• Winter furler damage • A hitch that grips • Heads blockage • A long wait
I have found that a simple variant of the rolling hitch makes it much more effective.
This under-used knot is a simple friction hitch, used to resist movement in a single direction of pull. It'll take the load off a sheet while you clear a jammed winch or block. It’ll tie a line sewn into a flag's hoist to a halyard without the knot riding up and collapsing the flag in the breeze. It’ll hold your mainsail halyard out to a shroud in harbour to keep it from frapping against the mast. It’ll even hold a fender up a vertical bar such as a shroud or stanchion on a boat without guardrails.
But rolling hitches don't always hold well – especially with stiff and slippery modern fibres. Sure, there are friction hitches that provide more security – check out the excellent icicle hitch if you really want to get into knots – but I have found a simple way to increase the grip of the rolling hitch without making this common knot more difficult to remember or to tie.
The basic hitch consists of two turns around the rope or bar to be pulled, crossed over the standing part away from the desired direction of pull, followed by a half hitch made in the same sense of turn.
Here’s the trick. To increase the friction on your object, simply add an extra turn or two to the first part of the hitch. So instead of having just two crossed-over turns, you've got three or four, before you finish with the half hitch. It's not in the books, it's simple and it works.
Add a few extra round turns to make your rolling hitch grip anything