Photo Credit: Photo | West Coast Now

Master Teaches Tricks Of The Trade

The community is getting all tied up in sold-out workshops

Picking Locks and Tying Knots, when was the last time you learned a useful renegade skill?

Practical skills are dying out in this busy world.

While the current trends may lead us toward a robot-run society, there’s time-tested value in getting things done yourself.

Residents in Campbell River seem to have a keen sense of this.

Many of us may feel tied up in our day-to-day tasks, but one local maritime knot-tying expert is inspiring people to loosen up their busy schedules.

Ruedi Pletscher has been helping people get tangled up in a new hobby that’s both an art and extremely useful. It’s been a massive hit.

“I did it for a long time, but for a long time, no one wanted to know about it. All of a sudden, there’s a lineup to take courses,” he told West Coast Now.

Pletscher is a retired aircraft maintenance engineer. His love of knot-tying began when he went boating with his father in Switzerland as a child. Once grown, his job allowed him to travel the world and learn how to tie knots that originated in countries from the Maldives to Indonesia.

It’s been a lifelong passion for him, and the community has been eager to learn.

He’s partnered with The Maritime Heritage Centre to run these courses, and the response has been overwhelming.

“Within two days, 80 people applied. So I went, whoa! Let’s do two courses,” he said.

Those two courses turned into four, all sold out months in advance, and there’s more in the making.

Get hands-on with knot-tying at the Maritime Heritage Centre's interactive Activity Knot Board created by Ruedi.A few of the knots you could learn at Pletschers course. Courtesy of West Coast Now.

In the course, you’ll be able to learn everything from a classic figure eight to the rolling hitch – some of the knots he teaches are as strong as a steel cable.

Plus, Pletscher’s signature, the two-strand diamond knot.

“If I go visit my friend’s dock, I tie the knot, and they will know I was there,” he said.

Maritime knot-tying is an art form that may have dropped off the trending charts, but as Pletscher’s signature knot suggests, it’s a timeless style worth bringing back. If you think this skill is worth adding to your repertoire, you can head to Maritime Heritage Centre’s site to see upcoming workshops.