Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lesson 2: Knots Not Knots

Our second classroom session last night was all about knots.  A knot is a measurement of speed in nautical miles and is approximately 1.15 standard miles, but this is not the knot I'm talking about.  Knots are also the things you use to keep the myriad of lines (ropes) on a sailboat in order.

Now the only knot I really knew how to tie well was the one you accidentally create in your tennis shoe know the one that takes a forever to get untied...and usually occurs when you are in a hurry.

Well, the ones we learned last night differ a great deal as they both serve a useful purpose and can be untied easily.  Here are the ones we learned that the ASA wants us to know:
And a few other useful items that aren't on the ASA exam:
  • Cow Hitch - Useful for stowing reefing lines (or, I guess cows).
  • Prusik - Can apply force to an existing line when you can't access the ends.
  • Truckers Hitch -  Multiply pulling power (cheap block and tackle).
Here is a site I found that has a bunch of animated knots if anyone is interested:

The most interesting thing I learned though, is that there are different ways to tie a given knot, but some are much easier than others.  When you are on a rocking boat, I assume the easier the better.

Now if I can ever get over this cold, next lessons are on a boat.

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