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Best Sailing Knife

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There used to be some great threads on decent sailing knives but now the Google search function is stuffed I can't find them. Tried scrolling through all the pages but no dice.

 

Anyone got a link for them, or a recommendation for a knife? Need it to have one the bow with me - ideally folding, single hand opening and preferably with a shackle key and spike built in.

 

All advice welcome!

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I tested every sailing knife I could find and several other knives and wrote up the top 5.

http://L-36.com/knife.php

 

Only one was a sailing knife and I like it quite a bit but it does not have a shackle key. I ended up making a shackle key by pounding on some bronze and basically forging one myself. I was unable to find one that had a locking blade and locking spike as well as a shackle key. I felt the locking blade and locking spike was more important than having the shackle key included. It is a safety issue. In the end, I actually carry a larger single blade assisted opening knife and get the one with the spike when I need it. The shackle key in on my keychain.

 

I will be interested if you come up with the ideal knife. Oh, and I eliminated serrated blades as I don't find they cut line well. The spikes get caught on the fibers of the line.

 

I think you will find the article interesting as there are a lot of pretty interesting knives that at least I had no idea existed until I did this research.

 

My understanding is that the Myerchin does not lock open so I consider it unsafe. YMMV.

 

Here is the video part of my article

 

 

Allen

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I have a buck "rush"

 

It's an assisted opening single blade and I keep it razor sharp, it's slim, has a clip that allows the knife to be stored in a pocket, blade end down. Why is this an issue? It's not really but on this knife you can slide it out while opening it up simultaneously, it's almost switchblade fast... Also, one hand close and replace in one motion...

 

It's a skeleton design, so I use the frame as a shackle key when needed, again, clean, quick and smooth.

I've had merchyn knives, really nice pieces but nowhere near as smooth and user friendly as the buck.

Great warranty as well..

 

I carry the buck every day, everywhere, all the time. If I'm wearing pants, it's on me. If I don't have it, I may as well not be wearing pants.

I've had my current knife for 6 years. It's been with me every day, it's cut a mile of spectra and Kevlar, it's easy to keep sharp with a small stone and its slim, light and reliable

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I used the Myerchin titanium rigging knife.

 

MyerchinTitaniumRiggingKnife.jpg

Does the blade lock? I am reading conflicting reports.

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My understanding is that the Myerchin does not lock open so I consider it unsafe. YMMV.[/size]

 

The myerchin's do lock. I have one.

 

The boye's are quite nice also - much lighter than the myerchin's but I would guess not as durable (but have not broken either).

 

Most pro captains I know carry a leatherman. I keep one of those on my climbing harness.

 

I have a fixed blade sog seal elite for "serious cutting" like getting line off the prop. It will cut and saw and pry thru pretty much anything, including some fishing rope that has wire in it.

 

And a fixed ceramic blade - a kitchen Chiefs knife - for clean (dyneema) line cutting

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Thanks all for the comments. Allen, I should have known you'd have something on your site ;)

 

Estar, I have a Leatherman already which lives in my kit bag, but I'm after something that can will always be on me on the boat so if things go pear shaped and I need to cut my way out, or I need to spike open a knot etc then I have the tool to hand. I already have a special tool to cut a tether but need something for sheets etc. As it'll be in my pocket weight is fairly big consideration but will check out all suggestions thanks.

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There was one knife I tested that I was pretty sure I would eventually cut my hand in half trying to close the thing. As I recall it was a fairly expensive knife that would otherwise have been perfect. It was very difficult to unlock and you had to put your hand right where the knife closes. I don't recall if it was the Myerchin or not but it might have been. Be sure to try whatever you select first.

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Thanks all for the comments. Allen, I should have known you'd have something on your site ;)

 

Estar, I have a Leatherman already which lives in my kit bag, but I'm after something that can will always be on me on the boat so if things go pear shaped and I need to cut my way out, or I need to spike open a knot etc then I have the tool to hand. I already have a special tool to cut a tether but need something for sheets etc. As it'll be in my pocket weight is fairly big consideration but will check out all suggestions thanks.

Take a look at the Leatherman Skeletool - Somewhat lightweight (but that is both a good and a bad thing) but does 99% of what you need and is a great tool for having on you 24/7 when sailing. One hand opening and closing, ;locking, has a clip built in so it will clip to pretty much anything, reasonably corrosion resistant (but does need some attention and rust proofing to keep on ticking.

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I have three suggestions, including Myerchin.

 

This for rigging and general heavy use (pounding through lines, scraping gunk off, thing's a beast) http://shop.myerchin.com/W100P-Pro-Wood-Offshore-System-W100P.htm

 

Leatherman Wave II for everyday use, abuse the smooth blade and keep the serrated sharp.

 

These bad boys for "rescue" knives on the boat, cheap as dirt, sharp as a whore's tongue on Valentine's day, locking and one hand opening. Also have smoother serrations so the line's fibres don't "hook" as the blade goes through the line. Also, they go on sale occasionally for 5$. By 10. http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--stainless-steel-serrated-rigging-knife--7785512

 

HW

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There was one knife I tested that I was pretty sure I would eventually cut my hand in half trying to close the thing. As I recall it was a fairly expensive knife that would otherwise have been perfect. It was very difficult to unlock and you had to put your hand right where the knife closes. I don't recall if it was the Myerchin or not but it might have been. Be sure to try whatever you select first.

Witchard... Scary knives

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I just ordered the Myerchin titanium rigging knife. I get it Tuesday. I will post a comparison once I get it.

 

Allen

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There was one knife I tested that I was pretty sure I would eventually cut my hand in half trying to close the thing. As I recall it was a fairly expensive knife that would otherwise have been perfect. It was very difficult to unlock and you had to put your hand right where the knife closes. I don't recall if it was the Myerchin or not but it might have been. Be sure to try whatever you select first.

 

I bought a Camillus on your recommendation and agree that it's great. I already had a Kershaw Leek and love it as an everyday carry knife but I think it's too delicate to use as a general purpose rigging knife.

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The leek makes a great letter opener :-) I carry the Clash every day and the Ripple when I dress up. I have two of the Camillus knives, one at home and one on the boat. I will see soon how it compares to the Myerchin.

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I just ordered the Myerchin titanium rigging knife. I get it Tuesday. I will post a comparison once I get it.

 

Allen

 

Would that be the TF300 or the TF377?

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^^ it was the TF300. I personally think a blade length just under 3 inches is ideal. Over 3 inches is illegal in the county where I keep my boat and in many other places as well.

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I've given a few Mycherin's away to people I'm particularly fond of. They're lovely. I keep a Spyderco H1 in my pocket for day sailing and less serious stuff. It is very light and compact. But, on bigger boats or when I really expect to need to do deck work I'm still a Leatherman Wave fan. I've got a small collection of them so I can break a few while we're away from the US Mail. They've been quite good about fixing them up when we get home.

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Boye Knives, top shelf.

 

http://boyeknives.com/basic3.cfm

I have several of these, both traditional blade and sheepsfoot, as well as a custom sheath knife with a pointy blade but sheepsfoot at the base that was in the cockpit for 14yrs. They never corrode and are very light.

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I use the Leatherman Wave on the bow and just keep a shackle key/spike in my pocket. Though since I've had the Leatherman, I never use the shackle key anymore - i just use the pliers instead and it easily clips to my PFD or harness, so for me the only thing the Leatherman is missing is a spike. It does rust up easily, so needs a bit of TLC but I've been happy so far.

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I carry a basic a whichard in my jacket pocket which is light and relatively easy to open.

weighs 132 grams

 

I forgot to wash it after a very wet time on the bow one offshore and left it in a wet jacket and the blade needed a bit of a polish up to remove some surface rust - but otherwise it seems to be fine.

I've never used in anger so can't say anything re it's performance other than some test cuts work OK.

 

The full range can be seen at the link below.

http://marine.wichard.com/menu-Knives-0204040000000000-ME.html

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Used to have a great Wichard......had a small adjustable wrench on one end rather than a shackle key.....was really handy on a boat......but someone stole it after a Bermuda Race many years ago (or I was so drunk.....). They stopped making them so I couldn't replace it.....

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I got the TF300 today. I should have researched it more. This is a big knife. I measure the blade as 3 3/8 inches, which makes it illegal to carry. It is just the cutting edge that is the 2.8 inch they advertise. The liner locks work well. The pocket clip is on the wrong side so the blade is up in your pocket. I say wrong because should the knife open in your pocket a blade up orientation is dangerous for obvious reasons. I think I will return it as not as advertised. Also, the lanyard clip is not as shown but rather a paper clip sized wire. I will stick with my Camillus.

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Liner locks are cheap to manufacture. They will slice open your thumb in an instant given a chance.

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There may be a more accurate name for these locks than liner locks. They were thicker than the liner locks in my other knives. It is at UPS going back so I can't check. The only issue I had with the locks is that the knife was not really tightly held closed and that in combination with the upside down clip would disqualify it for me. It isn't that it opened by itself, it was just not tight. If you are getting one of these, consider the smaller one although I have not seen one. If you are considering this one, check your local laws first and see if knives with blades larger than 3 inches are legal.

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The only lock I truly trust is the Axis used by Benchmade. You can close it one handed with a subtle flick of the wrist without putting any body parts in the line of fire. The ability to get the sharp edge out of the way in an instant is a huge safety feature. To open it you can use the thumb stud-hole or activate the latch and flick it.

They don't make a dedicated sailing knife that meets your needs but with a bit of care a 'street' version would be fine.

Were I in your place I'd look at this one... http://www.benchmade.com/products/555HG (scroll down)... with the yellow handle and plain edge. Tip up carry with these knives is safe and quicker in use.

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There may be a more accurate name for these locks than liner locks. They were thicker than the liner locks in my other knives. It is at UPS going back so I can't check. The only issue I had with the locks is that the knife was not really tightly held closed and that in combination with the upside down clip would disqualify it for me. It isn't that it opened by itself, it was just not tight. If you are getting one of these, consider the smaller one although I have not seen one. If you are considering this one, check your local laws first and see if knives with blades larger than 3 inches are legal.

 

Unless they've changed the laws recently there is no legal limit on the length of a folding knife in CA unless it is spring assisted or otherwise classed as a switchblade for which the length limit is 2 inches. As long as there is a detent that prevents the blade from falling open then it is legal. The Myerchin you bought should be perfectly legal. If it was illegal they wouldn't ship it to you.

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I have a Myerchin hanging in the companionway but carry a Spyderco on me 100% of the time aboard along with a Wave. The Myerchin is nice and has a fid, but the Spydeco takes a better edge and I think sharp is best. The Spydeco is like a part of me, it's older and really really sharp and works excellent. I got a Gerber for Xmas that looks cool and might replace the Spyderco but we'll see.

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There may be a more accurate name for these locks than liner locks. They were thicker than the liner locks in my other knives. It is at UPS going back so I can't check. The only issue I had with the locks is that the knife was not really tightly held closed and that in combination with the upside down clip would disqualify it for me. It isn't that it opened by itself, it was just not tight. If you are getting one of these, consider the smaller one although I have not seen one. If you are considering this one, check your local laws first and see if knives with blades larger than 3 inches are legal.

 

Unless they've changed the laws recently there is no legal limit on the length of a folding knife in CA unless it is spring assisted or otherwise classed as a switchblade for which the length limit is 2 inches. As long as there is a detent that prevents the blade from falling open then it is legal. The Myerchin you bought should be perfectly legal. If it was illegal they wouldn't ship it to you.

It is legal in California but not in San Mateo County. It is legal where I live but not where my boat is.

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If truth be told, what I really do is carry a Kershaw Clash in my pocket and have a Wichard shackle key handy plus he homemade one on my keys but my keys are in the bucket when racing so not accessable. The Wichard has a shackle key plus a bottle opener. They make one with a marlin spike as well (see below). The nice Camillus rigging knife is in the drawer when needed.

 

175_AWIC10303-T.jpg24487656_main_full.jpeg

z_KS-1605ST.jpg

WIC10304-2.jpg

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mud sailor, they still make part number 10093 if you need one. Let me know, I'm a wichard dealer.

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I carry the following,

 

1 - on the bow its the leatherman wave on a tether. Most useful tool. (I carry a separate shackle spike as well).

2 - on the PFD and harness, it's a cheap dive knife with reverse serrates on it lashed to my PFD. No time for digging in a pocket or fiddling with an opener if you're being drowned by lines in the water. Pull it out, use it.

3 - for cutting a lot of dyneema and vectran I use small ceramic paring knives. If they dull, throw them away and get another.

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Thanks guys, some great info. What's best for getting lines, straight or serrated edge? I'm assuming straight but there's some comments that suggest otherwise, does it depend if there's tension on the line or not?

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Serrated for cutting line, but the teeth need to be shallow. If they're very pointy and close together they will just snag. There's a reason all/most rescue knives are fully serrated.

 

I use a straight edge for all my rigging work, cause I can pound it through a line with a spike and it'll cut clean. I can also sharpen a straight edge way easier that a serrated.

 

HW

Thanks guys, some great info. What's best for getting lines, straight or serrated edge? I'm assuming straight but there's some comments that suggest otherwise, does it depend if there's tension on the line or not?

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imho, a straight edge is superior as it does not snag and if it is sharp it will cut line just fine. Keeping a knife sharp is important. You can keep a razor sharp edge on a straight edge. Have you ever seen a serrated razor blade? I bought hundreds of dollars of every type of sharpening system I could find and intend to write it up but have just been busy with other things. With your new knife, keep it sharp with a leather strop. Details to follow. What I tell people is if you want a knife, get one with a straight edge. If you want a saw, get a serrated edge.

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Some newer serrated blades use a round tooth design that supposedly cuts without the jerkiness... As for sharpening serrated blades, a cotton buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge on a bench grinder. :-)

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I have a Wichard 1006x Series.

 

- Middle sized, rugged, not too heavy, feels good in hand.

- Blade reasonably sharp, but could be better. Half-serratedated, locks.

- Marlin spike, locks.

- Shackle opener with Bottle opener, doesn't lock (deliberately - works only in the "open" direction).

- Plastic handlecover, doesn't slip, glows in the dark.

 

I don't like the unlocking mechanism, because in order to do so you'll have to move the shackler towards the locked blade. There is a risk of cutting yourself when doing that in a hurry. Othervise it is a very nice knife.

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IMO serrated edges are too often used as a crutch by those that can't-don't sharpen their knives.

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IMO serrated edges are too often used as a crutch by those that can't-don't sharpen their knives.

 

A crutch, really? You don't think that's a bit hyperbolic. Maybe some people just find it more convenient. For most of the crap I've had to cut while sailing, if you gave me the choice between an equally sharp straight or serrated edge, I'd take the serrated edge 99 times out of a hundred.

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I thought somewhat the same thing till learned how to sharpen a knife.

If equally dull the serrations do help, sharp not so much.

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I thought somewhat the same thing till learned how to sharpen a knife.

If equally dull the serrations do help, sharp not so much.

 

So after a few weeks on the water where you haven't been able to sharpen a knife, or maybe even after a few months of average use where you just didn't get around to it, which one are you going to want in your pocket?

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There are good steels that hold an edge and are corrosion resistant. 440C is OK but 154CM, etc. are much better. A small ceramic stone will keep things keen till a major sharpening is needed.

It's like a woodworkers tool. Once you've experienced sharp you'll never want to deal with less again.

A good knife and sharpening system will be passed on to future generations.

I like Benchmade knives with their available, superior Axis lock.

The Spyderco sharpener is compact and will give you a shaving sharp edge without a learning curve. Just carry some bathroom cleanser in a zip lock baggie and a 3M scrubber pad to clean the stones.

http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77

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Serrated blades have their place. The emergency kit for one, bread knives as well.

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Take a piece of paper from a magazine and gently fold it so that there is a large radius on the fold. In other words, don't crease it. Then take your knife and cut a slit in the fold. That will tell you if the knife is really sharp. Before I learned how to get knives really sharp, I thought I was getting them sharp with stones and sharpening steels. Now that I get them really sharp, razor sharp, I have found there is a world of difference. To get really sharp, you need a leather strop and some buffing compound. I use a Harbor Freight 1 inch belt sander and a Surgi-Sharp leather belt. I can't believe that you can get a serrated blade as sharp although perhaps the buffing wheel mentioned above will work. But putting a knife against a buffing wheel sounds dangerous.

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^^ Yes, edge down. But I have had things get caught in a buffing wheel and had then flung at high speed that were not knives. The leather belt with the straight blade gets a knife scary sharp very quickly. That said, you may not want your knife that sharp as just touch it and you are cut.

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Allen,

 

What are you doing with a 1" belt sander?

 

 

 

Oh, now I get it, the leather belt goes on the belt sander. Brilliant!

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The most reliable knife of all is a fixed blade made of good steel.

Your money mostly goes into steel rather than machining.

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For cockpit knives, use ceramic blades..... No rust. Always sharp

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For cockpit knives, use ceramic blades..... No rust. Always sharp

I've owned a dozen different ceramic knives of different sizes, styles, and brands, from no-name items bought from ceramicknife.com to high-end Kyoceras. I've never found them to be as sharp as I can get a good steel knife and they're much too easy to chip or snap with even normal use. Worse, they're basically guaranteed to fail if you need to pry, gouge, or otherwise use them in desperate circumstances.

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The best knife is one you're comfortable using- one that's a part of you, requires zero thought to open and close and one you can sharpen-

 

Learn to hone a blade and you'll be more bummed you lost a 10yr old knife than one you just bought-

 

I carry a stone in my rigging kit and probably use it 2 to 3 times a week-

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I have a Leatherman Skeletool which is pretty good but not great. And a Myerchin titanium crew knife. Neither is perfect. I've had some problems with the locking device on the Myerchin which is an older design. I see the current knives on their site have a different locking system. Maybe it's better?

 

The problems with the Leatherman is it will rust easily and it's bulky to carry but I do like the clip and having the pliers is handy.

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For cockpit knives, use ceramic blades..... No rust. Always sharp

I've owned a dozen different ceramic knives of different sizes, styles, and brands, from no-name items bought from ceramicknife.com to high-end Kyoceras. I've never found them to be as sharp as I can get a good steel knife and they're much too easy to chip or snap with even normal use. Worse, they're basically guaranteed to fail if you need to pry, gouge, or otherwise use them in desperate circumstances.

 

 

 

I dropped a bottle on a counter as I was pulling stuff out of a lower cabinet and it landed on a ceramic pairing knife. the blade shattered and a piece of the blade cut my lower eyelid.. fuck having a ceramic knive laying around....

 

straight edge for slicing / cutting, serrated edge for sawing... I have a meyerchin fixed drop point in the cockpit, straight edge, very sharp... I have a kershaw leek (thanks allen for the review) I like to carry daily... and when screwing around on the boat I have a cheap gerber, because everything likes to go splash...

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For general rope work I have a Myerchin Gen 2 titanium Crew with a straight blade. One handed opening, and I prefer the new liner lock design over tugging on that little lanyard thingy on the old design. The thumb slot on the blade works ok as a shackle key on small to mid sized shackles, and the spike is handy for picking out those granny knots that my wife ties. The liners are titanium, the place and spike are steel. When I'm splicing on a bench in a controlled environment (not a rocking boat) I use a ceramic fixed blade kitchen knife. My every day carry is a Letterman Wave. Like the American Express commercials, I don't leave home with out it. I ordered the little "pocket clip" because I usually don't wear a belt, and that came with a lanyard ring that I clip a tether to when I go up the mast. Recently I broke the tip of the needle nose pliers. Mailed it back and they sent me a whole new tool, no questions asked. The worst part was being without my beloved Letterman for the two week turnaround time. One of my favorite knives ever though is my H&K (Benchmade) Ally. It's been promoted to my fishing tackle box and has gutted and bled many a salmon and striper. Has a little teflon washer on the hinge pin. Lightning fast unassisted opener, and stays closed when it's supposed to. Rode hard and put away wet, I abuse the shit out of this thing and it still never fails me.

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I depend on my knives for work and pleasure. myerchin has been a long favorite of mine, excellent all around tool. I use to carry an original leatherman until the TSA stole it while I was traveling...I have never learned to like any of their newer models. Spyderco knives are great for cutting jobs. I prefer straight edges for tools, and generally speaking for cutting as well, but good serrated edges have their place...hence spyderco on my list. My favorite emergency "need to cut something fast" knife. hands down, serrated victorinox. fixed blade, ridiculously sharp, throw it away at the end of the season, or if it gets a little dull. cuts anything fast, doesn't matter if that something is under a load or not.I buy them by the box.

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A diving knife on my calf locks in its little scabbard, can be used underwater too, and keeps the crew in line.

I am prepared if a shark jumps in the cockpit. $32.

http://www.amazon.com/Cressi-Blade-Diving-Knife-Japanese/product-reviews/B00BJ73DYS/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

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The victory Americas cup knife seems pretty bloody good for a safety knife, not sure how good for general work though. Apparently it is 3D printed titanium with ceramic coating.

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looks like I'll get an outdoor Opinel knife.

 

Eric Tabarly liked the knife so it must be ok :D I'm gonna carry with me all time so I can cut anything in emergency situation as ropes & wires of fallen rig, safety line....

 

IMG_0044.jpg

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If truth be told, what I really do is carry a Kershaw Clash in my pocket and have a Wichard shackle key handy plus he homemade one on my keys but my keys are in the bucket when racing so not accessable. The Wichard has a shackle key plus a bottle opener. They make one with a marlin spike as well (see below). The nice Camillus rigging knife is in the drawer when needed.

 

175_AWIC10303-T.jpg24487656_main_full.jpeg

z_KS-1605ST.jpg

WIC10304-2.jpg

I just snapped the tip off my Camilus rigging knife. It was only the last mm or so but it was disappointingly easy to do.

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You're not supposed to use it as a screwdriver.

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looks like I'll get an outdoor Opinel knife.

 

Eric Tabarly liked the knife so it must be ok :D I'm gonna carry with me all time so I can cut anything in emergency situation as ropes & wires of fallen rig, safety line....

 

IMG_0044.jpg

Opinel is essentially the first pocket knife nearly every young brit or french kid gets. I've had the one below since I was 8 or 9, so nearly 41 years now.

 

I sail with a Boye pointed tip folder and a Myerchin fixed blade in a sheath for the cockpit.

post-354-0-56043900-1461103217_thumb.jpg

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I depend on my knives for work and pleasure. myerchin has been a long favorite of mine, excellent all around tool. I use to carry an original leatherman until the TSA stole it while I was traveling...I have never learned to like any of their newer models. Spyderco knives are great for cutting jobs. I prefer straight edges for tools, and generally speaking for cutting as well, but good serrated edges have their place...hence spyderco on my list. My favorite emergency "need to cut something fast" knife. hands down, serrated victorinox. fixed blade, ridiculously sharp, throw it away at the end of the season, or if it gets a little dull. cuts anything fast, doesn't matter if that something is under a load or not.I buy them by the box.

Those virtonox things are da bomb. 5-10 bucks at the kitchen supply store. Hold an edge forever. Just finishing a bathroom remodel and I used it for opening boxes, cutting carpet and misc drywall cuts when I could not find my stanley retractable construction blade. Still cuts tomatoes well..

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For safey, we have Gerber River Shorty's on our PFDs and in the cockpit. Don't find folders to be adequate for emergency situations. Also like that the sheath has no moving parts or springs to rust. Thus far have had zero issues with knife retention in the sheath, despite having it mounted handle down on my left side for easy right handed access. Price is quite reasonable at about 40 bucks. One of 4 knives has a couple small rust spots after 4 years of use, otherwise all good. For rope work I use craft knives or ceramics and just chuck when dull. Would love to get a Boye, just haven't managed to get past the eye watering price.

 

river.gif

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For safey, we have Gerber River Shorty's on our PFDs and in the cockpit. Don't find folders to be adequate for emergency situations. Also like that the sheath has no moving parts or springs to rust. Thus far have had zero issues with knife retention in the sheath, despite having it mounted handle down on my left side for easy right handed access. Price is quite reasonable at about 40 bucks. One of 4 knives has a couple small rust spots after 4 years of use, otherwise all good. For rope work I use craft knives or ceramics and just chuck when dull. Would love to get a Boye, just haven't managed to get past the eye watering price.

 

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They were out of production for a while, glad to see they are back.

We have them on our Kayak PFDs which are also our SHTF PFDs.

Ours are made with mushy steel which is loathe to take a keen edge, unfortunately.

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I'm a big +1 on the Boye Knife.

 

It's made of dendritic cobalt crystal, so it's non-rusting, non-magnetic, and its so fucking sharp you could cut time with it. I have one for my daily carry, and two on the boat. Even when the knife feels dull, the dendritic nature of the metal in a microscopic level means the knife is still as sharp as any other, but cuts high tech lines like a serrated blade. I use my Boye knives for diving, as well.

 

Having a knife that actually cuts is pretty amazing, but the Boye knife repeatedly wins all the Practical Sailor contests, and for good reason: It's the best.

 

Boye's knives are expensive, no doubt, because his factory in Arizona burned down. I have my complement of his knives and continue to recommend them to everyone I know.

 

Being upside down under a dinghy is not the time to have a shitty rusty blade. It's time to cut shit and get back to air.

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Being upside down under dinghy is no time to have to fold open a knife either. After some fixed knives that were to unwieldy, this is what I carry nowadays:

http://www.gillmarine.com/nl/sailing-accessories/marine-tools/harness-rescue-tool-1.html?___store=eur_en_nl_b2c#size-guide

Unobtrusive, easily fixed to pfd or trapeze harness, but big enough to cut through a 10 mm mainsheet if the need arises.

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Davis Deluxe Rigging knife $20-25. Sharpens easy, cuts tech stuff well. Used it everyday for the last 3 months. Price is right too.

 

45951.gif

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Wichard has a new line:

That is a very sexy knife... Wichard also make a version for the Bowman with a connoisseurs drinking problem.

 

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Davis Deluxe Rigging knife $20-25. Sharpens easy, cuts tech stuff well. Used it everyday for the last 3 months. Price is right too.

 

45951.gif

 

Rusts easily:

1530655_756271564480166_478574785_n.jpg?

 

That one was less than a year old.

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leatherman OHT (one handed tool), the knives are on the outside, but the pliars slide out, a la gerber, with less hassle than opening a wave/surge. For when the back don't give you enough halyard, and you have to have pliars while still holding on. Leatherman quality, so you can still use them as a hammer....

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I still cry to think that I lost the Boye knife that he gave to me personally, even after I had spent the evening trying to pick up the cute hippy chick that did the final polishing at his commune/foundry out in the desert. I think he was flattered that I was so eager to get the girl away from the boatshow and didn't realized he was such a stud. I did get the girl out for a sunset 'test ride' on the 23' skiff I was showing at the boatshow and was surprised to find Boye sitting at the table with my partners having cocktails when we got back from the boat ride. We all had a nice dinner and was surprised to get invited back to the old pickup camper that Boye did the boatshow circuit with. I had my laptop and after some after dinner 'dry cordial' he and I designed a new knife blade in 3d on my laptop using Rhino3D. He was pretty excited about the possibility of using the 3d Rhino model to CNC mill a wax original much like jewelers were starting to do at the time. He showed me photos of how he would cast the wax originals from a sand casting and then assemble them on a treelike 'sprue' and then dip them in a ceramic slurry repeatedly to make the mold for the blades.

 

The hippy chick had long since gone to sleep in the cab over bunk and Boye and I had made big plans for his design/production process. He would send me hand forged originals and pencil sketches and I would create the 3d model and he was going to invest in a wax mill and greatly shorten the time spent on custom knives. He invited me out to his commune/foundry and mentioned with a nod of the head and a wink that there were plenty of young pretty 'interns' like the one asleep just above our heads. I then realized that there was only one bunk in the camper and I started looking nervously for an excuse to shove off when he pulled one of his serrated boating folders ($200 today) out of his pocket and handed it to me!

 

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I regret now not having taken the opportunity to visit him at the foundry, almost as much as losing the knife.

 

I tried looking him up recently and he has turned over the knife business to one of his 'graduates' who has them in her shop and handles the online sales. I think he still does some custom knife and they bring really top dollar.

 

Interesting tidbit from his site.

 

Knifemaker David Boye comes from a seafaring family -- his great-grandfather in Denmark was a merchant on the Atlantic, and his grandfather was a sea captain on the U. S. Pacific coast. His father was a tugboat captain who tragically lost his leg in a tangled tow line in San Francisco Bay in 1943.

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I talked with the woman who handles the sales of the David Boye knives just a while ago and she says he has nearly put his foundry out in the desert back together and should be back up to production soon. He is concentrating on the boat knives for now but his custom 'art knives' are being done by other makers to his designs. Some really nice stuff available.

 

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Here is Francine's site.

 

http://www.francineetchedknives.com/pages/about-dendritic-cobalt

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Wichard has a new line:

That is a very sexy knife... Wichard also make a version for the Bowman with a connoisseurs drinking problem.

 

 

Damn - love the version with the cork screw! I'll have to ask my friendly Wichard buddy for a sample

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Davis Deluxe Rigging knife $20-25. Sharpens easy, cuts tech stuff well. Used it everyday for the last 3 months. Price is right too.

 

45951.gif

Rusts easily:

1530655_756271564480166_478574785_n.jpg?

 

That one was less than a year old.

I don't know what you did with it, but looks like it was left that at the bottom of a wet salty locker? Mine is on my hip and inside wet foulies for multiple regattas. Barely a spec of rust on it. Periodically spray some t9 on it or something else. Still looks like new. Swear by it. Tools need maintenance too.

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