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The bowline is a knot, that, when completed, leaves a loop at the end of a rope. It does not slip or jam, which is a large advantage to using this knot. Furthermore, the knot can be easily untied after being exposed to strain.

Uses for the bowline include:

  • tying sheets and halyards to sails
  • tying an anchor line to an anchor
  • tying two ropes of different sized together with one knot on each line

  • Two bowlines can make an emergency bowswain's chair to go up the mast or to bring an injured person aboard. For these four uses, this knot is commonly called "The Boater's Prime Knot."

    New scouts who learn this knot to pass Tenderfoot should know this chant to remember how to tie this know properly: "The rabbit comes out the hole, around the tree, and back down the hole."

    To swiftly see if you have tied the Bowline normal or left handed, check to see that the running end exits the knot on the inside of the loop.