To avoid being 'that guy or gal' who can't tie knots we thought it may be a good idea to produce a short blog post on the three knots boaties and in particular jet ski owners should all know and why/when they should use them.
Things to note about tieing knots; All knots act according to the type of line or rope they are being tied with. For example a bowline maybe easy to undo when tied using a synthetic moring line, but maybe near impossible to under after pressure was applied using a non-stretch water skiing rope.
1: The bowline
The bowline is a sailers best friend and is also used throughout rock climbing and other high demand activities. The bowline is great because it doesn't need a 3rd party object (Rail, mooring cleat, pole or other) to attach to. The core straight to the bowline is the fact that creates a loop that is relatively easy to undo after it has been under extream tension, which is unlike almost all other common looping knots.
When would you use it:
- Anywhere you need a loop
- Joining lines together
2: Clove hitch
The clove hitch, unlike the bowline, will need a 3rd party object to be used to complete the knot. With the clove hitch, the knot uses the tension applied to the line to gain a better purchase on the object. "The harder you pull on the rope the tighter the knot gets." The catch is here if the rope has been pulled extremely tight then it can be hard to undo the clove hitch depending on the type of rope.
The clove hitch is extremely quick to tie off but without pressure on the ongoing line, it will loosen.
When you use it:
- Tieing off bummpers at a pontoon
- Tieing off a mooring to the railing on a pontoon
- Hanging or suspending an object from a rail.
3: Reef knot
The reef knot is our best friend when we want to join line together and we have a little line to work with. The reef knot can join to indifferent types of rope/line or it can join the same kind of line, but the thickness has to remain relatively similar. This knot can look very similar to a granny knot which when looking at pictures the knot can be understood to be correct, but it may not be. The best way to be sure that you have made a reef knot is that it shall be symmetrical when looked at from the top or the bottom.
When you would use it:
- Joining rope/line
- Joining rope when you have little length to work with.