May 2010

Mastering marlinespike

Sheet bend (for tall piles)

Probably the fastest and best method of joining two lines—especially of unequal diameter—the sheet bend is unlikely to capsize even with a sudden load.

In fact, the greater the load on the knot, the greater the jamming action will be, making this a good knot for towing.

If the knot is being used to extend an anchor rode, the bitter ends should be seized (bound with many wrappings of small stuff) to the working parts.

Sheet bend A.

Tie the sheet bend by forming an open bight near the bitter end of the first line.

Sheet bend B.

Thread the second line up through the loop, around the back of the loop and back under itself. Make sure both bitter ends are on the same side and not diagonally opposite each other, which would weaken the knot.

Sheet bend C.

Pull and shape the knot before applying a load.

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

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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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