Useful Knots

Knots are an extremly useful skill to the diver (infact to anyone), so here we've listed a selection of knots with a diagram of how to tie each one. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you some food for thought.

Two Half Hitch Print E-mail
This is a reliable and useful knot for attaching a rope to a pole or boat mooring. As it's name suggests, it is two half hitches, one after the other. To finish, push them together and snug them by pulling on the standing part.
Timber Hitch Print E-mail
This is an important hitch, especially for dragging a heavy object like a log. It will hold firmly so long as there is a steady pull; slacking and jerking may loosen it. The timber hitch is also useful in pioneering when two timbers are "srpung" together. When it is used for dragging, a simple hitch should be added near the front end of the object to guide it.
Taut Line Hitch Print E-mail
Since it will only slide one way, the Taut-line hitch is often used on tent ropes. The taut-line hitch will hold firmly on a smooth pole such as a scout stave. Place rope end around pole, make a turn below it, then bring rope up across the standing part around the pole and tuck through.
Slippery Hitch Print E-mail
This is occasionally useful but should be temporary. It is acutally only an overhand knot around the object with the end run back through the knot and left "slippery." It can be quickly untied by pulling on the free end. The slippery half-hitch can be locked by passing the end back through the eye and pulling tight.
Sheet Print E-mail
The sheet bend is the most important knot for joining two rope ends, especially if the ropes are of different sizes. Sailors named it in the days of sailing ships when they would "bend" (tie) the "sheets"' (ropes in the rigging of a ship). 

Begin with a bight in the larger rope. THen weave the end of the smaller rope p thrgh the eye, around the bight, and back under itself. Snug it carefully before applying any strain to the knot.
Square Print E-mail
You can loosen the square knot easily by either pushing the ends toward the knot or by "upsetting" the knot by pulling back on one end and pulling the other through the loops.
Overhand Print E-mail
This knot is used as a "stopping" knot.


Larks Head Print E-mail
The Lark's Head is often used on small sailboats to fasten a jib sheet to the clew since it is smaller and smoother than two bowlines would be and thus less likely to get hung up or add to wind resistance. It is better to add a seizing. This is also called a girth hitch, used for tying a leather strap to a ring (saddle rigging).
Killick Print E-mail
A Killick is the name for an anchor for a small boat that could be constructed in a relatively short period of time. Three or four "L" shaped pieces of wood - from the limbs of trees - and a large rock or stone plus rope/twine were used in the construction. The stone was positioned between the wood and securely fastened with the rope or twine. The killick knot secured the anchor rope to the wooden part of the "killick". The weight of the stone was enough to sink it and the outward facing parts of the wood dug into the sea floor. A very serviceable anchor.


Hitching Tie Print E-mail

This is a common method of hitching animals.

Notice that it is a type of slippery hitch.

Fisherman's Bend Print E-mail
Fisherman's bend, or anchor bend, an specially strong and simple knot that will not jam or slip under strain and can be untied easily. When not under strain, however, the fisherman's bend may slip loose if the free end is not secured. The knot is used to attach a rope to a ring, hook, or other solid object, such as an anchor.


Fisherman's Print E-mail

The Fisherman's knot is used for joining two fine lines such as fishing leaders.

It is simply two overhand knots, one holding the right-hand line, and the the other the left-hand line. Pull each of the twooverhand knots taut separatley. Then make the whole knot taut so the two overhand knots come together by pulling on the standing parts of each line.

Double Overhand Print E-mail
Double OverhandAn overhand knot, doubled for better strength.
Double Figure Eight Print E-mail
Double Figure EightIt's a knot that, among other things, is used for attaching a rope to a climbing harness.
The picture shows it tied with two separate ropes (which is possible), but it is more commonly seen it tied with one.


Double Carrick Bend Print E-mail
Double Carrick BendThe double carrick bend is used for joining 2 very thick ropes at the end, usually used by towboats to tow large cargo ships. the ends should be tied together.
Cats Paw Print E-mail
Cats Paw KnotThe cat's paw is a better way to attach a rope to a hook than using a blackwall.

It will not slip and needs no constant strain to hold.

Form two loops and turn them inward one or two complete turns.

Hang these "eyes" over the hook or other such object.
Surgeons Knot Print E-mail
The surgeon's knot is a square knot with an extra twist. The purpose of this knot is to give added friction to hold until the second crossing is made.
Stevedor Print E-mail
This is the same as the figure eight knot , except that is has an extra loop. This makes it larger and more chainlike in appearance
Sheepshank Print E-mail
This knot is used to shorten a rope that is fastened at both ends. Take up the slack, then make an underhand loop and slide it over the blight and pull tight. Do the same to the other end to complete the knot. The sheepshank is only a temporary knot as it stands. But it can be made more permanent by adding a second half hitch to each end.
Sailors Print E-mail
It's basically two half hitches. It has the same advantage. Pulling the knot back along the line it goes around can be used to make the line taut. It's good for tent lines too!
Running Print E-mail
It's a slip knot.
If tied around another line, it could be pulled or 'run' along it. But, pulling would also tighten it and sometimes there could be too much friction
Rolling Hitch Print E-mail
Tie a clove hitch , then bring the rope an extra turn around the post between the other two turns, and tuck under the diagonal section. The rolling hitch holds well as long as there is strain on the rope.


Overhand Bow Print E-mail
This knot is known as a "water knot" to the climbing folk, and as a "retrace overhand" because of how it is tied. It is often used for tying flat webbing into a continuous loop to make a runner (which can be tricky), is quite strong but can be very difficult to untie. That is actually a good thing when you're hanging off a rock on one!
Lariet Loop Print E-mail
The name describes the use. The knot forms the fixed loop through which the cowgirl/cowboy pokes through the remaining long rope to form an elastic hoop, which is then spun overhead (lots of wrist action) and thrown to capture (or lasso) an animal.
Half Hitch Print E-mail
The half hitch is the start of a number of other hitches and is useful all by itself as a temporary attaching knot. It will hold against a steady pull on the standing part, especially it is a stopper knot like the stevedore's knot if another figure eight knot is put in the end.


Granny Print E-mail
It was said to be a square knot done wrong by a 'granny' or landlubber
Fisherman's Eye Print E-mail

The Fisherman's Eye is also known as the middleman's knot.

The 2 knots will slide together and jam when strained, hence its great for carrying loads.

Figure Eight Print E-mail
Often used in such places as the end of a string when tying a package with a slipknot or in the end of a rope forming a lariat loop.


Double Oversheet Print E-mail
Double SheetThe double sheet bend, like the sheet bend is used to fasten a small line to a larger one. 

In the illustration the light colored line would be the smaller and the darker one would be the larger.

A double sheet bend may be employed when a sheet bend may not have enough friction to hold well.
Clove Hitch Print E-mail

Clove HitchThis is one of the most widely used knots. Because it passes around an object in only one direction, it puts very little strain on the rope fibers.

Tying it over an object that is open at one end is done by dropping one overhand loop over the post and drawing them together.

The other method of tying it is used most commonly if the object is closed at both ends or is too high to toss loops over. The latter is used in starting and finishing most lashings.


Chain Hitch Print E-mail
Chain Hitch KnotIt is a very nice Hitch it locks on itself and you can pull anything with it.
Blackwall Print E-mail
This is a simple half hitch over a hook.

It will hold only when subjected to a constant strain.

A stopper knot in the end will make it a little more secure but human life should never be trusted to it.

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