Rope, knots and splicing

Rope work, knots and splicing in our sailing course

Sailing Course Rope material

Competent crew sailing course natural fibre rope

Natural fiber rope

Nowadays we have laid, plaited and braided ropes which can be made from natural fibers, Nylon, Polyester or Polypropylene. Keep synthetic ropes out of sunlight if not used, away from any corrosive chemicals and avoid chafe and you will have them for a long time.

Here are some of the used materials in our sailing course for rope with different properties.

Natural Fiber Rope

Natural fibers are hemp or sisal. Nowadays we can find this type of rope only on traditionally rigged vessels.

Nylon Rope

Nylon ropes are very strong and is stretching. It is therefore an ideal rope for anchor or mooring ropes.


Polyester ropes are used for Halyards and sheets because they are as strong as Nylon but are almost not stretching.


Polypropylene ropes are floating and therefore used for life boys or dinghies.


There are many knots for heaps of different purposes. For our modern sailing yacht with a stainless or galvanized steel rigging we don’t need more than a handful of useful knots anymore. following are the most important knots we should be able to apply.

The figure of eight

The figure of eight is also known as a stopper knot. If applied on an end of a rope or sheet it will prevent running through fittings.

The reef knot – mandatory in our sailing course

If we have to reef our mainsail we will use this knot.

Round turn plus two half hitches

This knot is used to tie a rope to a post, spar or ring. It is easy undone and secure.

The bowline - Ocean Hiker Sailing Course

The bowline creates a standing loop

The Bowline mandatory in our sailing course

One of the most important knots is the bowline. It creates a standing loop, it is very secure, easy to tie.

Fisherman’s bend

Can be used to connect your anchor rope to a ring on an anchor. A splice with a thimble would be more appropriate nowadays.

Sheet bend

If we need to tie two ropes of different diameter together we can apply the sheet bend or double sheet bend.

Rolling hitch

with the rolling hitch we can tie a rope to a chain, spar or even thicker rope.


Splicing examples as done in our Ocean Hiker Sailing Course

Splicing two ropes together gives 100% strength.

Splicing during our sailing course is unfortunately not very popular nowadays even though it can be a very useful skill. With splicing we can create an eye in an end of a rope or just finishing the open end and prevent the rope of fraying out or we can connect two ropes. The advantage of a splice is that it is a much stronger connection. While using a knot to connect two ropes you may weaken the maximal load of the rope down to 60 %. So if you need to join an anchor rope we recommend to splice them together. Splicing is a compulsory skill in the ocean hiker sailing course.

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2 Responses to “Rope, knots and splicing”

  • Comment from Kitty

    cool site

  • Comment from Wendy

    Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for information about knots and ropes and yours is the best I have came upon so far.

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