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Boater Knot Practice Board DIY

Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
A walk to the end of my dock (about 40 boats) last weekend yielded exactly Zero properly tied cleats. Most were just wads of rope. Granted, this is at an inland lake in Indiana. I would hope at a blue water marina the skills would be a bit better. I like to be competent at the things I do. So, I wanted (and needed) to get good at some usefull boat knot skills. Starting with the basic cleat used at every dock, I found it frustrating to get the knot done properly when needed. A google search for "knot board practice, etc" didnt yield anything that looked like how I needed to tie knots. So I came up with my own, made from scrap I had laying around. I had to buy the 4 1/2" cleat for $1.95. Looks like this
Knot Board mk I.JPG




Others I saw were more like a horizontal rod that one could practice various hitches I suppose. But the above design allows for much more combinations of knots. Enjoy.

Bonus: This guy is the Sensei of the cleat knot! Everything you should and should not do when tying this knot
 
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Sep 15, 2016
447
Catalina 22 Minnesota
i never use or recommend the use of braided line for dock lines.
So I have to ask what do you not like about braided dock lines? I think they're more the standard for most boats over the 3 strand. Even commercial vessels use braided lines for tying to docks in various places. Could you elaborate please?

@CrispyCringle making a practice knott board like that is a great idea. No sailor can know too many knots. Once you become proficient at knot tying you should try your hand at splicing as well.
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,630
Catalina 310 211 RoseLeigh Lake Guntersville, AL
Nice job, I need to do this for my son and I, maybe even get my daughter working the lines a bit more.
 
Jul 12, 2011
808
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
Cool idea! Having an interest, or seeing a new knot on the internet (Thanks Grog!), I often say that I'm going to learn a new knot. Unfortunately, unless I tie the thing a few times, I will never do it in real life. Consequently, I carry around a short length (5 feet?) of old line under the seat of my car so I can try something new. That's a little easier to store than your board, and I can always use it to tie the trunk down if I buy a long piece of wood or something.
 
Sep 30, 2016
244
Hunter 23.5 Oasis Patoka Lake, IN
i never use or recommend the use of braided line for dock lines. i know they sell braided line labeled as dock line.
it is a very poor choice. i don't agree with any of you photos for that reason.
Well thats it then. Im throwing this in the trash. Knot
 
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May 12, 2004
1,240
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
Well done! I made a practice board like that for my GF a few years ago. I don't know that she practices on it very often, however. As far as dock lines, I use 3 strand because of the stretch which braided does not have. I think braided is a bit slipperier than 3 strand, also. I think that's what Jon might have been alluding to. The photo was great, however. :thumbup:
 
Sep 15, 2016
447
Catalina 22 Minnesota
the OP wants to demonstrate proper tying up to a dock skills. well, at least use the proper rope.
3 strand nylon rope stretches 40%. braided rope is woven to not stretch at all.
braided is for halyards and sheets. do not want stretch
3 strand for anchors and mooring lines where you want stretch, fenders too
you want to rip your cleat right out of your deck or do you want the rope to stretch. braided line used to tie up a yacht to a dock is a really , really, really bad idea.

I thought that is where you were going but I wasn't sure. Most of the boats I have seen at marinas use the braided dock lines and not the 3 strand and some put rubber snubbers on the line but not all. It is true that there is no stretch as sometime when a boat would sink at the dock the lines would be cut ASAP or the entire dock would be pulled down.

Funny thing though is although I agree with your assessment on the 3 strand none of the commercial vessels I have worked on use stranded lines. I used to jump to the dock while docking a 165 foot multi level ship while the other deckhand threw out a 3-4 inch diameter braided dock line for me to tie off. If the vessel was to stay in port for any duration it would be backed up with steel cable. I wonder why they never wanted strech on such a large vessel? Perhaps they were afraid of line breakage? I never questioned it at the time and it never came up in my master's tests either. Oh well you learn something new everyday.

@CrispyCringle with a 23 foot boat I am sure you'll be ok regardless. you would be hard pressed to tear off a cleat with your outboard running anyway. Still a novel way to practice seamanship which is something we all need practice with.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
6,908
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Jon.... I'm sure you mean well... but you totally hijacked crispy cringle's thread.... he wanted to discuss knots at the beginner level.... you've turned it into some kind of bible on docking.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
6,908
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
However, your comments are interesting and informative... perhaps start a new thread???? I'd be interested.
 
Jun 28, 2016
334
Hunter 23.5 Paupack, PA
sorry to all. my bad
Hardly. I did a quick search on 3-strand vs. braided and wound up on HullTruth. OMG, you need to go take those boys to the woodshed before they hurt themselves... [Oh, and this newb thanks you]
 
Jun 11, 2011
1,208
Hunter 41 Lewes
Crispy very good post. I laughed at the end of the video because as an electirician that pulls a lot of wire through ducts from manhole to manhole, when you start learning they always know the nubes and when you miss-tie a knot they tell you "if you don't know a knot, tie a lot".
 
Jun 8, 2004
7,769
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Joe;
Everyone has opinions but this original Thread was to learn Knots by a newbie, Not ropes/lines. Often I saw much as a dealer and the idea of knowing knots and coiling lines was part of my training to new boat owners regardless new or brokerage.
However, I wonder what the aircraft carriers use when docked. This day and age I certainly do Not want to get near due to security to see a Knot. Could not help to throw that in.
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,261
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Joe;
Everyone has opinions but this original Thread was to learn Knots by a newbie, Not ropes/lines. Often I saw much as a dealer and the idea of knowing knots and coiling lines was part of my training to new boat owners regardless new or brokerage.
However, I wonder what the aircraft carriers use when docked. This day and age I certainly do Not want to get near due to security to see a Knot. Could not help to throw that in.
We used to deploy with the Navy on the USS Midway but I never paid attention to the dock cables. Docks just meant liberty call to a 19 year old!!
 
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Jun 8, 2004
7,769
-na -NA Anywhere USA
I too was in the Navy for a while but not a career. I did once ask Adm. Rickover why he asked all of his officers stupid questions and about that stupid three peg leg chair once for a meeting at a party. He of course got mad at me but his response which brought the house to a standstill was "I do not want yes men but those who will Authenticate, Authenticate, Authenticate should the orders come down to let the birds fly as the world would forever change from what we know it as today." He offered me a seat in his sub service but advised I would rather protect his butt from the air. Never forgot that.
 
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Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,908
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Joe;
Everyone has opinions but this original Thread was to learn Knots by a newbie, Not ropes/lines. Often I saw much as a dealer and the idea of knowing knots and coiling lines was part of my training to new boat owners regardless new or brokerage.
However, I wonder what the aircraft carriers use when docked. This day and age I certainly do Not want to get near due to security to see a Knot. Could not help to throw that in.
Here ya go Dave.... to satisfy your curiosity without breeching security.