Cruisers Forum

  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-12-2016, 08:03   #1
Registered User
morrchr1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 17
Question Tying your own bridle, What knot?

A little background: Right now I have a Capri 22 and have done a lot of day sailing but that's about it. We have a couple of little anchorages around so would like to do a couple of overnights but the only thing I haven't done much with this boat is anchor. Being a small boat, it doesn't have any kind of line feed or center cleat on the front, therefore you have to cleat the anchor line to one of the bow cleats that are set a decent way back. This caused the boat to sail quite a bit. This caused me to look into bridles, but I'd rather not $130 for something I think I could make for $20 (and is way oversized for this boat).

Would it be possible to tie a bridle either into the middle of the anchor line or tie a separate line to create one and shackle them together? I don't have a breadth of knots down but am trying to pick some up as I go. Just glancing through some webpages the only one I found that would be useful would be the Alpine Butterfly. Do one ahead of time and mark equal distances on both sides for where to cleat each one. Then either tie the anchor line to that loop or just tie another one in the anchor line, shackle the two together, and have secure the rest of the rope as a fail-safe.

This may be a ton of overkill, but it should work. The only thing keeping me nervous is I can't find that knot referenced anywhere related to boating. Am I way overthinking this?
morrchr1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 08:10   #2
Registered User
Shrew's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,813
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

Tie the anchor line to one cleat. Tie a prusik knot onto the anchor line to act like a spring-line. Then take the bitter end of the springline and tie it to the other cleat. Pay the anchor line and the spring line out until the 'V' of the bridle clears the bow and is even on both sides. Make sure both lines have chafe protection where they go through the chocks or over the rail.
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 08:11   #3
Registered User
John_Trusty's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Southeastern Florida, USA
Boat: Leopard 40 2009
Posts: 557
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

You probably are overthinking it, but there is nothing more useful than learning another knot. I would suggest you bookmark Animated Knots by Grog if you have not already done so - Animated Knots by Grog | How to Tie Knots | Fishing, Boating, Climbing, Scouting, Search and Rescue, Household, Decorative, Rope Care,
It gives excellent video tutorials on knots, and information on their uses. Grog also offers a nifty iOS app (for a modest fee that supports the site) with the same information and videos.

The Alpine Butterfly is a great mid-line loop knot that was borrowed from climbing. It is useful because, unlike other loops, it does not tend to slip or bind if pulled only from one "leg" of the loop. It also does not seem to bind if wet and dried. Grog's video using your hand to make the loop is really easy to follow. I agree with your plan to tie this in a larger rope ahead of time to make a bridle you can rig to your bow cleats, marking equal distances for cleating. By the way, if this costs you $20 for the materials to make your bridle for a 22 foot boat, you're paying way too much for rope!

Shrew's suggestion of tying the anchor rode to one cleat, and using a smaller line to the other cleat with a slide/grip knot works as well as a bridle, without having a dedicated piece of line aboard. Personally, I would use an Icicle Hitch, rather than either a Prussik loop or rolling hitch. I have find that Icicile hitches do not slip (ever!), where rolling hitches sometimes slip on wet line or under tension.
John Trusty

Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." -- Eric Sevareid
John_Trusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 08:27   #4
Registered User
Cotemar's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: Mahe 36, Helia 44 Evo, MY 37
Posts: 5,731
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

Maybe this will help.

You can use bowline or water bowline knots to connect to the bows.

Just a figure 8 knot before the anchor is all that's needed.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P8160016.jpg
Views:	345
Size:	375.9 KB
ID:	137983   Click image for larger version

Name:	PA140479.jpg
Views:	257
Size:	391.5 KB
ID:	137984  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Helia 44 bridal snubber.jpg
Views:	404
Size:	66.4 KB
ID:	137985  
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 14:08   #5
Senior Cruiser
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43 and OPBs
Posts: 12,889
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

To answer your second question first - the Alpine butterfly is an excellent loop knot and should be in every sailor's repertoire.
I fully endorse John's reference to Animated Knots. It's a brilliant resource.
Grog's demonstrated method if tying the AB around your hand can be a bit difficult with larger diameter line, I prefer using the "double twist" method.
See for example: Butterfly Knot - How to tie a Butterfly Knot

And back to your first question, I agree with Shrew and John again. For a boat your size, hitching a second line to the anchor rode and running it to the opposite cleat is the simplest solution and should be quite adequate. And yes, the Icicle Hitch is a good one for this.
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 14:38   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2016
Location: South Florida
Posts: 27
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

I have a similar issue with my 30'. I have a bow roller, no windlass, and chain to rope rode; this caused me to get a little creative. I used an old anchor line about 15' long (use whatever length you're comfortable with), tied eye splices in both ends (long enough to secure to the cleats). Mark the dead center of the bridle with brightly colored tape. When anchoring, use that tape mark as the center of the Prusik knot around the anchor rode at the desired length. Secure the bridle to both of the bow cleats and let the anchor rode out until it goes slack in hand, all tension should be on the bridle at this point. Like Shrew said, CHAFE PROTECTION (I secured mine to the bridle with yet more tape). It seems like a pain in the rear but it's cheap (I'm not independently wealthy) and it's held us through some pretty rough nights on the hook and hasn't slipped yet. I like Shrew's spring line idea but it wouldn't work with my roller.
"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

Jimmy Buffett
Captaink73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2016, 16:13   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 13,386
Re: Tying your own bridle, What knot?

Also look at a rolling hitch. Very commonly used for this purpose too and another good hitch to know.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote

bridle, knot

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle Seaworthy Lass Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 140 12-10-2022 07:41
Knot for Attaching Bridle to Rode cutlass Anchoring & Mooring 37 27-11-2021 14:37
You Want fast Knot Tying? Coops Flotsam & Sailing Miscellany 3 06-08-2014 01:03
Single Bridle off Anchor Roller vs Double Bridle with Chocks? sully75 Anchoring & Mooring 4 02-08-2014 16:14
One Handed Knot Tying tabasco1868 Seamanship & Boat Handling 10 18-11-2008 09:57

Advertise Here

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:33.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.