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Barrel Hitch

Scouting Index Scouting Requirements

Alpine Butterfly Loop Back Splice Barrel Hitch Bowline Cleat Hitch (Halyard) Clove Hitch (End) Coil Unattached Rope Constrictor (Twisting) Double Fisherman's Double O'hand Stopper Eye Splice Figure 8 Half Hitch Lashing, Square Lashing, Diagonal Lashing, Round Lashing, Shear Lashing, Tripod Marlinspike Hitch Midshipman's Hitch Rolling Hitch Round Turn & Hitches Sailmaker's Whipping Sheet Bend Sheepshank Square (Reef) Timber Hitch Trucker's Hitch Whipping (Common)

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Making a Barrel Hitch

Stand the barrel on the lifting rope. Tie an Overhand Knot across the top. Spread the Overhand Knot until it embraces the top of the barrel. Join the ends with a Bowline and lift.  Alternatively, lay the Overhand Knot on the floor, create the figure 8 appearance, and place the barrel on the center and tighten.

Barrel Hitch Details

Name: Ashley describes two methods of tying this hitch (ABOK # 2176 and 2177, p 350.) but didn't give either one a name. Today, Barrel Hitch is generally used for both these techniques when lifting a barrel upright. However, a barrel can also be lifted on its side using a Cow Hitch, an arrangement known as a "Barrel Sling".

Warning: For stability, the rope encircling the barrel must be well above the center of gravity but far enough below the top to avoid slipping off. Also, care must be taken to ensure that the rope is properly centered under the barrel. With smooth and steady lifting, the Barrel Hitch provides reasonable security and safety.

Alternative Methods The animation shows two methods: the first in which the Overhand Knot is spread open across the top of the barrel (Frames 1 to 8); and the second in which the Overhand Knot is laid out on the floor and then adjusted to resemble a figure 8 (Frames A to E). In fact, one common variation of the second method uses an actual Figure 8 Knot laid out on the floor instead.

Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.

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Version 4.0.1. Nov 24, 2014

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