March 2012

Mastering marlinespike

Slip knot

The slip knot is a stopper knot that can be loosened quickly by pulling on the bitter end to remove the loop. (Knots with a similar motif are referred to as slipped knots.)

Tie a slip knot in the end of a string, twine or thin rope when you need to untie the stopper knot quickly, such as when cinching a load under pressure that is firmed down with multiple half hitches. The knot won’t slip easily, especially when wet.

Slip knot

A. & B. Start with an overhand loop, and pull a short bight of the bitter end through the loop.

C. Leave enough bitter end protruding from the knot for you to pull when you want to release the knot.

D. You can use the slip knot as a quick stopper for a line passed through a grommet in a sail, tarpaulin or boat cover.

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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