Using hand drawings that are clearer than any photograph, THE MARLINSPIKE SAILOR (c.1960) by Hervey Garrett Smith illustrated in a 131 page soft cover book a collection of the best detailed renditions of basic knot tying and ropework any beginner can learn to start his ropework career, or for an old hand to refresh his memory.
There is no waste as only essential rope skills are shown in clear etchings, line drawings, and pencil sketches, which will make the wooden sail boat owner self-sufficient from a lot of expensive, store-bought textile gear.
In a written text accompanying each excellent drawing, Hervey Garrett Smith explained the purpose of each rope related product; such as: knob knots used for drawer handles, baggy wrinkle for chafe gear, coach whipping for stanchion rails, rope shackles for your storage chest, sewing skills to make gear bags and sail mending, netmaking for storage, and rope fenders for hull protection. The author included no superfluous skills or fancy work (MacNamara's Lace as we called it in the Navy).
There is more than a hint of Yankee frugality pervading THE MARLINSPIKE SAILOR as Hervey Garrett Smith promotes self-sufficiency through recycling old rope and canvas, or anything else that can be salvaged and made useable.
THE MARLINSPIKE SAILOR is an important and useful book for the beginner to teach themselves the fundamental skills necessary to quickly make oneself a useful member of any traditional sailboat crew. This book should be read in conjunction with both THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS and SEAMANSHIP IN THE AGE OF SAIL.