Essential Information

Cutty Sark

08 Aug 2016

The ‘King of the Knots’ is a Loop which made its first appearance during the ‘Age of Sail’ in 1627, labelled in the book ‘Seaman’s Grammar’ as the ‘Boling knot’. It is also believed to date back to Ancient Egypt! During an excavation of the Giza Pyramid Complex in 1954, a similar knot was discovered on the rigging of a Solar Ship belonging to Pharaoh Khufu.

The Bowline was traditionally used to prevent square sail from being ‘taken aback’. This means stopping the sail from accidentally going backwards, in the direction of the masts, by holding the edge of the square sail towards the bow (front) of the ship and into the wind. The Bowline is a strong and secure general purpose knot, which doesn’t jam under load and is easy to tie and untie.

Join us in our six step guide and see if you can tie the Bowline!

Step 1: Create a ‘bight’, a loop of rope...

Bowline - Step 1

Step 2: Create a loop inside the bight. The top part of the loop will be your working end and for the following mnemonic the working end will be a rabbit...

Bowline - Step 2

Step 3: The rabbit comes out of the rabbit hole (loop)...

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Step 4: The rabbit goes around the back of the tree (standing end)...

Bowline - Step 4

Step 5: The rabbit sees a fox and goes back into the rabbit hole...

Bowline - Step 5

Step 6: Pull through, only passing through the small loop we created in the bight…

Bowline - Step 6

And there we have it, the Bowline!

Bowline - Step 7

Join us again next week, when we try the Clove Hitch, or have a go at the Figure of Eight