International Guild of Knot Tyers

Knots and Ropework by Nola Trower

Knots and Ropework by Nola Trower

Helmsman Books 1992 ISBN 9781852237059

Crowood 2000 ISBN 9781861263797

Nola Trower is an IGKT member, a keen racing sailor, and a freelance writer and photographer. If you don’t know your Kevlar from Dyneema, HMPE from Spectra or Admiral 2000, her book will update you. If you’re into boats she’ll teach you a knot and whip and seize and splice and care for your ropes and rigging. Then safely moored to her advice – you can start decorative knotting (even macramé). Her writer’s voice is helpful, lucid and often very funny. For example small pliers are; “…usually steel, in shades of oil and rust.” A sheepshank is; “…. A sort of Band-aid for chafed rope.” And baggy-wrinkle looks; “… like imitation hedgehogs climbing up the rigging.” Even the Bunny Rabbit Bowline was worthwhile for her way to untie it; “… push the rabbit’s behind up the tree.” This is no cut-and-paste re-hash of others’ ideas. Nola Trower knows her working knots; the Buntline Hitch through an eye or ring; a slipped Clove Hitch to hang a fender; and the Jury Knot “… around the BOTTOM of a jury mast as a way of keeping it central.” Her splicing chapter, 3-strand and braided ropes, show clearly all you need to know and, if you’ve never tied a double Matthe3w Walker Knot, study her pictures and I don’t think you can fail. This glossy soft-cover 235 cm x 165 cm, 128 page book illustrated throughout by Mrs. Trower, even has a chapter to say how synthetic ropes can look right on classic boats, but that comes after the Ocean Plait mat made around eight baked bean cans.

G.B.