How To Tie Reef Points and Knots on Sails

Learn how to tie reef points and knots on the sails of a model ship kit. Australian Master Modeler Leon Griffiths show us how he undertakes the tricky task.

Step 1

The reef points on a sail are there to shorten the sail and hence slow the speed of the ship. This is known as ‘shortened sail’.

Step 2

You will need a large needle to punch the cloth, and rigging cord for your reef point. The gauge of thread will be determined by the scale of the ship and drawings.

Step 3

Make the tip of the cord hard by using thin CA, this will act as your probe to guide it through your punched hole.

Step 4

 Using a half granny, thread the cord through the sail causing the cord to lay flat and pointed towards the bottom of the sail. At this point use a very small dab of CA between the sail and the knot, this will permanently keep the rope set where you want it.


Step 5

Turn it over and tie another half granny.


Step 6

The trick is to hold the lead rope tight and work the knot down loosely. The half granny is tied right over left, pulling down on the right side nothing will happen. Pull down on the left side and at the same time pull the lead end tight.


Step 7

 Work the knot down and you will see it tighten up.

Step 8

Lay the lead end to the bottom of the sail and apply a dab of CA to the knot to finish.

Step 9

Cut the rope longer than you need it. You can trim the reefs correctly when all the ropes are on.

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