Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Basic Knotwork, Stopper Knots

Stopper Knots are used to keep a line from accidentally freeing itself from its bock, fairlead, or tackle. The most basic stopper knot is the overhand knot. It is quick and easy to tie and is unlikely to come undone. Unfortunately it is rather small for a stopper knot and can be very difficult to untie once it is tightened down all the way. A double overhand is bigger but even harder to untie. The Figure Eight knot is probably the best all-around stopper knot, and is also used for many other applications. It is almost as fast to tie as an overhand, but is bulkier (a good thing in a stopper knot), holds better, and is easily untied even when over-tightened. For occasions where a very large stopper knot is needed, Ashley’s stopper knot is an excellent choice. Clifford W. Ashley, author of the Ashley Book of Knots, developed this knot after seeing a large stopper knot on a passing boat.

Overhand Knot
Make a single turn in the line then pass the end through the loop. To tie a double overhand, go around and through the loop again.

Tighten the knot but pulling both ends.

Figure Eight Knot

Make single turn in the line and bring the end around behind the standing part.

Pass the end over the line and through the loop.

Pull tight.

Figure eight knot as it is normally tied.

Figure eight tightened for use as a stopper knot.

Ashley’s Stopper Knot

Make a single turn in the line and form a loop in the standing part. Pass the loop trough the single turn.

Tighten the knot by pulling on the end and the side of the loop leading to the knot.
This is a common Slip Knot.

To make it into an Ashley’s stopper knot pass the end through the loop.
Pull the end tight against the knot and then tighten the loop by pulling on the standing part of the line.


 I made a short video of tying these knots to show how you tie them in hand.

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