Sailors use lines (known as ropes by landlubbers) onboard sailing ships for hauling sails, holding down rigging, raising and lowering anchors and a variety of other jobs. Since lines must hold in strong winds and when wet, knowing how to tie all kinds of knots is important. Sailors would also use their knot tying skills to produce beautiful art and they would often create this "knot art" when they had time off, often called "dog watch".

Try your hand at learning the following knots commonly used on a ship.

Square Knot

used to tie the ends of lines together


used to form a non-slip temporary loop in the end of a line

Clove Hitch

used to attach a line securely to a pole
Sheet Bend
used to tie two lines of unequal thickness together
Figure of Eight

stopper knot, used to prevent a line from unreeving

Click on these informative sites to follow directions on tying knots. animated knot tying lessons - how to tie useful knots for boaters - how rope is constructed - Boy Scout Troop 9 knot tying site - Ropers Knot Page - more animated knot tying