This group is for you sea dogs who enjoy anything nautical. Two connections to iKC are divers' knives and sailors' knives. Other possible related topics are model ship building and collecting, nautical photography, boat building, sailing, etc.

Comment by Tobias Gibson on December 30, 2012 at 19:42

Been a while since anyone has posted.  I recently picked up a 1980 2 Sheffield made 2 piece clasp knife.  It has the little arrow on the handle so I think Genuine issue.

It is shown below along with a Rodgers 1 piece and the Genuine Army (Lewis) 3 piece Clasp Knife.  All Sheffield made.

All three

Two Piece

Three piece

Comment by Tobias Gibson on June 7, 2012 at 12:22

If you're not in the group "Box Full of Knives" and haven't been following the Discussion "Military Knives" you might want to drop by.   They've been showing a bunch of old Military Riggers.

Comment by Tobias Gibson on May 17, 2012 at 14:37

I need to re-cant my comments about the Davis Yachtsman Rigging knife.  I said some pretty harsh things about when I first got it but after using for some time, I have to admit,  it is better than I thought.   I'm sure more than one person has formed a different opinion of a knife (either good or bad) after using it for a while.

I've updated my review at Amazon (if you wish to read it the link is below. Originally I had it 1 star, then it went to 2 stars after a few months of using it.  It probably been close to two years now and it keeps doing what I want it to do.  Hard not to give a knife 4 stars when it performs better than you thought it ever would.

Amazon Review

Comment by Tobias Gibson on March 15, 2012 at 11:40

So I check my email this morning and I find this notice from Amazon regarding my review of the British Army 3 pieces clasp knife offered through Rothco:

Knife sounds great but I question the veracity of the author. The comments read more like an advertisement from the manufacturer. So, either kudos to the earnest reviewer for great writing skill and time on his hands to write such comments. Or, boooo to the advertiser for trying to pull the wool over my eyes. However, like all comments, I tend to disregard the rants and raves. Bottom line.....looks like a good knife and will consider purchasing.

Apparently the  comment was pulled by the author or Amazon or hasn't shown up yet.  Either way, I'm going to take it as a compliment.

This the link to the knife.  It has 2 five star reviews and 1 one star review.

British Army knife by Rothco (It is actually made by Lewis in Sheffield and distributed by Rothco.)

Comment by Jan Carter on October 26, 2011 at 18:28


My best practice on ebay, look up the knife at other sites and see what its going for.

Comment by Tobias Gibson on October 26, 2011 at 17:45

Someone is in for a big disappointment.   Someone on eBay has a $26  bid on the S&W rigging knife.   Retail is about $12.  Of the stainless steel riggers, it is one of my least faves.  Feels bad in the hand and the bail is in the way when you use the  spike.  See the bid under this eBay number:  400250486954


Comment by Terry Waldele on May 22, 2011 at 14:40

Thanks, Tobias.  I have a knife with a shackle key and now I know what it's for

Comment by Tobias Gibson on May 22, 2011 at 8:17

The odd looking blade is a shackle key


The shackle key is unique to the world of sailing knives. It is a flat unsharpened blade with an elongated hole in the center that often narrows at the handle end of the blade. It is used for loosening shackles (butterfly like screw heads) on ships and boats. (To be more precise, the shackle key loosens the screw pin that holds the shackle in place, thus shackle key; it opens a shackle.) On folding knives, the shackle key is often a blade unto itself, a hole cut in the main blade, or is built into the frame of the knife. The shackle key is sometimes formed in the handle end of marlin spikes; giving the spike a resemblance to a large needle.

Comment by Terry Waldele on May 21, 2011 at 23:52

This appears to be an Ibberson "Doublesharp Yachtsman's Knife."  Can you tell me the purpose of the odd looking blade with the bottle opener on it?

Comment by Tobias Gibson on May 21, 2011 at 19:21

That's one heck of bilge find!

Comment by Rino Smajo on May 21, 2011 at 18:34

gift from a friend  (he found it in bilge)

Comment by Terry Waldele on June 1, 2010 at 2:35

Hi Jim,
Welcome aboard the good ship "Nautical 'Nives." I can relate to your comment about the impulse to buy rigging knives. When my son was a pre-teen, he told me he really wanted something (I forget now what it was, but whatever it was, it befuddled me as to why he would want one.) So, I asked him "Why do you want THAT?" His response was, "Uh, just to have." It really boils down to just that. You SEE it; you WANT it; so you BUY it - SIWIBI. BTY, I still have a ways to go to reach just the shoebox phase. (My rigging knives still fit in a cigar box.) One of my favorites is what appears to be a very old British rigging knife that I bought in an antique store near Prescott, AZ. It was so rusty you could barely make out what it was deep in the bottom of the "junk box." I de-rusted it, and that's all the clean-up I did on it. This is it:

Comment by Jim Child on May 31, 2010 at 10:19

Hey All! I figured I'd be polite and warn everyone that I'd come aboard.

Maybe 15 years ago I noticed that I owned three "rigging knives": a Kabar "system" with spike and multi-plier-tool and a Capt. Currey UK folder inherited from my Dad and a cheap SS Davis folder I'd picked up at one of the local "marine supply" stores. I announced to my family that I was "officially collecting rigging knives" and they should feel free to gift me with multiples of same!

For a lot of years I was happy just buying a blade when I happened to notice a new one at checkout while purchasing bottom-paint or some such. And, at different points in time, each of my sons did, in fact, give me a knife for my birthday.

And then, a few months back, I was on eBay for some reason and suddenly thought maybe I'd do a search for "rigging knife" and see what happened. Well, that was a BIG mistake!! The shoebox that had housed my entire collection for years is now being replaced by a 6 drawer wooden chest from Grizzly.

....and while I had been really good about only acquiring knives that incorporated a marlin spike in one way or another, I've discovered that I'm not always able to pass up a real pretty single-blade jack "rope" knife, USCG approved or not.... please pray for me! LOL


Comment by Tim the Wolfdog on May 26, 2010 at 19:30

i think bos'n knives are cool.

Comment by Rino Smajo on May 26, 2010 at 2:00

No,it didnt go overboard,i left it on one boat ;-)

Comment by Terry Waldele on May 25, 2010 at 22:32

Yeah, in your comment you said the knife was one you used to have. That's why I asked what happened to it. Just curious whether you sold it, lost it, or what? Come clean now; you lost it overboard, didn't you?

Comment by CaptJeff Saylor on May 25, 2010 at 17:51

great looking boat! what happened to the knife??

Comment by Terry Waldele on May 21, 2010 at 23:18

Hi Rimo,
Thanks for sharing you pics! Great shots of your boat and knife. What happened to your knife? Did you sell it?

Comment by Rino Smajo on May 21, 2010 at 16:31

Boat i was skippering,and knife i used to have.

Comment by Terry Waldele on April 21, 2010 at 21:00

Hey, Thomas, we've got plenty of room for you. Welcome aboard!

Comment by Thomas Johnson on April 21, 2010 at 8:40

Ahoy! Room for a blue nosed shellback?

Comment by CaptJeff Saylor on April 16, 2010 at 6:22

haha! good to have you HammerFist!

Comment by Terry Waldele on April 16, 2010 at 1:08

Welcome aboard, Hammerfist Forge! All Golden Shellbacks, Emerald Shellbacks, Royal Diamond Shellbacks and even Pollywogs and landlubbers are allowed to join.

Comment by Tim the Wolfdog on April 15, 2010 at 18:29

I meant Golden Shellbacks. Didn't proof before I hit send.

Comment by Tim the Wolfdog on April 15, 2010 at 18:28

are olden Shellbacks allowed to join? OOPS! Already did. How yaw doin, Guys?

Comment by CaptJeff Saylor on February 17, 2010 at 14:17

how could i NOT join this group!!
Glad to be aboard!

Captain Jeff Saylor

Comment by J.J. Smith III on February 17, 2010 at 10:30

Ahoy Captain, Permission to come aboard.

Tags: Art, Collectables, Knives, Nautical, and

Views: 19531

Replies to This Discussion

display your Sailor knife!

Posted by CaptJeff Saylor on February 17, 2010 at 15:15 in Nautical Knives, Art and CollectablesBack to Nautical Knives, Art and Collectables Discussions

We all have nautical items, but do you have a nautical knife?


iIs it a sailor knife, marina knife? Whatever you call it, display a pic here in this discussion!

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 18, 2010 at 0:38

I've got several different sailor knives, I've always called them "Rigging Knives".
Always preferred the stainless models though.
Mine don't look as pretty as yours or Terrys, but this one is a favorite; Spike (locking) and blade along with a slotted driver, shackle key and best of all a can opener.

 Reply by Terry Waldele on February 18, 2010 at 5:11

Rigging" knives! That's the term I was trying to remember! Thanks, J.J.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 18, 2010 at 5:13

Here's a photo of my nautical knives. It's not a very good photo, so I'll take separate pictures of the knives in it and post them later.


Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on February 18, 2010 at 9:53

Nice looking knife!! i didnt know that was a Shackle Key! i have always wondered what that was for! these knives dont usually come with a can opener! at least the ones i have seen dont! great knife J.J.! thanks for sharing!
who is the manufacture of this knife?

 Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on February 18, 2010 at 10:02

thats a nice collection Terry, but i am looking forward to seeing a better pic. thanks for sharing!

 Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 18, 2010 at 10:24

This is the only one that I have that has a can opener, (BUT EVERYONE NEEDS A CAN OPENER), although I think that all but one has the shackel key. There is no manufacturer marked on the knife. Just "stainless steel" on the tang and what you see on the handle. I picked this one up in the mid to late 80's in Savannah, GA. There used to be a nautical store on River Street called The Ships Wheel.

Reply by kage on February 20, 2010 at 1:26

I don't have my webcam set up yet, but when I do I'll put up the knives I used in the Navy. But until then.... There are really only 3 categories for Naval Knives - Sailors (as opposed to a Sailor's knife, which would be any knife a Sailor used,) Riggers, and Sailmakers. Here's some classic examples.....
Sailor and Rigger style:

Sailmaker style:

I used 6-8 inch butcher-style knives, Ibberson, Currie, Green River, Invicta for my main Sailor Knives, with 4 inch Ibberson cut-tip and sheepsfoot for my Rigging Knives, and a 6 inch spear-point Currie for my Sailmaker Knife. My Lanyard Knife is similar to JJ's, but the shackler is cut out of the side scale with just a sheepsfoot blade and can/bottle opener. The "screwdriver" extension is really a lid opener, mainly for pain can lids.

Reply by kage on February 20, 2010 at 2:00

I actually used this Old Hickory for a while as a replacement for my Green River that went over the side when the whaler was being hoisted up in choppy seas and was being smash against the ship's side. I was trying to cut away a frapping line that was tangled up in the falls and had us jammed, stern couldn't go up or down. Just as I was gonna cut it lose we smashed into the ship's side, everybody got knocked down to the bilge and my Green River went Deep Six.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 2:01

BEAUTIFUL, KG. Thanks for the clarification, too.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 2:26

that's amazing. i found a Green River about 25 or 30 years ago on the beach while i was camping with my wife and kids at Cape Lookout state park near Tillamook, Oregon. it was just lying there at the edge of the water like it had been washed in with the tide.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 4:06

Here are more of my nautical knives.


Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 4:16

Hey, KG, how do you inbed a photo in your discussion instead of attaching it as a attached image

Reply by kage on February 20, 2010 at 15:49

ust click on the "Camera" icon on the format bar above the text box. You get the option of uploading from you PC or from a website.
If uploading from a website, right click on the photo, then chose "Copy Image Location" and then click on the Camera Icon and then highlight the starting http in the "or insert an existing image" box and right click to choose "Paste," or what I do is right click on the photo and choose "View Image" which will take you to a page with just the image, you can then left click on the address bar to highlight the web address and the press CTRL C to copy and then CTRL V to paste the web address into the "insert existing image" box.

eply by kage on February 20, 2010 at 16:09

We were off the North West Coast at the time of the bashing in '79, and were headed into Portland for the Rose Festival. So there's a possibility that it might be the same knife. After a few temp replacement blades I got hold of a 6" Invicta and that one stayed with me. For some reason the only knives that worked well and lasted for me were those made in Sheffield, everything else either crapped out or went over the side, I guess the ship just didn't cotton to no Yankee blades onboard, it would tolerate having a Solingen blade onboard, but only if used ashore, if used onboard they always got marred or damaged.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 21:37

Thanks, KG. I'll give it a try.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 20, 2010 at 21:41

What are the odds. Incredible.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 21, 2010 at 4:37

Thanks, KG. I couldn't figure out how to apply the method you described. Since I'm not uploading from a website, but from my PC, I don't see the same options your described in your method. If it's possible to imbed an image directly from my PC, rather than attaching it as an attachment, could you please explain how it's done. Thanks.

Reply by kage on February 21, 2010 at 11:47

When you start a discussion or reply to one, in the text box there will be what looks like a little camera up in the format bar over your text, just left click on that and you will see an a dialog box that says "Add an image" and there will be an option to "upload an image" with a "browse" button, just left click on that and it will browse your PC for photos (you might have to redirect it to where you keep your pix) then click on the picture you want and then click the "Add" button. See if that works for ya :)

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 22, 2010 at 15:51

Thanks, but that didn't work. It uploads the photo and makes it an attachment instead of embedding it in the message box as your photos are. When I try to upload it as a file, it embeds a long series of code, not an image. Could you please see if you encounter these problems when you try to upload a photo from your PC? Thanks.

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 22, 2010 at 16:24

The "code" is what you'll see prior to adding your reply. Give it another try and see what happens.

Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on February 22, 2010 at 22:52

check out this beautiful Marlin spike knife i found on Ebay. it has a beautiful Scrimshaw art by Shar.

this is a Rough Rider brand, handetched Nautical Scrimshaw Marlin Spike, with White Carabao Smooth Bone handles. A 4 1/2" closed length, 440 stainless sheepsfoot blade and marlin spike, with Nickel silver bolsters.


$40!!! I WANT ONE!!!!

Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on February 22, 2010 at 23:11

check out these Stainless Steel Marlin Spikes! this guy forges these and sells them for $35!!!

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 22, 2010 at 23:34

Wow and WOWER.

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 23, 2010 at 5:45

ME TOO!!!!

Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on February 23, 2010 at 8:29

i plan on bidding on one of these. there is about 4 of them up for bid right now. this particular knife has 4 days left.
let me know if you end up buying one Terry!

Reply by kage on February 23, 2010 at 11:34

This is a commemorative model of the current Pusser Dirk (regulation issue knife) for the Canadian Navy made by Grohmann Knives...

The standard version of the knife is on Grohmann's site @ http://www.grohmannknives.com/pages/r3s.html

Reply by D ale on February 23, 2010 at 22:13

I received this from a friend ... retired military ... navy seal ... he had a few of these ... all military issued to him ... Vietnam era

Reply by D ale on February 25, 2010 at 17:52

Stamp ..


Reply by Terry Waldele on February 25, 2010 at 20:24

Cool old knife! I would love to have one just like it.

Reply by D ale on February 25, 2010 at 21:26

 a "U S Coast Gaurd Approved" Kutmaster by Utica Cutlery Co.
c. mid~late 1940's.

 Reply by kage on February 26, 2010 at 1:45

This is my Ibberson's Sailmaker's Dirk.

This my Ibberson's Rigging Dirk. I wore the the Sailmaker's on my left quater and the Rigger's on my right quarter..

Both these blades are Sheffield steel and were used only in the first few months of being in the Navy, as they proved to be too small and inefficient for the tasks required.

Reply by kage on February 26, 2010 at 1:55

I then went on to upgrade the above dirks to something that could better handle the job. After bouts with a few different makes and style, I settled on these two as my main blades...

a Currie Green River for Sailmaking duties.

A Dickerson Invicta Sailor for all-around duties. Again, both of the blades are Sheffield steel.

N.B. Onboard a Navy ship, it has long been considered to be bad luck to call a knife a "knife." Hence the reason for the use of "dirk" and "blade" in describing the above items. I consider my home to be a Stone Frigate, therefore a ship, so I don't want to press my luck. ;)

Reply by kage on February 26, 2010 at 2:17

For those times we had away sorties, either ashore or afloat, I used my "Moor," an Othello Bowie. This 8" bad boy hates to be encumbered and has eaten through every sheath I've had for it.... leather, wood, kydex, etc..

The stag handle is convex on one side and concave on the other side, so it is truly a "right-handed knife." ;)

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 26, 2010 at 4:33

Excellent. Wish all my knives had stamps that clear.

Reply by Andy Voelkle "AxeMan" on May 16, 2010 at 21:05

Hey, Kage—
I have exactly one like the one you lost overboard, inherited from my father. We cleaned a lot of fish we caught back in the 1950's and 1960's and I now use it for camping. Maybe Davy Jones will toss yours ashore someday, and I'll let you know if I find it. Meanwhile, here's my marine knife, which I use while camping because when I lay it down it is easy to see and not leave behind. Worked so far.

Reply by Rino Smajo on May 21, 2010 at 16:43

Just messed up with my first post here,but now i found right place

Used and lost

 Reply by Jon D Elmer on May 22, 2010 at 3:24

I also collect 'rigging' knives as they're my tool of trade. I'm currently sailing as Bosun on the Aussie coast.
I'll start with what I think are the best folding riggers I have, the A.G. Russell range. I think the Seamaster is by far the best deck knife I've ever seen. The action is amazing and it cuts anything! The Stainless Seamaster is very nice too but it's 440c rather than ATS34. The Offshore Rigging Knife is VG10 so that's amazing as well, all up these are brilliant knives.


Reply by Jon D Elmer on May 22, 2010 at 3:31

I personally prefer a fixed blade so here's a few. The KaBar Is almost mint, still has some wrapping paper from the factory. I don't really like the sheffield blade shape, I prefer sheepsfoot or wharnclife, but it's a nice kit. The Myerchin I haven't actually used, but I've used other models of theirs and they're not bad.


Reply by Jon D Elmer on May 22, 2010 at 3:38

Very popular style, I have this design by Case, KaBar, Schrade, Parker,Camillus and a few others

Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on May 25, 2010 at 17:54

those are great looking knives Jon! your sailing right now? very impressive! how long are you going to be out? where you heading? what kind of adventure you on??

thanks for sharing your knives!

Reply by CaptJeff Saylor on May 25, 2010 at 17:55

yes i too have a few of these. great design!

Reply by Jim Child on June 7, 2010 at 7:04

I collect "rigging knives" so would find it tough to post a pic of MY sailor knife :-(

...so I figured I'd try to be informative. The top knife in the photo is a Camillus 696 Piranha which I received a gift from my oldest son 10 or so years ago when I first came out of the closet and publicly announced "I'm collecting rigging knives." Cami had first made the Piranha with a fully serrated blade.

The middle knife is a Buck 315 (last version) which was made by Camillus for Buck -- it had a non-serrated blade (like the Cami 695.

And. the bottom knife is a Kabar "Rigging Knife" -- you know that because it's hot-stamped into the black plastic scale. These were also made by Cami under contract.

Reply by Terry Waldele on June 7, 2010 at 18:11

Is the Kabar rigging knife on the bottom very old? It's showing some corrosion, as though it's been submerged in saltwater for a while. Have you owned it since it was new, and do you know if that amount of corrosion is typical of all "saltwater users"?

Reply by Jim Child on June 8, 2010 at 23:49

Hey Terry: I acquired this knife online just recently so have no specific info re its age. Camillus was making this style rigger stamped with their own name from the mid-80s right thru to when they closed down so at the oldest it could maybe 25 years old.

Saltwater is nasty stuff. But then I've seen freshwater knives get even more "patina" than this in a relatively short time.

Reply by Terry Waldele on June 9, 2010 at 3:13

Jim, Thanks for the reply regarding the corrosion on your Camillus rigger's knife. If you look at my photos album called "Nautical Knives" you'll see that some of mine are showing much more corrosion and pitting than your Camillus. Unfortunately, I don't know how old they are, either, because I bought them second hand, too. To me, that's part of the "romance" of these knives. One of my favorite places to go here in Oregon is the coast, and these knives remind me of it. Maybe it's the combination of these factors that got me collecting riggers in the first place. I'm particularly fond of my "Scotia" made in Sheffield because (1) it had so much "patina" on it when I bought it, and (2) because ironically, I found it in Arizona of all places (another place I love, by the way.) Smooth sailing, my friend.

Reply by Jim Child on June 9, 2010 at 6:56

Hey Jon! I just wanted to check. When you say, "...I have this design by Case, KaBar, Schrade, Parker,Camillus and a few others" you mean this general configuration, ie. a folding rigger with black composite scales, and maybe a locking spike. You're not saying that you have knives stamped with those other mfgr names that are otherwise identical to the above-pictured Buck 315.

Boy! I'd love to find a Camillus, Schrade or whatever that was the same as the early nickel-bolstered Buck 315 without the oval Buck escutcheon. But, it's always seemed that Camillus made these JUST exclusively for Buck. Later on, I guess maybe Buck wasn't interested in paying for exclusivity and the Buck 315 was identical to the rigger that Camillus was making "for" other mfgrs as well as the knives they were selling stamped with their own name.


Reply by Jim Child on June 9, 2010 at 11:36

Hey Terry!

So? You say, "...If you look at my photos album called "Nautical Knives" you'll see ...."

Okay? Where can I see the album?

Reply by Jim Child on June 9, 2010 at 12:00

Whoops! I should have done some looking around. I found your iKnife page and your photo albums. I should get started and upload some photos myself!

Reply by kage on June 11, 2010 at 3:02

One of the things I've noticed about most folding rigging/yachtsman knives is that manufacturers and users often refer to the spike attached as a "marlin spike." In reality it is a metal fid and not a marlin spike. A marlin spike is designed to aid in splicing wire. It is closer to that of a standard screwdriver with a rounded shaft and more resembles a giant ten penny nail.

A fid on the other hand, is made for splicing rope and is usually made of wood, it resembles that of a smoothed sharpened barrel plug.

They started combining a fid with a spike when they introduced braided nylon rope, and over time wire grew out of fashion for that of braided rope, and a fid became a spike due to the fact that it was made of metal, and the term fid somehow was perceived as being somewhat a naughty reference.

The fid/spike with its rounded tip that is on most folding rigging knives (as opposed to a Rigger's knife, which is a fixed knife that has a straight blade and a squared tip) is not really that good with wire and is better suited to rope, and smaller lines at that. Although it's an excellent beer can stabber for when tossing cans over the side.... There is a tin/aluminum beer can crescent stretching along the North American Pacific Coast from Vancouver Island to San Diego, mainly Molson and Labatt's cans. ;)

Reply by Terry Waldele on June 11, 2010 at 5:30

Wow! Great historical background, Kage! Do you have a photo of a true Rigger's Knife (with the squared tip)? I don't remember ever seeing one before. Thanks for the excellent lesson in nautical lore!

Reply by Jim Child on June 11, 2010 at 7:40

Hey Kage!

It's especially nice to see the Purpleheart fid. Purpleheart is one of my, and my customers', favorite woods. Being tougher than any Oak it's well suited to duty as a fid. Though, a warning, in case you're not aware, if you leave Purpleheart out in the sun and weather much it will go almost black -- not effecting usefulness at all.

Oh, another thought, Purpleheart is dense enough to be right on the edge as far as "float factor" is concerned -- some of it floats and some does not.

Reply by kage on June 12, 2010 at 6:20

Most square-tipped Rigger's knives were Sailors knives (a specific blade design that resembles a Green River Butcher knife) that had their tips broken off by sea captains during long voyages, so as to prevent the crew from stabbing each other or assaulting the ship's Officers. The sheepsfoot design was more commonly used when going up in the rigging. Here's my old Ibberson's Rigger

Some riggers knives had a more acute angle at the tip so that they could be used for Sailmaking. There used to a separate knife for this task, simply called a Sailmakers knife (more dagger-like in appearance,) but over the passage of time the craft dwindled down to the odd occasion of use. Here's my old Ibberson's Sailmakers Rigger knife.

This, sad to say, was what the Navy issued us with back in the 70's, although nobody ever used it except for opening paint cans, which was the only thing it was good for.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on April 27, 2011 at 19:40

I'm really enjoying looking at everyone else's knives.


I guess my favorite is my "Mermaid of Warsaw"  Knife.  It is  your basic Rough Rider with White Smooth bone handles.  I had a fella named Brad O'Brien do the scrimming for me. The design was my own creation.  You can read about the knife and little bit about the inspiration for the knife on my Sailing knife web site. 


Reply by Terry Waldele on April 28, 2011 at 2:22

Hi Toby,

Your scrimmed riggers knife is a beaut'!  Very nice job on the scrimshaw by Brad O'Brien.  I love white handles with scrimshaw on them.  My daughter did scrimshaw for the gift shop at the Space Needle in Seattle for several years until she decided to transition to full-time oil painting.  While she was doing scrimshaw, she scrimmed the reconstituted ivory grips on my Taurus PT99 9mm and my Ruger .44 mag Redhawk.  They're both just stunning with colored scrimshaw on white handles against the blued metal on the guns.  She also scrimmed one of my knives with a "bust" of my weimeraner Max and scrimmed a tiger on a money clip, both of which made fine Christmas gifts.  Thanks for sharing your new "baby" with us.


Reply by Bud Brittain on October 25, 2011 at 10:45

18th Century riggers knife. The twisted metal lanyard appears it may have been added, but long ago as it has same wear and patina as the knife itself. It may be original?. Maybe added as an additional implement. I.E. larger marlinspike for larger rope. Or to open up stands more for splicing. Or not as pointed to not damage hemp fibers of rope. Or twisted so one could wrap twine or rope strands around it to pull harder and make tighter work

Reply by Tobias Gibson on October 26, 2011 at 18:59

Are you sure this is 18th Century (1700s) or is it 19th Century (1800's)?  Do you have more info on the knife?  I think the  braided piece was used to pull  bungs --  An early cork screw, so to speak.  I think it would be lousy for rope work  Early cork screws  consisted of two pieces of metal wrapped as above but with one part extending past the other.  Perhaps the tip has broken off.  (see photo)

Does this knife have any markings?  Someone in China is turning out a copy similar to this and passing them off on eBay as 18th century Japanese fishing knives.  (No it doesn't look exactly like this it is just similar)

Reply by IvarsDay on October 27, 2011 at 12:38

Baladeo BREIZH ECO061

Not realy sailors knife (without spike), but good marine theme knife.


Reply by Jan Carter on October 27, 2011 at 19:06

I like them both Ivars

Reply by Terry Waldele on October 27, 2011 at 21:54

Kage, I'm confused about the different types of maritime knives and their uses today.  You said you used your immerson ony to stab and flip beer cans.  Is that because today steel cable is used on ships insead of rope?  Isn't rope still used on smaller boats, and wouldn't a fixed blade knife still be more convenient than a folder, especially where a quick rope cut is required?  If cable is primarily used on sailboats and larger craft today, how is a seaman's knife even relevant today?  Also, isn't a "spike" still useful on today's ships and smaller craft?

Reply by Gregory.J on May 27, 2012 at 18:10

This was originally a Case 11031SH early 70's Whaler knife, which has been given the super d'oupa treatment by Dirk 'oupa' Potgieter. The bail and bolster have been added(note the Aussie silver 20 cent pieces as the bolster) and the original Walnut handles replaced with Australian copper pennies, and the blade heavily stippled.

Reply by Gregory.J on May 27, 2012 at 18:28

Check the icon second from the left on the toolbar at the top of the text box where you type your reply to the discussion, clicking this will prompt you to upload a file and will display it rather than adding  it as an attachment....Hope this helps ya matey!!!!!

Reply by Tobias Gibson on May 27, 2012 at 19:36

THat's pretty cool!

Gregory.J said:

This was originally a Case 11031SH early 70's Whaler knife, which has been given the super d'oupa treatment by Dirk 'oupa' Potgieter. The bail and bolster have been added(note the Aussie silver 20 cent pieces as the bolster) and the original Walnut handles replaced with Australian copper pennies, and the blade heavily stippled.

Reply by Smiling-Knife on June 7, 2012 at 12:33

This is the Admiralty Pattern 301 which was the GI Royal Navy knife from 1910 to the 1930s including service in WWI.

 Reply by Brad T. on January 4, 2013 at 12:57

I recently got this Pre 1945 Needham, Hill St., Sheffield Rigging knife.

I plan on getting more, looking at a vintage Camillus now.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on January 4, 2013 at 13:04

Very nice, Brad.  I love the older 317 patterns.

The Camillus T1 Marlin Spike (#18589) - a review.

Posted by Tobias Gibson on May 15, 2012 at 18:08

The Camillus T1 Marlin Spike (#18589) - a review.

Please excuse the cross posting but seeing as this is both Camillus and a Rigger, it applies to both groups.

Camillus  T-1 with blade and spike deployed.  Clearly visible is the Camillus TM on the handle and the Carbonitride Titanium blade. The dark coloration of the blade makes it look smaller than the old USA made Camillus knives but it is actually the same size.


Short Verison:

I really like the knife, AUS 8 stainless blade with proprietary Carbonitride Titanium coating, stabilized bamboo scales, very strong liner lock for the sheepfoot blade. Very solid build, rivals if not better than the old USA made Camillus of  a similar pattern. Also better than any current production version of this knife.  Like all knives of this pattern, it will be difficult to use one handed on a slippery deck but you can deploy the blade one handed in a pinch. A very good but for the money.

For those who would like to read a little more:


A little background

As most people know, when it comes to USA made marlin spike knives most of them were made by Camillus (For sake of clarity I’ll call these the 695/697 patterns) . This included knives sold under the KaBar, Case and even Buck name.  Camillus also made the knife used by the U.S. Navy and many maritime services.  Regardless of the brand, all the knives were well made and today they are highly sought after by collectors of sailing knives. 


Early Camillus riggers used 1095 steel for the blades but this was later changed to 440A stainless. The blade actually was hardened to around 55-57 in the cutting area but was left softer near the tang to improve strength and reduce the chance of breakage.   The back springs remained carbon steel and depending on the year it was either a single thick spring or later they used two thing springs.  The blade did not lock however the marlin spike did.  The bail was used to “break” the lock and allow you to close it.


Very early handles were stag.  Stag was later replaced with a variety composition material depending on the year of manufacture and model produced. Obviously knives made for other knife makers were made to their specifications.


This brings us to 2007 and the unfortunate demise of an American Cutlery legend. With the end of Camillus, the manufacture of the marlin spike knives in the Camillus pattern virtually ended, at least in the United States.  Colonial is the last American company that may or may not produce a sailing knife on the 695/697 frame.


As many know Camillus was eventually bought by Acme United Brand and production continued, however, the production was now moved over seas.   Soon afterwards  Camillus began selling new pattern knives using  Carbonitride Titanium coated blades and using a variety of new material for handle materials one of them being stabilized bamboo.  Manufacturing was being done primarily in China.   The new Camillus brands stated in its advertising, that it knew and respected the Camillus name and brand and was going to continue to turn out high quality knives that would live up to the Camillus legacy.  So much for background.


About the T1


I recently bought a Chinese made Camillus T1 rigger based on the old 695/697 frame.  I bought it because 1) I buy Camillus knives  2) I collect riggers and have several made in China that are quite good 3) I wanted to see how the Chinese made Camillus stacked up against the USA made Camillus and all of my Chinese made riggers.


Overall impression:


Fit  & Finish: Excellent,  The bamboo is surprisingly smooth but still possesses a  certain amount of non-slip feel to it. The grain runs the length of the blade.  The new Camillus brand is laser etched into the shield side.  The scales are attached by torque screws.    Blades and all steel have a nice gun metal gray sheen to it. I suppose this is the Carbonitride Titanium coating.  Regardless it has a very nice sheen and is exceptionally smooth to touch.  The blade is pad stamped in tan ink with the Camillus the Carbonitride Titanium TM on the mark side and  Tang stamped AUS 8 on the reverse side.   Camillus guarantees that the finish will not fade, peel, chip, or crack.


Stay & Play: Beneath the bamboo is really a sturdy steel frame that is perhaps 3/32nd or 1/8th inch thick.  Camillus says the knife is a liner lock but this is simply because of the bamboo scales.  The thickness of the liner rivals that of any frame lock I’ve come across.  The sheepfoot blade is held in place primarily by the liner lock with very little if any pressure coming from the back spring.  This allows the user to actually pinch open the blade if required. The only real issue is the blade is well recessed and the handle quite heavy so practice and possibly re-gripping the blade might be required. However, anyone familiar with the original 695/697 pattern knife know that the original knife required two hands and did not lock open.  Once open the blade has absolutely no wobble whatsoever.


As mentioned, the back spring is very strong and you will be keenly aware of it when you go to open the marlin spike. I’m fairly certain it would be practically impossible wearing gloves in the rain.  In short all the short falls of the  695/697 pattern is still there. The main difference is this spike is tight in both the open and closed position. There is absolutely no wobble and when locked in place, it isn’t going anywhere.


How sharp is it?  The marlin spike is not needle sharp but has a good point to it. Definitely good enough to untie anything from a poorly knotted deck shoe to some of the large knots found on small boats.   It compares to the spikes on my Camillus knives and those on my Rough Riders of the same pattern.


The sheepfoot blade is absolutely razor sharp.  Paper and ¼ inch nylon cord didn’t stand a chance.  Neither did heavy cardboard boxes and a piece of bass wood.  Furthermore after cutting all of this stuff there wasn’t even a smudge on the blade finish.


As mentioned already the blade steel is AUS 8 which is similar to 440B making it not quite as good as 440C but better than 440A.   With that said, only a few knife makers use a better steel in sailing knives.  Most use 440A or 420HC, as this will resist rust better, despite needing more frequent sharpening.  Camillus says the Carbonitride Titanium coating is going to increase the edge retention as well as reduce rusting.  Obviously only time will tell.



If you like this pattern, you really can’t go wrong with this knife. The fact that the main blade locks and is much easier to deploy than older versions makes it fantastic.  The blade steel is also remarkable for this style of knife.  The spike is going to require you take off your gloves so if you must use gloves while using the spike you might want to go for a similarly priced Myerchin P300 Sailor’s tool.


Collectors of Camillus knives are probably going to add this foreigner to their collection. I know I happy to have it. Acme really did a great job at making sure the knife lived up to the name.


The knife around $30-35. it’ll cost you at least twice that of a Rough Rider but for the additional price you get a locking sheepfoot a higher quality steel and a really solid knife. 


The Colonial 1757 is slightly cheaper but quite frankly a Rough Rider is better than the 1757.  The Colonial 1758 is upscale version of the 1757 with wood handles and a slightly better finish however it cost more than the Camillus and isn’t nearly as functional or as well built. I put the 1758 on par with a Rough Rider despite costing around $35-40!  In short the Camillus T1 is head and shoulder above either of the Colonial knives,


How does The Camillus T 1 compare to new old stock Camillus. I hate to say it, but because of the liner lock and the better grade of steel, I’m giving the nod to the Chinese made Camillus.  Acme United must’ve known such a comparison would be inevitable and they went out of their way to make sure the new knife would exceed expectations.    Besides if you can get a mint, new old stock CM 695, 696, or 697, for $40, consider yourself lucky.


Overall, I’m very happy I bought the knife and now I’m looking at buying the other Camillus Chinese made marlin spike, the CM18670, with G-10 handles and VG10 super steel blade. Here’s hoping that Camillus will also home produce a sailing knife now that they have moved some production back the USA.

The T-1 knife has a similar side profile of the Camillus 695 and 697 pattern marlin spikes. Like the earlier Camillus knives the blade is plain.  The Camillus 696 offered a scalloped (serrated) blade.  Depending on year of production the blade was either ½ or fully scalloped.   The closed and open length of all the Camillus knives is the same.


As this photo shows, the T-1 is perhaps 1/8 to 3/16 inches thicker than its USA made cousins.  The added thickness actually seemed to improve the grip of this very slender frame. While it will obviously result in a more bulk in the pocket, the bamboo handle is not only tough but very light. Therefore the knife is the same weight as the previous models.


The stabilized bamboo handles are water, splinter, mildew, and warp proof. They are also stain resistant but I suspect the bamboo will darken with age and handling.  The laser etching is very nicely done.  Older patterns had bird eye rivets or nickel-silver bolsters.  In the case of the T 1 the handles are secured with torque screws.  I’m not sure how easy they come off but it may proof an asset for people who are thinking of adding custom scales.  The knife would look great with white bone scales and scrimshaw work.


Reply by Jim Child on May 17, 2012 at 16:30

Thank you for this review. You have done your usual complete and detailed assessment.

Toby, trust you to find one of the few folding riggers that I do NOT own on which to write a review. I bought the fancier 18670 last year, and like you, was just a bit surprised to discover that China can produce some pretty nice cutlery.

I'm adding the Camillus T1 to my acquisition short list!

Reply by Tobias Gibson on May 17, 2012 at 17:10

Thanks Jim.  FYI, the 18670 Camillus is on my "To Buy" list.     I also recently bought the new Colt Marlin Spike (CT525) and will be reviewing it soon.  If you're not familiar with it, here is a pic.   It uses the same frame as the S&W but has a sheepfoot blade instead of the big honkin' hawkbill and some pieces of G-10 riveted and epoxied to the stainless handles.

Reply by Jim Child on May 18, 2012 at 0:34

I just "won" one of the Colts a couple of nights ago on eBay. It has not arrived here in Maine so I won't express any opinions.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on May 18, 2012 at 7:08

I'll give a fuller review later.  What I've noticed so far is that it is a little more comfortable to hold than the S&W because of the G-10 scales but would have been even more comfortable without the cut outs.  Also the liner lock must be the same one that is used on the S&W which has a large blade.  While the lock prevents both blades from closing, their is a noticeable amount of give when you press on the spine of the Colt knife where the blade doesn't budge on the S&W.  Colt should consider scales that fully cover the metal slab sides and making the sheepfoot blade a little more substantial. They should also consider getting the sheepfoot blade off the back spring so it can be opened one handed and held in place only by the liner lock.  Of course to do that the lock will need to be stronger and better fitting.  Minor changes that I think could make a good knife a great knife with very little added expense.

To lock the spike, you need the bail is pressed all the way down  and, on mine at least, makes contact with the spike making it easy to operate.  On my S&W the bail sticks out parallel to the spike  which puts it in the way of operation.

Reply by Jim Child on May 20, 2012 at 9:00

Toby:  Okay, I've received my Colt rigger. The box it comes in suggests we visit AllThingsColt.com for "more of your favorite brand." 

Do you know specific info about the Colt knife's  actual manufacturer? Is there a known link to the currently available hawkbill-bladed Smith & Wesson rigger?

BTW: I see that the upper inside edge of the cutout near, and parallel to, the spine of your CT525's blade has small "teeth"/grooves cut into it. My CT525's cutout is totally smooth; top, bottom and sides.

I love good mystery!  Jim

Reply by Tobias Gibson on May 21, 2012 at 8:54

Jim asked:

Toby:  Okay, I've received my Colt rigger. The box it comes in suggests we visit AllThingsColt.com for "more of your favorite brand."

I have not been there.  I'll check it out.

Do you know specific info about the Colt knife's  actual manufacturer?

The Colt TM is currently owned by Smoky Mountain Knife Works.  Most of their production is done in their factories located in China/Pakistan.  Almost all of SMKW  folding knives are made in China, including the Colt Brands,   The fixed blades are mixed bag with a good chunk of them coming from China,  however most anything with a stag handle or Damascus steel will be from Pakistan.  You need to ask questions ahead of time.   SMKW does have a good amount of quality control and they do stand behind their products.

Is there a known link to the currently available hawkbill-bladed Smith & Wesson rigger?


All I can go with is the side by side comparison.  I'll need to take pics and post them. There is no doubt in mind that this is the same knife with a different blade, G-10 handles accents and slightly different bail to accommodate the G-10.   While SMKW and Taylor Brands are two different companies, the two companies are very friendly with each other.

BTW: I see that the upper inside edge of the cutout near, and parallel to, the spine of your CT525's blade has small "teeth"/grooves cut into it. My CT525's cutout is totally smooth; top, bottom and sides.


Curiouser and Curiouser. Must've been a different production day or a change in model.  Very strange for a new knife that is just hitting the market.  I got mine on eBay from a company known as CSA Cutlery.  

TWO Riggers I've never Seen Before

Posted by Jim Child on June 16, 2011 at 10:21

A couple of nights ago there were two rigging folders on eBay -- neither of which I had ever seen before. Well, I have only been collecting riggers seriously for a year and half so I am very comfortable knowing that there must be LOTS of things I haven't seen.

I was wondering if any of you old salts, and hopefully there are maybe two or three of you that ARE older than me, might have run across one or th both of these before and be able to shed some light.

I'll insert the eBay URLs though they will not be "active" forever.

Vintage OMF Canadian Military Clasp Knife No Reserve

United Cutlery UC 446 Rigger's Marlin Spike Knife

So!? Anyone familiar with either of these?

The sad "end game" story about the other night is that I had placed preliminary bids on both of these knives, planning to snipe in at the ends of the auctions with final, maximum bids -- hoping to avoid creating a bidding wars. Well, I had a LONG day and fell asleep and missed the final minutes of both auctions by more than an hour. When will I learn to stop trying to be so clever?  :-(

Reply by Tobias Gibson on June 16, 2011 at 11:45

I've seen the top (OMF)  made by Case both under Case and MS Ltd.   I'm pretty certain it was also made by Camillus but not 100%.  It was also made in other Commonwealth nations. 


The United Cutlery I've never seen but it does show some features of Fox as well as Ibberson made riggers.  Not sure how my rigger search missed both of these knives.  Very nice examples.



Reply by Jim Child on June 16, 2011 at 19:43

Hey Toby:

Yeah, the Case/MS Ltd. knives were a bit behind the times in the "govt contract" design world. In the UK the Ministry of Defense design spec had been updated insofar as the can opener blade had been updated to what a lot of folks refer to as a "sail ripper". The guys on on the British Blades forums were a bit amused to hear that military knives with the old stub dagger-style can opener were being made over in "the colonies" in the late 40's and early 50's.

Here's a shot of the obverse tang of the OMF knife

-- I'm going to ask the seller why he thought the knie was Canadian -- Maybe, like you and me, he just noticed the similarity to the MS Ltd. knives and assumed ...I haven't found any cutler OMF yet.

On the United knife, I too picked up on the Ibberson style bail and the distinctive spine/swedge of the blade. Here're close-ups of the tang stamps.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on June 16, 2011 at 21:11

Bad news Jim.  The OMF knife was pretty much state of the Art for its time.  Acording to my sources on British Fighting knives, the OMF knives were used in the First World War not the Second.    Considering the lack of patina, the overall quality and the prisitne shap of the blade tang stamp, I'm wondering if it is a fake made from a later MS LTD XX knife.  Hard to imagine carbon steel looking that good almost 100 years later.   I find it odd that it has brass pins but not a brass bail.  Will do a little more looking.

Reply by Jim Child on June 17, 2011 at 7:40

Toby:  I found this post from last year:

 ...<snip>.."I recently acquired this all-metal Canadian military clasp knife, which is identified in Ron Flook's book (Plate 456 on p. 193) as per Lawrence's Canadian Military Folders of World War One, as aModel M346.

in the Oriental, Historical & Militaria.forum at British Blades forum. There are good photos of the same OMF stamped folding rigger.

WW1 is correct for that style can opener. It sounded like the folks posting last year were having about as much luck tracking down the cutler OMF as I have. I wonder if there might be a connection between OMF and MS Ltd. I've always heard it that Case stepped in to "assist" MSL at the request of the Canadian govt. If MS was still making a 50 yearold design ten years after the Brit govt had adopted something more modern, no wonder they needed help! :-D 

Tobias Gibson said:

Bad news Jim.  The OMF knife was pretty much state of the Art for its time....
Reply by Tobias Gibson on June 17, 2011 at 10:10

My source is the Same (Flook's book).  It is a very short and very cryptic entry.  It may be that the OMF tang stamp has been approached incorrectly.  It could very  well be some weird military acronym applied for supply purposes as a oppose to a company mark.    Were talking about a military force that issued Boots through the commissary   Or it could've been a tang stamp applied by a company for knives being made specifically for the War.


In short OMF may not stand for any particular Company.


As for the actual knife, it seems very suspicious for its age (at least to me)

New Group called "Nautical Knives, Art, Collectables and Activities"

Posted by Terry Waldele on February 16, 2010 at 23:08

Hey iKCers,

   Ahoy!  New group just formed:  "Nautical Knives, Art and Collectables." 

This group is for you sea dogs who enjoy anything nautical. Two connections to iKC are divers' knives and sailors' knives. Other possible related topics are model ship building and collecting, nautical photography, boat building, sailing, etc. Post your photos of your favorite nautical treasures.  iKCtheology buffs welcome!  (Just don;t get carried away with your fish stories!)

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 21, 2010 at 23:35

Reply by kage on February 22, 2010 at 10:54

Now that's really a Flooded Basement! Must be Noah's first cottage. :)

Reply by kage on February 22, 2010 at 10:59

Here's a photo pf my old bateau, H.M.C.S. Kootenay (hence the 258 in my screen name.)

From the 50s to the 80s her class was considered to be like Greyhounds of the Seas. They had gas turbine jet engines fitted in 'em. :)

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 22, 2010 at 11:28

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 22, 2010 at 16:02

Great photo! Where is this located?

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 22, 2010 at 16:05

Hey, that's impressive! What was her top speed?

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 22, 2010 at 16:07

Very nice photo! What a marvel of technology and marine architecture!

Reply by kage on February 22, 2010 at 19:27

She could maintain a constant 28 knots over the long haul, but when needed to she could go up into the mid 30s.

looks like this turned into a "display your ship" discussion! cool!!

here is my brothers ship... USS Carl Vinson.....

he served 4 years in the Navy. his last 2 years was a Chef assigned to Navy Pilots on board the aircraft carrier

Reply by J.J. Smith III on February 22, 2010 at 23:54

Reply by Terry Waldele on February 23, 2010 at 5:50

VERY NICE! Excellent collage of memorabilia, too.

 Reply by Terry Waldele on May 22, 2010 at 6:24

J.J., Thanks for sharing your picture and the saying on it. It's very profound and calming at the same time.

Reply by Lyle Brunckhorst on July 29, 2010 at 13:26

Keep the dingy in the basement?

Reply by Terry Waldele on August 6, 2010 at 23:57

This is a late entry into the February discussion of some of our members' favorite U.S. Navy ships, but I came across some of your photos of ships, one of my passions, and couldn't resist adding a photo that has special meaning to me. One of my favorite uncles served on the U.S.S Vance, a destroyer escort radar picket ship, during the late 50s and early 60s, so I've attached a picture of her.

This is some of the Vance's history during my uncle's service, copied from the Wikipedia:
The Vance was in "mothballs" from 1948 to 1955, before she was towed to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in November 1955 for conversion to a radar picket destroyer escort. The extensive alterations involved the addition of: improved air-search radar, extensive communications equipment, and complete facilities for fighter-direction operations. It also entailed the enclosing of the entire main deck areas amidships to provide accommodations for officers and men. Designated DER-387, Vance was recommissioned on 5 October 1956 and Mare Island, Lt. Comdr. Albert M. Brouner in command. Between March 1957 and the end of the year, Vance was homeported at Seattle, Wash., as a unit of CortDiv 5 and completed eight patrols on various stations of the Radar Early Warning System in the northern Pacific. Each tour lasted approximately 17 days, and the ship maintained a round-the-clock vigil, with air-search radars, tracking and reporting every aircraft entering or approaching the air space of the northwestern United States.
On 1 June 1958, the Vance's home port was changed to Pearl Harbor; and she began operating with CortRon 7. One month later, she departed Hawaiian waters for a 29-day patrol on the mid-ocean picket lines which provided radar coverage from Alaska to Midway Atoll. Vance thus became the first ship on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the Pacific and the first to sail under the newly organized Pacific barrier patrol. In mid-January 1959. following routine overhaul and refresher training at Pearl Harbor, Vance again took station on the mid-Pacific stretch of ocean on her second DEW-line deployment.
In 1957, when I was 15, My uncle took me on a day-long cruise on the Vance and it was one of the highlights of my life.

How About Movies "of the Sea"?

I did my morning farm chores earlier and have since been celebrating the Fourth of July by watching the movie John Paul Jones -- a very "Hollywood" production I'm pretty sure I've never seen before.

Which movies or TV shows have you sailors enjoyed most over the years?

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 5, 2011 at 1:13

Some of my favorite movies are "PT 109", "Master and Commander", "The Wake of the Red Witch", "K-19, The Widowmaker", "On the Beach", "The Hunt for Red October", and "Crimson Tide".  My favorite TV shows include "JAG", "Adventures in Paradise" (ran in the 60s), and "Victory at Sea".

Reply by Jim Child on July 9, 2011 at 10:44

Whoa Terry! Quite a list!

JAG was good! I believe NCIS is sort of a JAG spin-off, or was, at least, developed by the same production team.

I read some of the Master and Commander books -- I tend to sway toward things set in the days of sail.

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 9, 2011 at 21:16

Jim, I don't know why I didn't think of NCIS!  It's one of my favorite shows.  Some of the old seafaring movies with Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, Jr., and John Wayne were really good, too.

Reply by Jim Child on July 10, 2011 at 8:32

Terry, that NCIS really does not involve "the Sea" all that much, other than involving the occascional visit to a ship at sea (a/k/a "the crime scene"), probably explains why it did not jump to mind.  ;-)

I enjoy the new NCIS LA BUT it is SO FAR from the original show and, I'm willing to bet, a LONG way from reality -- Any "attachment" to the USN is mostly forgotten.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on July 10, 2011 at 15:56

Besides the numerous old Pirate movies (Captain Blood, Black Swan, etc) I think some of my favorites are Captains Courageous and the old Moby Dick with Gregory Peck.   Another really good but over looked is the Charleston Heston version of Treasure Island.  Not so much a "sea movie" but a Stranded on island with only your trusty knife and a Nun movie- (Heaven knows Mister Alison) and of course African Queen and Action in the North Atlanitc.   TV shows:  McHale's Navy!

Reply by Jim Child on July 10, 2011 at 23:53

YaY! McHale's Navy!  The REAL Navy! My Dad was a NROTC Ensign right at the end of and after WW2 and he LOVED McHale's Navy. I don't even have to close my eyes to see our family, each with our own folding metal tray table, having dinner in front of the console color TV, watching that show. -- first thing I remember seeing Tim Conway in.

Of course, my Dad liked The Flintstones -- he was a lot like Fred F.  yabba dabba DOO! 

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 11, 2011 at 0:42

Jim, I agree with your observation about NCIS LA.  It may be aimed at a younger audience, and that might be why, IMHO, the original NCIS is more appealing, to me at least.  

Reply by Tobias Gibson on July 11, 2011 at 9:07

FYI:  Had the USAF given the go ahead the show would have been called "OSI" instead of NCIS.   Good show but not at all accurate in what these guys really do.

Blade Classics Posted by Tobias Gibson on April 22, 2011 at 12:17

I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly.  I'll chalk it up to newbie-itis, if I've broke protocol but as I'm seriously thinkign about buying this knife I want to know if anyone has an opinion.   After buying a Davis "1555 Yachtsman" and the new Colonial 1757 Rigger, I'm more than a little gun-shy.  So far the best tTraditioanl American style riggers  out there for under  $30 (IMO) are the Rough Riders.


I'm curious about the  Blade Classics Catalina Rigger.  It resembles the old Ka-Bar 1121 or Camillus 695 pattern  but has a textured G-10 handle and is  made in China.  As RR doesn't make a slab side like this I'm thinking of buying it.   It looks good online but looks can be deceiving.  Anyone know what the blade steel is or how the fit and finish is?   I'm wondering if it is worth the $25 sticker price it commands.


If no one has it, and there is no opinion, I'm thinking it is going to be another crap shoot.  Hopefully it won't end up like the Davis 1555.

Reply by Jim Child on April 23, 2011 at 0:40

Hey Toby,


I have a BC Catalina which I bought new on Amazon a year ago "for my collection." The last bit means that I have not been putting the knife to any use, not daily or otherwise.


I have to say I am impressed by the fit and finish. Other than the Davis folders the Catalina was my first experience with cutlery produced in China. The spike is especially nicely shaped. The joints are tight -- the blade and spike both walk and talk. The shackle/lock release is a plain, stamped, folded strap with the edges all nicely formed -- nothing sharp or nasty. You mention the Camillus 695: in the very late days at Camillus they were making the 695 with textured handles vs. the smooth Delrin they'd been doing for years. I'd bet it was one of those "last" 695's that went to China and served as, how should I say it, the "inspiration" for the BC Catalina.


Unfortunately, I am not at all knowledgable about steel types AND I have not even used the blade so cannot comment on its ability to attain or hold an edge.


The value of the current US$ being what it is, I'd have to say the Catalina is well worth the price. IMHO, obviously.


Reply by Tobias Gibson on April 23, 2011 at 7:21

Thanks Jim.  Since posting I hacve discovered the main blade is 440  with a HRC of 57-58  (440A  or 440B)  The spike , liners pin etc are 420, all basically industry standard and on par with the old Camillus (420HC, for the blade and 420 for the rest.) 


I'm going to take a shot and grab one.



Reply by Jim Child on April 23, 2011 at 7:34

Okay! I've now had a few hours of needed shut-eye. I woke up thinking that I'd given my new best blade buddy short shrift. I have retrieved both my Blade Classics Catalina as well as a near mint Camillus Piranha 696 (the one whose blade is 100% serrated) and have them both in hand for a more detailed lookover.


The very near similarity between the Cat's and the Cami's basic pattern is emphasized with the two knives side by side. The same die could have been used to punch out the handles and liners of the two knives. A quick measuring tells that the pivot pins of BOTH knives are 94 mm apart, center to center.


Speaking about those pivots: the blade and spike pivots on the BC Cat are simple brass pins vs. the nickel silver pins and large "birdseye" washers used by Camillus. The ends of the Cat's pivots stand slightly proud of the handle surface and are  domed/rounded over. The brass backspring pins are not as nicely finished -- they're unequal insofar as how far they extend above the handle surface on the knife's obverse side. The pin ends on the reverse side look like they might have been overlooked -- I must admit here that I don't fully understand the process of "spinning" rivet/pin ends -- but the pins poke higher above the handle surface.


Other than the pins and pivots all of the Cat's metal parts appear to be stainless steel. The twin backsprings and the liners especially are a little thicker than those of the Camillus folder -- making the Blade Classics knife overall maybe 1.5 mm thicker.


The BC Cat's blade and spike movement score fairly well compared to the Camillus 696. The open and shut positions all have a good amount of "snap". When fully open, the BC's blade and spike have a tiny amount more wiggle than the Cami's.


After this more in detail review I would still have to recommend the Blade Classics Catalina as being worth its price.

Reply by Tobias Gibson on April 23, 2011 at 8:18

Very Helpful, Jim.  I'll take all this into consideration.   

I Call Them "Systems" -- a Knife, a Spike and ?? in a Sheath

A lot of serious sailors and "rope folks" comment that the folding riggers we see most often are impractical. Reason: when you have the spike in play, maybe holding open the strands of a mainsheet, the blade at the other end of the knife is not available to do any necessary cutting.


Above is typical folding rigger -- this one was made "under contract behind the scenes" by Camillus for WR Case as an "SFO" (Special Factory Order) solely for Smoky Mtn Knife Works back in 2003.


I was introduced to the better alternative to the folding rigger by my Dad. While he had an all stainless steel folder what he wore every time he went to sea was a Ka-Bar "Marine Mate" 3-piece, sheathed system like this:

Dad ran a lanyard fashioned out of smallstuff from the sheath to the knife, spike and Duluth "Handy Boy" multi-tool so that nothing would be lost overboard.


Ka-Bar offered the same fixed blade system without the pliers-tool. And, I've recently discovered there was a Ka-Bar system made up of a SS spike accompanied by a regular large Trapper two blade folder:

 My Dad would not have like the above as there's no way to attach a safety lanyard to that big, heavy knife. Drop that thing anywhere on deck and it belongs to Davey Jones!  :-(


It turns out that WR Case offered pretty much the same setup but their Large Trapper had a hole drilled through its butt end bolster:

And, just to make sure that ALL the bases get covered: If you really do prefer a folding "rigger" that is, the blade and spike together in one knife ...BUT, you also would want to have a pliers-multi-tool "thingie" on board and close to hand, Ka-Bar had at one point:

Any of you old salts have other setups you've acquired over the years?  I haven't pictured here any of the "safey lanyards" that were mentionedMaybe this could kick off a show & tell of some practical "knife-related" ropework.

Reply by Andy Voelkle "AxeMan" on April 16, 2011 at 18:37

A buddy of mine who spliced a lot on his 42' boat always used fixed blades and classic spikes. One day I found him doing a decorative splice and he had a half dozen colored golf tees that he used as temporary spikes to keep his place in the work. SSSeemed very logical, and his decorative splices made me think of the square rigger days.

Reply by kage on April 16, 2011 at 20:45

I used several pouches in the Navy.  My main one consisting of a 10" Marlin Spike, 6" knife, lg. Flat Screwdriver, 8" Crescent Wrench, 10" Vise Grip, med. Lineman pliers, med. Diagonal Cutter... And yes, I used every single one of the implements every day.

For off duty times, I wore a scaled down version of 5" knife, 6" spike, sm. lineman pliers.

Reply by J.J. Smith III on April 17, 2011 at 0:51

I had always considered the folding riggers to be more of a convenience knife.  Good for when you needed only one of its tools.

Reply by Jim Child on April 18, 2011 at 6:36

Andy Voelkle "AxeMan" said:

...<snip>...he had a half dozen colored golf tees that he used as temporary spikes to keep his place in the work...<snip>...

Hey Andy: I like the golf tee idea. I'm a little embarrassed to admit in this company that, while I have a good number of knots on which I depend, my splicing and decorative knot experience is sverely limited. Any aid will be most welcome.

kage said:

I used several pouches in the Navy. ....<snip>...

kage: Did you make those sheathes?


J.J.: "Convenience" would be the idea of the plain, folding "rigger". I'd guess it was a valued design over the years. The British Army and Navy started issuing folders late in the 1800's

Reply by Tobias Gibson on April 22, 2011 at 8:09

One reason the folding rigger came into existence is because several maritime forces and companies banned the carrying of fixed blade knives by crew members, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The British also had such bans on the carrying of fixed blade knives.  There is no doubt that the fixed blade and separate spike  is a better option.  



Best Plier/Multi-Tool to include in a Rigging "Set" ??

Posted by Jim Child on July 11, 2010 at 9:11

I have a knifemaker friend (Mudd Sharrigan, Wiscasset, ME) who makes wonderful straight rope/rigging sheepfoot knives, fids / marlin spikes AND leather sheaths to carry same.

I'm planning on commissioning Mudd to make me a full "system" a'la the Ka-Bar "Marine Mate" -- ie. a knife, a spike and a "multi-tool".

These days the multi-tool market has gone a little crazy -- you can get a Leatherman that includes just about a whole workshop's set of tools. I'm hoping the clever members of this Group will have some idea about WHICH of the currently available "multi-tools" would be the best to include in my "system".

I think pliers are the primary requirement -- probably needle-nose. But, then what: screwdriver? (straight slot? Phillips?) adjustable wrench? ...remember, this tool has to be sensibly included in a sheath with a knife and spike.

I haven't talked to Mudd yet about this idea -- don't want to scare the bee-geez out of him until I know exactly what it is that I'm asking for.

Shepherd JIm

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 11, 2010 at 16:34

I read your discussion about the system you are designing. When it comes to multi-tools, Leatherman's WAVE is hard to beat. I have to admit, though, that there are so many new multi-tools on the market that I can't keep up with all of the new products. Maybe one of our members owns one of the new ones and can give you first hand advice on its performance.

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 11, 2010 at 17:02

Hello again,
I found a multi-tool comparison chart that might be helpful to you. Here's the link to it:
Hope this helps you in designing your system.

Reply by kage on July 11, 2010 at 20:14

I would say the leatherman Charge TTi with bit kit, might be a better marine companion. due to its material, construction and design...

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 12, 2010 at 2:56

Kg has suggested one of Leatherman's latest models, which does look like it's superior to the WAVE for boating applications. I especially like its serrated blade/cutting hook.

Reply by Jim Child on July 12, 2010 at 23:32

I've begun to realize that I've been thinking a little nostalgically. Today's multi-tools are SO versatile that it's silly to think about ALSO wearing a big, old straight bladed knife AND spike when ACTUALLY jumping around on a sailboat. A multi-tool will pretty much take care of all the immediate needs.

The rigging knife and spike "system" is best worn when knocking around the sail loft and boatyard.

Reply by Terry Waldele on July 13, 2010 at 2:38

I still like your original concept. For fast cutting power, you can't beat a straight bladed knife with a 4 to 4-1/2 inch blade, which can be sheathed in tandem with a full-sized spike very compactly. And carrying a light-weight multi-tool in its own ballistic nylon pouch doesn't add that much extra weight. Relying on the main cutting blade in a multi-tool as your only blade may prove to be too inconvenient and slow in a crisis, unless of course you have a SOG PowerAssist Multi-tool. Have a look at it (weblink attached.)
Unfortunately its blade is only 2-1/2-inches long. But size isn't everything, right?

My Sailing knife page has moved

Posted by Tobias Gibson on August 3, 2011 at 10:37

After way too many years fo letting me skate for free, my buddy the neurologist finally decided to pull the plug on his web page that has laid dormant for about five years.  As it was costing him close to $300 a year, I don't blame him and I'm grateful to Dr. Chris for all he did for me.

However this means I had to move my domain.  When doing so I decided to clean up the site a bit and shorten up the urls.  The old one still works but the new one is shorter.  If you are a visitor and have it bookmarked, you may want to change the URL to a href="http://rigger.hegewisch.net">http://rigger.hegewisch.net  >   instead of the old one a href="http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/rigger/index.html">http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/rigger/index.html >


Reply by Tobias Gibson on August 3, 2011 at 10:40

I'll try again.  The new link is http://rigger.hegewisch.net


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