How to Tie a Jury Mast Knot

The Jury Mast Knot, other called the Masthead Knot, is a mostly decorative knot with three loops coming out in opposite directions.

Quick Guide: Tying a Jury Mast Knot

To tie the Jury Mast Knot, make three identical loops in the middle of the rope. Then cross the right loop over the middle one and the left behind the middle one to create the starting layout (shown in step 1).

Then you’ll need to take the two middle strands and pass them over to opposite sides, as illustrated in step 1. Do this slowly and one step at a time. Then pull the top strand outwards to create the top loop. Now you should have formed the basis of the Jury Mast Knot (step 2).

If using it to secure a mast or a pole, place it in the middle of the knot, as shown in step 3. If not, tighten everything to finish the knot. You can leave it partly-tightened if used for decorative purposes (as shown in step 4).

Jury Mast Knot Step by step

Common Uses for the Jury Mast Knot

Most commonly, the Jury Mast Knot is used for decorative purposes. It creates a pleasing shape, so it can be hung on a wall with an old rope to create an interesting decorative element. You can also create a good-looking mat using the Jury Mast Knot.

Historically, the Jury Mast Knot was used in sailing to jury rig a mast. In a few words, it was used to secure a new sail mast in place if the old one broke and you had limited supplies on the ship. A groove was carved in the new mast, a Jury Mast Knot was tied around it, and a bowline was tied in the rope ends to create a fourth loop. Then each of these loops would be used as anchor points to level the mast and keep it in place.

Just like with jury-rigging a mast, it could also be used in general applications when you need to level a post vertically with four anchor points on each side.

Knots Like the Jury Mast Knot

Carrick Bend Mat: A decorative knot with a similar structure to the Jury Mast Knot. It’s tied much differently, requiring both rope ends to be free. It’s also often used to create decorative mats.

Celtic Knot: Another decorative knot that’s used in Macrame and to create mats.

Bowline Knot: A very popular sailing knot, other called “the king of knots”. We’re mentioning it here because it can be tied with both rope ends to create a fourth loop at the bottom. This is needed if you’re planning to use the Jury Mast Knot to jury-rig a mast or another vertical pole.

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Tie the Jury Mast Knot

Jury Mast Knot

A step-by-step guide on how to tie the Jury Mast Knot.

Step 1:

Jury Mast Knot Step 1

Create three identical loops in the middle of the line. Then pass the right loop over the middle one and the left loop below the middle one. This will form the layout illustrated above. Then you’ll need to take both middle strands and pass them over to the opposite sides, as illustrated above.

Step 2:

Jury Mast Knot Step 2

Pull the top loop outwards to form the main structure of the Jury Mast Knot.

Step 3:

Jury Mast Knot Step 3

For decorative purposes, you can dress the knot like this, leaving the middle part untightened.

Step 4:

Jury Mast Knot Step 4

You can also tighten and dress the knot completely.

About the author
Oscar is a freelance writer who writes about traveling, hiking, and the outdoors. In his free time, he enjoys trekking in the mountains and camping in remote areas all across Europe.