An unsuitable knot means a manoeuvre that can be missed, and problems that can become serious. Without being a great sailor, it is enough to know 5 basic knots to get out of any situation.
Mooring, towing, bridling a sheet, without claiming to be a great sailor, it is essential to know the essentials. Whether it’s a figure eight, a grappling hook or a capstan, here’s a look at the essential knots you need to know before setting sail.
- 1 Stop knots
- 2 Assembly nodes
- 2.1 – Flat knot
- 2.2 – Cow knot
- 2.3 – Fisherman’s knot
- 2.4 – Carrick knot
- 2.5 – Listening node
- 2.6 – Agui knot
- 2.7 Mooring nodes
- 2.8 – Deadman’s knot with two half keys
- 2.9 – Half keys to capel
- 2.10 – Capstan knot
- 2.11 – Chair knot
- 2.12 – Laguiole knot
- 2.13 – Double chair knot
- 2.14 – Mooring on a cleat
- 2.15 – Grappling knot
- 2.16 – Noose
- 3 Various knots
– Knot in eight
The figure-of-eight knot (Flemish knot or figure-of-eight) is a stopper knot that is both easy to tie and easy to untie. It is useful on many occasions, for example to :
– preventing a rope from unravelling
– to tie up in an emergency
– giving weight or volume to the end of a sheet to prevent it from slipping through the blocks or rings
Finally, there is a mnemonic for tying this knot: form a pirate’s head with the end of the rope, twist its neck and gouge its eye.
– Apple of touline
The Apple of touline knot is not only elegant. It also has a special function, that of temporarily and significantly weighing down a mooring line or root which is then much easier to throw.
The apple of touline knot or monkey knot is one of those knots that requires a little practice before it can be done properly. The knot is now more aesthetic than anything else, and can be made with the help of a central ball.
– Flat knot
Sometimes called the Hercules knot, the main advantage of the overhand knot is its simplicity.
It is a good knot for joining two ropes of the same diameter. Otherwise, it can tend to slip when under tension. This is why it should be used more as a temporary knot. Paradoxically, if it is too tight, it is terribly difficult to untie.
– Fisherman’s knot
– Listening node
– Agui knot
– Deadman’s knot with two half keys
The Deadman’s knot with two half keys is very similar to the grappling knot, but differs from it because of different characteristics:
quick to tie and possible even under tension, which makes it an emergency knot
easy to untie, even if the rope is under tension;
strong and safe.
The deadman’s knot with two half keys is therefore more suitable for securing a fender, attaching a rope to a quay ring or mooring a boat.
– Capstan knot
The capstan knot is one of the most common knots used for tying. However, it is only secure when it is under permanent tension. In case of jerks, it tends to slip.
Also known as a “boatman’s knot” and “two half keys”, it is used as a permanently tensioned rope attached to a fixed part. It can be used for mooring to a cock or to stop a fender. In the latter case, it is best to secure it with a half loop.
– Chair knot
Also known as a bowline knot, the bowline knot forms a loop (or eye) that does not slide. It is very useful on a boat, especially for attaching sails or to a mooring cleat.
It cannot be undone when under tension and is also very strong.
While there is more than one way to do this, the traditional mnemonic is: “The snake comes out of the well, turns around the tree and goes back into the well.
– Grappling knot
The grappling knot is a mooring knot that is usually used to attach a rope to a ring. It has several interesting characteristics:
very simple to make ;
strong and safe: it does not slip;
it does not damage what it holds.
On the other hand, it can be very difficult to undo, which makes it perfect for connecting an anchor to a mooring line. This is why it is called an anchor knot.