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Current revision

Animated Knots show you how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots, Forty Knots,
Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Wolf, Bear, Webelos, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.

Names Bowline, Boling knot (archaic)
Typical use Making a fixed loop in the end of a line.
Caveat Although widely considered a reliable knot, it may not hold when tied in certain materials or loading conditions.
Releasing Non-jamming
Category Loop knots
Group Basic knots
Related Sheet bend, Double bowline, Bowline on a bight, Water bowline, Yosemite bowline, Spanish bowline, Portuguese bowline, Triple bowline, Running bowline
Animation of tying a Bowline
Animation of tying a Bowline
Bowline knot – rescue knot, most useful of knots because it forms a loop that will not slip and is easy to untie. Use it to attach a cord to a pack frame, tie a rope through a grommet of a tent, secure a line to a canoe, and in rescue situations, and in a thousand other ways. Learn to tie the bowline around a post and in the free end of a rope. With practice, you can even tie it with one hand.

Make a small overhand loop in the standing part of a rope. Bring the rope end up through the loop, around behind the standing part, and back down into the loop. Tighten the bowline by pulling the standing part away from the loop.

Boy Scout Handbook pp. 148-149

The Bowline makes a reasonably secure loop in the end of a piece of rope. It has many uses, e.g., to fasten a mooring line to a ring or a post. Under load, it does not slip or bind. With no load it can be untied easily. It's principle shortcoming is that it cannot be tied, or untied, when there is a load on the standing end. It should therefore be avoided when, for example, a mooring line may have to be released under load. Two bowlines can be linked together to join two ropes.
See The Ashley Book of Knots # 1010, p 186.

Required for

  1. Make a loop (top to you).
  2. The rabbit goes out of the hole, around the tree, and back into the hole.

Lesson Videos


One-Handed Bowline
The One Handed Bowline is a useful and quick way to tie a bowline when the other hand is occupied or injured. There are three main steps.
1. Hold the short end and tie a half hitch with your whole forearm.
2. Pass the short end round the standing end.
3. Still holding the short end, withdraw your hand from the loop.
See also
Knots by Use
Basic knots Overhand knot · Square knot · Granny knot · Two half-hitches · Taut-line hitch · Bowline · Sheet bend · Slip knot · Clove hitch · Timber hitch
Advanced knots Constrictor knot · Monkey's fist · Ocean plait · Trucker's hitch · Turk's head
Special knots Braiding · Carrick bend · Chain sinnet · Cow hitch · Double sheet bend · Sheep shank
Fishing knots Arbor backing knot · Barrel knot · Blood knot · Blood loop · Clinch knot · Fisherman's knot · Improved clinch knot · Nail knot · Needle knot · Palomar knot · Surgeon's loop · Turle knot
Sailing knots Bowline on a Bight · Cleat Hitch · Double Bowline · Figure Eight · Marline Hitch · Midshipman's Hitch · Rolling Hitch · Stevedores Knot
Climbing knots Alpine Butterfly knot · Double fisherman's knot (Grapevine) · Figure eight follow-through · Figure eight on a bight · Figure eight on bend · Figure eight knot · Prusik knot · Safety knot · Water knot
Forty knots

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