Essential Rope Knots,  Marine

The Carrick Bend

The Carrick Bend is also known as the Sailor’s breastplate, is ideal for uniting two substantial ropes or cables that are too bulky or rigid for typical bends. Its design ensures a secure and reliable connection, making it a preferred choice in scenarios where other common bends may not suffice due to the sheer size or inflexibility of the ropes or cables involved.

A practical knot; easy to tie and untie, it does not slip even when wet, secure and stable once tightened – it is among the strongest of knots.

Tying Guide

Step 1: Lay the ropes parallel to each other, overlapping slightly. For clarity, let’s call the ropes A and B.

Step 2: Form a loop with rope A, ensuring the working end crosses over its standing part to create the first half of the knot. Leave enough slack at the end to work with.

Step 3: Take rope B and pass it under the loop created by rope A, making sure it goes over the standing part of rope A and under its working end.

Step 4: Now, take the working end of rope B and weave it over the standing part of rope B, under the loop created by rope A, over the working end of rope A, and finally under its standing part.

Step 5: Tighten the knot by pulling both ropes simultaneously, adjusting the ends to ensure the knot looks symmetrical and tight.

Step 6: Trim any excess rope, leaving a bit of tail for security.


  • Practice: This knot can be a bit complex, so practicing with larger ropes or cords might make it easier to understand the pattern.
  • Maintain Tension: Keep a consistent tension while tying the knot to ensure it’s secure.
  • Adjustment: Don’t hesitate to loosen and readjust the knot if it looks uneven before final tightening.

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