The knife has been the tool of true men for centuries. Long before most other tools were invented the knife stood by the man’s side. It is their best friend. It is a lifesaver. It is the one tool on your boat that will get you out of almost every difficult situation. Without a knife you will be lost.
You never know when you and your knife will need to pair up. In the 2011 Chicago Mackinac Race a boat capsized. Crew members were trapped underneath the boat with their harnesses. This unfortunate event has greatly strengthened the focus on safety at seas. You need a razor sharp and easy to open knife if you are to come out alive and survive a catastrophe like this. Without a solid knife you are not getting out.
A worthy sailor’s trusted first mate!
If you are racing offshore then it is against the rules not to have a knife on BOARD. The ISAF Offshore Special Regulations read as follows:
“A strong, sharp knife, sheathed and securely restrained, shall be provided readily accessible from the deck or a cockpit,”
If you are racing transatlantic then all crew member are required to have a personal safety or rescue knife. Of course, if this is going to be a lifesaving tool then you need to make sure that you purchase the best one for the job. After all, you don’t want to be staring death in the eye and realizing the knife in your hand quite literally does not cut it.
The perfect knife will serve as a useful member of your crew. It is important for rigging and for general utility. Novice sailors use pocket knives for their boat. These are not ideal. They are made for cutting food and shaving wood–not for cutting rope! Pocket knives are corrosive. They will break and are not practical to have in a marine environment. A good sailing knife will last you many years. Your knife is your trusted companion. Take care of a quality knife and the knife will take care of you!