Fundamental and uncomplicated knots!

Published on 23 november 2017 at 0h00

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Sure, on board a performance multihull like this Outremer 5X, a lot of exotic ropes and professional ropework ... but for the sheets, the bowline is in charge! 

One end of the rope is all you need to learn, on deck or at home!


This is a star among knots. Even when not very tight, it remains secure. The bowline can withstand the strongest tension and then still be undone easily - hence its multiple uses: sheets, halyards, mooring, extending lines (one bowline joined to another bowline). The hardest part is to make the “hole” in the right direction.  The mnemonic trick: the rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree (be careful, the roots grow underneath) and then back down the hole again.

The bowline in pictures

A round turn and two half-hitches

Behind this rather complicated-sounding name lies an ultra-simple and, above all, instinctive knot - no risk of getting it wrong after a first try. The round turn is very useful for stopping a heavy load - when coming alongside for example. You make the two half-hitches next, once the tension is lower. This knot can be used for everything: mooring the dinghy, fixing the fenders on the guardwires (it replaces the traditional clove hitch, the two half-hitches just follow on). Like the bowline, it is easy to undo. An old sailors’ adage: “a round turn and two half-hitches has never let go”

The round turn and two half-hitches in pictures 


This knot serves only one purpose - it’s a ...

This article appeared in issue 157. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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