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Figure 8 (Flemish) Knot

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Boating Index Boating Usage

Alpine Butterfly Bend Alpine Butterfly Loop Anchor Hitch Ashley Stopper Knot Bowline Bowline on a Bight Bowline, Running Buntline Hitch Carrick Bend Chain Splice Cleat Hitch (Deck) Cleat Hitch (Halyard) Clove Hitch (Half Hitches) Constrictor (Twisting) Double O'hand Stopper EStar Stopper Knot Eye Splice Figure 8 Icicle Hitch (Loop) Halyard Hitch Heaving Line Knot Lighterman's Hitch Midshipman's Hitch Pile Hitch Rat-Tail Stopper Rolling Hitch Round Turn & Hitches Soft Shackle Soft Shackle Edwards Trucker's Hitch Stevedore Stopper Zeppelin Bend

Knot Terminology Knot & Rope Safety Rope Properties Contact
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Figure 8 (Flemish) Knot Tying

Pass the tail over itself to form a loop. Continue under and around the standing end. Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop.

Figure 8 (Flemish) Knot Details

Uses: The Figure 8 (ABOK # 570, p 95.) provides a quick and convenient stopper knot to prevent a line sliding out of sight, e.g., up inside the mast. Its virtue is that, even after it has been jammed tightly against a block, it doesn't bind; it can be undone easily. This virtue is also, occasionally, a vice. The figure 8 can fall undone and then has to be retied.

Overhand Knot
Overhand Knot

Overhand Knot

Comparison: The Figure 8 should be compared to other common stopper knots. It is much better than the simple Overhand Knot which is smaller and can bind so tightly that it can be really difficult to undo. However, the Double Overhand Knot, the Stevedore, and the Ashley Stopper Knot, all make better Stopper knots because they are larger and more stable. For slippery ropes the EStar Stopper is the best.

Climbing: For climbing, where safety is paramount, the Double Overhand is the preferred Stopper knot. However, the Figure 8 is important to climbers because it is the basis for tying the Figure 8 Bend (Rope Join), the Figure 8 Loop Follow Through, and the Double Figure 8 Loop.

Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.

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Updated March 8, 2014

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