Nova Scotia Sea School
KNOTS TO KNOW: VIDEOS!
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Hey there, Salty Dogs!
Below we will provide for you some supporting links for your knot-practice!
The knot instructional videos below are the same ones in the knots booklet you received earlier in the month! Have fun!
*EDIT: Hello to our friends at Boy Scouts! Thanks to Jackie for reaching out with this additional resource which has been suggested by Scout Sean after accessing this blog post for his Knot Tying Badge! Congrats to all the scouts who found our blog post helpful in their journey! : https://www.crowdcontrolstore.com/adam-hart-queue/rope-and-knot-tying-for-beginners/
Reef Knot/Square Knot
This is a quick way to tie two lines together and is easy to learn but is NOT reliable and is known to slip easily and come apart. Esp. if the lines are different widths or textures. Mostly used to reef sails.
The clove hitch, also called a builder’s knot or a ratline hitch. This knot is used to temporarily fasten a rope to a spar, mast, tree trunk, and so on. The knot can be detached simply by lifting it off the object. It does have two faults: it can slip and yet can also bind. It should be distrusted when used by itself. Half Hitches can be added to make it more secure.
Slippery Hitch/Slippery Clove Hitch
Meant as a quick and temporary way of securing line under-load which can be very quickly & easily untied
Fisherman’s Bend/Anchor Hitch
The fisherman’s, or anchor, bend is an especially strong and simple knot that will not jam or slip under strain and can be untied easily. The knot is used to attach a rope to a ring, hook, anchor, or other object.
Alpine Butterfly Hitch (Lineman’s Loop)
This knot is useful for creating a reliable “loop” in the middle (the “bight”) of a line or rope.
Another very useful knot - sometimes called the “rope tackle” because you are able to get a triple purchase on a load without an actual block and tackle (meaning you are able to get more tightening power out of less muscle power by distributing the load). Very handy for tightening up lines, and securing “cargo”. A very useful knot overall.
Carrick Bend - p. 261
A fancier, more secure way of tying two lines together. Because the Carrick Bend is reliable and has the enormous advantage of being easy to undo, it probably deserves to be used more often.
This is a reliable and quick knot for tying two lines together. It is quite secure, quickly tied, and easily untied. It resembles a bowline but in a different application.
This knot is one of the most important knots you will learn. It is a reliable, universally applicable knot which holds fast, is easily untied, and has many uses.
Sometimes it’s nice to know how to tie it a few different ways to really get to know it, and be able to use it in any application you need it for
Scout vs Sailor bowlines (as well as cowboy & sheet bend comparisons): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozskWrDM-F4
Standard vs “cowboy” or Dutch bowlines:
Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches
This knot is very useful for attaching a rope to a ring, bar, pole, or dock post although probably less secure than the Anchor (Fisherman’s) Hitch. As the name suggests, the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches is composed of two important parts: the round turn (around whatever you are tying the line to) then the two half hitches which actually form a clove hitch around the standing end of the line. This is a good knot to learn to tie with one hand.
This is a knot used to attach a rope to a rod or pole or another rope. It is a friction hitch and is used for lengthwise pulling action along an object instead of at right angles. The rolling hitch is designed to resist lengthwise movement in only one direction of pull.
Carrick Bend Mat
On a vessel, a rope mat may have many purposes; esp. grip on deck or on stairs, and chafe prevention. They are also often ways to show off and practice knotwork proficiency. Try this simple Carrick Bend Mat with the 3/16” braided line provided in your box! Bigger & more complicated mats often follow this same format just with more overs-and-unders, so this is a great place to start!
Useful for shelter building, or building “jigs” or tools for yourself.
Whipping lines and ropes protects their ends from fraying or coming “unlaid” which can affect the way your vessel is rigged, destroy your rope, and/or put you in a situation where you have to cut a line in order to use it for its intended purpose.
Coiling lines correctly is very important on any vessel. Having properly coiled and stowed lines at all times ensures there are less things to trip on, and the lines will be in proper order and not tangled for when you need them quickly. It can be very dangerous to have tangled line aboard your vessel.
A monkey’s fist makes a great decorative line-stopper! It takes some practice but it can be very satisfying once it comes together! It can be a “weighted” line stopper for helping to carry line when tossing it long distances, or some people put a rounded piece of cork in the middle and make a floating key-chain! Can be practiced around marbles, ping pong balls - anything round!
Splicing is a reliable, sleek, and permanent way of putting a loop in rope for rigging.
Once the splicing pattern is established, EACH rope strand or “lay” of the rope should be tucked at LEAST 3 times in order to hold fast and be a sturdy splice. The end of your splice may also be whipped with twine for extra security.