One of the oldest skills of sailors is known as “marlingspike seamanship,” the general term for the skill of handling lines. Advanced practitioners can tie knots into “fancy work” including elaborate decorative knots. In a more general sense, it can refer to the knowledge of knots and the ability to conduct basic splices.
The candidate will be presented with a certificate indicating mastery of practical skills, although this is not an accredited certification.
This course is intended to provide the candidate with the ability to tie a number of practical knots as well as the technical proficiency to select the correct knot for a specific purpose. The successful candidate will also be familiar with the concepts of splicing and how to finish a bitter end in a seamanlike fashion with the use of whippings. Successful candidates will know how to manage line and stow it into coils and the names for those types of coils. Finally, the candidate will be familiar with the use of mooring lines and dock lines, both by their names and also by their implementation.
This course is open to general admission, and there are no prerequisites.
This course may be taken offline at a training facility, but the cost of tuition also covers online course access for pre-study or post-study purposes. Although this is not required for the completion of the course, completion of the on-line portion will count as course completion.
Computer access with software compatible with and capability of displaying most forms of web pages, or smart device with an Android or iOS operating system with ability to either a) access the internet or, b) download and store the contents of this lesson on the device locally. If you can read this web page, and if you can complete the Orientation Pro-Seminar, then you meet these requirements.
Provided With Enrollment
- Required cordage for knot tying and whipping.
- Access to a jack knife for cutting lengths of the above.
- Online course curriculum for study preparation and review.
- Supplementary reference material.
Additional Materials Required
Everything required to pass the course and final practical examination is included. However, to make the demonstration easier, the candidate is allowed to bring items belonging to them, such as :
- Personal jack or rig knife.
- Marlingspike or fid.
- Sailor’s palm, needles, and thread for whipping.
Course Completion Requirements
In order to successfully complete this course, each candidate must obtain a grade percentage of not less than 70% on all quizzes and practical lab exercise, which will have a duration of 30 minutes and consist of the ability to complete:
One of these items within 15 minutes:
- Eye splice with bitter end whipped, or
- Short splice with whipped ends.
Ten knots, including these mandatory four, to be successfully demonstrated within 15 minutes:
- Square knot / reef knot
- Clove hitch
- Sheet bend
A combination of any of the six items below, plus the four above, within the same 15 minutes:
- Running bowline
- Bowline on a bight
- Cat’s paw
- Figure eight
- Carrick bend
- Round turn and two half hitches
- Rolling hitch
- Stopper hitch
- TImber hitch
- Stage hitch
- Barrel hitch
- Fisherman’s bend
Upon successful final examination, the candidate will be issued a Course Completion Certificate. This may be used to satisfy the US Coast Guard requirements of a practical demonstration of marlingspike seamanship in lieu of demonstration at their facility.
Students are permitted to re-take a failed test or an unsuccessful lab exercise or practical demonstration no more than twice. A student that fails will, after three unsuccessful attempts, be required to re-take the entire course. If the course must be re-taken, the student will not be charged additional for this, however, if an additional final examination must be scheduled with a Salty Tar Examiner, there will be a fee for that examiner’s time, test materials, and duplicity of documentation.