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Whats the best knot for tying off to something where you need to keep tension. For example ; You tie a bowline to a grommet in your tarp now you bring the free end to a stern pulpit, whats the best knot that you can tie and keep the rope tight.
 

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Taut-line hitch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

-- lets you adjust tension; if using synthetic line, add an extra turn or 2 to compensate for slipperiness. Take a round turn on the stanchion, tie the hitch on the standing part (the multiple turns go toward the load/stanchion) , slide it up or down to adjust tension.
 
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Another Trucker Hitch vote. You can vary the tension, which seems to be the query.
 

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Another Trucker Hitch vote. You can vary the tension, which seems to be the query.

As you can with the taut-line and rolling hitches. The real advantage of the trucker's is that it provides additional mechanical advantage when you really want to cinch something down.

I'm not sure that I agree with you about being able to adjust the trucker's hitch easily.
 

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I have precisely your application, with a Yosemite bowline through the grommets, round-turn and two half-hitches to stanchions, and clove-hitch and two half-hitches to life-lines -- two-years, no problems..
 

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As you can with the taut-line and rolling hitches. The real advantage of the trucker's is that it provides additional mechanical advantage when you really want to cinch something down.

I'm not sure that I agree with you about being able to adjust the trucker's hitch easily.
The taut line is essentially a rolling hitch tied back on its own working end. It can be adjusted, if you pull, but will flex back, until the rolling hitch grabs.

With the Tucker's hitch, you can wrap as many loops as you like and as tightly or loosely as you like, which will keep the adjustment perfectly in place, while you tie the final half hitch to secure it.

To each, their own.
 
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If there is room I'd use a simplified trucker's hitch (slip knot for the loop), otherwise I'd use a rolling hitch (which I remember) or a taut-line hitch (similar but I have to look up).
There's considerable confusion over naming versions of this hitch; using Ashley reference numbers help clear the fog.

grog at animated knots said:
Description: The Rolling Hitch Ashley Version 2 (ABOK # 1735, p 298) attaches a rope (usually smaller) to another (usually larger) when the line of pull is almost parallel. To attach a rope to a pole see Version 1 below.

Version 1: However, to secure a rope to a parallel pole, use Ashley's Version 1 (ABOK # 1734, p 298). There is no "tucked second turn". Both of the first two turns are just wound on tightly beside each other. Version 1 grips well on poles and bars but is less secure than Version 2 on rope.

Midshipman's, Taut-Line, and Rolling Hitches: A Midshipman's Hitch (ABOK # 1729, p 296) is created when a rope goes around an object and is then tied back to itself with a Rolling Hitch Version 2 – the version better for rope. This became known as a Taut-Line Hitch and was taught exactly this way in early versions of the Boy Scouts of America Handbooks. Unfortunately, a change was made and Version 1 was substituted – the version better for a pole. So now the "Taut-Line" Hitch being taught employs the less suitable version of the Rolling Hitch, the one better preferred for a pole.

Optimism: To end this confusion I live in hope that the Scouting organizations will abandon the Tautline Hitch and teach instead the better Midshipman's Hitch.
----- Grog, at Rolling Hitch | How to tie the Rolling Hitch and Midshipman's Hitch | Boating Knots


I prefer Ashley's "Midshipman's Hitch" (#1729, p 296, #1855, p 310) -- harder to adjust but more secure on line:

Illustration from Wikipedia:
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/TautlineHitch-ABOK-1799.jpg/550px-TautlineHitch-ABOK-1799.jpg">
 
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