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A very useful general purpose knot, the round turn and two half hitches

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What is the issue?
Sailing is a world of knots, bends, hitches, loops etc and can be daunting. But a handful of knots will suffice. The bowline is the king of the multi-purpose sailing knots, and the one to learn first. After that, our circumnavigations’ most convenient knot was the clove hitch. But it is worth spreading out to a few more general purpose knots.

Why address this?
Once the bowline is securely under your belt there are a few knots that are worth learning next for optimized approaches to specific recurring tasks aboard and just everyday convenience.

How to address this?
The round turn and two half hitches knot is a very useful knot used to secure the end of a rope to a fixed object. The name refers to the components used to form the knot, a round turn wraps the rope around the object completely encircling it twice and the two half hitches secure the end around the standing part.

Take the working end of the rope and wrap it, around the fixed object you are tying to twice, the round turns.

Twist the working end under the load or standing side of the line and up through the loop to create the first half hitch.

Repeat for a second half hitch tying it the around the standing or loaded part of the line. This creates a Clove Hitch around the standing or loaded part of the line.

Work the slack out and the knot is finished.

The round turn and two half hitches is a very simple but highly useful knot to have in your repertoire. It is ideal for attaching a mooring line to a dock post or ring. It also makes a much better fender knot than the convenient clove hitch because it is much more secure and just as quick if not quicker once it has become habitual. The clove hitch can also unroll and be difficult to tie down tightly.

The key benefit of the round turn and two half hitches knot is that it can be tied and undone when loaded up. It is also unlikely to slip down a post and the knot rarely if ever jams. It is a very easy and useful knot that is well worth acquiring. Best of all it is also halfway to the fisherman’s bend which is an excellent knot when it comes to attaching ground tackle.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches
Photo: eOceanic thanks CC0

Round Turn and 2 half hitches

Detailed view round turn and two half hitches

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