The reef knot is the most basic of the boating knots and very easy to do. As its name suggests it is used for reefing the sails in heavy winds.
They use this knot, because it is very easy to undo.
To tie the knot you simply take the left string ('A') and the right string ('B'), as shown in the photo and tie A over B, like a shoe lace:
Next take B and place it over A as shown in the photos. Most people say left over right then right over left. They don't mean the left side string and the right side string. They mean the left string and the right string (aka: A and B):
And then right over left as shown:
Finally, tighten the knot by pulling both ends, so the knot looks like the photo below:
Don't get confused and take the loose part of string A and tie it over string B on the second step even though it is on the left side.
If you do you will make the sister of this knot, the famous 'Granny' knot, which looks like this:
It is the knot all of us accidentally do when tying our shoelaces and everyone knows it even from a young age. This what happens when you go left side over right side and right side over left side. Granny knots are very hard to undo and most likely, you'll have to cut the effected area off.
Return from Reef Knot to Boating Knots
Return from Reef Knot to Started Sailing