nœud de capelage jury rig mast knot
is it only ornamental or utilitarian ( with secondary evolution to  ornamental) ?


PS. Mid-August I got that from FCB

[begin quote] …Fun book presently reading … "POSH" by M Quinion. All about 
origin of English words and phrases, particularly the ones that have been explained 
wrongly by amateurs, journalists etc. 
One of interest is "jury rigged". Author states that most likely source is Old French 
ajurie---- "aid, assistance". He goes on to say the term Jerry Built or Jerry Made is 
probably a corruption of the phrase. Very thorough scholarship, but not without a 
lot of humour--- just my sort of book.
[end quote] 

Right it is. 

Ajurie is an Old Medieval French (10th century and after) word coming from Latin 
In French we have - ‘adjuvant’ ( that which help ) which in the 14th was an adjective, 
becoming a noun in the 19th - - adjudant ( noun ) which in the 17th was an ‘aide-canonnier’ 
spell adjudan without the ‘t’, being a century later, with the end ‘t’ un ‘aide-de camp’ - - - - - - - - - - - -

Writing of Tasmania makes me recall an Australian : Richard H. GRAVES who in
Knots And Lashings
(1952 in The Bushcraft handbook series )  p 7 give 2 small drawings , of Jury Knot or 
True Lover's Knot :

[begin quote]" This knot is primarily for a mast head, to form loops by means of which the 
mast may be stayed. It is called a jury knot because in sailing ship days it was often used 
to rig a temporary or jury mast. ....."
[End quote]

This man who is presented as having been seconded to American Air force as Commanding 
Officer of Australian Jungle Survival & Rescue Detachment seems to be pretty affirmative. 
Top of the head or validated knowledge ? 
For the sake of Waltzing Mathilda and Banjo Patterson I will opt for the later. 
Fair dinkum mate!


Added when the very end of September was there.

Joe Schmidbauer of Igkt-PAB kindly remarked :
[begin quote] I was surprised that you did not include 'The Encyclopedia of Knots
and Fancy Rope Work' by Raoul Graumont (a Frenchman!) and John Hensel in
your list of Jury Mast Knots.  See page 75, plate 31, figure 132 for a 'Rigged Jury
Mast Knot'. "
[End quote]

Right Joe is, though I own one copy of that title I tend to regard it as only a
stupendous collection of "pretty pictures" with not enough details given in the text.
Just as I would in front of a huge collection of butterflies with on the label
" Big red butterfly", "Medium blue butterfly", " small black butterfly" but with no
 indication of date of and place of capture, place in the classification, habitat,  and so on.
Nevertheless not one to let go a good tip I went foraging : there is what is already 
pointed to by Joe but also  Figure 43-A to  44-B on plate 24 and a mention of
 Fig-49  in plate 25.
Illustration indicated by Joe is the best of all in my view.

I then decided to add the post 2000 publications  that either I had ( Lindsey PHILPOTT's)
at the time of my little detective work  or have acquired since ( Gordon PERRY's).

Gordon PERRY in Knots ( 2002 ) write p 187
"To make a guy or stay attachment for a temporary mast- Jury mast knot p 200" with
p 200  and 201 some pretty images of a 3 loops one with this comment " This knot
makes an ideal point to secure three or four lines or stay to a temporary mast. The knot
only provides attachment points for guy lines, it is not capable of gripping the mast.
Therefore it should be secured to the mast above an existing fixing - such as a horizontal yard ( or cross tree), a transom square lashed or in a groove cut into the mast - so that it will not slide down the mast when in use. Guy ropes or stays can be attached to the loops with a Sheet Bend ( p.44). If a fourth stay or guy line is required, make another loop by tying the two working ends together with a Fisherman's knot (p 47)."

Lindsey PHILPOTT's books I had consulted at  the time but did not make note of the fact.
In Knots - A Complete Guide  (2004), Jury mast knot p 39 classed in the "loops".
A detailed photographic sequence of "how to " with some explicative words beside each of the 7 vignettes is provided. 
The introductory paragraph state :
" A life-saver at sea in an emergency, the Jury Mast Knot may be used simply to replace a fitting at the head of the mast that will normally receive the shrouds and the stays.
When a mast is broken and has to be re stepped on deck, this knot form the attaching
loops and a fourth set of lines for the remaining stay when tightened  around the head
of the new or replacement spar.

As a decorative knot it can readily be formed from this simple method. The knot is know as a Pitcher Knot when it is used to hold and carry a jar or a pitcher"

Considering that G. PERRY was Royal Navy ( U.K) and Lindsey is a Captain fully
licensed by the US Coast Guard we landlubbers can only surmise that they know what
they write about from in the flesh or rather in the rope experience, just as Eric TABARLY is said to  have.

At least this little addition will provide an easy opportunity to those two gentlemen knotter to step in the discussion and enlighten us.

Here are some historical ship model  from the 17th 18th c Royal Collections  -
state is 'original' ' and when, they do restoration it is with the most exacting
precision and historical veracity ) that show how spare masts were disposed
on board and along the hull too..
Ship 1    Ship 2     Ship 3     Ship 4

2006 Sept 29th
French saying  : " every thing comes in time to the one who know how to wait for it "
This morning in my mail box : a manuscript letter from Le Chasse-Marée answering  
'question 1850 '.
It  is with a card with the heading of Le Chasse Marée but comes from M. RAMOGER on unmarked paper from the Mediterranean part of France (?).
Here goes the translation :
[begin quote] You seem to know much more than I do about this knot.
I have never seen it used in my 37 years at sea, be it either in fishing or merchant navy, or in pleasure cruising. The only book in my possession that evokes it is a small book published by les Editions Maritimes et Coloniales ( 1958 - 2nd edition) title
"70 noeuds épîssures et amarrages de marine"
, without author's name. ....
there goes a quote of what is said ...
Le Manuel Du Manoeuvrier by La Marine Nationale ( 1938 edition) does not evoke it. "
[End quote]

I own a copy of this book, a fond memory, it is the very first book about knots that I bought.
It is a  compilation  of drawings and words.
The quote is just taking words from Le Manuel Du Gabier.
That was why it did not get a place on my list.

2006, October 4th
This contribution kindly came from Joe SCHMIDBAUER ( Editor "Knots News" PAB publication )

[Begin quoting]

...As I worked with your notes I became very interested in the subject and I looked into my own library to see if there where any other quotes.  I did not search every volume in my collection (see attached list) but I did look through quite a few.  It seems that, generally, the older works do not include it and many of the modern ones (as you said) just repeat the same information but in a slightly different way. I have attached a short selection for your amusement. ...

Handbook of Seaman’s Ropework [Handbook I Sjömansarbete] by San Svensson

Forward, Page 8 “In the old days the seaman who had a thorough knowledge of the
complicated rigging of the deep-water sailing ships, who knew all about knots and hitches revealed his skill by always unhesitatingly making the correct hitch in the right place. 
The hitches he used were always simple and effectively functional.  The unusual, complicated hitches have never had a place at sea, but like the incorrectly drawn items in the books they have long been associated with the seaman and he will never be able to escape from them. 
He does, however, like to play with them and is amused by their intricate uselessness. 
No seaman has ever used the English (or is it the Turkish?) sack knot, but everyone enjoys the story of the bosun who entered the circus arena and used a Sack Knot to tie the hands of the escapologist, who had to admit defeat after an hour’s exertion.  Some author’s who laboriously try to find a use for this knot claim that it is used to carry bottles – which is probably true.  The so-called Greenland Hitch also belongs in this category. 
It is found in all the books on the subject, but no seaman has ever used it for the prescribed purpose.  The Top-Hitch, which with intricate turns pulls out bights tens of fathoms long on a large rope to serve as backstays or stays for an emergency mast, also belongs here.”

Modern Rope Seamanship by Colin Jarman and Bill Beavis

Page 26 shows how to make a ‘Jury or Masthead Knot’ and page 27 shows a “Jury Knot - in use”.  “In the unhappy event of finding yourself dismasted at sea you are faced with the problem of setting up a jury mast.  The most useful knot for this purpose is the jury or masthead knot, both of which names describe its function, since it is placed at the masthead to form the band to which the stays and shrouds of the jury mast are secured.”

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots and Ropework by Geoffrey Budworth

Page 212 “With its three adjustable loops, this knot’s day job was once to rig a makeshift (jury) mast in a boat.  Each of the loops and the two ends made attachment points for the necessary shrouds and stays in order to steady and support it.  Nowadays, it is reduced to celebrity appearances as a knot tyer’s party piece.”

[End quoting]