Rope Knots


Rope Knots

For the average person who only occasionally uses rope knots, it is helpful to learn a few knots which are easy to remember. These should also be easy to tie, and strong, secure and safe enough for a wide variety of purposes. Learning a few good knots and practicing them means you will be well prepared for the times when you need to tie secure knots and also undo them with ease.

Below there are some description of books on rope knots which you can download for free.

Half Hitch

Pass the end of the rope round standing part b and through the bight (Fig 6).

rope knots

Figure 6

Clove Hitch

Pass the end around a post and cross it over b (Fig 7). Pass around the post again, and put (a) through the second bight (Fig 8). This is essentially Two Half Hitches tied around an object.

rope knots

Figure 7

rope knots

Figure 8






Timber Hitch

Pass the end around a post (Fig 10), then around the standing part b, then three or four times around its own part c.

rope knots

Sheep’s Shank

Take bight as shown in Fig 15. half hitch over ends (a) and (b) with ends.

rope knots

If you would like to know more about ropework and rope knots, there are some wonderful old books on the subject which can all be downloaded for free.

1. Knots, Splices and Rope Work, by Hyatt Verrill written in 1917,80 pages. “Giving complete and simple directions for making all the most useful and ornamental knots in common use, with Chapters on Splicing, Pointing, Seizing, Serving, etc. Adapted for the use of travellers, campers, yachtsmen, Boy Scouts, and all others having to use or handle ropes for any purpose.”

2. Knots, Ties and Splices: For Seafarers, Travellers, and All Who Use Cordage, by Tom Burgess, 110pages”KNOTS? What? Knots? There are love knots, matrimonial knots, Gordian Knots. These are figurative. There is the Stafford Knot, the Bouchier Knot, the Lacy Knot, the Henage Knot, the Dacre Knot, the Harrington Knot (which is not a knot at all), as well as the Wake Knot. These are heraldic. There is the Monkey Knot, the Wind Knot, the Peruvian Knot, and conjurors’ knots. These are fancy knots. There are weavers’ knots, builders’ knots, sailors’ knots, reef knots, fishermen’s knots. These are real and useful knots. But they are only twisted cord. Cui bono? What ‘s the use?”

3. Flax, Hemp and Jute Spinning and Twisting, by Herbert Carter written in 1907, 223 pages. “This volume is designed to supplement existing and out-of-date treatises, and to provide, at a reasonable price, a text-book for technical students and a practical hand-book for the use of those engaged in the spinning and twisting of flax, hemp, or jute.”

4. Rope and Twine Information, by A.L. Sykes, 80 Pages “In the year 200 B. C. ships of Syracuse were rigged with rope made of Hemp grown in the valley of the Rhone, and Pliny tells us that towards the end of the first century this fibre was in common use among the Romans for Sails and Cordage. In America the manufacture of Cordage by European methods began in 1662. The name Rope is generally applied to Cordage exceeding one inch in circumference. Ordinary Threads, Twines, Cords and Ropes, may be composed of two or more single yarns twisted together. A single thread is termed a yarn. Were a rope to be formed by simply twisting together in one direction the wliole of the fibres of which it is composed, there would be nothing to prevent its untwisting as soon as left to itself. It is therefore necessary… ”

5. The Use Of Ropes and Tackle, by H.J. Dana and W.A. Pearl written in 1922, 75 pages.”A variety of knots and splices are shown with occasional suggestions as to their use and application. Some knots tie easily and are very secure but are not so easy to untie; others are easily and quickly tied- are secure and yet are not difficult to untie. Some knots are suitable for small cords only, and others are adapted to large ship’s hawsers. For these and other reasons, it is desirable to select the right knot for the job in hand.”

6. The Kedge Anchor or Young Sailors Assistant, by William Brady written in 1882, 458 pages Illustrated by 70 engravings. “To the practical evolutions of modern seamanship, rigging, knotting, splicing, blocks, purchases, running rigging, and other miscellaneous matters, applicable to ships-of-war and others.”


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