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!
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!
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.
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.
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