Knots, Bends and Hitches

Sailing is indeed an art form which has been passed down from generation to generation and has succeded in fascinating everyone from the casual observer to the professional sailor. We have provided a few basic knots and rope techniques which are common on most sailing vessels. If you are already a practiced sailor then this will serve as a review of your skills. If however, you are new to the art of sailing, then the illustrations and descriptions we have provided are for your study and practice so that you will be prepared for the fine adventure of a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands!!

There are actually four groups of "knots":
Knots are used to form a loop like a bowline.
Hitches are used to make a line fast to another object.
Bends are used to secure two rope ends to each other.
Splices are actually used to join rope together strand by strand.

You should consider the rope to have three parts, the working end, the standing part and the bight (consider the bight as a curve not less than half a circle).

You never "tie" a knot, you put a knot or make a knot. A hitch is taken or made fast. You put in a bend or a splice.


Reef/Slipped Reef Knot

Bowline on a Bight


Figure of Eight


Rolling Hitch

Clove Hitch




Double Bend

Sheet Bend

Carrick Bend


Belay to a Cleat, Step 1

Belay to a Cleat, Step 2

Placement of Cleat

Belay to a Pin

Line Handling

Halyard Coil for Cleat or Pin

Hanging Coil

Coils for Stowing

Eye Splice

Eye Splice

Constrictor Knot

Short Splice

Note the Use of Constrictor Knot

Work is Turned in Step 5

Turks Head

Rotate Fingers-Steps 1,2,4,5

Pull Tight When Finished



2017 BVI Calendar