Marine Knots for Sailing – The Five Second Stopper Knot

How do you keep the end of each Genoa sheet from running back through the sheet  blocks? When you first learn to sail, you will often tie a figure-eight knot in the end of your headsail sheet.

The figure-eight makes a good knot, but it has an unfortunate habit of coming undone in high winds. And that means you can lose the Genoa sheet through a block. Which means a trip forward to recover a sheet flailing around the deck like a scared serpent.

The sailing stopper knot makes a worthy substitute for any figure-eight knot. It’s easy to tie, secure, and holds together, even in the toughest sailing weather. Use these five simple steps to tie the sailing stopper knot.

1. Make     Two Turns Over Your Hand

Hold your non-dominant hand at chest height, with the palm in a vertical position and the fingertips together. Point your fingertips across your chest. Raise your thumb up off your fingers. With your dominant hand, wrap the Genoa sheet two times over your palm. Start at the crook between your thumb and fingers. Work toward your finger tips.

2. Cross the Bitter End Over the Turns

Grab 6″” to 9″ of the bitter end of the sheet. Pass it over the two turns toward your thumb. Keep the line over the middle of your open palm as you make this pass.

3. Tuck the End Beneath the Turns

Thread the bitter end of the sheet underneath the turns in your palm. Grasp the bitter end and pull it through the turns back toward the tips of your fingers.

4. Pull the Bitter End Through the Turns

Slip the knot off of your palm. Hold the bitter end in one hand and the standing part of the sheet in the other.

5. Remove the Slack to Make it Compact

Pull in an outward direction on the bitter end and standing part. Next, hold the bulk of the knot with one hand and pull with the other. Do this on each side of the knot.  Remove the slack from the knot to make it into a compact ball. This keeps the knot from coming undone when the sheets bounce around in heavy sailing winds.

Learn to sail with confidence when you use the sailing stopper knot as your marine knot of choice for the ends of your Genoa or jib sheets. You will be rewarded with a triple dose of strength, compactness, and reliability in all sailing weather–wherever you choose to sail.


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