The Only Five Knots You Need to Know

Chapter 5 of 5 in the Online Book Seamanship
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Doug has sailed over 30,000 miles with us on “Morgan’s Cloud”. He’s a dab hand at tying knots.

Way, way, way back in time when I attended our yacht club’s junior sailing class, one of the tasks that the instructors set us each summer was to make a knot board. The kid that made the most complex esoteric knots, most beautifully arranged, on the most beautifully varnished board, won a prize.

I never won that prize. In fact, I never even came close. OK…really…the truth is I sucked big time at knot boards.

So maybe that’s why I decided early on that fixating on how many knots one can tie is at worst an affectation and at best a kind of quirky hobby that has very little to do with being a competent offshore sailor.

Be that as it may, here’s a secret for you: We only need to know how to tie five simple knots to be a competent sailors. Really, that’s it.

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