Knots, ropes and lines...
So confusing, which knot for which job? What's a rope, line or painter? How are lines and ropes stored so they don't and end up in a big tangled mess in the bottom of a locker?
If you have asked those questions before, no worries you are in the right place...
The following information will help you on your way to be an awesome line handler and knot creator on your crew. Just learning a few knots will dazzle your crewmates and impress the skipper and if that is you, you will impress yourself.
Tying knots for use on a boat is no different than tying knots that you might use everyday. Tying your shoe laces, wrapping a gift or tying off this weeks garbage bag going to the curb.
Learning just a few of the knots listed below will cover just about anything that needs to be done on your water adventures.
Here are just a few of the knots you can add to your toolkit of awesomeness...
OVERHAND WRAP is the foundation or begining of most knots. Think tying your shoe lace, as simple as that.
OVERHAND KNOT is another starter know for the beginning of most knots that you will create. Pull this knot tight and it can be used as a stopper knot for a line that is threaded through a hole.
DOUBLE OVERHAND KNOT this creates a larger overhand knot that gives more strength when used as a stopper knot or when a single overhand knot might pull through the opening.
For example this knot could be used when attaching the topping lift line that holds up the boom on a sailboat.
CLOVE HITCH is used to temporarily secure a vessel or a dinghy to a spar or bull rail. A clove hitch is used often as a means to secure a boat to the dock. This knot is not recommended for tying your boat to the dock for long periods of time because it can work its self undone or can also get jammed making it very difficult to undo.
To tie a line to a spar, might the clove hitch first then slip it over the spar and tighten the line to secure the knot.
FIGURE EIGHT KNOT this is another stopper knot that is used to prevent the line from sliding through a block, usually at the end of a sheet which is the line that controls the sails. A little hint, when making this knot make sure there is a long tail left so you can pull the line out of the block if it happens to get jammed into it.
BOWLINE is a knot that can be used anywhere, for any task or situation. This knot is very strong and rarely come undone on its own. It is used in towing operations, attaching two lines together and in rescue situations. A very versatile knot to learn. Hint, there are many different ways to make the bowline knot... find the way that is easiest for you to do, then stick to it. Learn this knot so well that you can tie it in the dark, standing on your head or even tying it using only one hand.
There will be occassions when it is necessary to connect two or three lines together. The following knots are the ones for the job.
FISHERMEN'S KNOT is used to connect similar size lines together. The knot can also be secured by doing a couple of half hitches using the tails on either side of the knot. Make sure to give yourself extra length of line at each end and add a couple of half hitches.
SHEET BEND is used for connected to lines of varying thicknesses. For example if you need to heave a large line it is best to attach a thinner diameter line that is easier to throw to the thicker more heavier line.
These are just a few basic knots to add to your toolkit of awesomeness... to find out how to tie more knots, the differences between ropes, lines and painters. Write in the comments below... "More Information Please" and I'll get right back to you with some next steps to learning more about knots, so you can dazzel your fellow sailors with your knowledge and skills. Or Join the KNOTS, ROPES AND LINES 21 DAY CHALLENGE...
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