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Old 17-09-2011, 10:34   #1
breaker of your dreams
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northeast
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 11,119
How to Check that a Knot Is Tight

Due to the high freeboard on my boat we have a float pennant for our mooring lines, which we took off couple of weeks ago during hurricane prep.

So while putting eveything back together I have my wife reattach the float. She of course asks how because after all she only has seen how it is attached for a couple of years now. So I tell her to just tie a bowline around the pennat eye, which she does and then asks me if I want to check it. Now she has been boating as long as me and is bareboat certified, so I tell her no that she knows how to do it.

We then go off sailing a couple of days and return home to our mooring. She normally does the hooking so goes forward to catch it (it's floating right next to the ball). She hooks the line and loses it and then hooks the mooring pennnat line itself.

She says everything is good and I start to turn off the engine, but then notice that the float seems pretty far from the ball! And as I watch it is getting further away, in other words it is floating away.

I power up some and swing the boat around and manage to catch it and give it to her to tie it again. She again asks if I want to check it and I tell her no, just test it well this time (I have to put trust in her).

So next week I decide to leave early in the morning while she is still asleep. Wind is light and I decide to sail off the mooring so I don't wake her by starting the engine (I'm a good guy aren't I). I put up the main and then cast off the mooring lines.

Start moving toward the space between the boats next to me when I come to a stop! I can not see the mooring ball anymore and start thinking maybe the lines have caught on my keel (weekend before a lobster pot held us in 20 knot wind the same way). Now I'm starting to swing and have no control of the boat so start the engine. Right about that time my wife pops out and wants to know what is going on, which I tell her.

She runs forward and finds that that little 1/8" nylon line we use to tie the float with has hooked the bow and it has the boat at a complete stop! She tosses it off and we start blowing back and then the mororing ball pops up and we get clear.

Moral of the story - this is the way to properly test a good bowline after you have messed it up once; see if it will hold your 20000 lb boat from moving!

I knew I didn't need to check her knot that second time!
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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