Which Knife Tip Should You Choose for Sailing Safety?

So, you're about to get into boating, or perhaps you've been sailing for years already. But, that sailing knife you bought a while back seems a bit rusty or dull. You're in the market for a new knife. But this time, you want several key features that are only offered by the Boye folders.

Like being non-magnetic so it doesn't cause your steering compass to swing off course. You want a knife that'll stand up to saltwater without ever rusting, hold an edge when cutting today’s tough-as-nails synthetic line, is lightweight, and easy to open and close with either hand.

Folding knives have been around for decades. But just one offers all of these features plus one you may have forgotten. It could make a big difference in sailing safety. And that is a blunt tip.

Most knives end in a sharp tip. Others are designed to give the boating enthusiast a choice. Like Boye knives. Choose from a pointed tip or blunt tip. The Boye blunt tip is called a “sheepsfoot.”

You see, unlike power boating, sailing means you will be heeling and slammed around a lot of the time. Sailboats need to have extra safety features to take into account crew safety when walking on deck or working down in the cabin. So, like extra hand-rails, a blunt tip knife makes a lot of sense.

Imagine it’s a windy day and you're sailing along the coast. There are a few small waves that cause the boat to roll and pitch. You are down below, using your knife to splice some line. Now, your knife happens to have a pointed tip.

The boat takes a roll and you receive a deep cut. Which would do more damage, a pointed tip knife or a blunt tip knife? Which would be the safer knife to be using to splice line, cut away a jammed sheet, or work in close proximity to your sailing crew or partner in rough sailing weather?

In each case, the blunt tip, so in rough weather, the Boye sheepsfoot folder wins the prize, hands down. Now, that's not to say the pointed folder doesn't have it's place. By all means, use the pointed tip ashore where you need not content with rolling, pitching, wind, spray and wet hands! But afloat, blunt tips meet the three criteria of safe, sound and secure for you and your sailing crew.

In a recent post on a popular sailing forum, a sailor had just returned from sailing in the Caribbean. Now, as you may know, some islands in this tropical paradise can be pretty barren. Beautiful yes, but populated, no. His friend was out in the cockpit filleting a fish with a sharp pointed knife. The knife slipped and he stabbed himself in the leg!

This may seem like a minor event, which it may have been with medical care just a 911 call away. But in this case, there was no medical care anywhere.  Now, consider if the fillet knife had a blunt tip. Would the injury have been as severe?  Not likely.

Save the pointed tip knives for the non-moving environment when you are ashore. Choose a blunt tip sailing knife, or "sheep's foot" knife, for sailing or cruising.  Boye sheepsfoot folders with an integrated marlinspike are designed to be used in the "rock 'n roll" environment when day sailing, racing, weekend cruising or voyaging. Choose the best sailing knife for the task at hand. You'll be glad you did!