Author Topic: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE  (Read 22912 times)

alpineer

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THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« on: June 25, 2013, 10:56:53 PM »
MORE MUSINGS ON BOWLINE SECURITY AND A NEW LOCKING BOWLINE

With respect to life critical applications the central issue concerning the common Bowline (ABoK #1010) lies with the "single loop" nipping structure's propensity to loosen under slack conditions, thus giving opportunity for the tail to move out of the knot.

For life critical applications several methods have been used to improve Bowline security. They include:
1. tying a stopper knot in the tail
2. wrapping the tail around one or both eye legs and tucking it back through either the nipping   
    loop (eg. Prohaska/Janus) http://i3.tinypic.com/wjwh1t.jpg  or the collar (eg. Yosemite) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_bowline
3. re-tucking the tail through the nipping loop in the same direction as the
    original tuck (eg. Dan Lehman's "End Bound Double Bowline" aka EBDB) http://i3.tinypic.com/wjwh1t.jpg
4. combinations of 2 & 3 (eg. alpineer's Cowboy Bowline/F8 hybrid) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1202.0;attach=4797
5. re-tracing the bowline back through the collar
6. building a locking mechanism into the nipping structure to maintain security in slack mode (eg. DL's Locktight Loops) http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3888.0;attach=7199;image

The first five methods treat the symptom - a moving tail, whereas the sixth method treats the actual cause of the problem - a loose nipping structure. 

Testing of the Tresse Bowline back in March indicated that it wasn't as strong as ABoK #1010! But introducing a third loop (i.e. second underhand ) turned the tables, and importantly, increased the locking mechanism's efficiency significantly - the modified tresse may be one of the simplest examples of a secure and practical locking mechanism for the Bowline requiring no tail enhancement. The tests were brief and not at the level of scientific rigor, but after playing with the modded TB and other combinations of multi-loop overhand/underhand nipping structures over the past months I think it's time to introduce it to the forum.

 I like tying methods that don't place unnecessary and superfluous twisting within a knot's structure. Here's one tying method from the climber's perspective that works well after feeding the rope through the harness tie-in points. Then: 
 
1. Make your standard bowline overhand loop, but make it from the Standing Part instead of the Working End (the S.Part leads from under the loop).
2. From the new S.Part place an underhand loop under the first(overhand) loop (the S.Part leads from between the two loops now).   
3. From the S.Part place a second underhand loop between the two other loops.
4.Treat the three loops which are coiled in hand as a single loop and continue tying as for ABoK #1010. Dress and set to finish tying the knot (see 2nd paragraph below).

The tying steps may sound confusing at first, but once you've seen them you'll understand how simple they really are.   

The MTBowl. can be dressed into three distinct forms according to which direction the three nipping loops "coil" along the bight - either away from or toward the bowline's collar (see photos). This has nothing to do with re-tying the knot, but how the coils are oriented. All three dressings are easily recognizable, and also distinguishable from other possible bowline variants.   
 
Another round of testing is in order which should include:
 - testing for performance differences between the 3 dressing configurations (eg. strength,   
   locking efficiency, abilty to remain locked...)
 - relative strength comparisons with other #1010-base knots
 - behavior over time of a loosely set knot (in a simulated or real-world environment)
 - how well over time a properly set MTB nipping structure resists unlocking (in simulated or real-
   world situations)
 - assessing other bowline variants constructed utilising the "treat as one" (tao) tying method.



In order for the M.Tresse Bowline to have even a chance of being accepted by climbers as a harness tie-in knot it must perform reliably and consistently and show that it can remain secure and stable at all times under all conditions without any tail enhancement and remain easy to untie after repeated heavy loading.


alpineer


DISCLAIMER:  The Modded Tresse Bowline hasn't yet passed rigorous testing to indicate it's appropriateness for use as a tie-in knot, or any application where your life et al are on the line.
                       USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. 

« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 06:19:00 PM by alpineer »

roo

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 01:55:20 AM »
All three dressings are easily recognizable, and also distinguishable from other possible bowline variants.   
 
They are?  I've been looking at the photos for a few minutes, and I'm still not sure what's going on.
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X1

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 02:12:23 AM »
...the central issue concerning the common Bowline (ABoK #1010) lies with the "single loop" nipping structure...
   I believe that the bowline is an eyeknot which involves two main parts, the nipping structure ( be it a simple "single" nipping loop, or a more complex "double" one, based on a Clove, a Girth , a Pretzel or a Constrictor hitch, for example ) AND the collar structure. Trying to improve the one part, while leaving the other as it was in the "common" bowline, is like trying to solve the one side of an equation !  :)  A double nipping loop AND double collar bowline is the most simple and secure solution, which retains the original balance between the two interweaved parts of the ABoK#1010, ABoK#1034.5.
   Having said that, this m.Tresse bowline looks a nice, fine, most secure loop. I wonder, would it be too much, an overkill (?), to just turn the tail upwards and retuck it through the upper / higher part of the double nipping loop, and through the collar ?

alpineer

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 04:36:33 AM »
...the central issue concerning the common Bowline (ABoK #1010) lies with the "single loop" nipping structure...
  this m.Tresse bowline looks a nice, fine, most secure loop. I wonder, would it be too much, an overkill (?), to just turn the tail upwards and retuck it through the upper / higher part of the double nipping loop, and through the collar ?

I designed the M.Tresse out of a desire to find a safer, simpler, stable, secure bowline having a memorable tying procedure and which effectively addresses slack (in)security by redesigning the nipping structure to sufficiently grip the bight/tail in slack mode. It (the M.Tresse Bowline) must stand or fall as is. Tail enhancement for security would render the attending premises suspect, suggesting more security was needed. If you insist on tail enhancement you're better off with one of the existing knots that exploit this security feature to good effect.
I would only recommend leaving a 12in(30cm) tail and push it directly back through the collar - before setting the knot completely - as a convenient means of controlling it's direction.         
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 09:06:48 PM by alpineer »

X1

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 10:56:10 AM »
Tail enhancement ...
   
   Notice that you can not even pronounce what I say : double collar:)
   Do you believe that the collar of the "common" bowline is a "tail enhancement " ?  :)  If you do, you have not understood what a colar is  - especially the "proper" collar of the "common", or of the "Eskimo" bowline.
   
   I have to repeat it once more, because, although it is such a simple, self-evident thing, it is not realized by knot tyers : The bowline has two parts : a nipping structure, tied on the Standing Part before / ante the eye, and a collar structure, tied after / post the eye. No one of them can work in isolation, without the other.

1.   Without a nipping structure, i.e., some curved segment of the Standing part which serves as an anchor point, the bowline could possibly be a noose, but not a fixed loop : Any, however tightly attached on the Standing Part collar structure would have found no obstacle to its slippage along it, towards the tip of the eye. THAT is the main function of the nipping structure, provide a stable, not-slipping anchor point where the returning eye leg can be attached on.
2.   Without a collar structure, i.e., some U turn of the direct continuation of the returning eye leg, no nipping structure, however strong, would have been able to hold fast. The collar structure enables a large portion of the tensile forces that come through the eye to be "uploaded" on the Standing part, so the only thing that remains to be done by the nipping structure it to hold the second eye of the collar, the tail - a much easier job. ( The Sheepshank, the Captain Mullin s knot, and the Gleipnir do not have a collar, but they take advantage of the mechanical advantage, and they work effectively because they have more separate nipping loops, arranged the one after the other, or they distribute the tensile forces coming from the eye(s) to more than one segments. )

   There is a common misconception, which underestimates the role of the collar, to just a simple way to stabilize the nipping loop, so it does not open up. We tend to forget that the collar structure is what keeps the returning eye leg to be and to remain attached on the Standing Part, in the first place, i.e., what enables the bowline to be and to remain a loop, in the first place ! The stabilization of the nipping structure by the collar structure is very important, indeed, but it is not the main / principal reason the collar structure itself exists : The main reason for the existence of a collar structure is to connect the returning eye leg on the Standing Part, for KnotGod s sake ! To make a loop !   
   I take the liberty to repeat here something that was written quite some time ago - but, evidently, not read  !  :)

   What is a bowline ? An end-of-line loop that happens to be fixed, when we manage to stabilize a TIB nipping structure tied on the standing part - so it does not deform into a helix, and does not "walk" down to the tip of the loop. The ancestor of Dan Lehman figured out that he could not attach the tail on the straight tensioned line of the Standing Part ... because any straight tensioned line is very smooth, very slippery... so what does he do ? He makes a standing part segment a little less straight, a little more curved, a little more convoluted, so his tail will be stuck on a obstacle, and will not slip alongside the standing part. He tries a simple turn, and he tries to make this turn stay as it is, and where it is...that is, not deform into a straight line again, and not revolve and walk down towards the tip of the loop. Trying all the possible ways to achieve this, he passes the tail through this curved standing part structure, he passes it around it, over and under it, anyway he can. The "proper" collar is not but one of the possible such solutions, but there are many others. So, all those solutions to this problem, the stabilization of the nipping structure in its form and its position on the standing part, are "bowlines".
   My ancestor was thinking otherwise. He has this end, the tail, and he tries to fix it on the standing part. He encircles it with the standing part, with the hope that this embracing will be enough, will grab the tail and he will not need anything else...Nooope ! His tail slips through the nipping loop, like his wife from his hug...so what he does ? If once is not enough, try it twice ! ( With women, one has to go to bigger numbers, of course...  :) ). He passes the tail another time through the same loop, driving it along any route he could think of. So he ties a Myrtle loop, a common bowline and an Eskimo bowline. Then, he chooses the bowline, simply because this solution is holding better than the others, without any additional structure. The problem of stabilization of the nipping loop did not even crossed his mind, because he sees the whole problem as a problem of attaching the tail on the standing part, and he makes the standing part turn around the tail to achieve this, to grab the tail with a tight hug. He was lucky, because his solutions managed to stabilize the standing part structure at the same time they were nipping the tail sufficiently well. And the simplest and best solution to his problem, was the bowline, and the bowline s "proper" collar that passes through the same point inside the hug twice, following the same route.
 
   If we wish to retain the marvellous balance of the two parts of the bowline, the nipping loop AND the collar, we should better improve both, not only the one or the other. An improved bowline with a very complex nipping structure, but with the same simple collar structure the "common" bowline has, is not a well balanced, harmonious knot - this simple "single" collar, a relic, undeveloped structure from the initial knot we were supposed to improve however efficiently we can, is put under too much strain, and it is abandoned to address any increased new requirements with a safe complex nipping structure wrapped around its neck only, but not embraced with it in any more effective, and more clever way.

   Well, I think I have said more than enough !  :)  My one-liner is this : Do you really wish to improve the bowline ? Improve the nipping loop AND the collar, not only the one or the other. A more complex nipping structure should come hand to hand / embraced with a more complex collar structure, otherwise the balance and efficient co-operation of the two structures that were proved so effective even in the case of the "common" bowline would be lost.
   I am not saying that this m.Tresse is not an improved bowline, of course! All that I am saying is that you made the one step, you improved the nipping structure, but you should also make the second one, and improve the collar structure as well.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 11:11:12 AM by X1 »

X1

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 11:09:41 AM »
I would only recommend leaving a 12in(30cm) tail and push it directly back through the collar - before setting the knot - as a convenient means of controlling it.         
   If you do this, why you do not tuck it through the upper / higher ring of the nipping structure as well ? It is not such a complex or difficult to remember move, is it ? On the contrary, I claim that it is required, to complete, in a simple, coherent way, this "pushing back through the collar" move . You would have three rope diameters going through this/these first ring(s) , which is a very good thing ! There is a free, regarding simplicity and easiness, second collar, take it ! It will not bite you :)

alpineer

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 03:12:21 PM »
Don't go off on a tangent X1 and get your tail in a knot. You've misunderstood my words. So, for you, I've edited (slightly) my response to your initial post. Go back and re-read it, please. Honestly X1, you're a smart guy, and should have anticipated that you might not have understood my answer.

As for balance regarding the M.Tresse Bowline - improving a part that needs no improving - now that's what I call an unnecessary imbalance. Nothing is free. If you require a second collar, don't mess with the tresse. Choose another bowline. Don't bastardize this knot's balance. Instead, understand that problems associated with the common bowline are a consequence of slack within the nipping structure, even as the initial setting of the collar is immediately lost.

Also, I am aware of the inter-dependent relationship between the bowline's collar and it's nipping structure.
   
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 09:10:33 PM by alpineer »

X1

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 03:52:49 PM »
You've misunderstood my words... you should have anticipated that you might not have understood my answer.
  No, I just pull your leg a little bid, to have some fun !  :)  Also, you should take into account that I try to use whatever slight chance it is offered to me, to repeat the same old s...I keep saying all the time, in other. perhaps more proper words each time.
  You are wrong - tucking the tail through the upper "ring" of the nipping structure of the m. Tresse bowline does not destroy ( "bastardise") its balance - especially if you intend to push it through the collar, too. On the contrary, it makes a somehow crippled knot stand on both its feet ( the more complex/double nipping loop AND the more complex/double collar ) !  :)  But you should have anticipated that our views on that would not be identical, do nt you ?  :) 
   A nipping loop encircling three rope diameters is wider, rounder, and stronger ( as every circular ring is, compared to an elliptical one - tensile forces flow smoothly inside its body ). Whenever I can make the tail go through the nipping loop, without using more material, I take advantage of the opportunity, and I do it. I do not believe that, doing this, one "bastardises" what is already there...
   
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 03:53:58 PM by X1 »

alpineer

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 04:18:52 PM »
If your reference is to the best balance of desirable properties for tying into a harness - which I am and have been - then yes, it does destroy this delicate balance. I have to pay a price in time, and complexity and farting around with an already sufficient knot IMO while getting nothing I need in return for the effort.
Re pushing the tail through the collar: it's a quick and easy way of controlling the tail's direction, and may? also have extra benefit, aside from keeping SS369 from "super snugging" the knot. ;)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 05:23:35 PM by alpineer »

Festy

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 06:52:01 PM »
Is the 'Water Bowline' - tied properly of course - a secure & trustworthy knot?

roo

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 07:27:47 PM »
Is the 'Water Bowline' - tied properly of course - a secure & trustworthy knot?
Yes, and simpler to tie and recognize:
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/waterbowline.html

It merely echoes a step in the standard bowline tying process.
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alpineer

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 08:05:55 PM »
Is the 'Water Bowline' - tied properly of course - a secure & trustworthy knot?

Hi Festy,
Your words betray a trust of the Water Bowline. Do you have trouble tying it correctly? Or, were you referring to the Reversed Clove variant?
I haven't any trouble tying it, but I don't have any experience using it.
Conceptually, I'd expect to find my "treat 3 loops as one" m. tresse bowline quicker and ergonomically easier to tie and manage under trying circumstances.

Cheers,
alpineer
 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 09:20:59 PM by alpineer »

Festy

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 08:23:24 PM »
Is the 'Water Bowline' - tied properly of course - a secure & trustworthy knot?

Hi Festy,
Your words betray a trust of the Water Bowline. Do you have trouble tying it correctly? Or, were you referring to the Reversed Clove variant?
I haven't any trouble tying it, but I don't have any experience using it.
Conceptually, I find my "treat 3 loops as one" bowline ergonomically easier to tie and less prone to tying errors.

Cheers,
alpineer

Hi alpineer,

I'm a complete novice at knot tying I fear. I've no problem tying the WB, but I just wondered if it was a safe knot. Roo favors it so it seems it is secure.

I merely seek knowledge,

thanks
F   :)

alpineer

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 08:44:57 PM »
Whoops! I've edited my previous post after you posted.
In climbing, there's a non-zero possibility of clipping a carabiner into the bridge or the lower(closer to you) hitch of the clove and pulling it off the end of the tail, leaving your security to a single #1010 without a tail stopper = more time and more complexity.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 09:22:36 PM by alpineer »

roo

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Re: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BOWLINE
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 12:37:08 AM »
In climbing, there's a non-zero possibility of clipping a carabiner into the bridge or the lower(closer to you) hitch of the clove and pulling it off the end of the tail, leaving your security to a single #1010 without a tail stopper = more time and more complexity.
:o
Are you seriously going to evaluate how knots perform when someone tries to jam a carabiner through all the possible entry points into tightened knot body?  Really?
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