The vast majority of people master only three knots in life. One is to tie their shoelaces, the second is the granny knot, used wherever the third, a slipknot, does not apply. Anyone with knowledge beyond these three knots verges on expertise in the field.

A dozen knots is all anyone needs to know to be competent in any field, unless you are a seaman on a traditional sailing ship. The dozen knots would be different for a farmer than for a fishing guide, but the total number still remains about the same for each activity.

The strength of this book lies not only in the clear illustrations, but in the practical information that accompanies them. It tells you which ropes to use for different purposes, plus their strengths, materials and sizes.

Most people do not know that tying a knot in a rope reduces its strength. This book not only tells you just how much different types of knots reduce the overall strength of a rope, but it even details knots that can be used to isolate a weakened part of a rope without cutting and retying the rope. It excels not in showing you 15 different ways to do something, but in showing you the best way to do it.

If all you ever learned from the book was the minor change you have to make in tying a granny knot to convert it into a reef knot (a knot that is not only stronger than a granny knot but much easier to untie when the need arises) it would be worth the money. It is the most practical book on the subject currently available.

Softcover, 6" × 9", 108 pages, 1999.

The book is also available with two lengths of soft rope and a 2" diameter ring so that you can start practising immediately. Each braided rope is 3/8" diameter and 60" long. One in navy blue and one in white; the contrast highlights knot structure. Rope and ring set also sold separately.

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