There are hundreds of sailing knots for different purposes. Here are three of the most important ones.
The bowline is for tying a loop in the rope that can easily be undone when the tension is taken off the rope. It is called a bowline as it is often used for tying a loop in a mooring line and tying the bow of the boat to the dock. • Firstly do a half twist of the rope to make a small loop. • Take the end of the rope and pass it up the loop, back around the longer length of rope, and back down
Some people remember this knot by forming the loop and saying the end of the rope is a rabbit. The rabbit goes out of its hole, around the tree and down the hole again’. In following the rabbit’s route you should remember the bowline every time!
This is a quick knot for tying a rope to a larger objector line. You may want to tie a fender to the side of the boat for example. • Firstly, lie the rope over the top of the object. • Pass it underneath and to the left of the rope on top, back over the rope on top and underneath to the right of the rope, going over it this time. • You will see a figure of eight shape • pass the end of the rope under the cross of the 8 to finish the knot.
The Cleat Hitch
The cleat hitch is generally for tying a line to a cleat. The cleat is for holding a line under tension. • Firstly, do a full turn with the rope around the bottom of the cleat. • Then do a figure of 8 on top. • To lock the knot, tuck the loose end of the rope under the top cross of the 8 you have just made.