Once you get a piece of rope from the spool and bring it onboard, it has a job to do. You can use the rope as a dock line, a fender whip, or a jib sheet by choosing the correct form, such as a knot, bend, or hitch. These are the three categories that boating knots fall into.
The one tied to a line’s end is called a knot. The second is used to join lines and is called a bend. The third helps you secure your boat’s line to a stanchion, cleat, or piling and is called a hitch.
Now that you know the basics of boating knots, let’s take a look at the top five from all categories:
This is the most common boating knot. It forms a secure noose at the line’s end and can be used to join two lines. Most boaters use the bowline knot because it does not slip and can be untied easily.
Tying a Bowline Knot
Use the working end to make a loop over the standing en. Push the former end through the loop, behind and around the standing end, and then back into the loop. Pull tightly to close the knot. Bend it down and turn the knot to untie it.
A hitch is used to tie lines together or to a pile. It will hold tightly and untie easily and quickly.
- Half Hitch
A half hitch secures an object by tying a line around it. It also helps bear loads and can be used with other hitches for security.
Tying a Half Hitch
Tie a loop around an object and pass the rope’s end through the loop and around the standing end to tighten the knot.
In sailing terms, the word bend means “to join.” It is used to join two lines.
- Sheet Bend
A sheet bend is used to join lines of different sizes.
Tying a Sheet Bend
Make a loop on the line and hold it loose. Pass the other end through the loop, behind the working end. Push it behind the standing end next and tuck the first line under itself.
The clove hitch helps secure fenders to a lifeline or toerail. It can be adjusted to lower or raise a fender.
Tying a Clove Hitch
Loop the line around a pole. Take the standing end and loop it a second time. Push the end under itself and tighten.
Figure Eight Knot
This is a stopper knot that helps prevents a line from slipping away.
Tying a Figure Eight Knot
Form a loop by passing the line’s tail over itself. Continue around the standing end by pushing the line under and around. Pass the through the loop and down to tighten.
You are probably wondering why you need to learn these boating knots when you can easily tie your boat with a simple one you have known all your life. A boat is much heavier than some of the other moving objects. If you tie the wrong knot, it might loosen from the mooring, causing an unwanted event.
The main purpose of the knot is to attach it to a cleat or hook. Your reason behind it is what helps you decide on the knot type. For example, you will use a hitch knot if you are in a hurry and simply want to check something while your boat is docked.
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