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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suspect a few of us sail with crew that for one reason or another just can't get their head around how to to tie a bowline. For some people, maybe they have a touch of dyslexia, learning to tie knots is particularity frustrating.

There are many good videos on how to tie a bowline but I thought maybe I could contribute one specially designed to make it easier for people for whom it doesn't come naturally.

For those of you who already know how to tie this knot you will probably not see anything unique. For those who have problems remembering what to do this technique includes several subtle tricks that make it easy to remember.

1. The initial tug-of-war stance is easy to remember and is unambiguous.
2. The throw in a loop step can only be done one way.
3. The pass the end through the loop step following the way the finger nails grow is graphic enough to remember.
4. The down and around the standing line and back past the fingers is the only place they can get messed up. The fingers again are the reference and if they go around the standing line the wrong way they still end up with a valid variation of the bowline.
5. Holding the loop with the right hand and letting go of the left makes it easy to finish the knot.

Try this technique on someone you have had trouble teaching and let me know how it goes.

 

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I do like this.

I know 5 ways to tie bowlines. I have yet to a see video of my favorite way to attach to a clew. It involves using an overhand hand knot and transferring the loop. I might just do a video next time I am out.

Although I like this guy.


I do not teach the cub scout method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the kind words Jackdale, means a lot comming from a real sailing instructor.

I didn't know the inverted style, will have to learn that.

I personally use the seaman style he demonstrated but I find that some significant percentage of people can't seem to remember it.

I'm hoping my four finger method may be easier for some people to remember. So far I've tried it with good success on several difficult cases.
 

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One handed rescue knot, hold the rope thrown to you while in the water in the left hand, around behind your body, maintaining a grip on the bitter with the right hand, over the rope between body and left hand, back up close to chest,back out to left hand, under the rope with the biter end (tricky part) and grab over the top, pull your hand back through the loop around your right hand, there it is you have tied yourself off with a bowline. I wish my descriptions were better.
 

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I had a kid in my class who could only tie a bowline with his eyes closed. When he looked at it he over thought it and just couldn't do it.
 

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I have yet to a see video of my favorite way to attach to a clew. It involves using an overhand hand knot and transferring the loop. I might just do a video next time I am out.
Found one


This is one of two methods I teach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had a kid in my class who could only tie a bowline with his eyes closed. When he looked at it he over thought it and just couldn't do it.
That is exactly how my wife was until I came up with the four finger method to help her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just tested my 4 finger method last Friday with a left handed guy over 50 with many years sailing experience who has been trying to unsuccessfully to learn the bowline for 20 years.

He got it after the second try. He was absolutely ecstatic as it was very embarrassing for him.

I may have stumbled on something useful.

Please try it with your friends and family who need help and let me know how it goes.
 
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