Sunday, January 13, 2008


The monkey fist is a type of knot, so named because it looks somewhat like a small bunched fist/paw. It is tied at the end of a rope to serve as a weight, making it easier to throw the line, and also as an ornamental knot. The monkey's fist knot is most often used as the weight in a heaving line. The line would have the monkey's fist on one end, an eye splice or bowline on the other, with about 30 feet (~10 meters) of line between. A light-weight line would be tied to the bowline, then the weighted monkey's fist could be hurled between ship and dock (or vice versa). The other end of the light-weight line would be attached to a heaver-weight line. The knot is usually tied around a small weight. Monkey's Fists were also commonly used as melee weapons by sailors embroiled in street and tavern fights during the 1800s.
Monkey's fist step by step
Start by wrapping the rope around four of your fingers.
Once there are three wraps, remove your fingers and wrap it three times around the three lengths where your middle and ring finger were.
Then make three more turns by passing the end of the rope inside the first set of turns but outside the second set.
Finally, insert the weight and tighten the rope.