Learn to Tie Knots


ACTIVITY – Learn how to tie essential knots for sailing!

View the video below from the Sea Scouts, who have been a part of the Boy Scouts of America for over 100 years.  It is a co-ed program for young men and women ages 14 – 20. This high quality video provides easy to follow instructions on tying several of the seven very basic knots for seamanship.

Mate Wayne Stacey of SS Ship 198 Eagle Milton, Delaware LCDR USCG Ret. demonstrates the knots needed for the Apprentice rank: Square or Reek Knot, Bowline, Clove Hitch, Sheet Bend, Two Half Hitches, Figure “8” Knot, and Cleat Hitch.

Learn from Historic Texts

Use these images from The Art of Knotting and Splicing by Cyrus Lawrence Day (US Naval Institute, 1955), SSHSA Maritime Reference Library at the Ship History Center to learn how to tie knots.

Written instructions for how to tie a knot.
Visual example of how to tie a knot.
Written instructions for how to tie a knot.
Visual example of how to tie a knot.
Written instructions for how to tie a knot.
Visual example of how to tie a knot.
Written instructions for how to tie a knot.
Visual example of how to tie a knot.
Written instructions for how to tie a knot.
Visual example of how to tie a knot.

Additional Resources for Learning to Tie Knots

They’re as old as humankind and used by practically every person on the planet every day, so how come they’re so underappreciated? Read the article, “In Praise of the Humble Knot” by Jody Rosen in the New York Times.

Read more about the seven essential knots for sailors from Sail Magazine.

Check out this Girl Scouts camp and outdoor curriculum manual on knots.