Knots, Bends, and Hitches for Mariners

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December 12, 2005


Mixed media product, 128 pages


0071463216 / 9780071463218


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Main description

Cobranded with one of the nation’s leading boating educators and richly illustrated with 200 fine drawings, this handy little how-to has something for every mariner. The essentials of the boater’s repertoire are here—the bowline, the sheet bend, the clove hitch, etc.—but so are such lesser-known gems as the hawser bend, the cow hitch, and many more.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments1. Marlinespike Seamanship: An Introduction2. Marlinespike Seamanship Terminology Parts of a Line Basic Rope Configurations Bight Turn Jam Turn Round Turn Overhand Loop Underhand Loop Half Hitch Breaking Strength Versus Working Strength Knots Weaken Rope Knots, Bends, Hitches, and Splices3. Working with Rope Rope Materials Rope Construction Laid Rope Single-Braid Rope Double-Braid Rope Parallel-Core Rope Common Rope Uses Aboard Cutting Rope Cold Cutting Heat Cutting Joining Rope Using Heat Using Glue Dyeing Rope Equipment for Dyeing Rope Dyeing Method Line Ends (Whipping Lines) Seizing Lines Care of Line Proper Line Storage Marlinespike Seamanship Tools4. Knots Rope Ends (Stopper Knots) Overhand Knot Slipped Overhand Knot (Slip Knot) Figure-Eight Knot Stevedore Knot Blood Knot Heaving Line Knot Monkey's Fist Loop Knots Bowline Bowline on a Bight Slipped Bowline Angler’s Loop (Perfection Knot) Painter’s Bowline Spanish Bowline Japanese Bowline Three-Part Crown Knot True Lover’s Knot (Clover Knot or Cross Knot) Japanese Success Knot Jury Mast Knot5. Bends Sheet Bend Double Sheet Bend Becket Bend (Becket Hitch) Carrick Bend Hawser Bend Reef (Square) Knot6. Hitches Attaching Hitches Round Turn with Two Half Hitches Clove Hitch (for tall piles) Clove Hitch (for short piles) Cleat Hitch Anchor Bend (a Hitch) Rolling Hitch Buntline Hitch Slipped Buntline Hitch Tugboat Hitch (Bitt Hitch) Lark’s Head (Cow Hitch) Inside Cow Hitch Jar Sling Gathering Hitches Binder’s Loop Sack Knot (Twice-Turned) Sack Knot (Thrice-Turned) Strangle Knot Constrictor Knot7. Splices Rope Ends Back Splice Wall and Crown Knot Matthew Walker Knot Connecting Ropes Short Splice Long Splice Spliced Eyes Eye Splice (Laid Rope) Eye Splice (Double-Braid Rope) Eye Splice in the Middle of Laid Line8. Decorative Knots Line Ends Turk’s Head Crown Sennit Tack Knot Star Knot Bell Rope Sennit Cockscombing Toggle Knots Toggled Reef Knot Toggled Lark’s Head Toggle and BecketBibliographyGlossaryIndex

Author comments

Back cover copy

A richly illustrated, easy-to-use guide to seagoing knots

One of the most visible signs of good seamanship is the ability to tie the correct knot at the correct time, and fast. The essentials of the boater’s repertoire are all here—the Bowline, the Sheet Bend, the Clove Hitch, the Anchor Bend, the Cleat Hitch, etc.—but so are such lesser-known gems as the Hawser Bend, the Cow Hitch, and the Buntline Hitch. The Jar Sling is perfect for that Chardonnay you want to chill by dangling in the water, and you’ll also discover the fascinating handcraft of decorative ropework, developed by sailors over the centuries.

Suffused with a strong flavor of the traditions of the sea, perfectly balanced by up-to-date information on choosing and handling modern synthetic lines, this handy volume will keep you informed and entertained as you master the art of tying:

  • 18 knots tied in the end of a line
  • 6 bends for tying two lines together
  • 17 hitches for fastening a line to a cleat, post, ring, or other object
  • 8 splices
  • 9 decorative knots

U.S. Power Squadrons is the largest private boating educator in the United States and the “go to” organization for recreational boating knowledge and training. USPS offers programs in seamanship and navigation on inland, coastal, and offshore waters, plus a host of special topics ranging from marine engines and electronics to paddlesports and sailing. Members enjoy the camaraderie of fellow boaters and an opportunity to help their local boating communities. For a squadron near you, go to


Overhand Knot pages 37, 38

Slipped Overhand Knot pages 37, 39

Figure-Eight Knot pages 38, 40

Stevedore Knot pages 38, 41

Blood Knot page 41

Heaving Line Knot page 42

Monkey's Fist page 44

Bowline pages 46, 47

Bowline on a Bight page 46, 48

Slipped Bowline page 50, 51

Angler’s Loop pages 50, 52

Painter’s Bowline pages 50, 54

Spanish Bowline page 55

Japanese Bowline page 57

Three-Part Crown Knot page 59

True Lover’s Knot page 61

Japanese Success Knot page 63

Jury Mast Knot page 65


Sheet Bend page 68

Double Sheet Bend pages 70, 71

Becket Bend pages 70, 72

Carrick Bend page 72

Hawser Bend page 74

Reef Knot page 76


Round Turn with Two Half Hitches page 78

Clove Hitch (for tall piles) page 80

Clove Hitch (for short piles) pages 82, 83

Cleat Hitch pages 82, 84

Anchor Bend pages 82, 85

Rolling Hitch page 86

Buntline Hitch pages 88, 89

Slipped Buntline Hitch pages 88, 90

Tugboat Hitch page 91

Lark’s Head page 92

Inside Cow Hitch page 93

Jar Sling page 95

Binder’s Loop page 97

Sack Knot (Twice-Turned) pages 98, 99

Sack Knot (Thrice-Turned) pages 98, 100

Strangle Knot pages 98, 101

Constrictor Knot pages 100, 102


Back Splice pages 105, 106

Wall and Crown Knot pages 105, 108

Matthew Walker Knot page 110

Short Splice page 113

Long Splice page 114

Eye Splice (Laid Rope) page 116

Eye Splice (Double-Braid Rope) page 118

Eye Splice in the Middle of Laid Line page 122

Decorative Knots

Turk’s Head page 126

Crown Sennit pages 130, 131

Tack Knot pages 130, 132, 133

Star Knot pages 132, 135

Bell Rope Sennit page 140

Cockscombing page 143

Toggled Reef Knot pages 145, 146

Toggled Lark’s Head pages 145, 147

Toggle and Becket page 148

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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