Boating Knots

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by dudlbugr, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Have seen a lot of talk about boating knots, and thought I'd find some good info on these useful tools.

    Two Half Hitches
    This reliable knot is quickly tied and is the hitch most often used in mooring. To tie:

    Pass end of rope around post or other object.
    Wrap short end of rope under and over long part of rope, pushing the end down through the loop. This is a half hitch.
    Repeat on long rope below first half hitch and draw up tight.


    Bowline
    This knot doesn't jam or slip when tied properly. It will slip, but you've got to get dangerously close to the breaking point of a rope to do it. To tie:

    Make the overhand loop with the end held toward you, then pass end through loop.
    Now pass end up behind the standing part, then down through the loop again.
    Draw up tight.

    Figure Eight
    This knot is ideal for keeping the end of a rope from running out of tackle or pulley. It is also ideal for keeping rope from unravelling. To tie:

    Make underhand loop, bringing end around and over the standing part.
    Pass end under, then up through the loop.
    Draw up tight.


    Square Knot
    This knot is used at sea in reefing and furling sails. It can also be used to tie 2 lines of similar diameter together, but once it has been under tension, you will likely need a knife wrench to undo it. To tie:

    Pass left and over and under right end. Curve what is now the left end toward the right and cross what is now the right end over and under the left.
    Draw up tight.


    Anchor Bend
    This knot is used to secure a rope or a line to an anchor. To tie:

    Pass two loops through ring.
    Place free end around standing line.
    Pass free end through loops.
    Complete by making half hitch.


    Clove Hitch
    This knot is the "general utility" hitch for when you need a quick, simple method of fastening a rope around a post, spar or stake. To tie:

    Make a turn with the rope around the object and over itself.
    Take a second turn with the rope around the object.
    Pull the end up under the second turn so it is between the rope and the object. Tighten by pulling on both ends.

    Sheep Shank
    This is useful in shortening a piece of rope, or bypassing a bad spot in rope. To tie: (couldn't find this one on the web, so I'm writing it out myself)
    Lay the rope out flat.
    Make 3 loops in the rope, side by side, with the crossings all on top.

    Take the left side of the center loop, pass it over the right side of the left loop, and under the left side of the left loop.

    Take the right side of the center loop, pass it under the left side of the right loop, and over the right side of the right loop.
    Pull the ends, both standing and working, tight.

    What this essentially does is puts half hitches around the center loop, which shortens the rope. If tied properly, all 3 sections of rope between the half hitches will be the same length, and will therefore share the load.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

  3. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Thanks, T-Dawg. For those interested, the first link posted above shows a sheep shank in a much clearer fashion than my convoluted writing does!
    :0a31:
     
  4. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Good information, Reb & Tony.
     
  5. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Good post Reb!!!!I've owned and lived on a sailboat in the Fla.Keys and I used all those knots at one time or another.
     
  6. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,328
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Depending on the type of line used for a square you can push the ends together to loosen and untie that way you do not have to cut it.
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    A word of caution about square knots. Once they have been under a great deal of pressure, they aren't likely to come loose, but if you use them in a situation where only a moderate amount of pressure is applied, then pressure removed, then reapplied, loosened, etc., it's possible for the knot to come loose. I had that happen to me while I was climbing out of a 150' deep pit, and had to find a place to hang on the rocks while I repaired the knots. To make sure that a square knot doesn't come loose, either use a vehicle to pull it supertight, or lash the free ends of the knot with some old braided fishing line.
     
  8. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Good point, Jerry. If you want to be able to untie your knots, your best bet is to tie a bowline. Examine the knot, and find where a loop over the main line forms a "U". You should be able to push the "U" back away from the knot and loosen it quite easily. If I'm adding a short piece of rope to my anchor rope, I'll use a square knot, and tighten it down as tight as I can. If I'm connecting 2 pieces of longer rope, I'll often use 2 bowlines connected to one another. I've untied bowlines that have had several tons applied directly to them under water for several weeks come untied with just my fingers, but they will knot come untied by themselves. Or at least, I've never seen them do it. I have seen them slip once or twice, but once the rope was greasy, and once there was too much force involved (about 14 tons).
     
  9. charliedog

    charliedog New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    New Albany, Indiana
    A knot that I learned in the Navy that i have used every since is the double carrick bend knot. Though used primarily on very heavy rope it works on even small cord. After you tie it just lash the tang ends parallel to the main lines with any small cord. I usually just give a couple of wraps of electrical tape. This knot will not tighten all the way past the breaking point. Try it and you will be impressed at how easy it is to untie.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
    i seen people dock their boats and simply give a tug to free the docking lines,is that any of these knots or is it something different?

    Guess it wouldn't be much of a knot but something i definitely would like to learn.It seems to hold the boats securely at the dock and comes undone with lil or no effort.
     
  11. charliedog

    charliedog New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    New Albany, Indiana
    I would recommend using a mooring hitch for a temporary tie off. It is more secure than a slippery hitch. It will not slip under tension but will release easilly with a pull on the free end. Caution this is a temporary knot and I wouldn't trust it for a long time tie off.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Charlie, Is the mooring hitch sorta like the mexican (or spanish) bowline, with a loop in the free end pushed thru, rather than the free end itself? Looks sorta like it...
     
  13. charliedog

    charliedog New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    New Albany, Indiana
    Yeah, pretty much, similar but different. The Spanish bowline is a double splayed loop knot. The Mexican bowline is a single loop knot. It appears that there are three versions of this knot. the end method, left handed loop, and right handed loop. They are all formed with a combination of loops and and pulling a bight (open loop) back through the loop. With the mooring hitch you form a loop in the working end and pull a bight from the standing end through the loop. Then pull a bight from the working end back through the bight you just formed from the standing end. With a pull of the tag end the knot will pull right out.
     
  14. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,328
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Charlie what did you do in the Navy I just Retired as an Sonar Tech so alot of the knots we used also.
     
  15. charliedog

    charliedog New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    New Albany, Indiana
    Gary, I started out as an A-Ganger (Auxillaryman) then cross rated to Electricians Mate
     
  16. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,328
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Wow from a snipe to a Twidget didnt know that happened LOL
     
  17. tmuenster

    tmuenster New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    South Dakota
    Charlie and Gary,

    Good to hear there are some fellow NavVets on the board. I began my career as a Builder with Seabees and was retired this past summer as an O-3 Surface Warfare Officer. How is that for cross rate training? I never ran into another SeaBee at sea! ST’s and EM’s are ok in my book. The A-gang is the second hardest working group at sea next to First Division.  As a former First Lieutenant and Electrical Officer aboard a Strike Destroyer, I can attest to the fact the tax payers are getting their money’s worth with Navy personnel. The hours at sea are arduous and extensive.

    All the knots mentioned in this thread are excellent. If I had to choose one as the best all-around and most useful it would be the bowline. In First Division, a group of shipboard personnel who perform duties on deck such as mooring and other line handling evolutions, this knot is used extensively. I cannot image owning a boat without knowing how to tie this knot.

    Go Navy,
    Tom