Board of review - a Knotty Problem
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 07:11:51 +0100
> > I have a scout who is going for his Life Board of Review on Wednesday.
> > We have had our scoutmaster conference. During the conference, I
> > expressed to him my reservations about him being a Life scout, since he
> > doesn't seem to remember ANY of the seven knots required for first class
> > (and lashings are even worse). This came from an episode on our last
> > campout where a rope broke, and he asked what he should do. I replied,
> > "tie a knot which joins two ropes of the same size." Blank stare. One
> > of the new scouts went over and whipped out a square knot.
A square knot ? In these circumstances why not use a
Fisherman's Bend ? ( Two overhand loops around the standing parts tied
so they will lock together when pulled ) The bend is not only more
secure it will lay better with the lashing.
A square knot is not ideal for joining ropes because if transverse force
is applied it will collapse, unlike the sheet bend. A sheet bend can be
used for joining ropes of even thickness.
Why did the rope break ? Personally if a lashing rope broke I would get
a new rope and start again, because the rope is, presumably, rotten. Use
it as a teaching example. There are clear safety implications here ...
Ropes break for two reasons ... either they are over-loaded or they are
rotten, and in this case I suspect the latter, and that somebody did not
check them properly.
Teach their PLs how to inspect ropes for damage by unlaying them and
carrying out a visual inspection at intervals along the length. Also
important, do we instill in them not to tread on a rope ( grit gets into
the fibres and cuts them ) and not to dry natural fibre ( hemp, sisal )
ropes before storage.
Knowing that one rope had broken I think I would have stopped the
activity until I had <personally> checked all the ropes for damage.
I don't know what the project was, but if a gateway fell on someone's head,
or a camp table collapsed spilling hot water on a Scout, and it became
known that the Leader had cause to suspect that rotten rope had been used
and not replaced it I suspect there could be some liability isuues.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City