The knots you need to understand on a boat, in no particular order are:
- Bowline Knot. ties things on reliably without becoming impossible to untie afterward. Used for Sail Sheets, flags, anchor stays… we’ll just about anything.
- Clove hitch. Used for tying on the fenders, securing dinghy, holding ropes bitter ends whilst getting things ready, etc.
- Rolling Hitch. Used to tie onto a rope or chain etc. and allow it to be pulled parallel. Can be used as Chain stoppers, snubber tie on, fixing rope overrides.
- Round and two hitches. used for tying off to bollards and such like.
- Hitch and truckers hitch. Used for tightening ropes, such as flag lines, dinghy tension lines etc. The hitch is extremely useful for securing and end and the truckers hitch (or loop) can quickly give you purchase to tighten a rope that otherwise would not have tension on it.