How to Tie Knots Used on Sailboats
Basic Sailing Knots
Because sailing involves many lines (ropes) that you need to tie in various ways for different uses, it is important to know a few basic knots when learning to sail. Here are step-by-step directions for tying a cleat hitch, bowline, clove hitch, and other essential sailing knots.
How to Tie a Bowline
The bowline is among the most commonly used knots on a sailboat. With it, you can tie a line (rope) in a loop around anything else to anchor the line. The bowline is not only strong and secure but is easy to break loose later, even when pulled tight under a load.
How to Tie a Reef Knot
The reef knot is used on sailboats for a temporary knot that can be quickly untied. Like a square knot, a reef knot is used to tie a line in a loop around something. Unlike a square knot, it can released with a quick jerk.
How to Tie an Enhanced Bowline Knot for Slippery Line
Here are the steps for tying an enhanced bowline knot, which is more secure than a regular bowline in slippery, synthetic rope.
Fast, Fancy Way to Tie a Bowline Knot
Here's a different, fun way to tie a bowline that will amaze your friends!
How to Tie a Sheet Bend
The sheet bend is a simple, trustworthy knot used to join the ends of two lines, in effect making one longer line. It works well also with lines or ropes of somewhat different diameters or different types of line. See the steps here for how to tie a sheet bend.
How to Tie a Square Knot
The square knot is commonly used on sailboats. It is used to tie a line in a loop around something or to tie together two lines of the same diameter.
How to Tie a Clove Hitch
A clove hitch is frequently used on boats for securing a line around a rail, post, or other cylindrical structure. It is a secure temporary knot used, for example, to hang fenders on the boat's rails or lifelines. Because it can work loose if there is not continual tension on the line, however, it should be used only in certain situations.
How to Tie a Stop Knot
A stop knot is tied in the end of running rigging on a sailboat to prevent the knot from pulling through a block, cleat, or other gear. A stop knot should hold firm but also be easy to untie when needed. The figure-eight stop knot generally works best.
How to Tie a Taut-Line Hitch
The taut-line hitch is a useful adjustable knot for boating and other activities. It is used to tighten a line tying one thing to another, such as to tie a kayak on top of a vehicle - or anytime on a boat that you may need to tighten or loosen a line. It is also called a tent-pole hitch, rigger's hitch, midshipman's hitch. Learn the steps here for how to tie this hitch.
How to Tie a Cleat Hitch
A cleat hitch is used to tie dock lines to a cleat, to tie an anchor rode to the boat's bow cleat, and to secure other lines on a boat to cleats.
How to Tie a Stevedore's Stop Knot
A stevedore's stop knot is larger than the classic figure-eight stop knot and has many uses on a sailboat. Here are the illustrated steps for how to tie it.