Tying up to bollards and posts

posted May 7, 2020, 4:24 AM by Martin Riddle   [ updated May 7, 2020, 4:28 AM ]
With our small tides and floating pontoons that go up and down with the tides, it’s easy to tie up our boats without much thought and, in doing so, develop bad habits. In places with large tidal ranges people take care never to use any type of jamming hitch to fasten their boats when coming alongside. The trouble with jamming hitches, such as the clove hitch, is that once they have been loaded they can be impossible to release without cutting the line. The Lighterman’s hitch is a good hitch for securing a boat to a post if tied properly. However, we frequently see it done incorrectly so that it jams. The jammed hitch in Monty's bow line (pictured) took nearly half an hour to work free. The round turn and two half hitches is a simple alternative to the Lighterman’s hitch and is almost as secure - https://www.animatedknots.com/round-turn-two-half-hitches-knot.  With only two ingredients (round turns and half hitches) it is simple and almost impossible to get wrong. An extra round turn or two won’t do any harm and adds to the friction. If there is too much slack in the mooring line after you have tied to the pontoon, untie and start again, never shorten the line by passing a loop from the standing part (the line between the post and the boat) over the bollard as this will almost certainly jam if loaded.