The cowboy bowline
(also left-handed bowline
or Dutch marine bowline
) is a variation of the bowline
loop knot. Some hearsay suggest the Dutch Navy
uses (or used) this variant of the bowline because they consider it superior since the working end is not so easily pushed back by accident. However, there is no documentation to confirm this allegation, and some Dutch knot tyers outright deny it. The Ashley Book of Knots
states that it is "distinctly inferior" to the standard bowline, but Ashley gives no reason for this judgement.Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots
(New York: Doubleday, 1944), 188. Various tests of the different versions'stengths show little difference; conjecture about either knot's vulnerability to some failure remain pretty much only that – conjectures. In fact, though, this version of the knot is much more resistant to failing on "ring-loading" – i.e., where the eye of the knot is loaded as though it is a ring / sling.
The reason for the superior performance of the Cowboy bowline when ring-loaded is that the knot is then loaded as the , a secure bend, whereas the bowline
, when ring loaded, is loaded as an incorrect form of the Lapp knot, an unsafe bend. See the comment in the .
As for the tail of a regular bowline finishing "inside the loop ", that is more a formal-image state than one of an actual knot, as the draw of the standing part will pull the tail around so... Read More