DIY

How to Tie a Transom Knot

Tie a transom knot in five easy steps.

article image
by Unsplash/Thom Milkovic

With more than 60 how-to instructions for knots, bends, and hitches, The Knot Tying Bible (Firefly Books, 2013) is the perfect reference for when you need to get the job done. Author Colin Jarman has over 40 years of experience as a professional sailing writer and photographer. The excerpt is taken from “Agricultural Knots.”


This is a great way of tying small-diameter poles together. For example, it’s a quick and straightforward way of setting up fruit cane stakes, beanpoles or trellis slats.

Transom Knot

1. Cross the poles, one on top of the other, and run the rope along the lower pole, over the crossed one, down and around the lower pole. Lead it across over its own standing part, down and behind the lower pole.

person holding red rope looped around crossed wood poles

2. Pass the working end between the crossed parts.

person pulling red rope through a loop in rope wrapped around wooden poles

3. Tuck the working end back beneath the standing part.

person holding red rope wrapped around crossed wooden poles

4. Pull the end through to tighten. Work the line around all parts to tighten it, and pull on both ends to settle it all down, making sure that the overhand part lies beneath the crossover.

person pulling on the end of a red rope wrapped around two wooden poles crossed

Knots in Action: With the knot tightened and settled, the ends can be trimmed off. The Transom Knot does not have the ultimate security or rigidity of a Square Lashing, but it is quick and good enough for light duties.

red rope tied in a transom knot around two crossed wooden poles

Read more from The Knot Tying Bible

How to Tie a Neck Halter Knot
How to Tie a Slipped Overhand Knot


book cover with ropes tied in to knots on it

Reprinted with permission from The Knot Tying Bible: Climbing, Camping, Sailing, Fishing, Everyday by Colin Jarman and published by Firefly Books, 2013. Buy this book from our store: The Knot Tying Bible.