Tying a Clove Hitch

By: Sailing Tips

A clove hitch is a knot commonly used in boating. It is named after its shape, which resembles a clove, a small aromatic bulb often used in cooking.

How To Tie a Clove Hitch:

  1. Start by passing the rope over the top of a post, pole, or other object.
  2. Take the rope around the object again, crossing over the first turn.
  3. Loop the rope under the second turn, then over the top of the object again.
  4. Tuck the end of the rope under the last turn, either over or under the working end.

The resulting knot is secure, easy to tie and untie, and can attach a rope to an object or join two ropes together. However, it is important to note that a clove hitch can slip or come undone under heavy load or if the object being tied to is irregularly shaped. Therefore, it is best used for light to moderate loads and when the knot will be monitored and adjusted as needed.

Take a look at our “Knots Made Easy” video series for more directions on sailing knots.