Running bowline

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A running bowline is a bowline looped around its own standing end to create a noose. It is used when you need a knot to slide easily and be undone simply.

The RUNNING BOWLINE KNOT is referred to by name, in A Four Years' Voyage by G. Roberts (1726), as the "RUNNING BOWLING KNOT." It is the knot universally used at sea when a NOOSE is called for. According to an old nautical authority it "is used for throwing over anything out of reach, or anything under water." Any lumber that has dropped overboard or any rigging that has gone adrift is recovered by its means.[1]


Tie a bowline in the end of a line with a small loop, and then pass the standing part through the loop to form the noose. Alternatively, you can tie the bowline directly around the standing part.



  • Fishing out floating objects that have fallen overboard.
  • Hanging tree swings.
  • Binding parcels.
  • Lowering or raising heavy objects.

See also


  1. Ashley, Clifford W (1944). The Ashley Book of Knots. Doubleday. p. 204.