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Quick-Release Knots for Canoeing

This short video demonstrates how to tie two different quick-release knots that can be useful in canoeing - for towing or tying up on shore.

Before you go on the water, it'd be useful just to look at a couple of knots that you can use. Both the knots we're going to look at are quick-release so we can drop the towing system or gear quickly. You could also use them if you're tying your boat off onto the bank or on shore.

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Highwayman's Hitch

Highwayman's Hitch

So the first one we've got then is the highwayman's hitch. When we pull the loose end we can see it all just jumps off. So to tie it, it's based on three loops. The first loop is going underneath, and then taking the long end, we create a second loop over the top of the thwart and through the first, and to create a third loop we use the little end now and it's going to come again over the top and it's also going to go through the next loop. Then pull the system tight on the knots so it's nice and down. Pull a little on the end and it all jumps off.

Clove Hitch on a Bite

Clove Hitch on a Bite

Having a second knot that we can tie when the ropes on the tension is often quite useful so the one we've got here is the Clove Hitch on a bite. So if we pull the little end it comes off, but it does require tension on the other one to release it. So to tie it, we create a cross over there and then as it comes up, we're going to put a loop or a bite of rope through and pull the whole system tight. At last we pull the little end but it does require tension for it to come all off.

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