A knot used on a ship dock.

We Bet You Don’t Know These 5 Boating Knots

Written by Boatsetter Team
March 8, 2018

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Unless you spent some time in the Cub Scouts growing up as a kid, your knowledge of knots is pretty limited. That is, of course, unless you are a sailor. Knots are the bread and butter of sailing and knowing how to expertly tie a rope makes the difference between night and day on your ship. We are sure that you know some of the common favorites, but let’s see if you know some of the classics that come out of the essential nautical encyclopedia Ashley’s Book of Knots.

1) Turk’s Head

The Turk’s head or the woggle is one of those great sailing tricks all the veterans have up the sleeve. Begin by wrapping the rope around your hand and begin forming a braiding. After lapping around three times, threat the ends and loops together. Follow this with a rotation keeping the braid visible. After this take the rope in the same path you did in the begin for three rotations. Tuck in your ends and you are ready to go.

2) Masthead Knot Mat

This is one of the most beautiful knots in the game and great for getting your jury-rigged or holding a few lock necks. Begin by creating three similar shaped loops. Take the outer two loops and loop them together by going over and under each other. Follow this by leading the thread across the middle to secure it. Using this same end, repeat the same path and then tucks the ends to finish it off.

3) Ocean Plait Mat

When you are out on the sea you might be looking for odds and ends to be used for things like pot holders, placemats or even a seat. We got you covered here. Begin by tying long loops through an overhand knot. Twist the loops across each one. Follow this by threading the short end across the now and repeat with the long end to secure it together. Do this for three or four times, then cut the loose ends and you’ll be all set.

4) Four Strand Square Sinnet

This is actually born out old French sailing techniques and is a solid all-purpose know for everything from braiding hair to securing your mast. Best of all is that it is fairly simple. Bind all the ends of the rope together then cross one pair of strings in one direction, but separate them so you have a space in between. After this just repeat with the second pair in the opposite direction and continue until you have reached your desired length.

5) Cobra Knot

This fun sounding know is ready for action. It’s actually born out of old-school military lanyards but has found its way across a variety of uses. Begin with a loop tying in an overhand knot. Then tie a half knot across the loop while tightening. Keeping it all together, the other half know and tighten. Repeat several times, but leave the last few loose so you can tuck the loose ends inside them. Tighten anything loose then remove the ends.

Knot Your Everyday Knots

Whether or not these are your everyday knots, they are will certainly come in handy in any boating situation. So the next time you head out to sea, give them a try and see what you can do with them.

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