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Thread: Buntline or Bowline

  1. #1
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    Default Buntline or Bowline

    On another thread it was suggested that a Buntline knot was the best thing for attaching a halyard to a sail. Ok, so I have learnt to tie a buntline.

    But, why is a buntline knot better than a bowline which I have always used in the past?

    Any ideas please?

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    I've never heard of a buntline and I don't know how to tie one. I know about rabbits, trees and holes though :

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFusion View Post
    I've never heard of a buntline and I don't know how to tie one. I know about rabbits, trees and holes though :
    Can I help you?
    http://www.animatedknots.com/buntlin...matedknots.com

    Mike
    (At least I didn't spell it wrongly this time)
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    Quote Originally Posted by dmmbruce View Post
    Thank you kindly

    The website says it's a sod to untie after it's been under load, so why use it instead of a tried and trusted bowline? Or am I missing something?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    I've just noticed an omission on that website. There's no granny knot :

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFusion View Post
    I've just noticed an omission on that website. There's no granny knot :
    No problem. We have plenty of 'grannies' here.
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    I would think the halyard should be attached to a shackle with the buntline hitch, or with another knot more like a stevedore knot.But not directly to the headboard

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    It acts like a noose and will get VERY tight under load. The good old bowline has to be my fav' knot, it will take a load but is easy to untie when needed.

    If you use a Buntline, be prepared to cut it off every time you want to untie it from the sail.

    Personaly, I'd recommend doing it properly, ie, get the end of your halyard spliced properly and then fix with a shackle.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?source=i...6prlywirkJjM1w
    Proud owner of a 1994 Catalac 900

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    [quote=simonmd;40084]I
    Personaly, I'd recommend doing it properly, ie, get the end of your halyard spliced properly and then fix with a shackle.

    quote]

    i dont want to be picky, but I am not sure you can say that. I have always used figure of 8. take a bite of the halyard, through the head board hole then pass the tail end of the halyard with the knott through the bite. this does not chafe is easy to undo and after I have had shackle open. ( you cant wire them shut) has never let me down.

    If I use a bowline then I take a double turn through the head board as it help to stop chafe.

    Kim
    just a scared rabbit in the headlights of life

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    Quote Originally Posted by kim s View Post
    ...... and after I have had shackle open. ( you cant wire them shut) has never let me down.
    i dont want to be picky, but I am not sure you can say that.

    All depends on the type of shackle, many CAN easily be wired shut should you require extra security.

    I know my use of the term 'properly' is a bit subjective but name me any boat manufacturer that would deliver a new boat with the halyard simply tied to the top of the mainsail. I'd wager that anything over the size of a dingy would be rigged as I suggested.

    If I use a bowline then I take a double turn through the head board as it help to stop chafe.

    Kim
    That is great advise for tieing bowlines generaly, especialy when used for mooring rings, etc.

    On the mainsail however, having the end of the halyard spliced around a ring like the pic i posted above meaqns that it CAN'T chafe.
    Proud owner of a 1994 Catalac 900

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    So, back to my original question. I think I have worked it out for myself now and some of you have confirmed the answer too.

    The Buntline Hitch is in fact a slip knot that will pull up extremely tight. It will be secure, and conveniently small, but not relevant if you want to undo it from time to time.

    The Bowline is a Knot. It ties where you put it and it stays there. It can subsequently be undone. Kim S suggestion of an extra turn through the hole in the headboard, or wherever, is just what I always do, if the hole is big enough. I shall go on using the bowline on the halyard.

    The stopper knot in a bight is much the best however IF the hole in the headboard is big enough to get the bight through BUT not so big that it can pull back too easily. For this I prefer the Ashley stopper to the figure of eight, it is bigger and will not slip.

    The splice and shackle is still fine, but only if there is sufficient gap between the top of the headboard and the sheave in the mast. Otherwise it will jam in the sheave.

    Thanks everyone.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    the buntline hitch is to replace the splice, not the splice and shackle, the original question referred to the thickened splice jamming in the sheave.
    If you are going to tie the halyard directly to the sail, my vote goes to the bowline, adding a round turn if the hole in the headboard allows.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFusion View Post
    ...The website says it's a sod to untie after it's been under load, so why use it instead of a tried and trusted bowline? Or am I missing something?
    I just saw an article/picture in one of my recent sailing magazines (it would probably have been Cruising World or Sail, not likely Practical Sailor) which also suggested it for the main halyard instead of the bowline, but it also stated it was extremely difficult to untie after being under a load so be prepared to cut the line!

    The only time I have seen a bowline come undone on its own was the jib sheet on a flogging jib. Since the main halyard wouldn't be flogging, I think I would be comfortable using a bowline.

    Fortunately when I had my running rigging replace two years ago the rigger solved my problems by splicing in an eye on the main halyard. I guess if I reverse the main halyard to prolong the life I will be faced with using the bowline.

    Marshall
    "People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it's more fun to go slow than it is to go fast." -- Dick Newick

  14. #14

    Default Re: Buntline or Bowline

    I am surprised that nobody knew the answer to this question. Here is the reason you may want to use a buntline hitch. A bowline is a 60% strength knot, where a buntline hitch is a 90% strength knot. This means that if your halyard line has a Safe Working Load of 1000 pounds, tying a bowline degrades the strength of the line to only 600 lbs, where a buntline will hold to 900 lbs. Also, it is much less bulky and less prone to catching on things. The flip side, as explained above several times... a bowline can be untied, and buntline hitch will most likely need to be cut to free your shackle, but so would a spliced eye.

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