Buscupple Boatworks Traditional Maritime Rope Craft

 Traditional maritime rope craft - Edenton, NC

A few words about my work…

traditional maritime rope craft

During the Age of Sail (16th – 18th Century), sailors who demonstrated a skill in repairing rope, tying knots, splicing rope, maintaining and storing lines were described as mastering the skill of marlinspike seamanship. These “marlin spikes” also had knowledge of docking, towing and general seafaring ways on the water. Often times, the marine trades were handed down to younger generations and basic knot tying became an instinctual reflex for future watermen.

Sometimes, sailors would personalize their own designs while making decorative items that they called “fanciworks”. In the spirit of these ancient craftsmen, I began researching various rope craft techniques and designs that offer function as well as attractive boating accessories for wooden boat owners and those who collect nautical wares.

I use traditional hand tools and natural fiber rope in most of the Buscupple Boatworks line. An item may include over 150’ contiguous length rope and several hours labor. Sizes and weights may vary slightly due to the nature of using natural rope. In some cases, I prefer to use jigs and forms in the process to ensure consistent sizes such as pairs of fenders or bookend monkey fists.

Buscupple Boatworks Hemp Harmony Balls

Wholesale prices are available and bulk sales offer further savings. I base my prices on material costs + labor. The goal is to deliver a unique, high quality, one-of-a-kind keepsake that is affordable, historical and FUN to create. My preferred markets are Wooden Boat Shows, Maritime Museums and quality Nautical Art & Craft Galleries.

Sammy Cox demonstrating traditional maritime rope craft at the 2017 Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show.

Sammy Cox demonstrating marlinspike rope craft at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show

Please contact me for more information and a current price list. Buscupple Boatworks offers custom orders and seasonal interpretations that blend traditional craftsmanship with functional designs. Our monkey fist key chains are a good example. We offer bold colors and a variety of quality materials from double braid polyester rope to natural hemp rope — one of civilization’s oldest fiber. Thanks for your support and interest in my products!

Buscupple Boatworks' half-pint hemp wreath


Buscupple Boatworks Canvas Back floating key chain series

The Canvas Back mariner’s key chain series pays homage to the down east heritage of duck hunting along the North Carolina Coast. Constructed of high quality, sterling accessory cord in a “marsh camo” pattern, the 1.25-inch round monkey fist features a 3” loop, traditional waxed whipping cord and a stainless steel key ring.

Additional items hand-crafted by Buscupple Boatworks

1st Mate Dog Toss, assorted mariners’ key chains & hand-carved wooden cleats to display nautical wreaths

Additional product lines and accessories

We’re constantly refreshing our line of products and accessories depending on the seasons, new materials and special requests. Sometimes by accident, we stumble upon a project that takes a life of its own. Our popular 1st Mate Dog Toss is an excellent example. Made of high quality “repurposed” climbing rope, these rugged canine toys provide endless hours of “fetching” fun for dog owners and their pets.

The classic hand-carved 5″ horned cleat really finishes off the display of any of our nautical wreaths whether you’re hanging it inside the home or outside the boathouse. Made of salvaged teak from a friend’s wooden sloop, each cleat is packaged with brass hardware and the “horns” cinch the eye of the wreath in an attractive oval shape. Unless you live in my North Carolina Preservation Mill Village, you’re guaranteed to adorn one of the most unique and authentic coastal wreaths in your neighborhood!

The Sailors Swab is a traditional whiskbroom that has many handy uses – from hearth to sea and from the wood shop to the kitchen. Old world sailors were thrifty with their lines and didn’t let any scraps go to waste. Taking their lead, our brushes are made with a single, three-strand natural Manila and each brush features an attractive Matthew Walker knot as the base. The eye is approximately 1 ½ inch – 2 inch wide, the total length is approximately 6 – 7 inches.

Buscupple Boatworks Sailors Swab

Special orders Buscupple Boatworks

Coastal Wall at Coralberry Cottage, Mt. Pleasant, SC


Buscupple Boatworks Nautical Wreath displayed at Edenton Music & Water Festival

Photo courtesy of Kip Shaw Photography

Samuel Cox

Buscupple Boatworks Rope Craft
(828) 989-6965

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