Essential Knots For Sailors

Call yourself a sailor? Master these knots and their typical uses and you may impress your skipper and crew next time you are out on the water! A big plug here for Knots 3D which does not have a partnership or sponsorship relationship with Charter Rode.

  • Bowline - used to make a fixed loop in the end of a line. It is commonly used in sailing small craft, for example to fasten a halyard to the head of a sail or to tie a jib sheet to a clew of a jib. The Bowline is well known as a rescue knot for such purposes as rescuing people who might have fallen down a hole, or off a cliff onto a ledge. They would put it around themselves and sit on the loop. This makes it easy to heft them up away from danger. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends the Bowline knot for tying down light aircraft.
  • Cleat Hitch - a cleat is a device for securing a rope. The traditional design is attached to a flat surface or a spar and features two “horns” extending parallel to the deck or the axis of the spar, resembling an anvil. The Cleat Hitch is used to attach a rope to a cleat. Almost all boats have cleats at the bow and at the stern. Cleats are are also commonly found on docks. Cleats are used on many boats to secure jib sheets or other running lines.
  • Sheet Bend - recommended for joining two ropes of unequal size. The thicker rope should be used for the simple bight. It works equally well if the ropes are the same size. This knot is considered by many to be an "essential" knot -- So much so that Ashley listed it as the first knot in his canonical book.
  • Clove Hitch - commonly used in pioneering to start and finish a lashing such as the Square Lashing, Diagonal Lashing and Shear Lashing. This knot is considered by many to be an "essential" knot.
  • Figure-8 Knot - a general-purpose stopper knot that replaces the common Overhand Knot in many uses. The Figure Eight Knot is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices.
  • Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches - a hitch used to secure the end of a rope to a fixed object and is often used in boating to permanently tie to a piling, mooring, column or ring.
  • Square Knot (also known as Reef Knot) - an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. In addition to being used by sailors for reefing and furling sails, it is also one of the key knots of decorative macrame textiles. The knot lies flat when made with cloth and has been historically used for tying bandages.
  • Highwayman's Hitch - a quick-release draw loop knot used for temporarily securing a rope that will need to be released easily and cleanly. The hitch can be untied with a tug of the working end. It is often used to temporarily secure an animal or a boat to a pole.
  • Cow Hitch - The Cow Hitch or Lark's Head as it is often called, is a simple knot used to secure an animal to a pole. In sailing, it is a great way to secure coiled lines after a great day of sailing to tidy the deck.

@ Copyright 2022-, Charter Rode. Weigh anchor. Explore the world. Charter Rode is building the world's first blockchain for your sailing experience. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy