The bowline is used to make a loop at one end of a line.
The simplicity of the bowline makes it a good knot for a general purpose end-of-line loop. However in situations that require additional security, several variants have been developed.
Bowline, Boling knot.
The bowline is an ancient and simple knot used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope. It has the virtues of being both easy to tie and untie.
It is tied with the rope’s working end (aka bitter end). The loop may pass around or through an object during the making of the knot. The knot tightens when loaded at (pulled by) the standing part of the line.
The bowline is commonly used in sailing small craft, for example to fasten a halyard to the head of a sail or to tie a jib sheet to a clew of a jib. The bowline is well known as a rescue knot for such purposes as rescuing people who might have fallen down a hole, or off a cliff onto a ledge. They would put it around themselves and sit on the loop. This makes it easy to heft them up away from danger. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends the bowline knot for tying down light aircraft.
A rope with a bowline retains approximately 65% of its strength at the location of the knot, although in practice the exact strength depends on a variety of factors.
A mnemonic used to teach the tying of the bowline is to imagine the end of the rope as a rabbit, and where the knot will begin on the standing part, a tree trunk.
1. First a loop is made near the end of the rope, which will act as the rabbit’s hole.
2. Then the “rabbit” comes up the hole,
3. goes round the tree right to left,
4. then back down the hole.