How to Tie a Buoy Knot

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A variation of the buntline hitch used by commercial fishermen in the rough seas off the Alaskan coast, the buoy knot will hold fast in rough weather without slipping. Known by several names, including lobster buoy knots and slip buoy knots, the buoy knot was designed to secure lobster and crab traps to a marking buoy. While the buoy knot is designed to hold securely, it is also easily released and used for many marine and onshore applications.

Items you will need

  • Rope

Lay the rope across the open palm of your left hand. Hold the tag or loose end of the rope in your right hand. Wrap the tag end of the rope counterclockwise around or through the object you are tying off to, such as another rope, fish trap, buoy, cleat or post.

Bring the tag end of the rope under and over the main section of rope you are holding in your left hand. You should now see the first, larger loop and a second, smaller loop with the tag end of the rope hanging to your left side.

With your right hand, pass the tag end of the rope over the left side of the large loop. Pass the tag end under and up from the large loop's left side.

Pass the tag end of the rope over the right side of the larger loop. Bring the tag end under the large loop's right side and up behind the tag end to form a second small loop.

Grasp the tag end of the rope in one hand and the main section of rope just below the two smaller loops with the other hand. Pull the rope with both hands until the knot is tight. If you have tied the buoy knot correctly, the knot will resemble a pretzel.