February 2010

Mastering marlinespike

Cleat hitch

A secure and reliable knot, the cleat hitch can be untied under load and is used to secure a line to a cleat.

Cleat hitch step A.

If the cleat’s surface is rough or sharp edged, you may only need a 540-degree round turn before adding the top weave. However, on most smooth, polished cleats with round bases, you must secure the line by wrapping it three full times around the base.

Cleat hitch step B.

For the final weave, bring the bitter end out from under one cleat horn, diagonally across the top of the cleat, under the other cleat horn, and diagonally across the first diagonal line.

Cleat hitch step C.

Continue under and around the starting horn, and bring the line parallel to the first diagonal and under the second diagonal.

Continue building your marlinespike skills by taking the Knots, Bends and Hitches seminar. Find a seminar near you or purchase the USPS guide Knots, Bends and Hitches for Mariners. Call 888-367-8777 ext. 0 for more information.

Original materials used with thanks to Irene Rodriguez and John Bennett

Get sun smart with a low profile hat in khaki!

Mastering Marlinespike


Cleat hitch

Round turn with two half hitches

Clove hitch

Sheet bend

Figure eight

Anchor bend

Rolling hitch

Double sheet bend

Eye splice

Becket bend

Reef knot

Blood knot

True lover’s knot

Monkey’s fist

Carrick bend

Angler’s loop

Strangle knot

Jar sling

Japanese success knot

Spanish bowline

Stevedore knot

Heaving line knot

Three-part crown knot

Sack knot

Short splice

Constrictor knot

Slip knot

Japanese bowline

Hawser bend

Slipped bowline

Bowline on a bight

Lark’s head

Buntline hitch

Jury mast knot

Slipped buntline hitch

Painter’s bowline

Binder’s loop

Wall and crown knot

Inside cow hitch

Toggled reef knot

Long splice

Tugboat hitch

Crown sennit

Toggled lark’s head

Matthew Walker knot


Back splice

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