What knots do you tie?

I’m a self-taught paddler and have never learned any of the cool nautical knots that I’d like to know. I just make up knots when I need to, but I’m sure there are better ways to secure things. Are there links to knot-tying webpages out there? Are there books you folks would recommend on this subject?


About the only knot I ever seem to use is the bowline:


trucker’s hitch and bowline
1. Trucker’s hitch is great for safety lines on the bow and stern when transporting. The truckers hitch is great for a quick way to put tension on a tie down, and quick release. Of course you only want slight tension on safety tie downs for a kayak. You would want more tension if using a trucker’s hitch for tie downs on the racks, which works fine. I like straps a little better on the racks though.

2. I learned the bowline for sailing. Probably forgot it now. It’s useful for securing a line around an object, like a pole for example.

Paul S.

Try this site
http://animatedknots.com/ Knots I would recommend learning are bowline, clove hitch, round turn with two half hitches, reef knot and sheet bend.

Ones that always come undone
I was so bad at knot tying that they would have kicked me out of the boy scouts if I didn’t quit first!

I am the only car driving down the road with three feet of my camlock straps blowing in the breeze even though I wrapped them around the bars and tied them in a zillion knots prior to leaving home.



I second the trucker’s hitch
for bow and stern lines. Cam-locks (padded) on straps take care of the two rack lines.

look for the Rolling Stones tongue
If you can’t see one when you’ve tried a bowline, try it again. Something went wrong.


Trucker’s hitch, bowline, clove hitch

A good reference:
Knots for Paddlers by Charlie Walbridge. I picked it up in at an outfitters in PA. Great little book.

My personal favorite knots: bowline, trucker’s hitch, taut line hitch, double half hitch, clove hitch.

Highwayman’s Hitch

It’s a great way to tie a short tow line to your deck line, so you can quickly release your end if there is trouble. A carabiner – the usual way – can be really hard to release quickly under tension.


Bowline, trucker hitch, reef knot,
and my all time favorite the figure eight. If you need a loop, tie one on a bight. The best thing is that no matter how hard you pull on it, it can always be untied.

Ones I have found useful. There are many more, just can’t think of them now.

Bowline, great for attaching lines to the boat.

Taught line hitch. Adjustable knot so you can tension guy lines on a tarp.

Clove hitch, when you need a good holding knot around something.

two half hitches

Marlin Hitch–on occasions to lower or logs, paddles etc.

Figure 8.

Figure 8 on a bight.

Truckers Hitch.

Prussic knot–one of the most useful

Fishermans knot (true lovers knot).

Double & triple fisherman’s
are the best way to make a rope loop. Use the water knot for webbing.

all of the above

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 12:04 PM EST –

+ the 'thief knot'


you will know me by my knots
I use a figure 8 with a half hitch most often. Bowline, clove hitch, fishermans knot and a braid for completing grab loops.

The only two I use
Double half hitch and the Trucker’s hitch. Two knots and my friends still think I’m a rope master. Thats how good these knots are!!

bowline & trucker’s hitch
when I tie my shoes, I use an overhand knot


– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 3:36 PM EST –

all you need to know, but don't try to know too many. Clove hitch and bowline are a must. ask a firefighter, he/she will know them in the dark.
One thing I do when using straps is to fold up what is flopping around and wrap it in tape. I use hockey tape,not for sticks but the clear stuff they use for pads.

I’m about the same

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 5:57 PM EST –

bowline, double half hitch, truckers and the square knot with a few variations.

The main advantage of learning a few "official" knots is that you can untie them easily. Google will get you to plenty of good, animated knot tieing sites

Get a Boy Scout Handbook from
some kid or a scout master. Everything you need.

They don’t have the truckers knot though. (I rarely use that one)

The bowline is probably the most important one.

For a challenge, figure out how to tie it one handed. Thats the one trick anyone in the resuce business should know

email me if you have any questions