#23: Top 10 Sailing Knots


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This week on Your Pocket Sailing Instructor podcast we are digging into knots! This is a list of the top 10 knots I use when sailing. I think that they are valuable and you should learn them as well. Being able to tie quick, efficient and reliable knots is key for your sailing toolbox.

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Top 10 Sailing Knots

#1 Bowline

  • Description: the bowline creates a non-slip loop.
  • Examples: use for jib sheets, dock lines, crew overboard recovery

#2 Rolling Hitch

  • Description: attach a rope to another rope whereby you can apply tension to the rope and the knot will not slip
  • Examples: use for winch overrides, anytime you need to remove load from a rope

#3 Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

  • Description: attach a rope to a ring, bar, pole or dock post.
  • Examples: use for docklines on a dock ring; use for fenders on toerail or handrail.

#4 Eight Knot

  • Description: simple, but effective, stopper knot.
  • Examples: use at ends of halyards and sheets (except spinnaker sheets)

#5 Reef Knot

  • Description: tie two lines of equal thickness together.
  • Examples: tying your sail tie ends together.

#6 Double Sheet Bend

  • Description: tie two lines of unequal thickness together.
  • Examples: tying your dinghy painter to a sternline.

#7 Cleat Hitch

  • Description: secure a line to a horn cleat.
  • Examples: dockline to dock cleat; halyard to horn cleat; sheets to horn cleat

#8 Highwayman's Hitch

  • Description: quick release knot for temporarily securing a line.
  • Examples: quick tie down for tarp.

#9 Alpine Butterfly Loop

  • Description: creating a secure loop in the middle of a rope.
  • Examples: used when there is damage on a line; tarp tie down.

#10 Clove Hitch

  • Description: simple, quick and temporary hitch to fasten a rope to a post.
  • Examples: used for initial fender set up when docking; securing tiller.

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