Figure of Eight Knot – The classic end of rope stopper knot used by sailors in halyards and sheets to prevent the end of the rope running out of a block or fairlead.  Easy to tie and remember, it’s a very versatile knot, but a word of caution, this knot comes undone easily if subjected to constant flailing; remember to leave a long end.   

Round Turn & Two Half Hitches – Probably the most used ‘general purpose’ knot in boating.  It is one of the safest, secure and reliable knot you’ll ever use on the water.

  1. Make a Round Turn around the rail, post, ring or bollard. 
  2. Bring the working end in front of the standing part then around the back and tuck under itself to form a Half Hitch around the standing part. 
  3. Complete a second Half Hitch in the same direction 
  4. Dress the knot so that the two Half Hitches are up close to the Round Turn.  

Bowline – Another much used general purpose knot, it forms a temporary fixed loop in the end of a rope which can be used, among other things, to secure sheets to sails, make a loop in a temporary mooring line.     

  1. Take the standing part in the left hand and pull enough line through to form the required size fixed working loop and a couple of feet or so to make the knot   
  2. Make a small overhand loop (to the left – like you would write a figure 6) with the standing part, in the left hand       
  3. Take the working end and pass it from back to front through that loop, then around the back of the standing part from right to left before passing it back down through the loop.   
  4. When complete make sure the working end is inside the working loop and that it is at least long enough to put a Half Hitch around the adjacent working loop leg for added security.   

Securing to a cleat – O-X-O

1. Take a full turn around the cleat

2. Make a figure 8 over the cleat (and again?)

3. Take another full turn around the cleat

Tying a bowline (step by step):

Figure-8 knot (step by step):