May 18, 2021

Two Knots Every Boater Should Know

Important Boat Knots

(Source: Ride The Ducks of Seattle)

Knowing how to secure your boat to a dock is upon one of the first things you should learn as you become a boater. There are a plethora of knots you could research and learn, but there are only two that will be used on a daily basis. In today’s world there are dock lines that are pre-manufactured to have a loop made into the line, therefore eliminating a step in the process. Those lines are useful when doing the Cleat Hitch Knot, but are not to be used for a Bowline Knot. Therefore to be on the smarter side, make sure to have plenty of regular dock lines on board your vessel to be able to do lots of different knot variations!

The two different types of knots are the Cleat Hitch Knot and the Bowline Knot. These knots will ensure your boat is never leaving the dock. So gather up your line and practice following these directions and you will be ready to tie-up your boat in no-time. 

Cleat Hitch Knot 

This type of knot is generally used for tying a line to a cleat on the vessel or dock. This knot holds the line under tension and keeps the boat from drifting aimlessly in the water.

Step 1: Wrap the line in a full circle around the base of the cleat.

Step 2: Then use the line to do a figure 8 loop around the two ends of the cleat.

Step 3: To secure the knot with the remainder of the end of the line do a half of a figure 8 loop. and wrap on top of one end of the cleat then pull tight.

Refer to the image below for a visual explanation of the steps. 

(Source: Marina Reservation)

Bowline Knot

This knot is one of the most useful knots you can know because it forms a secure knot in the line that will not jam or come undone. The purpose of this knot is to make a large or small knot at the end of a line, allowing for immense tension to be placed on it. 

You will need your free hand to do this or it can easily be done on a flat surface.

Step 1: With the line facing down, cross one end over the other making a small circle in the line, making sure the end of the line is facing down.

Step 2: With the free end thread through the center of that small circle, make sure to not pull the line tight leaving slack in the line.

Step 3: Wrap the line you just threaded through around the hanging (top) end of the line, then thread throw the circle again. The end of the line should be facing down. 

Step 4: You can tighten the knot by pulling opposites of the line. 

Refer to the image below for a visual explanation of the steps. 

(Source: Marina Reservation)


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