Essential Knots Every Sailor Should Know


Essential Knots pic

Essential Knots

Benjamin (“Ben”) Perlin is a dedicated philanthropist, talented photographer, and passionate robotics and engineering scientist in Nashville, Tennessee. Outside of his various creative and service activities, Benjamin Perlin enjoys a huge range of hobbies, including sailing.

An important part of sailing involves knowing how to tie a variety of knots. Following are three essential knots that every sailor should know:

1. Bowline. This knot is one of the most useful to know when aboard a sailboat because it is used to attach a post or fixed object to the boat firmly. To make this knot, sailors form a loop near the end of their line and run the tail back through the loop. Then, the tail is brought around the standing end of the line above the loop and put back through the small loop it created. Sailors then grasp both the tail and the edge of the loop and pull them tightly to finish the knot.

2. Clove hitch. Sailors should know this quick-tying knot because of its ability to secure fender whips to a lifeline temporarily or a dock line to a piling. For this knot, sailors wrap the end of the line around a post. The line is then crossed over itself, wrapped around the post again, and the tail is slipped under the last wrap and pulled tight.

3. Cleat hitch. Many sailors use a cleat hitch to secure dock lines to a cleat. Making this knot begins at the cleat edge that is farthest away from the beginning of the line. From here, sailors wrap the line around the cleat’s base and then make a figure eight on the cleat. This figure eight should be made a few times if the cleat size can handle it. Finally, sailors should make a loop with the tail end of the line and hook it around the cleat before pulling it tight.