Author Topic: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?  (Read 9774 times)


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Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« on: October 25, 2005, 09:31:41 PM »
The website for a knot-tying program contains this quote:

The Bowline (called by many the King of Knots) has fallen into disfavor with the introduction of synthetic ropes and lines. Tied in natural fibers, it is a useful, although not particularly strong (60%) knot. In synthetics, which tend to be stiff and slippery, the simple Bowline should be avoided. It can work or slip loose. Better knots are needed. For example, the Birmingham (shown above), French and Portuguese Bowlines are simple extensions of the basic Bowline and work well with synthetics. If you climb, you need the Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines.


Does anyone know what the Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines are, and how to tie them, and how strong/secure they are in synthetic ropes?   ???



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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 03:26:27 AM »

Geoffrey Budworth, "The Knot Book", 1985, has loops named the Ontario Bowline and the Algonquin Bowline.

The Algonquin Bowline, in Budworth's book, is ABOK #1045.

I kindly leave the Ontario Bowline to others.   :)

Cheers - Brian.

Ps. G. Budworth says that the ..." Ontario and Agonquin Bowlines are experiments - not in general climbing use ... ".


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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2005, 11:00:44 AM »
Hello Dave, Hello Brian,

For those who, like me, do not have this book could you post a link to a diagram or drawing or picture of this Ontario bowline ?


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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2005, 10:07:02 PM »
As noted by BGrimley, the so-called "Algonquin Bowline" is ABOK #1045;
#1043 is a similar, Fig.8-based knot.
The "Ontario Bowline" is also an Overhand-based loopknot.
It's structure is simple.  Tie an Overhand knot oriented such that the SPart is on
the left, and the eye will be on the right--leave adequate material here.
The crossing of this Overhand is on top, its "belly" below; and the end exiting to
form the eye will thus go diagonally downwards & rightwards
[as in, e.g.: ]

The end then forms an eye, arcing back anti-clockwise to re-enter
the knot at a complementary "diagonal" angle (acute) such that it crosses UNDER
only itself (over both other parts of Overhand, at crossing & belly).
The end then turns clockwise back around UNDER the SPart (just left of the knot),
and then back PARALLEL/tracing its initial exit from the Overhand
--i.e., what it made in forming the Overhand.

In the first "bowline", the legs of the eye enter the Overhand together;
in the Ontario Bwl, the re-entry of the end to the knot really doesn't much
go through the belly/center of the Overhand until the finishing tuck.

.:.  NEITHER of these knots is a bowline (except by someone's wanting to use
that name, presumably for legitimacy, promotion).  And neither seems especially
well-suited to the rope problem they're intended to solve--getting a secure knot
in stiff/slick rope.  Although the note about not being used by climbers shouldn't
itself be seen as evidence against them--climbers have some rather peculiar
(mis)understandings about knots, and esp. novelties!

Dave asks for information about strengths.  I will again urge that such information
be given severe scrutiny if found, and prefer that it not be posted carelessly,
as bad information rapidly fills the void and it taken as gospel by preponderance,
quite possibly to ill effect.  (E.g., the site cited by Dave has words to the effect that
the Bwl is not a very strong knot, at merely 60%; that is a figure for only some of
the material a Bwl might be tied in, and apparently this site is focused upon knots
for tying thin angling lines--where, yes, 60% is not much (though is about what the
ubiquitous Angler's Loop/Perfection Loop has tested at).)

« Last Edit: November 05, 2005, 06:52:44 AM by knudeNoggin »


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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2005, 07:45:21 AM »
I hope this doesn't come across as being flippant, but I think both loops are best forgotten.  Both loops are easy to mistie.

From what I recall, neither loop had outstanding qualities to justify their messy geometry.

Just my 2 cents.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 11:01:02 AM by roo »
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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2005, 08:19:15 PM »
Thanks for all the information and opinions!



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Re: Algonquin and Ontario Bowlines?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2005, 11:49:05 PM »
Such a simple knot as #1045 should not be regarded as hard to tie, except in perhaps
being unfamiliar.  Even the bowline, apparently to some rockclimbers, is hard to verify
as compared to the Figure 8 loopknot (although this knot is tied with many different
dressings, and the bowline is eminently simple--the fusion of bight + loop)!
Note that #1045 is something that can result from the start of tying the Constrictor
in the bight (as noted e.g. by PvdGriend in Letter to Lester).  One might also see
it as an alternative finish to the Anglers Loop--the end's half-hitch taking the
opposite direction.  If this is bad geometry, what is good?  PvdG notes that this knot
was used by fishermen in the Faroes Islands as a ganging knot.

And note that there are similar knots to #1045/43 made by taking an additional
turn of the eye bight before tucking it out, if tying by the wrap-the-bight method.
And these knots appear to be very strong yet easily untied.  They have what might
be called, in reference to the "Fig.8", "figure 9" & "figure 10" foundations.

The so-called "Ontario Bowline" suffers, in contrast, from needing more care in the
positioning of the end, which during tying can fall into bad orientations.  To me,
it looks to be of no great strength or security or ease of tying.