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SkipperTips: How to Tie the “King of Torque” Sailing Knot!

Which sailing knot do you need to tie when you absolutely, positively must keep a rope from fraying, lash a broken sailboat tiller together or keep and engine hose in place–without hose clamps? Read on for one of sailing’s most under-used boating knots.

If you know how to tie the clove hitch (see “Related Articles” below), then you are about 75% on your way to tying the constrictor. Matter of fact, with just a bit of practice, you’ll be able to crank out the constrictor in about ten seconds. Why know this powerhouse “king of torque”? Use this fast, easy, sailing knot to:


  • Whip the end of a cut line.
  • Repair a broken tiller fast and easy.
  • Clamp a patch over a blown engine hose.
  • Make lashings for a dinghy or liferaft.
  • Handcuff an unruly pirate until help arrives.

Tie the constrictor and take out the slack and it holds with the tenacity of a tenacious octopus. Matter of fact, you will be surprised that it seems almost impossible to wiggle out of the constrictor. But fear not! You can slide the constrictor off of your hand or an object and it will transform into a straight line–just like magic.

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About John Jamieson

I'm a 20+ year Coast Guard veteran, where I served as a search and rescue coxswain, ship driver and certified master training specialist, with tens of thousands of sea miles under my belt. I am a published maritime author, certified (by the CG) professional maritime instructor to teach up through 100 ton masters level licenses, a nationally certified sailing instructor, and a licensed captain under power or sail.

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