ancestors, as they seem to us now. .. In fact, the "proper" collar and the "proper" nipping loop are quite advanced, sophisticated, maximally evolved and simplified rope mechanisms, where any redundant element has been omitted. The Sheet bend "bowline" looks much more primitive, naive, because its not-proper collar and its not-proper nipping loop have not reached their final, maximally simplified, perfect form.

1) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3233.msg23702#msg23702
2) However, this "Eskimo" bowline is not the one that seems to be the most secure of the four forms .
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 11:51:41 PM by X1 »

X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #276 on: August 13, 2012, 11:11:19 AM »
   We all understand the difference between the bowline-like end-of-line loops based upon a single "proper" nipping loop knot, and those based upon a single crossing-knot. The problem is that, if we do not consider the end-of-line loops based upon a crossing-knot be included in the family of the bowlines, we run the danger to exclude the "Eskimo" bowlines as well- and this is something that the knot tying community is not ready to acept ( And, it is a debatable issue, because, when the angle of the two legs of the loop is greater than 120 degrees, the "Eskimo" bowline behaves exactly as the common bowline. See Reply#118, (1))
   One possible escape is to narrow the definition of the crossing-knot based end-of-line loops, so that it will not include the "Eskimo" bowlines any more. Then, we can exclude those more narrowly defined crossing-knot loops from the family of bowlines, without throwing away the baby with the water - the "Eskimo" bowlines with the not-so-bowline-like crossing-knot loops. I know that this is a compromise, and as such, it will not satisfy 100% anybody ( except me - perhaps :)).
   So, we can define as a "proper" crossing-knot loop a loop based upon a particular knot, where the standing part touches the nipping loop s rim for a second time, at a second point. Then, we can exclude this family of end-of-line loops from the family of bowlines, reduce the number of loops that are considered as bowlines, but at the same time leave the "Eskimo" bowline in its traditionally occupied place.
     At the double nipping loop end-of-line loops, where we have a second nipping loop, we will consider as "proper" crossing knot loops only the loops where the standing part touches again the rim of the nipping loop from which it has just left, i.e. before it has formed the second nipping loop. So the Constrictor based loop(s), for example, will continue to be considered as bowline(s), along with most of the "8" shaped, double-nipping-loop based knots. 

1) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3233.msg19858#msg19858
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 11:13:24 AM by X1 »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #277 on: August 13, 2012, 08:33:06 PM »
   We all understand the difference between the bowline-like end-of-line loops based upon a single "proper" nipping loop knot, and those based upon a single crossing-knot. The problem is that, if we do not consider the end-of-line loops based upon a crossing-knot be included in the family of the bowlines, we run the danger to exclude the "Eskimo" bowlines as well- and this is something that the knot tying community is not ready to acept ... .
   One possible escape is to narrow the definition of the crossing-knot based end-of-line loops, so that it will not include the "Eskimo" bowlines any more.
...

I'm unmoved.  There are fuzzy boundaries no matter
--consider the potential for the common bowline to capsize
into what might be called a "helix-based" knot (that with
a broad, helical curvature in the SPart as it passed through
the nub), and that other knots we'd (or at least *I*) like
to regard as "bowlines" have similar potential transformations
under load and with various dressings.

.:.  I think that we must simply accept that fuzziness exists,
that the (sub)sets are close & interlinked by degree.  We
might find that overhand-based knots come next to ask
association and by similar arguments of proximity.  Maybe
under some *discomfort* in the setting out of all of this
we find some way to tighten definitions ... , but at time
time, I see nothing compelling in that.  (Just setting out
all of the knots --grouping & classifying put aside or as
mere conveniences to the task of enumeration-- will be
an accomplishment (and exhausting, if not overwhelming).


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Sweeney

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #278 on: August 13, 2012, 09:35:03 PM »

Maybe under some *discomfort* in the setting out of all of this
we find some way to tighten definitions ... , but at time time, I see nothing compelling in that.  (Just setting out
all of the knots --grouping & classifying put aside or as mere conveniences to the task of enumeration-- will be
an accomplishment (and exhausting, if not overwhelming).


I have watched and sometimes marvelled at the development of this thread which so often seems the pursuit of a definition y for its own sake.  "Bowline" is simply a word applied now and in the past to a knot and extended to more knots by qualification (eg double bowline) - and it is now extended to a family of knots for no obvious purpose.  I would agree with Dan as above - there is some merit in setting out all knots which have some link however tenuous to a bowline - but the link to a bowline serves only to make such a task feasible by drawing a (fuzzy) boundary. Logical extension of this is to try and identify all knots and simply give avery one a designation. the fact that a knot has relatives or not has no relevance whatsoever because it is a human perception not based on anything but a desire for order. I know that Dan has a penchant for a description in words of eg how to tie or describe a knot - I do admire that - but give a computer a set of pictures and it will find a match in a very short time as long as a reference picture is available. In short defining the bowline is as big a waste of time and effort I have seen in recent years - but it's not my time or effort so carry on by all means.

Barry

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #279 on: August 13, 2012, 11:56:32 PM »
I'm unmoved. 
I see nothing compelling in that. 

   I was sure you would have not (be moved, or see something compelling), but for other reasons : If we prefer to classify knots by their functions/mechanisms, and not by their looks/appearances, we can not distinguish the crossing knots from the "proper"crossing knots I propose - where the leg of the nipping loop does touch the nipping loop s rim another time, at another point ( not the "crossing point" of the nipping  loop). The crossing-knot is a knot where the second leg does not run directly at / is not a direct continuation of, the eye-leg-of-the standing part of the loop, as the first leg comes directly from the standing end / is a direct continuation of the standing end. Instead, it makes a more or less sharp turn, because, when it leaves the nipping loop s rim, it has a direction "upwards" i.e., it could not have reached the tip of the bight had it not made this turn.
   However, I think that I have "succeeded" to reduce, a little bid, the number of what we can consider as end-of-line loops that belong to the class of bowlines - and I have done it in an unambiguous way : It is easy ( NOT fuzzy) to see if the standing end or the eye-leg-of-the-standing part touches the rim of the nipping loop a second time, or not !  :)
   I am very happy that I have removed a considerable number of ex-bowlines from my (large) bowlines picture file, and have sent them to the (smaller) crossing-knot end-of-line loops file !  :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 11:59:45 PM by X1 »

X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #280 on: August 14, 2012, 12:44:58 AM »
so often seems the pursuit of a definition for its own sake.

  Seems, may be, but it is not ! Definitions CAN NOT exist for their own sake, even if we wish them to be so : they pre-suppose deep understanding, and they prove superficial knowledge. Names are not just labels - otherwise every thing in this universe would have had another name !  :) The first name was not arbitrary either : the bowline was called bow-line to describe the line with which a boom of a certain sail was attached to the bow of the ship. The fact that the name "bowline" was given to other "similar" knots is also not a coincidence ! It was an extension based upon some objectively defined characteristics. So, if we see a knew knot, that "seems" like THE bowline, it is only natural to think if we better call it also a bowline, or not. Sorting things according to their characteristics, getting sets, and classes of sets, that are fewer than the things of the universe, is a necessary function of every more or less intelligent creature in the universe ( and, I wish to believe we belong to the set of such creatures... :)

it is now extended to a family of knots for no obvious purpose. 

  "Not obvious" may be, but it IS for a purpose, believe me. The effort of classification of known knots has lead us, time and again, into a deeper understanding of how they function, and - what is more useful - to the "invention" of new, better knots. You classify things and, suddenly, you notice a "hole" in the data, which should not be there, according to the scheme. It s natural to think : Hey, may be there is a knot that would fill this void -let us see if we can modify the existing knots that are next to it, and see what happens. It is the same procedure that lead Mendele?ev to its "periodic table of chemical elements", and the subsequent discovery of new elements that have filled all the voids of the initial plan.
   Personally, I am unable to remember how to tie and to use a knot, if I do not understand it a little bid...And when I had succeeded to understand a knot a little more, it had happened to me to be lead to new knots, that I was not aware of till this time. So,not a waste of time or effort for me - if we suppose that ANY time and effort spent on knots is not wasted, since the invention of the glue, the button, the zip, and so on !  :)

Benboncan

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #281 on: August 14, 2012, 12:11:54 PM »
Quote
What I did realize, at least, was that some of the
bowlinesque eyeknots I've discovered should be held
as "false" (or some better, more accepting qualifier)
bowlines --they've much the look & feel, etc.,
but deviate

In Biology the above description could result in a name beginning with pseudo. Is this appropriate for Bowline-like (esque) structures that don't quite make it?

Very interesting thread BTW.

Benboncan

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #282 on: August 14, 2012, 01:16:15 PM »
Quote
In short defining the bowline is as big a waste of time

I disagree, definitions reduce ambiguity. Without them a reader or listener has to guess at meaning.

X1

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #283 on: December 14, 2012, 02:13:06 PM »
   Definitions do reduce ambiguity, that is true, but, unfotunately, they can not reduce doubt... :)
  So, is this knot a (-) bowline, or not ? ?  I call it "Sheet bend "Eskimo" bowline / bowline-like loop " , until somebody comes with a better suggestion. Its similarity with the "Sheet bend common bowline / bowline-like loop (1) is obvious, but its difference might not be so. As an "Eskimo"-bowline-like loop, it can withstand ring loading. Moreover, it can be tied by a quick tying method, as a lockable noose-hitch - similarly to the "common" version (2).

1.   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=3233.msg23702#msg23702
2.    http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4162.0

SS369

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Re: What defines a Bowline? - structure, characteristics, topology
« Reply #284 on: December 14, 2012, 02:33:41 PM »
To me personally these latest don't require the "Bowline" moniker because they don't encompass the orientation of parts of the Standard bowline.

I feel that for it to include the name and be in the Bowline family it should have a nipping loop and a collar in the original locations and around the same parts. Any modifications to enhance the original should not obscure this. They can be doubled, retraced and added to, but those parts in the common locations should be there.

So for the best definition, take and tie a Standard Bowline, after that, view another eye-loop and compare the parts and orientations. Or do it in one's head.

For me that removes the ambiguity.

SS