It doesn’t matter what you call it: sailor knife, bosun’s knife, rigging knife, or boat knife. The fact is that you can’t call yourself a real sailor without one. Oh, sure, it’s no longer iron men and wooden ships, but here’s the inside scoop: you won’t know how much you need a bosun’s knife until you own one.
Then you’ll wonder how you got along without it.
The one in my chubby little hand is my personal Myerchin A300 Offshore Folder, and it’s got thousands of miles on it. It’s been across the Pacific, Atlantic, through the Caribbean and the Med, across the Andaman Sea. It stood ready to protect me from Nessie on Loch Ness, it’s been used to spread peanut butter on sandwiches, and it was a comforting weight in my jacket pocket on a dark street in Marseille.
And, oh yes, it’s been used to cut through hopelessly fouled sheets and lines, it’s cleared away sails after a broken mast, and the marlinespike has freed far too many landlubber knots that seemed hopelessly frozen.
This isn’t your Swiss Army knife that has 247 useless tools. It has just two: a knife and a marlinespike. The 3” blade (like the frame) is of 440C stainless steel, traditionally ground and omigod sharp. The ‘spike is the same length. Both lock open with the Myerchin patented Double-Lock that works a lot easier than it is to explain.
Mine is an older Myerchin: newer ones have a shackle key in the blade, which adds versatility. But what I like most is that it feels good: the finger grips will keep even cold, wet or numb fingers away from the blade, and the balance is just right, too.
Myerchin makes knives for the Navy and the Coast Guard, and their catalog is full of really cool knives. Decision, decision.
Chris Caswell has been an award-winning boating journalist for four decades (no kidding!), during which time he’s owned more boats than he wants his wife or his banker to find out about.