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Tugboat hitch

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Tugboat hitch
Names Tugboat hitch, Lighterman's Hitch, Backhanded Mooring Hitch
Category hitch
Releasing non-jamming, releasable under load
Typical use Heavy towing, mooring, making fast to a winch
ABoK #1795


The Tugboat hitch (or Backhanded mooring hitch or Lighterman's Hitch) is a knot ideal for heavy towing, or making fast to a post, bollard, or winch. It is easy to release, even under great load.

Tying

Take a single turn or a round turn around the post. Pass a bight under the standing part, then drop the bight over the top of the post. Take another bight of the working part, pass it back under the standing part, drop the bight over the top with a half twist, and pull taut. Continue this repetition as necessary until secure. Finish by half-hitching a bight around the standing part.

Take a single turn or a round turn around the post. Pass a bight under the standing part, then drop the bight over the top of the post. Then make a bight in the rope on the other side of the standing part and drop it over the object. Note that in each placement of a bight over the object, the end's side of the bight should lead to the side away from the standing part--this will make casting off easier. The process just described can be repeated, for heavy loads (and in slipperier materials); one can often complete the anchorage with just a round turn or two. (With heavy loads, it is important to have made enough bights and turns to reduce force on the final turns or a hitch--otherwise, it will be difficult to untie (a hitch) or will slip.

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