Taut Line Hitch

Taut Line Hitch

How to Tie Taut Line Hitch or Midshipman’s Hitch

The Taut Line Hitch also known as the Midshipman’s Hitch (there is a slight variation) is often used when a line needs to be adjusted and tensioned. Once the Taut Line Hitch has been tied, it is very easy to adjust the tension on the line by moving the hitch up and down the line. Thereby the tension on the line can be loosened or tightened accordingly.
This knot is listed in Ashley’s Book of Knots #1855 and states that this is an exceptionally practical knot and is used in many places onboard a ship. When it is properly tied and dressed, the Midshipman’s hitch will not slip or jam.

Midshipman’s Loop or Midshipman’s Hitch

What is the Taut Line Hitch Used For?

In more modern times the Taut Line Hitch is often used for keeping the tension on a ridge line of a tarpaulin. Many a bushcrafter will use the Taut Line Hitch when it is not too windy and often revert to the Truckers or Truckies Hitch when the wind becomes excessive.

What are the Advantages of the Taut Line Hitch?

The advantage of using the Taut Line Hitch are that it is relatively easy to tie and also an easy knot to remember. It is also easy to untie even when under heavy loading. The main advantage is that once this hitch has been properly tied and dress, the tension can be increased or the line slackened just by moving the knot.

Other Line Tensioning Knots

Other knots or hitches that are worth looking at as tensioning hitches are; Farrimond Friction Hitch or The Adjustable Grip Hitch You may prefer either of these two over the Taut Line Hitch? Click on the links above to view how to ties these particular hitches.

How to Tie the Taut Line Hitch or the Midshipman’s Hitch Video

Here is a quick and easy to follow video on how to tie the Taut Line Hitch.

Recommended Knot Books

If you think that you would like to learn more knots, then I would advise that you take a look at the Recommended Knotting Books (click on link). Whether you are getting into decorative knots, or practical knots, then there is a book that will cover your needs. If you are just starting out knotting, I would say do not get the Ashley Book of Knots as your first book. At first I found it rather difficult to comprehend (or maybe I am a little stupid?). Some of the other book are better and more tailored to what you may be wanting to do with knots.


Taut Line Hitch — 9 Comments

  1. Hi! I do believe you are “Johnny Debt” on you tube? I see you have not posted any new videos for a while and wanted to reach out. I hope all is well with you (and family and friends!) because your knowledge and videos are a very important tool for my knotting/ Marlinspike work. You and Mikko Snellman are both fantastic artists and it is a pleasure to see your videos. So please let me know if all is ok and I am interested in starting a Scandinavian branch of IGKT. / Capt. Morgan

    • Hello Captain,
      All is fine here, thank you for asking, hope all is well at your end. I have not done any videos for a long time, as it became more of a chore than pleasure. I am sure that I will do some in the near future again. Good to hear that you are starting a Scandinavian branch of the IGKT. When you do start, please let me know and I will announce it socially. Kind regards, John.

        • Hello Joe
          Are you wanting to contact regarding something specific, if so I can direct you to the right person?
          Kind regards, John.

          • Hey. I’ve been trying to order a bell rope kit from mikko. He answered once and not again. I want to thank you for your videos and lessons as I’ve nearly finished one with paracord. I’d love it if you could hp me start doing more things like this

          • To be honest, you are certainly not the first to have this problem, I often get emails telling me the very same thing. I think if you are wanting to make a bell rope, then what you are looking for, is a good supplier of quality cordage. Can I just confirm that you are US, if so, I will see who you could contact in that part of the world? I would also recommend that you get a copy of Des Pawson’s book Knot Craft and Rope Mats, which is listed here: http://igkt-solent.co.uk/books/

  2. Pingback: How to Tie the Farrimond Friction Hitch

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