• Basic Marlinspike

    Although marlinspike is technically a tool used to work with ropes, over the years the term has become loosely associated with knots in general. One of the hardest parts of learning the various knots is NOT forgetting them, no pun intended. The trick I have found is to learn only two or three of the most useful ones and put them to work. Then you can add additionaly knots to your repertoire.

    When you are dealing with knots you will hear various terms that may confuse you. Don't worry too much about the definitions although I will provide them here. Instead spend your time working with the knots until you can tie them with your eyes closed.

    Standing End
    This is the end of the rope that is under load/strain once the knot is complete.

    Bitter End
    The bitter end is the end of the line/rope that is left over once the knot has been tied.

    To help me remember the difference I think of the terms like this. If the rope is under load, it will be straight as if it could stand up (standing end), while folks may get bitter if you leave the loose end scattered all over the dock (bitter end).


    For now we are only going to compile a list of the knots you should put into action first.

    Bowline

    Clove Hitch

     

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. captmick's Avatar
      captmick -
      Don't have a picture but it's an overhand (the simplest of all knots) where the standing end makes another pass back through the loop...called a "Stopper Knot". Priceless for All Running Rigging Applications, finishing off the Bitter end of secured anchor lines to pad eyes or cleats below decks, any line that passes through routing blocks, pulleys or organizers....as stated...priceless. Easier to remove than an overhand knot once a load has been applied, and used constantly by experienced sailors. Next to the bowline & the clove, it's probably the 3rd most used knot by experienced sailors.
    1. Ana's Avatar
      Ana -
      Tim, we seem to have lost the page with the explanation of the clove hitch?
      I too find not forgetting the knots I learn the hardest part. There is a web page of animated knots which I visit often and I find very helpful; it is Grog's Index of Boating Knots.
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      Well thats weird, thanks Ana. It is totally gone....grrrr Grog's is an excellent source.
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