HOWB 024 – Brion Toss, author, teacher, legendary rigger, wooden boat lover: interview

by admin on March 1, 2012



Interview – Brion Toss, owner Brion Toss Yacht Rigger

When Brion took geometry in high school he thought to himself “I’ll never use this crap”.  But he soon became fascinated with knots and realized that geometry was his friend.  He was super proud of his first two knots (learned from poorly drawn illustrations in an urban survival book) – the sheet bend and square knot.  When he showed these knots to a good friend, the friend cracked open his 690 page Encyclopedia Of Knots And Fancy Rope Work, and Brion officially dove headfirst into the world of knots.

In Brion’s own words, he was largely “holed up in the late 60’s tying knots”.  First there was the fancy-work knots, then came the maritime knots.  These knots led to the wooden boat festivals, which led to sailing, which led to rigging, which led to Brion Toss Yacht Riggers!

If you want to hear some down to earth talk about splices, seizes, lashings, geometry, physics, resolution of forces, humping, hogging, and an explanation for the ditty: “worm and parcel with the lay, turn and serve the other way”, you have come to the right place!  Click on the green player button above for all the details.  ENJOY!

Here’s Brion at his shop (click to enlarge):


Brion at the shop - post interview.

Brion’s books include (click on link for more info):
The Complete Rigger’s Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging
Chapman Knots for Boaters
Going Aloft (DVD version)
The Rigging Handbook

Thanks Brion for taking time to meet with me!  Sorry I ate almost all your chocolate!!

Listener Feedback and Comments:

Thanks to Jim Vibert for subscribing to my email list and sharing his love of wooden boats via email.  Jim builds and repairs boats in Kansas, and his website is  Check out this new deck he put on a Snipe:

Nice deck replacement Jim!


Want to help?  Please leave feedback!

I want to build a community of people from all over the world who want to connect, learn, share stories and photos, and have fun with wooden boats.  I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on.  You can also write comments on my blog, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360.  And click HERE to subscribe to my email news list for the latest and greatest fun stuff.

Thanks, Wooden Boat Dan “over and out”!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

March 24, 2012

Just listened to this episode and enjoyed it very much. Learned an awful lot too. Great podcast, keep it up.


March 24, 2012

Thanks for your support Bob. Have a great day!


June 20, 2012

Great episode! Thanks for for interviewing these people, Bob. So much interesting stuff that comes out when you just let them speak freely. You’re doing a great job.


June 20, 2012

Thanks for your kind comments. Brion was a really fun guy to interview. Please give me a 5 start review in iTunes if you are so inclined. Thanks, Dan


June 20, 2012

I already did:)


June 22, 2012



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