Knots to Know: Sheet bend
Use the sheet bend when you need to securely join lines of different diameters, materials or rigidities, such as for towing and sailing. It can also be used to join equal diameter lines and is the primary knot used in making nets. Superior in its ability to hold under load and not jam or pinch, the sheet bend is also easily untied after use.
To tie the sheet bend, both ends must be loose in your hands with no load on the lines.
Step-by-step instructions for tying a sheet bend:
- Start by forming a U-shaped bight or bend in the end of the larger or stiffer line.
- Pass the working part of the smaller or more flexible line up through the bight.
- Wrap it behind the working part and then the standing part of the heavier line. Then take it back up and over the two strands of the bight.
- Pass it under its own standing line and over the working end of the large line bight.
- Tighten the bend by pulling both ends of the thinner line.
If the two tails lie on the same side of the knot, and the thinner line forms a loop behind the thicker line with an X in front, you’ve done it right. To untie, take the load off the joined line and squeeze the ends together. The knot should loosen and unfasten easily.
For other useful knots, check out Knots to Know. A new knot is added every month.
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