Knots! Also known as Marlinspike Seamanship

Sailboat are held together and controlled by lines or ropes. In sailing we like to use the word lines and the word “ROPE” will get you tossed from the snobby circles of the yachty community! To be able to rig your boat and get the most out of it you MUST practice and become very competent at making specific types of knots.

Square Knot or Reef Knot

The Optimist in particular has a million square knots in its rigging. The loops along the mast and boom are all square knots. The head of the sail or throat is square knotted as is the tack of the sail. In larger boats, the square knot is used to bundle up the sail when reefed, or otherwise known as the Reef Knot!


The Bowline is the most handy of all sailing knots. It is a wonderful knot because it takes incredible loads and will never loosen under load, so you can depend on it if you tie it right. For the boat owner, depending on knots like the bowline help you sleep at night while your expensive yacht is blown about the dock by passing storms and gales! And even after being heavily loaded, the Bowline is simple and easy to get untied, unlike some other knots.

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