The Marlinspike Sailor / Edition 1

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Hervey Garrett Smith was the foremost marine illustrator of the 1950s and 1960s, and his wonderful drawings of traditional ropework quickly propelled The Marlinspike Sailor to cult classic status when it was published in 1956. With the addition of a section on modern, synthetic rope in the 1970s, its popularity has continued undiminished to this day. It teaches a few basic knots--the bowline, sheet bend, and rolling hitch, among others--and splices in three-strand and braided rope. But its real business is decorative rope and canvaswork--the traditional arts of the sailor--and here it has no equal. For a rope mat, a rope ladder, a sea chest, a ditty bag, a canvas bucket, a mast boot, and the best-looking rope fenders or heaving line in the marina, this is the book of choice.
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Editorial Reviews

nnn Cruising World
&'grave;[Smith's] original illustrations are a marvel of clarity and charm.''
&'grave;The art of creating a 'boaty' boat. If you don't have this title, now is the time to get it.''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070592186
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 131
  • Sales rank: 212,471
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Hervey Garrett Smith was a self-employed marine artist and writer. A graduate of the Pratt Institute of New York, he did illustrations for many sailing magazines and National Geographic. The largest collection of his paintings is held by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents



Making Rope Behave

Knot, Bend, or Hitch?

Anyone Can Splice

The Short Splice

The Long Splice

The Stowage of Rope

How to Lay Up a Grommet


The Heaving Line

Some Notes on Seizing

Worming, Parcelling, and Serving

The Running Turk's Head

The Star Knot

The Tack Knot

The Lanyard Knot

Matthew Walker's Knot

A Simple Rope Mat

Ladder Mat and Block Mat

A Russian or Walled Mat

A Sword Mat

A Rope Ladder with a New Twist and Some Remarks on the Making of Baggywrinkle

Plaited Sennits

Crown Sennits

Rope Handles


Grafting, Pointing and Hitching


The Sea Chest

Deadeyes and Lanyards

Decorative Wall Bag

Tom Crosby's Ditty Box

The Rigger's Little Helper

Wooden Bilge Pumps

Palm and Needle Practice

The Ditty Bag

The Sea Bag

The Bell Rope

Wooden Cleats

Rope Fenders

Stropped Blocks

Canvas Deck Bucket

Rigging a Jackline

Sail Stop Bag

Some Notes on the Use of "Taykles"

A Lanyard for a Cannon

The Catboat Race

Making a Mast Boot

The Water Jug

Registration Numbers, They Too Can Be Beautiful

Art and Yacht Design

Synthetic Fibres and Their Characteristics

Basic Eye Splice

Standard End for End

Back Splice


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2006

    Highly Recomended

    Of all the books on knots and splices I have read, this was the most entertaining and informative. The illustrations are very well drawn making it easy to follow the structure of the knots being described. There is even a added section at the end with splicing technics for newer double braid ropes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2004

    Great beginer book

    The book is great, i loved learning how to tie knots and what not and deffenatly recomend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 1999

    Excellent book for weekend sailors

    Well written with clear illustrations and descriptions. Great ideas for usefull items on the boat and how to make them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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