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Old 10-19-2009
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Sailing Knives

I'm Kelly...and I'm new to sailing...TOTALLY NEW!
My boyfriend of almost 2 years recently bought a sailboat and has yet to put it in the water as he is waiting for some work to be completed on it.
We're looking forward to getting away on it even though we are now into the colder months!!
I'm sure I will have lots of questions for all of you who are experienced sailors!
In the meantime, I have just one question for now.
My guy mentioned that he would like a knife to use on his boat....for emergency having to cut through rope.
I have been asking in a particular store for some info and havent had much time yet to google some info.
The knife I've been looking at is the Spyderco brand.
There are a couple that have been recommended to me and I want to make sure that I get the right kind for him (for I can't ask him!!)
So...which kind would be best?
There is one with a pointed tip and a curved, surrated blade.
And another with a straight edge...surrated blade with a rounded tip.

Some models that I've had mentioned to me by salespeople are the
-spyderhawk salt (C77YL)
-saver (I dont know the model number) used in a sawing motion I believe.
-atlantic salt (SC89SYL)

All of the above are Spyderco brands.

Which knife do you use?
And do you have any pointers or tips (pardon the pun)
when purchasing a knife for 'pleasure sailing'.
Is a surrated edge better than a razor edge?
Is it better to have a rounded opposed to a pointed tip?

Thanks for your advice!!

Last edited by KeltiC; 10-19-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 10-19-2009
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I did a bunch of research on knives before I bought mine. I wanted the Spyderco Atlantic Salt, but just didn't want to spend that much. I ended up getting a Smith & Wesson knife/marlinspike off Amazon for $10. It hangs on a hook by the main hatch, so anybody can grab it in an emergency and if it goes overboard I'm only out $10.

The flat tipped knives like the atlantic are designed for rescue. So you can cut a harness off somebody without cutting them. That's why I like them.

The curved tip knives are designed to cut lines, the curve assisting with one handed cutting.

I like the serrated edge for cutting things in a hurry.
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Old 10-19-2009
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In my opinion, you have picked a super product. I wear one very similar to the Atlantic Salt Knife Serrated. Mine is black and if I were purchasing again, I would probably get the yellow or orange one (easier to find, especially when dropped overboard)

I just looking on line, and the Atlantic Salt Knife Yellow Serrated are about $65.00 plus shipping.

Me, I prefer the "sheep foot (non-pointed) and the serrated blade.

I think the serrated cuts line (rope) better and I like the non-stabbing affect of the sheep foot blade.

My two cents worth. I think it would make a super Xmas present!

Irwin Citation 34
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Old 10-19-2009
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I would highly recommend a sheath knife rather than a folding knife. Part of making a knife useful is keeping it accessible at all time which generally means on a belt but I do like the companionway idea.

If the knife is for emergency only, serrated will do a better job of cutting than a straight edge. A blunt tip is good because you don't have to worry as much about stabbing things and the point almost never comes in handy.

When sailing I normally carry 2 knives, a sheath knife which I made by cutting down a $20 boning knife(dull point, straight edge) with a spike that I turned on a lathe and on the other side I have a leatherman wave which is handy in everyday stuff like needing to open deck fills. I realize that most people don't like making their own knives and sheaths so a sheath knife that you buy is probably best.
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Old 10-19-2009
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Check out Myerchin knives. They are a true mariners knife. They are handmade and several models are available, both sheath knives and folding.
Here's a link to their website:
Unknown Domain
I am on my second one, alas the first was left on a pickup's bumper and lost. I also use a spyderco at work, while they are good knives, they just don't have the personality of the myerchin.
Jon Caisson Bozeman
S/V Little Miss Magic, Pirates Cove, AL

Last edited by LittleMissMagic; 10-19-2009 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 10-19-2009
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I like the blue Swiss Army type knife West Marine and some other retailers sell. It's not expensive and very handy both on the boat and around the house when doing some chores. In addition to the serrated blade and marlin spike that most boat knives have, it also has a two flat blade scredrivers one phillips, an auger, can opener, bottle opener (very important). It's a great gift.
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Old 10-19-2009
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My first sailing knife was a Myerchin knife. It was a great knife but in a butterfingers moment I dropped it overboard. Now a carry a $20 knife from Davis instruments that if I lose it I wont be that big of a deal.

On the other hand Spyderco makes a great knife and if it is a gift you would get a lot of points by giving that one versus a cheap disposable one.

More specific to the questions you asked. I would go with the serrated edge and a pointed tip. Although pointed tip isnt as functional on a boat.
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Old 10-19-2009
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I like spyderco knives. They are so darned expensive that I'm pretty particular what I'll cut with mine. I carry one all the time at work and quite a bit of the time off the job too.

Another knife is a Vickie. These knives are not something I would buy for a gift, but they are something I would have on the boat. Commercial fishermen have these things lying all over their boats and they are very sharp. We always have a few on the work boat. They cut lines like butter. When they get dull, pitch it and get another one.

KNIFE UTILITY RED HDL 8105R - Seattle Marine
S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA

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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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Old 10-19-2009
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I have used and enjoyed spyderco rescue knive with sheepfoot serrated blade(design similar to the Atlantic Salt) for years. The hole in the blade allows easy one handed operation. It's lightweight and not too thick. The clip allows me to secure inside my waist band just aft of my right hip. I forget that it's there until I need it and then it's readily accessible.
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Old 10-19-2009
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i have a cheap west marine folder. its on a lanyard on my vest, i wont lose it. it is very sharp and not serrated, as i dont like serrated. i feel a very sharp straight edge does a better job at cutting rope, i think differently than most. i think serrated grabs on tough to cut rope, whereas a straight blade does not.

just keep what ever knife you get very sharp, dont use it to cut dinner. you dont want it dull at the worse possible time
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