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Midshipman's Hitch

How to tie the Midshipman's Hitch Knot. The Midshipman's Hitch is an excellent knot to create an adjustable loop at the end of a rope. The knot can be slid up and down the standing line to increase or decrease the size of the loop (and thus the length and/or tightness of the standing line) but when load is applied the knot holds securely.

The Midshipman's Hitch is similar to the Tautline Hitch and the Adjustable Grip Hitch, but has one important difference and benefit. When tying the Midshipman's the second wrap forms an intermediate "Awning Hitch" which takes any strain on the rope while tying the final Half Hitch. The completed Midshipman's Hitch is also more secure than the Tautline.

This knot is relatively easy to tie or untie under load.

Scroll to see Animated Midshipman's Hitch Knot below the illustration and tying instructions.

how to tie a midshipman's hitch

Midshipman's Hitch Knot Tying Instructions

  1. Pass the working end of a rope around an object such as a post or cleat.

  2. Pass the working end around the standing line creating the first Half Hitch.

  3. Pass it around again, working back away from the object toward the standing line.

  4. Pull tight. This forms an Awning Hitch that can take load while the next step is tied.

  5. Now make a half hitch in the same direction outside of the loop around the standing line.

  6. Pull the knot tight. The Midshipman's Hitch can now be slid on the standing line when there is no load and will hold tight when load is applied.
Swiffy Output

Disclaimer: Any activity involving rope can be dangerous and may even be life threatening! Knot illustrations contained in this web site are not intended for rock climbing instruction. Many knots are not suitable for the risks involved in climbing. Where failure could cause property damage, injury, or death, seek professional instruction prior to use. Many factors affect knots including: the appropriateness of knots and rope materials used in particular applications, 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 content.