Learning to Tie Knots

Seamanship is an art which involves a myriad of physical skills and mental preparation. By preparing yourself with the knowledge of multiple knots you will never be caught off guard. 

Sailing is an pastime which involves ropes of many kinds including lines and sheets. The lines are tied to things and around things and on other lines and more. Over the course of centuries sailors have created hundreds of knots each of which serve a special purpose. 

The best thing about sailing knots is their versatility. They can be used almost anywhere and are not exclusive to sailing. But when you are sailing it is good to know a great many kinds of knots because you never know when one will be needed. You never know when you may need to tie two lines together or tighten the line tension on an existing line. 

After you have cut a piece of rope from the spool, bring it onto your boat, and give it a job, it becomes a working line. Whatever the job might be—whether it is a dockline or a fender whip or a jibsheet—there is a knot or bend that is ideal for the task. 

Tying Knots

Knots fall into one of three categories. The first category is knots which are tied onto the end of a line. These are called “knots” quite plainly and include such types as the stopper knot and the bowline knot. The second category is those which are used to tie two lines together, and these are called “bends”. Some of the most popular bends include the sheet bend. The reason being, “bend” means “join” in sailor jargon. The third and final category is those knots used to secure a line to a stanchion, cleat, or piling. These are referred to as “hitches”. 

Sailing Knots

If you did not learn these knots as a young child, don’t fret. You will be able to master them quickly. The key is to know what the final product should look like, and to practice over and over until you can produce the final product with your eyes closed. 

Bowline Knots

This is the most useful knot used on a sailboat. This is a knot which forms a noose that is fixed at the end of your line. It cannot slip nor can it run. It is most commonly used to connect two lines or to secure sheets to the clew of your headsail. The biggest benefit to using the bowling knot is that it does not matter how tight it becomes after it has been loaded for a while because it will still be simple and easy to untie.


There is a ditty which is used to remember how to tie a bowline. It goes as follows: “The rabbit appears out of the hole; then he goes around the tree, and jumps back into his hole”

In this instance the rabbit to which the ditty is referring is the working end of your line. The hole and the tree both make the standing end. In order to finish off the knot you want to pull it hard at the tree and the ears of the rabbit simultaneously so that the shape of your knot does not become deformed.

To untie it you should turn your knot over and break the back of it through a downward bend.

In other words to tie:

  1. Form a closed loop with your line so that the working end goes over the standing end

  2. Pass your working end through your loop and then back behind the standing end

  3. Then take the working end and bring it back over your loop

  4. Pull the knot tightly

To untie:

  1. Turn your knot over and break the back of it by bending it with a downward motion. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practicing your knots over and over is the best way to master them whether it’s a bowline or any other type of knot. But when you are done with your sailing lessons and you’ve mastered different knots you can practice other things over and over like online gambling. In order to truly master any game whether it is your favorite card games like poker or blackjack, or your favorite slot games, you have to practice. With online gambling sites you have the opportunity to practice more often for less of a monetary investment compared to practicing in a traditional casino. You can take advantage of things like signup bonuses, or an instant online casino bonus, welcome bonuses, and deposit bonuses to give you more bankroll with which to practice. 


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