How many different knots do you know? 1, 2, 10 maybe? Did you know, according to the Ashley Book of Knots, there are over 4,000! Can you imagine what you could do with all those knots? Knot tying used to be the past time of most men on whaling ships and fishing boats because of the start of mariner libraries and the fact that more sailors learned to read.
When sailing was a large industry, most boats had children working onboard at a young age. Knot tying was the perfect past time on the long voyages at sea. Sailors would begin working on knots at the beginning of their journey and keep working on these magnificent works of art for months to years at a time keeping them hidden away from others and learning different techniques to finish it in just the right way. This was a knowledge that was handed down through generations and through each sailors’ apprentice.
As with all things, change happens. With new laws put in place, children and young men couldn’t work on ships without some schooling. With this new onset of a different form of knowledge the art form of knot tying began to dwindle. Mariner libraries started to lend books out to sailors that would be gone at sea for extended periods of time. The educated sailors took to the books more than the knots which brought an end to the forward movement of knot tying. Without an education, we can only imagine where the sailing world would be now but it is interesting to think of where our knot tying abilities would be if those pesky books never would have showed up!
We have compiled some videos to help you work on your knot tying skills. We hope that these will help you correctly and confidently tie the many knots, hitches, and bends that we use throughout our careers. Always remember to tie, dress, and set each knot before using it in any serious application.