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Sailors’ knots

Cables is the nomenclature used in the nautical world for ropes used on board. Find out how to make the main knots that can help you solve numerous situations.

The Art of the Sailor who many only know as an artistic expression, is first and foremost, a set of solutions with cables that are frequently used onboard to solve the problems we face.

Among the many known and used sailors’ knots, we will show you perhaps the most important and most useful ones.


Sailors´ Knot - Slipknot
Sailors´ Knot – Slipknot

This is effectively the simplest knot and is often the first step for more complex knots. When made at the rope end it serves as temporary grip and can also be used to prevent the cable from unreeving through an eye or a block.

Overhand loop knot

Sailors´ Knot - Overhand loop knot
Sailors´ Knot – Overhand loop knot

It is performed as if it were a slipknot at the centre of a cable and serves to provisionally adjust a cable, to any length. The figure shows this knot after it is «tightened»

Bowline knot

Sailors´ Knot  - Bowline knot
Sailors´ Knot – Bowline knot

Similar to the Sheet Bend Knot, the Bowline Knot  is one of the most used sailors’ knots onboard. It is tied at the end of a mooring rope at the bollard at the fore section of vessels, when these have to be towed. There are several types of Bowline Knots, this is the most common one.

Learn more: Nautical terms and Nautical Signals.

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