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Old 03-18-2013   #31
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 14
Boy, it's way to easy to bait the figure 8ters around here!
Then they miss the important piont of learning to do a few things well as you are learning and then move on.

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Old 03-24-2013   #32
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
The prusik idea for bowline tension is really only useful if you're sleeping on your boat. It also takes constant monitoring. If you are expecting fluctuations like on a GC trip, try this: First, all rafts should be married together at camp side by side w straps to frames. This has a number of advantages but for dealing w a big overnight fluctuation, you've got one big tidy package to manage instead of individual boats. I prefer to use a taught line hitch to tie bow lines to a sandstake, or clip into a biner on a length of webbing if tying off to trees or rocks (let the webbing take the abuse from tammies or rocks not your bow line). Wether the water is coming up or going out determines where the hitch gets tied along the bow line so you have room to take advantage of the tensioning abilities of that wonderfully simple knot. Ok, so here comes the out of the box method to manage the big overnight drop in water level- lets say you have 5-6 rafts married together. Before you all go to bed for the night, move the sandstakes, or webbing tie off of the upstream and downstream boats. You'll want to run those bow lines out upstream and down as far as you can and attach them as close to the water's edge as you can. If there's a handy rock outcropping to tie to just offshore all the better. Pounding a stake into the sand that is currently 6 inches underwater but will be 30 feet away from the water in the morning is not going too far. You can estimate the best angle based on how shallow the water is around the flotilla. You're looking to create an obtuse angle, beyond perpendicular, to the other sandstakes directly in front of the flotilla. Now tightly tension the up & downstream bowlines, and loosen the remaining middle bowlines far enough to account for the expected drop. What you've got now is a flotilla that will lap back & forth at the waters edge and will automatically let itself out as the water drops out. It is key to have enough slack on the middle boat's bowlines to account for the drop, but you still need them tied off incase you lose one of your tensioned anchors overnight. This method takes some practice, but once you understand what is needed, this system is completely worth the effort and will work. Had you gone w the prusik method, all it takes is one thoughtless (drunk) boatman to strand the whole party high and dry.

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Old 03-24-2013   #33
niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96

Great thread- and obviously some good energy around the "favorite" list. I had a group of scouts at the house for some shore based river safety work a while back. I like to tell people to learn a few really good knots- and learn them really well. I think this was mentioned earlier. So I think I can remember how to do a clove hitch- and now that I've seen how many people really like that knot- I'll go back and have a look. But it's the knots you know that you could do in your sleep that will get you out of trouble. My favorites- and I have these down cold-- figure 8, double figure 8, bowline, double bowline, prussik, water knot, butterfly, trucker's hitch- no knot when you can't do anything else- so I really don't bother with much else- but always open to try out a new one . Figure 8 on a bight when you are pressed for time is my favorite- make the loop really big and throw it around a rock when you have to secure a boat- or something to clip into when you want to bag someone without being dragged into the river. I've yarded on all these knots- and they all seem hard to get out when you really get after it.
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Old 03-24-2013   #34
Free and Easy
RiverCowboy's Avatar
Granby, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 90

Originally Posted by montuckyhuck View Post
Don't really care what you think in this instance. Bowline is easier to untie once weighted than any incarnation of a figure eight. Want to argue? Great! I have worked for THE most elite rope rescue technician team in the country aka YOSAR.... Google favorite hitch, Munter Mule backed with overhand on a bite. Turs into a belay device even when loaded.
I thought teams accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association were the most elite teams in the country...

I would purport that under a 1KN load the difference between untying a bowline and an eight is undiscernable. Under a 2KN rescue load, bowline would be easier. I don't know of a tech rescue scenario where you would load an eight with 2KN though.

Why hasn't anyone mentioned the biggest difference between a bowline and an eight though? Because we're too busy bragging about our volunteer experience living in a tent in Yosemite!

(Answer: a bowline should have a safety/backup knot to be used in lifeline applications, because it can slip).
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Old 03-25-2013   #35
Kayak/SUP Instructor
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
One if my favorites is the Highwaymans Hitch .
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 03-29-2013   #36
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
Good thread + 1 on the bowline not, I've used it a lot as my tag line knot on the ends of beams. Those lines get yanked around pretty good and even a 3/8 rope will come apart easy with gloves on. I need to practice some of the others though. Handy to have in your bag of tricks.
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Old 03-30-2013   #37
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 23

I have taken whips on both and in my experience the bowline is easier to un-tie. With that being said, I use the figure when I am climbing a majority of the time.
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Old 03-30-2013   #38
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portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I like my Munson knot. Why would you ever wanna untie it????

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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