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Sheepshank is a type of knot.

Canonical Name: sheepshank.
Variant Name(s): None.

Category: bend.
Origin: Ancient.
Related knots:
Releasing: Non-jamming. Holds shape under tension but may fall apart if the tension is removed.
Efficiency: 46%.
Caveat: spills if not under tension from both ends.
Uses: The main uses of the knot are (in decreasing order of usefulness):


The knot is constructed as follows:

The result is a flattened loop which is held at each end by a half hitch. If the sides of the flattened loop are pulled away from each other, the flattened loop ends pull out of the half hitches and the knot falls apart, but if the free ends are pulled taut then the knot remains secure.

This knot is extremely useful for tying loads down such as on a trailer or truck. The knot has two features which make it invaluable here:

The last of these attributes is invaluable. Other knots will bind tightly and be almost impossible to undo if the knot has been placed under great tension. This wastes time, rope and tempers when trying to unload when a load has been delivered. The sheepshank by contrast will fall apart immediately.

Typical use in tying down a load on a truck is:

For securing loads in this way, only 3 types of knot are required: