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Rope work

Watch video clips to master the methods of rope work for boating. Learn the bowline knot, the club hitch and more

Chapter 2: Try mastering rope work

Rope work is an integral part of boating. When tying your boat to a pier or mooring, when hanging out fenders and when setting an anchor, you need to be able to use ropes and knots properly. In any of these situations, bad rope work can lead to accidents that may damage your boat or even cause injury. There is a proud tradition of maritime rope work that has been handed down from the days of the great sailing ships. Some types of rope work are used when you want to be sure a knot will not come undone, while others are used when you want a knot that easily comes loose with a flick of the rope. There are hundreds of different types of knots and roping in this maritime tradition, but most boating situations require just a few basic types. Mastering these basic knots is not only a good idea but can also make boating more enjoyable.

Bowline knot

This knot is used when tying your boat to the bits, bollards or rings on a dock or pier. It is the knot that is used most often in boating.

Clove hitch

This knot is used when you want to tie a rope firmly to a pole or post.

Cleat hitch

The knot used when tying an anchor or mooring rope to a cleat.

Double sheet bend

This knot is use for tying the ends of two ropes of different thicknesses firmly together. It is a good knot to know for times when you need to add a length of anchor rope or the like.

Fisherman's bend

This is the best knot for tying an anchor rope to an anchor.

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