Longshore Sailing School

Longshore Club Park Westport, CT

Archive for the Know your Knots Category

Sheet Bend [Know your Knots]


The Sheet Bend (also known as a Weaver’s Knot or Weaver’s Hitch) is used to join two ropes together. It is closely related to the Bowline.

Joining Lines of Different Diameter

In the animation two lines of equal diameter are shown. The Sheet Bend is also capable of tying lines of different diameters together. When this is the case, the larger line should assume the simpler role forming a bend as demonstrated by the red line. The smaller line then forms the hitch as shown by the white line in the animation.

Finally, it is important the end of both lines be positioned on the same side of knot when complete. This helps the hitch from slipping through the bend.

A Variation for More Security

Under dynamic conditions, where the Sheet Bend may be continuously loaded and unloaded, a second turn under the hitch is advised. This transforms a Sheet Bend into a Double Sheet Bend as shown in the image below. The second turn helps prevent the knot from working itself apart.

Activities involving rope and knots can be potentially dangerous. The information shared here is for instructional purposes only. Children learning the art of knot tying should be supervised by an adult at all times. Never tie any knot, even one designed not to slip around the waste, neck or other body part. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.

Kicking off our ‘Know your Knots’ series with the Bowline


To kick off Longshore Sailing School’s ‘Know your Knots’ series, we rhetorically ask “Why are there so many knots?”

Indeed, the variety of knots is a function of circumstance.  What if you require a loop that won’t slip?  Or, if necessary, can be untied under load?  What if two lines with different diameters need to be tied together?  Or a line needs to be kept from running free of a block?

Through our ‘Know your Knots’ series we hope to show you knot tying is an art form and one that’s fun to learn.

Our First Knot, The Bowline

The Bowline (pronounced /ˈboʊlɪn/ or /ˈboʊlaɪn/) is a yachtsman’s favorite.  Although we rate it a three out of five on our difficulty scale, once you’ve mastered it we’re sure you’ll use it time-and-again.

The Bowline is used to form a loop (or eye) in the end of a line.  It is designed not to slip or jam.

To tie the bowline make a small loop a foot-or-so from the end of the line.  At Longshore we teach the riddle “the rabbit,” the end of the rope, “comes out of its hole,” the loop you just made, “goes around the tree,” the opposite end of the loop, and back into his hole again“.  You can use the buttons to the right to step through the process or click ‘Animate’ to loop through the sequence of pictures.  Practice saying it while you do it:

The rabbit comes out of its hole,
goes around the tree, and
back into his hole again.

Being able to untie a knot is just as important as tying it.

If untying a knot seems trivial, then you’ve never loaded one enough for it to jam.  A shining property of the bowline is its refusal to jam, even under heavy load.  In fact, the knot can always be untied by loosing it from ‘the bunny’s path around the tree’.

Activities involving rope and knots can be potentially dangerous. The information shared here is for instructional purposes only. Children learning the art of knot tying should be supervised by an adult at all times. Never tie any knot, even one designed not to slip around the waste, neck or other body part. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.