Who was it that first coined the phrase “If you can’t do knots, do lots”? I wish I knew, because every time I find myself soaked on the foredeck trying to untie a snaggle of tight hitches and half hitches with cold fingers whilst bucket-loads of cold salt water are cascading down the neck of my foulie jacket, I curse their name - or at least I would if I knew it.
You need to know your knots! If you don’t you are not, in my view, a competent crew.
How then do you learn and retain that knowledge? I recommend 2 x 50cm lengths of rope (say 6 mm diameter and ideally of different colours) and an app on your smartphone. Keep the rope in your pocket and practice knots on the tube on the way to work - or at any opportune moment. The M6 is probably a bad idea! Unless you are a passenger.
Here are four of our favourite apps;
A very professional app that is a premium service. You can also view their videos free of charge on youtube. About £4.49 at the time of writing.
With over 8,000 4* and 5* reviews on Google Play they must be doing something right! Only 27 sailing knots - but that’s plenty! Just £4.99 at the time of writing.
Useful Knots Pro
Extensive knots and an app that can be moved onto SD card too. Cheaper than Animated Knots (above) as well.
IOS Unavailable | Android
A FREE app that I have on my iPhone. It is very useable and whilst it has ads, the data is generally good.
If you take your sailing seriously and don’t want to be sworn at by a bedraggled bowman with wet base layers because you tied lots - learn your knots!
There are, of course, also some great books. Have a read of our Blog, The Best Books for Learning Knots.