Author Topic: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?  (Read 174 times)

breadwild

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What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« on: April 21, 2019, 07:37:43 PM »
I'm still getting the lingo down, but this one I can't find an answer to:

"The buntline hitch, when bent into a yard, makes a more secure knot than two half hitches..."
--The Ashley Book of Knots

What is meant by "yard" in these instance?

Thanks,
Brad
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 07:39:01 PM by breadwild »
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roo

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« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 04:21:47 AM by roo »
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breadwild

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Re: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 04:01:38 PM »
@roo Thanks. I did find the sailing reference, but also didn't understand what was meant by "...when bent into a..."

Hope I'm not missing the obvious?obviously not much of a sailor (I'm a private pilot).

Brad
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SS369

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Re: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 04:34:10 PM »
Good day Brad.

Bent is a nautical term that means tying or fastening.

"Bending (Nautical term) Bending was the word mariners used when they spoke of fastening something. When they spoke of bending a sail, they were referring to the act of fastening the sail to its yard or stay. When mariners spoke of bending a cable, they usually meant the tying of a cable to an anchor ring."

Hope this helps.

SS

breadwild

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Re: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 05:43:30 PM »
@SS Brilliant! Got it and now makes perfect sense. This knot tying hobby requires knowledge across several disciplines, e.g., sailing, boating, fishing, climbing, camping, scouting, arborist...

Brad

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Dan_Lehman

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Re: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 06:10:12 PM »
Upon realizing the history of mariners' use of "bend"
--as a verb--, I gave up my effort to enforce Ashley's
desire to limit it to tying ends together only --that just
rubs ample historical use the wrong way.  And I moved
on to venture "end-2-end", but some foreign language
maybe will have a better, *normal* term!?
(Just browsing Eric NEWBY's most interesting book
_The Last Grain Race_ (I think that's it ;;
well, wait, no, it's Learning the Ropes,
which has superb photographs (some taken will "op" on
a yard in Force 9 or more !!)

I'll quote what seems a good review of the two,
oddly, yes, published so far apart.

Quote
Unfortunately the unappealingly named "The Last Great Grain Race"
might be left on the bookshelf if it were not for its companion volume
of photographs more appropriately titled "Learning The Ropes;
An Apprentice on the Last of the Windjammers," both by Eric Newby.
Oddly these volumes were issued over forty years apart, Grain Race
in 1956 and Ropes in 1999. (A recent volume of Grain Race was
reissued in 1999, possibly to take advantage of the pictorial release.)

After a brief stint as an office clerk, Newby at eighteen signed on
as an apprentice seaman for an around the world cargo voyage,
with no nautical experience or skills other than a careful eye and
superb memory for detail. "The Last Great Grain Race" is the story
of one of the last four-masted barques, which in 1938 sailed from
Ireland to Australia to pick up a cargo of grain and return to Ireland,
a voyage which would take nine months. Ultimately it was to become
the last voyage in such a vessel, as the impending war would change
the world forever. We are fortunate that Newby was along to document
the voyage. We are equally appreciative of his thoughtfulness in bringing
his camera, as "Learning the Ropes" is the superb photo essay of this journey.

Newby apparently was a very skilled photographer. Oddly, he only
briefly mentions his possession of a camera in "The Last Great Grain Race."
He never lets on that his is so actively chronicling events and shipmates
throughout the voyage. Though Newby does an excellent job describing
what is like to climb aloft in all kinds of weather, the black and white
photographs take the reader aloft as well and provide the narrative even
with more impact and grace.

The crew is as varied and colorful as one might expect the conditions are
harsh and oftentimes dangerous; the work is unrelenting, demanding and
dangerous in its own right. Newby works alongside seasoned veterans and
never shirks.

Grain Race however does have its limitations. There is a tremendous amount
of technical detail that can often leave the reader literally at sea. For example
"There were still the sheets of the topmast staysails to be shifted over the stays
and sheeted home, the main and mizzen courses to be reset, and the yards
trimmed to the Mate's satisfaction with the brace whips." Newby does provide
a graphic of the sail plan and running rigging (79 reference points), but these
are only of marginal assistance.

Another shortcoming is the language barrier Newby faces. This is a Finnish
crew and commands are rarely given in English. Newby and the reader often
have to work out the language; if the reader misses the first context or
explanation then subsequent uses of the terminology will be lost, a glossary
might have helped here. Newby does faithfully record dialects especially
when he is being spoken to in occasionally recognizable English and these
dialogues are often amusingly recounted.

Eric Newby should seriously consider issuing both in a single volume and
one has to wonder why this wasn't done when Grain Race was first issued
or at least when "Learning the Ropes" was released a couple of years ago.
It is interesting to speculate on the length of time between the original
release of Grain Race and the very vivid and informative photographs.
Regardless it was worth the wait.

Grain Race the narrative and Grain Race the photographs make for an enjoyable double read.

--dl*
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breadwild

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Re: What does the word "yard" mean when discussing knots?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 06:45:48 PM »
Quote
There is a tremendous amount of technical detail that can often leave the reader literally at sea. For example "There were still the sheets of the topmast staysails to be shifted over the stays and sheeted home, the main and mizzen courses to be reset, and the yards trimmed to the Mate's satisfaction with the brace whips."

Interesting review. Every discipline has its own vocabulary, often an obfuscation to layperson, aviation is no exception, but a lot more acronyms (haven't many of those in my short experience in knot tying, e.g., EBSB).

Brad
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 06:46:27 PM by breadwild »
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