Every boater will use some sort of knot each time they go boating. The most common likely being a half hitch to tie the boat to the dock. All knots are not created equal however. Knowing how to tie a some of the most common knots and understanding why and when to use them can add a level of competency and safety to any boater.
The bowline is perhaps one of the most universal knots to a boater. It is primarily used to make a fixed loop, usually in the end of a rope which is most commonly used to attach the rope to an item. Its quite often used to attach mooring lines to a boat and can even be used to attach two ropes together. The bowline’s strength is that it will not slip under a heavy load and will in fact tighten yet is always east to untie. Its strength is its biggest weakness in that it cannot be untied with tension on it and if the knot is not under a load it can come untied through movement or vibration. Given its strengths, the bowline is probably the most useful and universal knot in a boaters bag of tricks.
Double Half Hitch
Two half hitches (or more) is probably the most well known and commonly used knot for tying aboat to a dock. It is most effective when combiled with a round turn which is one wrap aroundthe object that it is being tied to prior to tying the half hitch. This round turn take up most of theforce put on the rope allowing for easier tying and will prevent the hitches from over tighteningor slipping. A half hitch is really just a clove hitch around the standing end of the rope and careshould be taken to ensure that the hitches are tied in the same direction.Written by Neil Gagne