If You Can’t Tie A Knot…

If You Can’t Tie a Knot

There’s a saying that goes a little something like this…“If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.”  Well that’s great and groovy until you have to untie all of those “a lots” especially when you’re in a hurry.  Taking fifteen minutes to untie a dozen granny knots just to move a fender two feet over when you are coming into a dock is a little less than ideal.

Practice, Practice, Practice

I have no idea why, but knots befuzzle me sometimes.  I have practiced, practiced and practiced various knots only to forget how to tie them when it comes down to the wire.  It’s like I’ve never even tied a clove hitch, or a bowline, or a “insert knot here”.   This is beyond frustrating.  I cannot tell you how many times Shawn has shown me how to tie those knots, yet I still struggle with them sometimes.   I do, however, have the cleat hitch down, thank goodness!

Clove Hitch
Clove Hitch

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have Cole from SV Hooligan spend some time with me teaching me how to tie a bowline knot,  coil a line properly,  pay out a line (e.g. throwing the line from the boat to someone on the dock), and even a fancy schmancy tugboat bowline knot.  Armed with this new knowledge fresh in my mind I set out to master each of them over the next week.  Luckily, I found a piece of pretty purple line hidden away in one of our storage lockers on the boat, and dubbed my practice line.   I spent a couple of hours each day practicing what I learned until I was able to do each of them without thinking about it.  I even got to the point where I can now tie a bowline knot without looking at what I’m doing.  Yessss!

Bowline Knot
Bowline Knot
Quick, Tie a Clove Hitch!

Ah, the good ole clove hitch.   A very simple knot, but boy has it kicked my butt in the past.  I had to put a stop to that nonsense.  That pesky ole clove hitch won’t defeat me!

How did I put a stop to that nonsense you ask?  A “Quick, tie a clove hitch!” drill of course!  How does this little drill work you ask?  For the next several days, I walked around, armed with my pretty purple rope, would suddenly stop what I was doing, and say to myself “Quick, tie a clove hitch!”  I would tie a clove hitch around whatever I was standing next to, whether it be railing, a lifeline, a pole, or the helm.  I can say that little trick worked like a charm.  It’s been a couple of weeks now, and guess what…I can still tie  a clove hitch and a bowline!  Enter back pat here.

Clove Hitch
Clove Hitch

I would like to give a big thank you to my ever patient Captain, and special thank you to Cole for all of your help!!

Also, this is a wonderful website that has tons of various knots with animated instruction.  They also have apps on both Google Play and iTunes.

Read more helpful tips and tricks in our Articles Section.


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