The Clove Hitch

The Clove Hitch is used to tie a line to a piling or bollard. This knot can be used to tie fenders to railing.

Although this knot is handy because of its simplicity, it should only be used to temporarily tie a boat to a piling, and only if the boat is being watched. The clove hitch can jam under heavy tension, making it difficult to untie. Worse, is its tendency to untie itself when subjected to repeated strain and release such as a boat rocking in waves. Despite these weaknesses the clove hitch is still ideal when temporarily tieing up at a fuel dock or for fenders.

To tie a clove hitch:
  • Begin with a loop around the piling.
  • Start a second loop around the piling, making sure you cross up, over the first loop.
  • Come around the piling and tuck the bitter end (free end) under the SECOND loop.
  • Tighten it up.

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