Bowline variation

Discuss vertical caving, equipment, & techniques. Also visit the NSS Vertical Section.

Moderator: Tim White

Bowline variation

Postby GroundquestMSA » Dec 21, 2014 1:52 am

This knot is demonstrated as a "tugboat bowline" in a few online videos. It looks similar to what is known as a perfection knot or angler's knot but I think that there are differences. When tied, it looks like this:
I wonder if there are any disadvantages when compared to the traditional bowline. After bouncing on it a bunch with static line (in the photo is a little utility rope) it seems secure and unties easily, I suppose a stopper should be tied into the tail, though I witnessed no slippage. Do you see any safety reasons to avoid this knot in an SRT setting. I don't want to relive the Allen Dove incident of '09, so let me explain my curiosity. I don't need another rigging knot, and have no plans to use this or any other bowline for routine rope work. However, I relish the prospect of tying it like this one day and rappelling off of it for the sole purpose of terrorizing new caving companions. :big grin:
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 1384
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm

Re: Bowline variation

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 22, 2014 1:48 am

I use the bowline more than a figure 8. Especially a double bowline. Its way easier to adjust to equalize between anchors, and 100x easier to untie after loaded. When using a simple bowline I use the yosemite tie off followed by an overhand knot, yet again, simple to untie after weighted.
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 2294
Joined: Jun 24, 2008 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Bowline variation

Postby caver.adam » Dec 22, 2014 9:21 am

My only problem with a bowline is when the knot loosens or slips on me. I wonder if the angler's knot is any better with that.
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto

Re: Bowline variation

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 22, 2014 10:25 am

If you like bowlines, you'll love this: ... alysis.pdf

Bowline is my favorite knot.
Scott McCrea
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto

Re: Bowline variation

Postby CaverCarl » Jun 10, 2018 9:15 pm

BOWLINE, I love it.

I really enjoy tying the "tug boat bowline" But I''ve never used it caving.

What now one mentioned however was the figure 8. Although it's stronger than the figure 8, easier to tie than the bowline, and definitely easier to teach and to check, heres why the figure 8 is not mentioned favorably in most nautical knot publications.
It's hard to untie when loaded beyond 1 or 2 person's weight, especially when it's wet. Bowlines can be untied after being overloaded and in wet conditions.

The bowline also uses less rope, is quicker to directly tie to an anchor than a tracer 8.
Have you been on a long cave trip, your tired, and wished something was a little bit easier on the way out? It's untying a bowline.
Can you afford the 10-15 percent of different loss in knot strength between the figure 8 and the bowline? Unless your tandem climbing on 9mm or single caving on 8mm I think the bowline leaves you plenty of strength and it's often easier.

Caver Carl
User avatar
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 26, 2016 4:04 pm
NSS #: 36117
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CNJG

Return to On Rope!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users