A novel method of ringbolt hitching, top down viw.
A novel method of ringbolt hitching, side view.
You have to keep in mind that man has been playing with string for a very long time. Because of this, any claim on novelty has to be carefully researched. Even then it is best to include a disclaimer. This is my disclaimer; while I have never seen this in any books on boats / knots, and have never met anyone that knew it, this may not be new. If anyone knows this knot and its true name, I would be delighted to hear it.
Many years ago, when boatyards smelled of wood, creosote, and oil paint, I used to hang out there. By trolling the docks and work lot you could pick up spare change or maybe a day on the water by doing odd jobs. Usually this involved the less fun things, but was offset by the fun of getting out on the water in exchange for your work. Sometimes you could trade knowledge / skills for the same rewards without quite so much hard labor. One of the things I could do was tie knots and such.
On one particular day I was faced with yards of stanchions and handrails. These were to be covered with several spools of cord that were piled on deck. The only instructions were to get it done — and do a seaman-like job of it. That last short phrase is heavily laden with unspoken rules. Like any honest workman, I wanted to do a good job and receive fair compensation. By figuring out how to do the work in the quickest and easiest way that would comply with the “seaman-like” requirements, I could increase my pay per foot. After trying several of the ringbolt hitching methods, and bypassing coachwhipping without trial, I discovered this method.
As with most cord coverings put on a fixed stanchion, you have to pass the line around the bar. Unlike most of the other styles I knew, or have learned since, there are no tucks. In the photographs the job would be started on the left / lower end of the bar. If applied tightly, you don’t have to go back and rework the line you have already done. After seizing the ends I covered them with Turk’s Heads. Both now and and then I just chose knots that I thought would dress the ends and pass review.
The Captain was happy with the job. Happier than I was when he told me to paint over my fresh, new knots. Now, I know that this is necessary to protect the knots. Then, I harbored a slight suspicion that it might be a less than happy Captain covering up a what he thought was marginal job by a never-to-sail-with-him tyro. I was relieved of that worry at the end of the day when he smiled and paid me above the negotiated price. He even asked me to go on the shake down when all the other work on board was finished.
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