Bowline Knot Loop | Climbing Knots | Encyclopedia of Knots
Knots for Climbing Arborist and Hiking
Bowline Knot. How to tie a Bowline Loop
Knot in details.
In this video I am showing the Classic
Bowline Loop Knot in details include slow motion part of tying you
can follow for.
Bowline knot makes a reasonably secure loop in the end of the rope.
It has many uses such as fastening a mooring line to a post or a
rig. Bowline knot does not slip or bind under load . If no load
applied it could be untied easily.
The bowline (/ˈboʊlɪn/ or /ˈboʊlaɪn/) is an ancient and simple knot
used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope. It has the virtues
of being both easy to tie and untie; most notably, it is easy to
untie after being subjected to a load. The bowline is sometimes
referred as King of the knots because of its importance. It is one
of the four basic maritime knots (the other three are figure-eight
knot, reef knot and clove hitch).
The structure of the bowline is identical to that of the sheet bend,
except the bowline forms a loop in one rope and the sheet bend joins
two ropes. Along with the sheet bend and the clove hitch, the
bowline is often considered one of the most essential knots.
Although generally considered a reliable knot, its main deficiencies
are a tendency to work loose when not under load, to slip when
pulled sideways and the bight portion of the knot to capsize in
certain circumstances. To address these shortcomings, a number of
more secure variations of the bowline have been developed for use in
The bowline's name has an earlier meaning, dating to the age of
sail. On a square-rigged ship, a bowline (sometimes spelled as two
words, bow line) is a rope that holds the edge of a square sail
towards the bow of the ship and into the wind, preventing it from
being taken aback. A ship is said to be on a "taut bowline" when
these lines are made as taut as possible in order to sail
close-hauled to the wind.
The bowline knot is thought to have been first mentioned in John
Smith's 1691 work A Sea Grammar under the name Boling knot. Smith
considered the knot to be strong and secure, saying, "The Boling
knot is also so firmly made and fastened by the bridles into the
cringles of the sails, they will break, or the sail split before it
Another possible finding was discovered on the rigging of the
Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu's solar ship during an excavation in
The bowline is used to make a loop at one end of a line. It is tied
with the rope's working end also known as the "tail" or "end". The
loop may pass around or through an object during the making of the
knot. The knot tightens when loaded at (pulled by) the standing part
of the line.
The bowline is commonly used in sailing small craft, for example to
fasten a halyard to the head of a sail or to tie a jib sheet to a
clew of a jib. The bowline is well known as a rescue knot for such
purposes as rescuing people who might have fallen down a hole, or
off a cliff onto a ledge. They would put it around themselves and
sit on the loop. This makes it easy to heft them up away from
danger. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends the bowline
knot for tying down light aircraft
A rope with a bowline retains approximately 2/3 of its strength,
with variances depending upon the nature of the rope, as in practice
the exact strength depends on a variety of factors.
In the United Kingdom, the knot is listed as part of the training
objectives for the Qualified Firefighter Assessment. Tying:
A mnemonic used to teach the tying of the bowline is to imagine the
end of the rope as a rabbit, and where the knot will begin on the
standing part, a tree trunk. First a loop is made near the end of
the rope, which will act as the rabbit's hole. Then the "rabbit"
comes up the hole, goes round the tree right to left, then back down
the hole. This can be taught to children with the rhyme: "Up through
the rabbit hole, round the big tree; down through the rabbit hole
and off goes he." An alternative "lightning method" can also be used
Instead of presenting here some kind of
animation knot, pictures or videos inconvenient for reproducing the
knot (as some websites do) we provide demonstration of tying knots
using YouTube videos directly by hands. Videos are taking with such
angle that viewer is experiencing a full presence in tying process
and can actually repeat the creation of the knot by his/her own
hands. In many cases we are forming the Knot using colored ropes for
better understanding and memorizing of the way how fancy rope work
was done. In videos (such as "Fishing Knots Under 30 seconds) we are
also demonstrating tying knots in slow motion inviting viewer tying
knot together with us.