Friday, April 4, 2008

Tarbuck Knot

Tarbuck Knot

Aplications : A useful general-purpose slide­and-grip loop, the Tarbuck knot may be grasped in the hand and shifted along, but it will seize up under load. It is used to tension guy-lines, clothes-lines, etc., and can also be used to moor small craft temporarily on a rising or falling tide.

Method :Take two and a half turns with the working end around the standing part, bringing it out through the loop so formed (1-2).Then twist the working end in a figure eight around the standing part and under itself, as shown (3). There is only one right way to tie this knot but many wrong ways. Work the entire knot snug before use. Do not use this knot as a hitch around a rigid rope or rail to resist a lengthwise pull (illustrated in at least one manual). It seems like a good idea, but it should be remembered that the knot relies for its grip on creating a dog's-leg kink in its own standing part (4).This is impossible if the line is tied to a separate and unyielding foundation.

History : This knot was devised around 1952 by climber and skier Ken Tarbuck to cope with post-war nylon climbing ropes. It was an end man's tie-on to a karabiner, intended to absorb sudden loads by slipping until the load was reduced to a safe weight (when the knot would hold). But no sooner had it become widely known through Tarbuck's expert writing and lecturing, than kernmantel (core-sheath) climbing ropes emerged. These absorb shock loading by their elasticity and the Tarbuck knot can ruin such ropes, gripping and stripping the outer sheath. It is therefore no longer recommended for its original specialized purpose.

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