Knots for the Cut is aimed at narrow boaters and cruiser owners the length and breadth of Britain's unique canal system. There are over 30,000 boats on Britain's inland waterways. Most owners soon bond with their vessel and take a pride in doing things correctly, with historical authenticity and accuracy.
They take the time and care to cheese down – coil a rope in a tight circle on the roof – and would be ashamed to leave it in a wet tangle that could actually cost them their lives in an emergency. Likewise, they like their moorings and their knots to be reliable, elegant and accurate. Knot tying is enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
And now, in simple straightforward language, with superbly clear original drawings by Helen Gee, Ben Selfe takes us through the basics of rope maintenance and how to moor your vessel. He introduces the idea of making your own bottle fenders and includes some fancy ropework such as a safety ladder, cabin strings, and keyrings utilising the Star Knot.
For the more ambitious, there are detailed instructions and useful tips on how to make cores for such fenders as Buttons, Dwarf's Trousers and Tipcats, and how to cover them. "It's only blanket stitch," says Ben encouragingly. "You can soon learn how to do it."
Of the many satisfied customers who have bought his fenders, most will be aware that the sacrificial Turk's Head was almost Ben's trademark. He shows how to make Turk's Heads for tillers and tables, ocean-plait mats for the floor and all the knots you'll need to achieve them.
Knots for the Cut is filled with Ben's knot-tying knowledge and expertise, conveyed in a friendly, easy-to-follow style. It has the authority and accessibility of a car manual and has become a classic of the waterways.