Tying a Bowline Knot
The Bowline has been called the King of Knots. It's probably the first knot that you learn if you take a sailing course. I use it in many places. It ties my painter onto the ring at the bow of my boat. A bowline secures a line on the clew of my Tanzer 22 keel boat mainsail so I can pull it out tight. It's a nice all purpose knot that can be untied if it's not been tightened for too long. The loop doesn't tighten after the knot is tied.
My father taught me the knot using the story of the otter. The loop is a pond and the line going towards the top is a tree. The working end of the line is the otter. The otter is swimming underwater and comes out of the pond, walks around the tree and slips back into the water.
The bowline can come loose if there is no tension on the knot and the rope is slippery. If I'm worried I will use a double bowline.
It's possible to tie a bowline without having access to the ends. It makes a couple of loops in a line that don't slide and can be used to attach a block or other bit. It's then called a Bowline on a Bight
In the unlikely event that a stronger knot is required, a Double Bowline can be used
Some of my Knot Pages
- The Anchor Bend Knot
- Bowline, The Must Know Knot
- Bowline on a bight, how to tie a bowline if you don't have the ends.
- Double Bowline, is more secure and thicker than a traditional bowline
- Cleat Hitch It's surprising how many people can't tie this knot properly
- Constrictor Knots make it a point of being difficult to untie. It's their job!
- Highwayman's Hitch makes it a point of being easy to untie, good for a quick hitch at the dock or where you need to get it undone fast
- Reef Knots are used to reef sails, otherwise they are very unreliable.
- Rolling Hitch A useful knot that can be tied on another line to pull some slack so you can untie a knot or untangle a winch line.
- Sheet Bend joins 2 ropes together
- The Stopper Knot stops a knot from running out of a cleat. 2 styles
- Truckers Hitch helps tighten a rope around a canoe on a car or on a trailer.
- Farmer's Loop Similar to the Trucker's hitch, easy to tie.
- Round Turn and two half hitches a useful multipurpose knot
- The Fireman's coil keeps your coiled rope from getting tangled.
- Buntline Hitch, a very old knot that has found a new life with modern slippery rope