Sailing Archive: A knot from Captain John’s Skipper Tips

Posted By on May 27, 2018

There is always a need for "another knot" when sailing. Here’s one for joining lines together with a few pointers from Captain John’s Skipper Tips.


Anytime you join one line to another, you want a knot that will hold under a shock load. Think of any line like a rubber-band. Boat wakes, tidal rise and fall, and wind gusts push and pull on your line. You could tie two bowlines together…

But, this takes lots of line and you’ll end up with two bulky knots that can snag on shrouds or hatch lids. Your second choice may be the Becket Bend (also called a Sheet Bend). I like the extra security of the Double-Becket bend (vs. a Single-Becket). Use this knot to:

* Make short lines longer in just a matter of seconds.
* Double-up docking lines in a slip for heavy weather.
* Join two lines of unequal diameter safe and secure.

Grab two pieces of line and follow the steps below along with the illustration…


1. Form a Teardrop "Foundation"

Form an upside down teardrop (or raindrop) shape with the larger of the two lines–or one of two lines if they’re the same diameter. Hold the teardrop in your non-dominant hand with the fat part of the drop facing down (first illustration).

2. Make a Double Turn

Pull the other line (or the smaller line) through the back of the teardrop and bring several inches toward you. Form a loose loop on one side of the teardrop. Pass the line around the back of the teardrop and through the loop. Do this twice (second illustration).

3. Cinch Up the Sailing Knot

Make your knot tight and compact. Pull on both standing parts and bitter ends a bit at a time. You want the knot to stay put under surge or shock load (third illustration).


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