Bowline Knots | Knots & Pulleys in Rope Rigging Systems Vol. 1 Segment 4 – Rigging Lab

Written By: Lance Piatt

The Bowline is a time honored knot that continues to serve well, not only in the mariner industry, but also in construction.  Some of the excellent attributes of the Bowline, such as small gain and the ability to untie after a heavy load is very suitable for rescue as well. There are many variations on the Bowline knot, perhaps over 200 in all. The Portuguese Bowline, the French Bowline… Birmingham, Algonquin… they go on and on. The Bowline knot comes out of the mariner’s industry, originating from the bow line of the boat. With its roots in sailing it can be considered is a secure knot. Within the rescue community the Bowline has been somewhat maligned; however it has been well accepted within the industrial community, commonly being used by linemen. For some reason within the rescue industry people feel the Bowline is substantially weaker than the other knot options. Much testing on knots shows there is no appreciative weakening of the rope by tying a Bowline. The Bowline likes to be under tension. It also comes undone easily. That factor is one of the positives about the Bowline; however, it can also be one of the negatives… for more, see the video. The way we address knots, MAs (Mechanical Advantages), and Anchors in these videos are more general and with a focus of the finer points that are many times overlooked. Our hopes are that the viewer walks away with an energized commitment to studying the “WHY” behind general rigging, and focus on an extremely clean approach and a dedication to practice and muscle memory. We will explore the finer points of these topics that are applicable to anyone who is called upon to rig. Commitment to rigging as an art form is the true storyline. Sterling Rope is the Official Rope of Rescue Response Gear’s The Rigging Lab. The Lab uses Sterling’s 11mm HTP Static for many of our rigging systems. A multi-use rescue/rappel rope that resists moisture and has high abrasion resistance. 100% polyester static provides significantly lower elongation and is perfect for any haul system. Ideal for high traffic expeditions, mountain rescue, military, industrial rope access, and swift-water rescue uses. Certified to NFPA 1983, 2006 Life Safety Rope – Light use



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8 thoughts on “Bowline Knots | Knots & Pulleys in Rope Rigging Systems Vol. 1 Segment 4 – Rigging Lab”

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