The best knot stays tied when you need it to, and easily loosens when you’re ready to untie it. Each knot has a special purpose and function. Knots that require tension, such as a sheepshank, will fall apart when slackened. A knot improperly tensioned will capsize or bend out of shape. There are loop knots like the bowline, bends that join two lines like the zeppelin bend, and lashings and splices. Still, my favorite knot-tying element is the properly used slippery hitch, which is often overlooked in sailing manuals as one of the essential knots. However, understanding its use and application will open up a variety of knot-tying opportunities.