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Knot List: Round Turn and Two Half Hitches ‐ Step-by-Step

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Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, Animated Knots
Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, Step-by-Step Animation

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches Tying

Pass the end around the post twice. This takes the strain while you tie the knot. Go around the standing end to make the first Half Hitch. Pull this tight. Continue around in the same direction to make the second Half Hitch. Pull tight to complete the knot.
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Round Turn and Two Half Hitches Details

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A Useful Boating Knot: A Round Turn and Two (or more) Half Hitches (ABOK # 1720, p 296) is useful for attaching a mooring line to a dock post or ring although probably less secure than the Anchor (Fisherman's) Hitch. As the name suggests, the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches is composed of two important parts:

Round Turn: The initial 'Round Turn' – actually two passes of the tail – should take the initial strain while you complete the knot. This may be critical when handling a mooring line. An additional turn, or even two additional turns, should be added initially if you are handling a heavy load, e.g., with a large vessel or in a strong wind. These turns allow you to control the load while you add the:

Two or More Half Hitches. The two Half Hitches actually form a clove hitch round the standing end. However, it is common to see an additional one, or more Half Hitches - either to make the knot more secure or to use up excess line.

Tying the Knot: Learn to tie the Half Hitches with one hand! This allows you to use the other hand to take the strain of a vessel that may easily pull with a force far greater than you could otherwise control. As emphasized above, when dealing with such force, use as many turns on the post as are necessary to control the strain.

Direction: Always tie the Half Hitches in the same 'direction'. If you start the first Half Hitch with the tail passing away from you above the rope, then do the same with the next (and the next).

Variation Using a Bight: When there is a long tail, the Half Hitches can be tied using a bight (loop) instead of the end. This consumes excess rope which may otherwise hang in the way or require coiling.

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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