Author Topic: Security of Eskimo bowline with variations  (Read 4183 times)


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Security of Eskimo bowline with variations
« on: September 09, 2015, 04:41:12 PM »
Lately I have been enjoying learning about and tinkering with bowline variations. Mostly this is driven by a mix of enjoyment in learning new knots and a complicated feeling toward bowlines: I love them for their ease of untying and simplicity, but I also care about security, and it seems to me that in order to get a bowline secure enough for more critical uses, one has to twist in so many other wraps and tucks that it becomes quite awkward, uses a lot of rope, and takes a long time to tie, all of which defeats the reason I'm attracted to the bowline.

The Eskimo bowline has been one of my favorite loop knots for some time; it's more secure and stable than a bowline, especially with regard to ring loading, and is just as easy to tie. Today it occurred to me to try a few variations on the Eskimo bowline. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about the advantages and disadvantages of these variations, since I mostly tinker, don't have much time for testing, and am not as knowledgeable as many who post here about knot structures.

I tried a Yosemite finish and was pleasantly surprised by the result. It didn't budge when I ring loaded it, and seemed totally secure when I hauled on the standing part. I have seen mixed reviews about the Yosemite finish in a standard bowline, and I wonder if it would perform better with an Eskimo bowline. I then tried a Lee's locked Eskimo bowline and it seemed essentially the same as the plain Yosemite finish, although perhaps, as in a standard bowline, it could potentially hold when a Yosemite finish alone failed.

A round-turn Eskimo bowline also seemed to produce a very satisfactory result, leaving the standing part exiting the knot in the middle so as to keep the knot in balance and prevent it from deforming in the way that, for example, an Eskimo water bowline would.

I also tried a Lehman lock, although this one seemed to shift a bit more than the others, so perhaps the Eskimo arrangement doesn't suit that lock as well.

Anyway, I guess my questions for you are:

  • Do you agree with my inclination to think that a Yosemite finish produces a greater level of stability and security in an Eskimo bowline than in a standard bowline? If so, why would this be?
  • How would a Yosemite Eskimo bowline compare in security to variations on a standard bowline? Could one use a Yosemite Eskimo bowline in a situation where something more robust - e.g., Lee's locked bowline - would be required to secure a standard bowline?
  • While I'm on the topic of bowline variations, I can't seem to find on the internet any consensus about whether a Yosemite bowline or a round-turn bowline provides better security. Any thoughts about this, regarding both the standard and Eskimo bowlines?

Looking forward to your replies.


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Re: Security of Eskimo bowline with variations
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 11:13:15 PM »
... it seems to me that in order to get a bowline secure enough for more critical uses, one has to twist in so many other wraps and tucks that it becomes quite awkward, uses a lot of rope, and takes a long time to tie...

    It may seem so - but it is not so !
    HALF a turn of the Standing Part after the eye ( so you form a second, "lower" collar around an eyeleg or around the rim of the nipping loop ), and ONE more tuck, is enough. ( See the Ampersand bowline : Just take the tail of the Standard bowline, turn it "upwards", and tuck it again, once, through the proper opening of the nub ). You may also add one more nipping loop ( in the form of a double/twin nipping loop, or of a Clove hitch, a Girth hitch, a Pretzel or a Constrictor ), but that helps only in making the knot s nub more tightly closed around itself ( = less easily loosened under shaking or vibrations ), and, perhaps, in reducing wear.

   (  I have a friend who use ONLY Eskimo bowlines for ALL the many loops in his sailing boat. :) Although I have tried many times, I have not persuaded him to use even ONE Standard bowline... :) )   
   Now, I have to repeat that there is not ONE Eskimo bowline, but FOUR. So, when you say "THE Eskimo bowline", it may seem
that you have not yet studied it in detail. Also, when you speak about THE Eskimo bowline with a Yosemite finish, THE Lee s Locked Eskimo bowline, THE "round-turn" Eskimo bowline ( I do not even understand what this "round turn" means... ), THE Eskimo Water bowline, THE "Lehman s lock"  ( another mysterious term... ), you do it like all those knots are unique, and well known to anybody. I believe I have some experience with the bowline family of knots, and I can not understand what particular knot you mean in any of those cases ! It would help if you SHOW, with pictures or sketches, which knots you mean, so somebody can comment on them - and then show different variations of the "same" knots, where those comments may not apply ! :)

   A family of secure "Eskimo" bowlines you should examine, is the "Eskimo" Janus bowlines :
   the Girth-hitch based "Eskimo" bowlines :
   and the very tight Pretzel-based "Eskimo" bowlines :
   I would also like to mention a family of TIB loops which are based on the Eskimo-like ABoK#1051 - which are not yet studied as much as they deserve...
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 11:26:25 PM by xarax »
This is not a knot.