Tie 3 knots like a lifeboat crew member

To be prepared in all kinds of crises, lifeboat crew members have to know how to tie nine knots. 
Poole lifeboat crew members Ed Davies, Steve Porter and Chris Speers

There are some very secure knots that are really simple to learn and practise. Make a start with these three, as demonstrated by members of Poole lifeboat crew.

How to tie a round turn and two half hitches

Helm Ed Davies: ‘This knot is for securing a rope, under strain, to a spar, ring or shackle. I would use this knot to attach tow rope to the towing eye of a vessel such as a RIB or Jetski, or to the strong point of a yacht such as a winch or keel-stepped mast (a mast that’s directly fitted to the main hull).

‘This knot is very useful for attaching a tow rope, because it can be untied while under strain.’

Step 1: Loop your rope around the post.

Step 1: Loop your rope around the post.

 

Step 2: Take the rope for a turn around the post, making sure you leave lots of rope on the working (tail) end:

Step 2: Take the rope for a turn around the post, making sure you leave lots of rope on the working (tail) end.

 

Step 3: Pass the working end under the standing (long) end, then back over it and down through the loop:

Step 3: Pass the working end under the standing (long) end, then back over it and down through the loop.

 

Step 4: Repeat step 3 to make your second half hitch:

Step 4: Repeat step 3 to make your second half hitch.

 

Step 5: Pull the standing end tight:

Step 5: Pull the standing end tight.

How to tie a double sheet bend

Helm Steve Porter: ‘We use the double sheet bend for attaching lines of different thicknesses together. A prime example is attaching the heaving line to the tow rope. The heaving line is the thinner line, configured to make it easy to throw to the vessel being rescued. They can then pull the line across and grab the heavy tow rope, securing the tow rope to their vessel to be brought to safety. 

‘The sheet bend can also be done as a single. It can work just as well, but could come loose in certain conditions. We usually do a double as it is more secure and takes only a second longer to tie.’

Step 1: Make a bight (an unenclosed loop) in your tow rope:

 
Step 1: Make a bight (an unenclosed loop) in your tow rope.

 

Step 2: Pass your heaving line up through the bight and over the far end. Bring the working (tail) end back towards you, under the bight:

Step 2: Pass your heaving line up through the bight and over the far end. Bring the working (tail) end back towards you, under the bight.

 

Step 3: Pass the working end of your heaving line over the near sight of your tow rope bight, under the heaving line and over the far side of the tow rope bight:

Step 3: Pass the working end of your heaving line over the near sight of your tow rope bight, under the heaving line and over the far side of the tow rope bight.

 

Step 4: Repeat step 3:

Step 4: Repeat step 3.

 

Step 5: Pull the standing end of the heaving line and the bight tight:

Step 5: Pull the standing end of the heaving line and the bight tight.

 

How to tie a bowline

Crew Member Chris Speers: ‘The bowline creates a strong loop that can be used for lots of things. It’s one of the most commonly used knots on a lifeboat, and it’s mainly used for mooring and berthing.’

Step 1: Take your rope:

 
Step 1: Take your rope.

 

Step 2: Make a loop, so the working (tail) end hangs over the back of the loop:

Step 2: Make a loop, so the working (tail) end hangs over the back of the loop.

 

Step 3: Flip that tail end toward you through the loop and over the top of the loop:

Step 3: Flip that tail end toward you through the loop and over the top of the loop.

 

Step 4: Bring the tail end from right to left around the back of the standing (long) end:

Step 4: Bring the tail end from right to left around the back of the standing (long) end.

 

Step 5: Bring the tail end back to the front of your knot and pass it through the large gap in the knot:

Step 5: Bring the tail end back to the front of your knot and pass it through the large gap in the knot.

 

Step 6: Pull both ends to tighten:

Step 6: Pull both ends to tighten.

Categories