October 2013

Mastering marlinespike

Matthew Walker knot

Named after a sailor, the Matthew Walker knot is relatively easy to tie but difficult to finish. It can be used as a line end to prevent unlaying; a stopper knot; or part of a bell rope, rope handle, or lanyard. It’s also been used for line identification. Casting this knot correctly takes much practice. Patience and personal instruction are often required.

Matthew Walker AB

A. To cast the knot in 3/8-inch three-strand laid nylon line, unlay approximately 6 inches, leaving the center strand on top. Wrap each of the three strand ends with masking tape or heat-melt them to form sealed points.

B. &. C. Place the strands in the positions shown.

Matthew Walker C to H

D. Lightly pull up on the strands as you first twist the line below the knot against the lay and then twist the forming knot with the lay of the rope.

E. Gradually pull tight.

F., G. & H. Finish the line with a teased or crown ending.

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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