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bowline knot

How to Tie a Bowline Knot & Bowline Knot Uses

Also known as the “King of Knots,” the bowline knot is one of the most utilized knots by outdoorsmen of all kinds.  Along with the sheet bend and the clove hitch, the bowline is often considered one of the most essential knots to know how to tie. 

Today, we will discuss the bowline knot: what it is used for, the best Rope for tying a bowline knot, and how to tie a bowline knot!

What is the Bowline Knot Used For?

The bowline knot can be used for multiple things, including rescue work, climbing, staking tents or tarps, and pulling objects.  It is most often used to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post. 

Since a bowline knot can be tied with one hand, it is a useful knot to know in the event you are injured, and essential if you are using the other hand to hold on to the line or the boat.   Another great aspect of the bowline knot is that it does not slip or bind under a load and can be easily untied when not holding a load.  Two bowlines can also be linked together to join two ropes.

 There are multiple types of bowline knots styles.  According to the Bull Moose Patrol, the bowline knot can be used to create:

  • Running Bowline- Used as a snare, lasso, or fixing the stationary end of a ridgeline or clothesline.
  • Bowline Rope Tackle- Used for securely fastening an object.
  • Bowline Bend- Used to connect two otherwise difficult knots to connect, whether because of size or material.

The bowline knot is not without its shortcomings, though.  The primary downfall of a bowline knot is that it cannot be tied or untied when there is a load on the standing end.  For this reason, a bowline knot should be avoided when a mooring line may have to be released under load.  Another shortcoming of the bowline knot is that when unloaded, it can easily come untied.

3 Steps for How to Tie a Bowline Knot

Step 1: Form a small loop and pass the end through.

Step 2: Continue around the standing end and back through the loop

Step 3: Pull tight to complete!

Best Ropes for Tying a Bowline Knot

The bowline knot rope used in the video is 1/4" Utility Rope: a basic, affordable, all-purpose, and all-weather rope. Many Climbing Ropes, Paracord, Nylon Rope, Dacron Polyester, Polyethylene, and Polyester Ropes are also great for holding knots.  SGT KNOTS has an incredible selection of durable, all-weather, long-lasting ropes perfect for tying all sorts of knots, including the bowline knot.

Stay Connected!

Whether you want to learn Everything To Know About Boat Ropes or simply wish to master how to tie a bowline knot, SGT KNOTS is the best place to find the right rope products and Knot Tutorials!

Be sure to share your bowline knot practice and how you use your bowline knots with us on Facebook (SGT KNOTS Supply Co) and Instagram (@SGTKNOTS), and visit the SGT KNOTS Blog to stay up to date on the latest knot tying and DIY tutorials!

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