Sailing - Knots and Line Handling

Knots and Line Handling

See also: List of knots

The tying and untying of knots and hitches as well as the general handling of ropes and lines are fundamental to the art of sailing. The RYA basic 'Start Yachting' syllabus lists the following knots and hitches:

  • figure of eight — stopper knot
  • round turn and two half hitches — secure the end of a rope to a fixed object
  • bowline — used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope

It also lists securing a line around a cleat and the use of winches and jamming cleats.

The RYA Competent Crew syllabus adds the following to the list above, as well as knowledge of the correct use of each:

  • clove hitch — securing lines running along a series of posts
  • rolling hitch — rigging a stopper to relax the tension on a sheet
  • reef knot — joining two ends of a single line to bind around an object
  • single and double sheet bend — joining two ropes of different diameters

In addition it requires competent crewmembers to understand 'taking a turn' around a cleat and to be able to make cleated lines secure. Lines and halyards need to be coiled neatly for stowage and reuse. Dock lines need to be thrown and handled safely and correctly when coming alongside, up to a buoy, and when anchoring, as well as when casting off and getting under way.

Read more about this topic:  Sailing

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