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Old 12-07-2021, 17:11   #1
JPK
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Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

I just got back from chartering a boat in the Ionian islands (skippered charter). On one of the days, we found a nice secluded beach where we wanted to spend a few hours swimming and exploring. We dropped anchor and backed up to a rocky section of shore, and I swam out with the stern line and tied it off to a rock (just one line since we were only going to be there for a short while). Once I got the line looped around a suitable boulder, I was a bit perplexed about how best to tie off the line. There was a little slack in the line, so I was able to tie a bowline, and it held fine. However, untying it was interesting. I had to wait for the surge to slacken the line a bit to untie it, and at one point I had a finger through a loop and the boat surged forward and took the slack out of the line, and I almost lost a finger.

So, clearly a bowline is not the correct knot for this application.

What knot should be used for stern line that's tied around a rock or tree? (or any line, really, that needs to be able to hold a load and be safely untied while under load.)
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Old 12-07-2021, 17:16   #2
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

I like a camel hitch with an extra round turn. If you go around the rock or tree twice then the load on the knot will be reduced.
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Old 12-07-2021, 19:46   #3
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Here's one way: (you can add a second slip if you want more security
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Old 12-07-2021, 19:53   #4
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Or then there's the Siberian Hitch if you want to snug up to whatever you are tying to:
https://www.animatedknots.com/siberian-hitch-knot


There's a couple of others at Grog's including the Mooring Hitch which is similar to this one.
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Old 13-07-2021, 07:33   #5
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Thank you both. I'd never heard of any of these knots.

Tomodore- interesting... the link that you provided states:

"The Siberian Hitch Knot is only moderately secure. While excellent for creating a ridge line to support a tent, it should never be trusted for more critical loads."

In general, I'd be concerned about using any slip knot on a mooring line.

I'd never heard of a camel hitch, so I googled it and came to this article:

https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice...ipping-hitches

The camel hitch sounds interesting, but if I was to learn one knot from that page, it sounds like the icicle hitch would be the one to learn, as it suposedly performs better and is easier to untie than the camel hitch.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:21   #6
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Icicle hitch is pretty nice
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:23   #7
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

During the 4 years we spent cruising the Medd we ran into the same issue. We ended up getting a ~8' length of chain (it won't chaff thru!), used a clevis to secure the longline to it, and then used either another clevis or a spring-loaded chain link to close the loose end back onto itself. Worked like a charm, no worries about chaff-thru, and never slipped. As a note, we let the longline be loose until it was secured to the boulder/tree/??, then back on the boat used a primary winch to tighten it, and then secured it to an aft cleat.....totally adjustable as things change. When we got ready to leave, we undid the cleat, then went ashore and released the shore end, wner back to the boat, and retrieved the line.
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:23   #8
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Take the rope twice around the boulder then secure with 2 half hitches. A benefit is the half hitches are secure and easy to remove later. They hitches won't tighten up under load and can be undone under load if needed, then ease the line off the boulder
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:37   #9
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

i second Duetto !
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Old 13-07-2021, 08:55   #10
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

As we are long time in the med, our boat has a dedicated long strap installed on a wheel that suts on the stern rail.
The strap has a loop on the outer end.
Into this loop goes a line that has normal shackle on one end and a snapshackle on the other.
This line goes around a boulder or any other suitable item on shore and is closed on itself (snapshackle into shackle).
The tensioning is done from the boat, very easily.
We loosen the anchor few meters extra. Put the strap on a cleat, then motor out to the proper place while raising the anchor back to regain the extra meters given out. This tensions the strap as much as we like.
When leaving, just drop the chain a little until the strap is free, then it is easy to free the cleat and easy to free the snapshackle on the shore.
This also ensures that any chafe incurred will be on the short shore line which is sort of sacrificial while the main long strap remains intact.
This line can of course be also replaced by a length of chain.
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:01   #11
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

If you're tying to the rock and the good woman the only other crew left on the boat, you need to make it fast quickly.
Have your floating line on deck flaked in a basket. Tie a decent loop in one end using a bowline. Bring the boat to rest and leap into the water with protective footware heading for the rock that you've identified, with the looped end.
Pull your line back on itself thru the loop and with that loop, over the rock and you're done. Release from the rock just as easily.
That's how the pros do it.
After that you can take care of any chafe issues, the best strategy being to make sure the line doesn't pass over other rocks .
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:02   #12
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Round Turn and 2 Half Hitches - KISS!
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:28   #13
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

Midshipman's Hitch (also called a tautline hitch):



This knot can be easily adjusted and will resist untying by itself when under tension, but can be easily untied when you want to. Traditionally used for tying weather cloths. I've used for many years for mooring to trees and rocks and for securing winter covers prone to flapping in the wind.
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:34   #14
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

I use Kas’s KISS method. When pulling stumps with the 4x4 or tying off on a careening post, it’s what I use. The more turns around the object the better.
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Old 13-07-2021, 09:37   #15
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Re: Best knot for tying stern line to rocks when med mooring

I used a sacrificial loop of line tied in a loop around the rock using a double fisherman’s knot then tied the mooring line into it using a round turn & two half hitches. The loop could be made from scrap mooring lines so chafe damage by the rock did not spoil the mooring line. The round turn and two half hitches can be undone under load.
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