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Old 24-08-2012, 06:20   #1
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What Book of Knots?

Whats the best book out there, in you guys opinions, for a new sailor to teach themselves how to tie knots? Im just learning to sail and need the practice. Thanks!
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Old 24-08-2012, 06:32   #2
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Re: What book of knots?

Amazon.com: Handbook of Knots (9781405304672): Des Pawson: Books

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Old 24-08-2012, 06:51   #3
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Re: What book of knots?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, RDSMITH.

The “Ashley Book of Knots” (ABOK) < Ashley Book of Knots - Free eBooks Download > may be the gold standard, but for your purposes, I’d recommend a couple of Free Online guides:

Animated Knots by GrogBoating Knots | How to Tie Boating Knots | Animated Boating Knots

Boy Scout’s Knot Guidehttp://boyscouttroop330.org/wp-conte...Knot-Tying.pdf

or by Brion Toss ➥ Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging::Books
A Chapman`s Nautical Guide ~ by Brion Toss ($10.00)
The Complete Rigger's Apprentice ~ by Brion Toss ($39.95)
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Old 24-08-2012, 06:59   #4
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Re: What book of knots?

There are also multiple apps available for iPads and smart phones.....some free that will animate how to tie the knots for you.
You can also goggle for websites that do likewise!
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:10   #5
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Re: What book of knots?

I agree with Gord. Being able to handle just the basics with skill is important. To tie a bowline with one hand and "throw" a clove hitch, square knot, and a proper cleat hitch all in the dark will pretty much get you well beyond what you normally need. These knots you use all the time. The others are more special cases only.

The book by Ashley is a compendium of knots and many of the old sailor knots don't actually work properly on modern cordage. It's still interesting to study them and to get into the "fancy work" too.

The real art to "working" knots is "simple to tie" and "easily untied" with just your fingers after heavy loading. Many knots while strong can be almost impossible to untie after a large load is applied. The above knots easily qualify and good standard knots to know.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:11   #6
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Re: What book of knots?

I have this one and like it. You kind of have to have the basics down to understand it, but its pretty comprehensive and I like its technical nature of being purpose led.

Chapman Knots for Boaters: Brion Toss,Gae Pilon: 9781588167781: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:24   #7
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Re: What book of knots?

ashleys
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:46   #8
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Re: What book of knots?

This is very good... Eye Splice | How to tie the Eye Splice | Splicing Knots

Cheers Frank
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:19   #9
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Thanks for the welcome Gordmay,and thanks for the suggestions everyone. Gonna see if I can find an app for my smart phone..I didnt even think there might be one. Also goin to order the ashleys, seems to be the one that would cover any and all knots i will need or would ever want to try.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:30   #10
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Just downloaded the knot app with many boating knots, thanks! Would never have even thought about a free app without yalls suggestions.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:32   #11
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Re: What book of knots?

Ashley's is very encyclopedic and a great reference book (something like 3,000+ knots as I recall...I think Mr. Ashley may have been a little OCD), but maybe not the best book for learning basic knots.

Also, some students struggle with understanding drawn diagrams of knots (some of which are not so well done in many texts). As Gordy pointed out, there is a very good web site called "Animated Knots" which has excellent animated sequences for most popular knots. They also have an app for smart phones. I have not tried it yet, but this seems like a fine idea for teaching knots.


A few more suggestions:

For basic sailing you really only need to learn about half-a-dozen knots. Don't overwhelm yourself with stuff you don't need to know yet. For example, ASA 101 (Basic Keelboat) includes the following in its curriculum.
  • Figure-8 Knot
  • Square (Reef) Knot
  • Clove Hitch
  • Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches
  • Cleat Hitch
  • Bowline
When I teach these knots I give each student a "pet rope" (about a 3' section of smallish rope) and a "knot board". I've seen a few retail versions of knot boards, but you can also make them up quite easily. The ones I've made up have 1" hole in them (to simulate the clew of a sail), a large dowel rod to simulate a post, and a small deck cleat. Each student gets one of these for the duration of the class so they can practice in their free time...most students seem to really enjoy the knot boards.

Ah, and I see that you are in Galveston, you have an excellent training opportunity right at your door step. Check out the ELISSA. If you join their volunteer training program they will teach you basic knots....and a whole lot more.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:20   #12
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Re: What Book of Knots?

Most typical sailing books give you every knot you "need" to know. Many other knots aren't in use on modern recreational sailing vessels or are decorative only. As Belize sailor implied, the knots in his post will get you through just about anything.

Whats more important is using the right knot or bend for the right job. IMHO the top three to learn first (and be able to do one handed in the dark) are ..

1 Bowline
2 Figure 8
3 Square (reef knot)
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:45   #13
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Re: What Book of Knots?

I would suggest you play around with the excellent "Grog's" site, which for some reason is still the best step by step animation stop for most of the typical knots, and then purchase "The Rigger's Apprentice", by Brion Toss, which covers knots, splicing, making purchases, making proper tie-downs, and keeping the mast up.

I know about six knots well (bowline with/without bight, square, reef, rolling hitch, oysterman's/stopper, anchor/fisherman's bend, etc). I use about four. Ashley's is fine if you want to tie knots for a hobby, but in the real world of sailing, I can look up a knot I don't know at my leisure. For safety and utility, I only require knowledge (and the ability to properly tie) a few.

Strangely, I use a relatively rare knot called a "Zeppelin" rather frequently, mostly for lashings and tie-downs. I think I got it from Toss's book.

Here's how: How to Make a Zeppelin Bend Knot | Survival Topics

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Old 24-08-2012, 09:58   #14
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Re: What Book of Knots?

Here's a great web site that walks you through most knots you will ever need.

Boating Knots | How to Tie Boating Knots | Animated Boating Knots
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:04   #15
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Re: What Book of Knots?

Animated Knots by Grog as linked to by Gord May is a very good teacher. Ashley's is over the top. I have a copy but would not recommend it unless you are just plain "nuts for knots."
kind regards,
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