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bowline vs. bow line in canal songs

Dave Ruch 02 May 08 - 09:26 AM
mack/misophist 02 May 08 - 12:04 PM
greg stephens 02 May 08 - 12:11 PM
Escapee 02 May 08 - 12:20 PM
Joe Offer 30 May 17 - 09:55 PM
EBarnacle 31 May 17 - 02:13 AM
DaveRo 31 May 17 - 03:03 AM
Mr Red 31 May 17 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,ripov 31 May 17 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 May 17 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 May 17 - 09:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Jun 17 - 05:29 AM
EBarnacle 01 Jun 17 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 01 Jun 17 - 01:46 PM
DaveRo 01 Jun 17 - 03:49 PM
Mr Red 02 Jun 17 - 03:32 AM
bubblyrat 02 Jun 17 - 06:29 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Jun 17 - 10:39 AM
EBarnacle 02 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Jun 17 - 11:43 PM
Mr Red 03 Jun 17 - 04:22 AM
Fossil 04 Jun 17 - 12:31 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Jun 17 - 05:53 AM
EBarnacle 04 Jun 17 - 11:03 AM
bubblyrat 04 Jun 17 - 03:54 PM
DaveRo 04 Jun 17 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Jun 17 - 06:41 PM
Fossil 04 Jun 17 - 07:09 PM
EBarnacle 05 Jun 17 - 05:52 PM
Mr Red 06 Jun 17 - 04:32 AM
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Subject: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 02 May 08 - 09:26 AM

Advice sought from a landlubbing Mudcatter who likes canal songs!

I have come across the word "bowline" in a couple of Erie Canal songs (A Trip on the Erie, The E-ri-o Canal). Yankee John Galusha, the only "source singer" I've heard pronounce the word, says it as "bo-line", but I understand that it would ordinarily be pronounced "bo-lin" on sailing ships. Galusha was not a sailor himself, so that could explain things if his is a mispronunciation. BUT, wouldn't a canal boat (19th cent) be more likely to have a bow line (two words, opposite of stern line) than a bowline? They didn't have sails for the most part.

The specific line from "The E-ri-o Canal" is: "Haul in your bowline boys, stand by you sorrel mule, low bridge duck your head don't stand there like a fool"


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: mack/misophist
Date: 02 May 08 - 12:04 PM

From paintings and novels, one gets the idea that most canal boats were towed or poled. If the shore line allowed it, towing would surely be more efficient. You seem to have answered your own question. I'm no authority, though.


A bowline knot forms a noose, best known for not slipping and being easy to untie.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 May 08 - 12:11 PM

Wll, the knot is invariably pronounced bo-lin (in England). In the song "haul away the bowline" the rope is pronounced bo-lin.
But in canal circles, the actual rope is always(in my experience) pronounced bow-line as Dave Ruch suggests. people would look at you oddly if you yelled "Can you take my bo-lin". It's bow-line, and stern-line (or starn-line).. But this is now, in England. Then, on the Erie Canal???? Pass!


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Escapee
Date: 02 May 08 - 12:20 PM

"Bo-lin" is a knot or a bit of rigging on a sailing vessel. A rope on the front of a vessel is a "bough(rhythms with cow)line"
SKP


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 May 17 - 09:55 PM

In the Boy Scouts of America, where I learned to tie a bowline one-handed and became county knot-tying champion, the pronunciation was BO-lin.
I can't imagine saying it any other way.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 May 17 - 02:13 AM

Just to make your life more difficult, the line attached to the bow, both on sailing vessels and canal boats in America is properly a bow line.

The knot is pronounced bo-line and the line attached near the midpoint of the leading edge of a square sail is pronounced bo-line.

When a sailing vessel is sailing into the wind, she is said to be on a bowline, pronounced bo-line. The engine that was once used all over the world was a Bolinder and the round thing on piers that lines were attached to to hold vessels to the pier was called a bollard.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: DaveRo
Date: 31 May 17 - 03:03 AM

I'd not heard "sailing on a bowline" - but I've never sailed a square-rigger. Seems to mean close-hauled, or possibly "sailing on the wind".

The important thing to know about the bowline knot - which I and most people I know pronounce bo-lin - is when not to use it. You can't undo it under tension. So if you tie your boat to the land with a bowline at the end of your bow line you may have to cut it to leave quickly.
the round thing on piers that lines were attached to to hold vessels to the pier was called a bollard.
They still are, aren't they?


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 May 17 - 09:17 AM

A minor point but when canal boats were pulled by horses the tow line (or rope) is usually attached to the post slightly forward of the centre of the boat. Llangollen horse drawn boats - the line is raised, it also helps avoid as much that might snag it.

Anyone who has steered a boat will know that (without bow thrusters) they turn about their centre of gravity - or if we are being pedantic, their centre of pressure. Boats pulled from the front (ie bow) will inevitably be veering into the bank and anyway are harder to steer.

Mooring uses bow and stern lines.

The post seems to go by the name of "mast" or "box mast". see also luby


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 31 May 17 - 02:25 PM

Just to expand on Mr Red's post-


Dutch Barges and indeed those on the
Erie also fasten their towlines high and just in front of midships, but on the side to leave the boat clear.
Bow-line and stern-line are mooring lines.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 May 17 - 08:33 PM

I learned them as:

Bowline (bo-lin) - the piece of running rigging that controls a square sail's forward leech. A knot isn't required. An eye splice will do on a dingy or tender but usually a knot is tied to the sail's cringle. Not many 'bo-lins' to haul on the average canal boat.

Bowline (bo-lin) - also the preferred knot that originally took its name from the application. It is not a "noose". The "bight" or loop does not draw tight on a haul.

Bow line (two words, ie: bow & stern) a line used for mooring or maneuvering the forward part of the vessel. Bow and stern lines need constant tending in the locks. They should not be "made fast" or "dogged off" as in mooring.

Back where I come from:"Haul in your bowline [sic] boys, stand by you sorrel mule..." would be getting underway "up lock."

Mas minutiae:

Bollards: Were on the lock. Or wharf or whatevs.

Onboard:
Mast: Single, round, smooth
Post: Single, square, smooth
Bitt: Single or double with a crossmember (norman, cleat, &c)
Knighthead: Double bitt with a sprit.

"Bitting the tow line." - lead through a forward chock on the "near side" and thence to the bitt.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 May 17 - 09:32 PM

Lighter, J.E., Random House Dictionary of American Slang volume 1 (A-G)
p.254
bowline n. In phrase: slip (ones's) bowline Near.. to die.   
C.f. syn. slip (one's) cable s.v. CABLE.

1848 in Blair & Meine Half Horse 186; I don't much like to string a feller up in cold blood, and that's what I'd had to done...if he hadn't slipping his own bow-line.



Ashley-Book of Knots p.186. #1010

The BOWLINE, BOWLING, OR BOLIN knot, sometimes called BOWLING's knot. The name is derived from the word Bow Line a rope that holds the leather leech of a square sail.....It is so good a knot, that seldom any sailor will another loop knot aboard ship....It is often said of the devil, "he could make a good sailor if he could only tie a bowline and look aloft.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

ask a submariner about a "dragon bowline"....a one-handed and one on a bite are lifesaving tools. Lots more in the Ashley book.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 05:29 AM

*weather leech


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 01:09 PM

Mr. Red, that's center of lateral resistance--just to be pedantic. And yes, "is" is correct about bollards.

The bowline [line] attaches to the sail by either a spliced in line on the weather leech or a rigid piece of wood [I have seen it] directly on the weather leech. In either case, the purpose of the intermediate between the bowline and the sail is to dissipate the strain on the leech. And yes, you do use a bowline knot at that end of the bowline.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 01:46 PM

The Bowline on a Bight however is not far off being a noose ..


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: DaveRo
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 03:49 PM

GUEST,Ebor Fiddler wrote: The Bowline on a Bight however is not far off being a noose ..
In what way? It acts much like an ordinary bowline - even harder to undo if under tension though.

I've occasionally used this knot (it puts a loop in the middle of a rope that is attached at both ends). In contrast, in years of sailing, I've never had occasion to do a one-handed bowline, though I know how to. Is this a climbers' knot?


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 03:32 AM

Mr. Red, that's center of lateral resistance--just to be pedantic.

to be truly pedantic the shape of the hull and the speed alter the centre of pressure, the centre of lateral resistance derives therefrom. Masts on narrowboats are central laterally and forward of the centre (howsoever defined). Towing speeds would not modify the centre of pressure by any noticeable measure. The shape of the hull might, who knows?

in the UK boats are 7ft beam (or <), barges (& broad beams) greater than.

FWIW I have put a few videos of Stroudwater renovation on my website canal.mister.red


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: bubblyrat
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 06:29 AM

See you in Sidmouth, Mr Red ; ; I'll be on my honeymoon !


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 10:39 AM

Is there any connection between bow (as in throw) and bow (as in cow) apart from the fact that they're both spelled the same? If not this conversation is unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM

Yes.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Jun 17 - 11:43 PM

Re:

Mr. DaveRo, you are correct:
One Handed Bowline Yes, it is primarily a rock climber's knot, or a rescue knot, because it is tied around one's own waist and takes about one second in time.

harder to undo if under tension and hence the use of a "slippery" version...as with the "slippery" double half-hitch.

Mr. Ebor Fidler
bowline on a bight is NOT a noose It can create a type of "bosun's chair" with a double loohp...one around the waist and one around the thigh's. Good Lord forbid...but, perhaps there have been accidental hangings with such. Ships and ropes can have unexpected outcomes. Witness the outcome at "the happiest place on earth".

www.articles.latimes.com/1998/dec/25/local/me-57518



Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Rabbit (sometimes squirrel) comes out of his hole...around the tree...and back in its hole.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Jun 17 - 04:22 AM

See you in Sidmouth, Mr Red ; ; I'll be on my honeymoon !

You may be busy! 😆


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Fossil
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 12:31 AM

Not much to add to all this but.... (in no particular order)

It isn't practical to tow a boat along a canal (or anywhere else) with a line attached at the front - like that the boat steers itself into the side and the steersman has to correct it all the time, which is inefficient. Tow lines are attached at or near the mid-point and the boat tows just fine, with minimal corrections necessary.

A "bowline on a bight" in fact makes a very good noose - you tie a small bowline, which gives you a small loop that won't close up under tension, and then run the bight of the rope through that to make a larger loop, which will - a slip-knot. Put that around your hangee's neck and string him up, you'll soon see!

True you can't undo a bowline knot while it is under tension, but it is one of those very useful knots that won't tension itself into an undoable mass if it is under strain. Once the strain is off, you can always get it undone again, which is why it is so widely used on boats.

Mooring a canal barge or a sailing ship which has long straight sides is different to mooring a curved side vessel like a yacht. A barge needs just two mooring lines, usually - a bow line and a stern line are sufficient to keep it in place. The curved sides of a yacht need to be held in place by a bow line and a stern line to stop it rotating around the widest point, and then a pair of springs (fore and aft lines) to stop it moving forward and aft under the influence of wind or current.

Singers of songs aren't always experts in nautical usage, so one is likely to hear different variations of pronunciation. And poetic licence comes into it somewhere as well!


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 05:53 AM

Neatly put, Fossil.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 11:03 AM

Almost right, Fossil.
The bowline is the strongest knot [as discriminated from splices] in that it will hold approximately 90% of the rated strength of the cordage it is tied in.
I have had a bowline in nylon line untie itself by slippage when wet. That resulted in two kids in a 28 foot rowing boat being stranded in the middle of New York Harbor until their towboat came back for them. That was one circumstance when a bowline was a bow line.
When I teach the knot, I always tell my students to put in an extra bight around the standing part, similar to an anchor hitch, in the line to make it more secure when it is likely to be wet, especially in polypropylene, nylon, Dacron or other synthetic lines.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 03:54 PM

I had a two-year relationship with Her Majesty'S Sail Training Yacht, Merlin in the 1970's. She was built in Bremenburg in 1936 ,or thereabouts, as one of a fleet of 100- square- metre recreational yachts used by the German Nazi hierarchy for racing in the Baltic.
After WW2 , a number of these vessels were (joyfully !) appropriated by the Royal Navy of Great Britain , and called the "Windfall" class .Each carried 1000 square feet of sail on the one mast,Supported by "runner back-stays", which had to be deployed whenever she changed tack or went about ; the minimum crew allowed was 10 men ( or, sometimes, Naval Nurses !).My point about the bowline is that, when bending on the Genoa
,sheets, we always used the beautiful bowline, without which we would have been lost !
The bowline was always taught as the only safe way of putting a bight on a safety line if trying to rescue a "Man Overboard" situation , in the Royal Naval Seamanship Manual .
Alas, most Windfall-class yachts have ended up in Fiddler's Green along with their crews, BUT ; Merlin sails on as the Dutch Yacht "Zee Arend" ( Sea Eagle" ).Sadly, I do not know the Dutch for "bowline" (Het spijt mij !).


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: DaveRo
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 05:34 PM

Interesting:
Windfall_class

There's also a youtube video:
Windfall Yachts - "Prizes of War" TV programme 1985

Proper sailing boats!


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 06:41 PM

"Yee-hawing on the old Tamiami"

Most purpose built North American canal designs that I am familiar with had a modest height post or single bitt right up in the bows. The main deck was given over to cargo hatches / holds (barges) or passenger accommodations (packets.)

Lateral force is inverse to the length of the haul but she's always trying to "climb the hill" to some extent. Balance was achieved by "bitting" to the near side (giving offside helm) and a great barn door of an out-hung rudder.

One can also fashion a noose from an eye splice but an eye splice is not a noose. If you add a wheel it is a unicycle.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Fossil
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 07:09 PM

An interesting bit about the "Windfall" yachts - many years ago now, in the early 'nineties, my wife and I went from south Holland to Denmark in our 27 foot yacht "Evette". Up through Amsterdam, to Terschelling, where we made the decision to continue onwards, to Cuxhaven, Brunsbuttel and through the Kiel canal to Kiel itself, where we had a superb couple of days rest at the British Army Yacht Club in the Kiel Fijord.

This Club, which was run on behalf of all the service personnel in Germany was the beneficiary of most of the Windfall yachts, some of which were later returned to their former owners. But the Club facilities were superb and the staff and members were very welcoming to all British-flagged yachts. On our first night there, we went for a meal at the restaurant, got chatting to some local Brits and a Dutch couple who were alongside us, got very merry, then the guitars came out...

I have only good memories of that place, now in private hands, alas after the economy measures of later years required it to be sold off.


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: EBarnacle
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 05:52 PM

Good video, DaveRo!


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Subject: RE: bowline vs. bow line in canal songs
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 04:32 AM

Dutch for bowline is paalsteek

Dutch for bow line is boog lijn

according to babelfish.


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