by Hervey Garrett Smith
Hervey Garrett Smith was the foremost marine illustrator of the 1950s and 1960s, and his wonderful drawings of traditional ropework quickly propelled The Marlinspike Sailor to cult classic status when it was published in 1956. With the addition of a section on modern, synthetic rope in the 1970s, its popularity has continued undiminished to this day. It teaches a few basic knots–the bowline, sheet bend, and rolling hitch, among others–and splices in three-strand and braided rope. But its real business is decorative rope and canvaswork–the traditional arts of the sailor–and here it has no equal. For a rope mat, a rope ladder, a sea chest, a ditty bag, a canvas bucket, a mast boot, and the best-looking rope fenders or heaving line in the marina, this is the book of choice.