May 3, 2018
What’s knot to like!
As spring arrives in the mid-West, our thoughts turn to things nautical, such as getting our Ships to Sea or at least getting our boats out of the back yard. In the array of skills we bring to boating, I would like to share a few thoughts on the topic of knots.
The serious student of sailing will know and practice an array of knots that are used in sailing. Those who wish to be proficient in crewing should know a few basic knots so they can be useful crewing on a variety of boats.
Here is my list of favorite knots and rope skills. Enjoy!
Learn to coil, tie and store rope. This is a skill that is quite useful for crew and one often neglected. There is a wealth of instruction on the Internet on a variety of ways to coil and store rope. One should also practice throwing and receiving the coiled rope. This is a skill that is useful especially for docking. The cleat hitch and two half hitches are useful knots for docking.
Of course the bowline is an essential knot. Remember to learn to tie the bowline in a number of situations such as around your waste for rescue. It should be an automatic skill, which takes practice.
The figure eight is also a commonly used stopper knot. The reef knot is another often used knot especially when reefing on those windy Chicago days. Finally, for those who desire to keep their rope ends neat, learn the whipping knots.
This is hardly an exhaustive list of essential knots. Many sailing books have lists of what they call the basic knots for sailing. Nowadays, the Internet has great videos on knot tying and rope handling. There are also phone apps on knots.
Learning to tie knots can be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. I just want to encourage all of us to spend some time on this aspect of our sailing.
Do you need assistance in boat repairs, maintenance, or launching? Please let us know! We are a social sailing club with many skilled people anxious to help you. Sailing is our passion and we want to share it with others. So, please, contact me or other members or officers if you would like help getting on the water.
Fair Winds, my friends and fellow sailors! Lets get this sailing season going!
2017 Photo Contest Winners
Best Scenic | Best Boat Name | Best Under Sail | Best Group Shot | Best Old Salt | Best Sunset
Read a note written 1976 Commodore Pat Kellogg about the beginnings of NWSA.
Special thanks to Elmer and Joyce Hook for providing this wonderful look at the early days of the NWSA.
Read the accompanying letter.
The NorthWest Sailing Association is an enthusiastic group of sailors living in and about Chicago's Northwest suburbs. The members share a quest for increased knowledge and improved seamanship in a spirit of camaraderie and fun.
Founded in 1974 by a small group of 25 sailors seeking others of similar interests, the Club's initial purpose was to exchange knowledge and experiences. In the course of the years hence, and continuing today, club members regularly sail together out of all major Chicago area harbors, on inland lakes surrounding Chicago, Wisconsin, and occasionally across Lake Michigan and back!
The high point of the summer sailing season, is our Door County / Wisconsin Sailing Weekend. Club members have organized charters in the Bahamas, Florida and other exotic locations, and will plan future charters to various prime sailing areas as the members interest dictates.
Who Belongs to NWSA?
Members include families, couples, singles - anyone interested in sailing; including skippers with large cruising boats or medium or small sailboats; even sailors with no boats. Members who don't know how to sail, but are interested in learning, may wish to crew with our experienced sailboat owners and gain valuable experience and knowledge of boat handling.
Ample opportunity to crew is available at each sailing event, and during the days between events with available skippers.
We Meet. . .
During the boating season, the NWSA sponsors sailing events in many of the major Chicago land lake, and Michigan harbors, as well as inland lakes. We have sponsored cruises in Wisconsin, - Door County, Racine and Lake Geneva; Indiana; Michigan and a Lake Michigan Crossing. Illinois: Waukegan, Monroe, Montrose, Winthrop, Pistakee Lake, Fox Lake; Blackwell Forest Preserve, Warrenville, Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village. Groups have chartered excursions in the Bahamas, Florida, and various prime sailing destinations.