A good book with all the knots and splices you're likely to ever need, including ones that hold in high tech line.

The Essential Knot Book for Boats

I really don’t need to know every knot that’s ever been tied. And I do already know the basic ones: bowline, clove hitch, square knot, figure eight.

But situations come up where I’m not sure what knot would be best (or know that I don’t know the right one) . . . and I’ve had a lot of problems getting knots to hold in the new high tech lines.

No more. This little book is exactly what the title says: the essentials. 30 knots, 9 splices, 5 ways to whip the ends of line. No searching forever through hundreds of pages. Even better, it tells when it’s best to use each . . . and which ones are best in those slippery high tech lines.

The Essential Knot Book includes things such as coiling a line for storage, how to secure a tow line, tying a second line on to free a winch override and even for jury-rigging a mast and shrouds as well as the more common things like tying two lines together or bypassing a chafed section of a line. Splices include not just line-to-line 3- and 4-strand splices, but multiplait, wire rope (for rigging) and rope-to-chain splices (for anchor rode).

For each, there is a drawing showing how to tie it. I’ve always preferred books where the drawings show tying the knots step-by-step, but in trying several new knots, I’ve found that this way is perfectly understandable.

Next is text explaining what the knot is used for and anything special about it (did you know that most of us — me included — use a clove hitch in many inappropriate cases?) followed by a few photos of the knot/splice in actual usage.

For me, it’s the most practical knot and splice book I’ve seen. The two features that stand out above others we have (and we do have several — my husband is a bit of a knot fanatic) is the emphasis on what each knot is good for (and when not to use it) and its discussion of high tech lines and inclusion of knots that work particularly well on them (clearly marked as such).

I’m using this in print form; it’s also available as an ebook but I haven’t tried using it.

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  • Michelle Rene
    Posted at 12 July 2014 Reply

    I get confused which knot to use where, thanks for this

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 12 July 2014 Reply

    Hi Carolyn. Just ordered the Kindle version from your link. Thank you. You should add a review on Amazon. The poor guy doesn’t have any. I’ll add a review once I’ve had a chance to read the book.

  • Mindee McGeary Cobb
    Posted at 01 December 2014 Reply

    We’re pretty much on the same schedule …crossing our fingers for good weather to paint the hull. Then we’ll finish bottom painting

  • Kristi Black
    Posted at 29 September 2017 Reply

    Yep, knot gonna lie, I need this!

  • Amy Domaratzki
    Posted at 29 September 2017 Reply

    Wish my Dad had this when he was rigging the trapeze years back. Couldn’t get the line to hold in spectra. I was the Guinea pig – got thrown in the lake a lot. Lost lots of trapeze hooks, too!

  • MaineBob Oconnor
    Posted at 30 September 2017 Reply

    Knot Good!

  • Kevin Baerg
    Posted at 30 September 2017 Reply

    Ordered – thanks!

  • Mark Keith
    Posted at 01 October 2017 Reply

    Enjoy a knotty book. My fidgit bit is a bit of 550 cord. Good for creating muscle memory for various knots.

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