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The Chapman deck of essential knots

All knotted up

If knowing three or four ways to tie off a pesky line is "knot" enough, boaters should turn to "The Chapman Deck of Essential Knots" ($9.95, Sterling Publishing Co., 2009) by Pat Piper, illustrated by Bob Steimle.

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Using laminated, water-safe flash cards, boaters can teach themselves how to tie up to 47 knots, ranging from stoppers to hitches. Each card is color-coded by use, and features step-by-step tying instructions with full-color illustrations. The front of the card also features a brief overview of the purpose of the knot.

Piper is an accomplished sailor who has crewed the famed 333-mile Chicago-Mackinac race. He sails a restored Alberg sloop on Chesapeake Bay. For information, visit

This article originally appeared in the Home Waters Sections of the May 2010 issue.