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DON'S LOG: stories, experience and advice

Towboat Hitches

(Tow boat and lighterman hitches)

 

A Tobo hitch is the proper way to secure a line around a Samson Post. A Clove hitch is not the way to secure a line around a Samson Post. If there is great strain on the clove hitch it will bind up tight and the only way to get it loose is to relieve the strain on the line to the Samson Post or, use the Universal Knot Opener - a sharp knife.
In contrast the Tobo Hitch can be untied under load and more line can be veered. A Tobo Hitch is not only useful for securing a line around a Samson Post but works perfectly on winches.


On Iolaire there is very little space for winches and cleats, so we dispensed with the cleats. All lines leading to winches are secured with Tobo hitches. 

 

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SECURING FOR A HURRICANE

Hitches, knots, line, chafing gear, cleats on docks, ring bolts, chain, shackles, swivels anchors vs sand screws

When securing lines it is not only a case of securing but also a case of being able to unsecure and re adjust the line.

When securing to a sampson post, bollard, or a winch, Do NOT use a clove hitch. Once a clove hitch is heavily loaded the only way it can be unsecured is with a good sharp knife.

Use a tow boat hitch, to the Americans, lightermans hitch to the English, as this hitch can be unloaded under heavy strain and line veered.

Lines that are on heavy load may have to be moved. Learn to reliably tie a line to the loaded line with a rolling hitch so that the load can be taken on the line secured by a rolling hitch and the loaded line moved to a better tie off point

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