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The Top 5 Most Commonly Used Knots for Boating.


Here are the top 5 most commonly used knots for boating & a step-by-step instruction on how to tie the knots.



  • Bowline Knot: This knot forms a secure loop that won't slip or jam, making it great for hoisting sails, securing lines, and rescuing someone who has fallen overboard.

Step 1: Make a small loop at the end of the rope, with the working end of the rope (the long part) on top.

Step 2: Pass the working end of the rope through the loop from behind and then around the standing part of the rope.

Step 3: Bring the working end back through the loop and tighten the knot.

  • Cleat Hitch: This knot is used to secure a line to a cleat, typically when tying up to a dock or anchoring.

Step 1: Wrap the line around the base of the cleat, crossing over itself on top.

Step 2: Take the working end of the line and wrap it around the opposite horn of the cleat.

Step 3: Cross the working end over the first wrap and then tuck it under itself.

Step 4: Finish by making a half-hitch around the horn closest to the first wrap.

  • Clove Hitch: This knot is quick and easy to tie, and can be used for temporarily securing a line or for tying up to a post or tree on shore.

Step 1: Wrap the line around the object you want to tie to.

Step 2: Cross the working end of the line over the standing part of the line.

Step 3: Wrap the working end around the object again and cross it over the standing part once more.

Step 4: Tuck the working end under itself and tighten the knot.

  • Figure Eight Knot: This knot is used to secure the end of a line and prevent it from slipping through a ring or a block. It's also useful for stopping a rope from running out of a knot.

Step 1: Form a loop in the end of the rope.

Step 2: Bring the end of the rope up through the loop.

Step 3: Loop the rope around and back down through the original loop.

Step 4: Pull the knot tight.

  • Reef Knot: This knot is used to tie two lines together, particularly when reefing sails or tying packages. It is a simple and secure knot that is easy to tie and untie.

Step 1: Tie a basic knot by crossing the two lines over each other and tucking the working end of one line under and over the other line.

Step 2: Take the other line and tuck it under and over the first line in the opposite direction.

Step 3: Pull both lines to tighten the knot.

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