Here's some basic boaters knots, how to tie them, and a few line handling tips. It's just as important to learn WHEN to use a particular knot as HOW to tie it!
"The King of Knots" because it' makes a strong loop that can still be untied even if it has been under a lot of load. Used for things like tying sheets to jib sail.
Sailors often need a knot that prevents a line from accidentally being pulled through a fitting. This is a common "stopper" knot, because it's easy to tie, and untie.
This is how you tie a line to a cleat properly, such as tying a boat to a dock. (The spiral of line beside cleat in this picture is called a "Flemish", used to keep extra line tidy)
Very useful knot for boaters, and easy to learn. Used for tying a line to something, like a dinghy to a dock, or a fender to a rail... when you don't want it to work itself free.
Useful for quickly, and temporarily tying a line to something, especially if you think you may want to shorten or lengthen it quickly, without untying. Useful to tie on fenders temporarily.
When you want to tie a line to a pole, or another line, and want to be able to pull parallel to it with out the knot slipping along it, such as to keep fender from sliding along rail.
When you want to tie lines of 2 different sizes together. When you want it to be more secure... tie the Double Sheet Bend
Sailors call it a reef knot, because the main use is as a binding knot in reefing sails. Common name is Square Knot. More reliable binding Surgeons Knot uses extra turn in 1st 1/2 knot.
A loop that will tighten around an object as pressure is applied to line. Commonly used to attach reefing line to mainsail.
AKA "gasket coil". Coil and secure a line neatly. If one end is secured (eg halyard or sheet) avoid introducing twist; use 'figure 8' version.
An alternative to a "Flemish" for keeping extra line, such as extra dock line tidy. When the end is pulled, all the loops instantly disappear.
Also called a Chain Sinnet, Chain Stitch, or Monkey Braid, etc.
For tying down and compressing a load, such as snugging an inflated dinghy onto deck. There are several versions of this knot.
Just because most people know how to tie the square knot... it's the basis of how most people tie shoelaces...doesn't make it a good knot. Only use it as a binding knot (tied against a suitable material like a reefed sail), never as a bend (to tie the ends of 2 lines together). It slips, capsizes, comes undone.
Never use it where safety is critical.
"There have probably been more lives lost as a result of using a Square Knot (aka Reef Knot) as a bend (to tie two ropes together) than from the failure of any other half dozen knots combined."
Clifford W. Ashley, in The Ashley Book of Knots
Notice how I had my lines set up on the boat ahead of time, so I could reach them from the dock, and how tied to a "bull rail" which is common here in the Pacific Northwest.
There are many ways to tie a boat to a bull rail. This is a basic one: a round turn and 2 half hitches. Bull rails are horizontal spars, 4x4's, metal pipes, or similar that boats are tied to at the dock. They're common here in the Pacific Northwest. (yeah, next time I'll wear sunglasses David!)
It's not hard to learn to heave a line effectively. But get a bit of training and practice ahead of time, so you don't end up like this poor guy!
Just for fun.... no, it's not really how to tie a Trucker's Hitch