Midshipman’s Hitch

A green rope crosses the frame horizontally. A blue rope enters from the left of the frame and is tied to the green rope with a midshipman’s hitch. Two spirals of rope are wedged together on the left side of the knot and a half hitch is on the right. The knot is pulled tight and snug, but looks less tidy than an adjustable grip hitch.

The midshipman’s hitch is very similar to the adjustable grip hitch. In our experience the adjustable grip is usually the better choice in natural fiber rope while the midshipman’s holds better in slippery synthetic material.

When to use it

Like all other friction hitches, the midshipman’s hitch is not entirely reliable and should never be used for critical vertical lines in suspension.

Step by step

A single green rope crosses the frame horizontally. A blue rope enters from the left of the frame, just below the green rope. In the center of the frame, the blue rope makes a single spiral around the green rope, crossing over it, then under it, then over it again. The blue rope is pulled up and to the right, so it is wedged into the spiral.

1Double back and go over and around the green rope, inside the standing part.

Pull the working end hard to the right, jamming the wrap tight against itself.

The blue rope goes around the green rope again, passing under it and then over it, making a new spiral. This spiral is wedged between the standing part of the rope and the first spiral. The first spiral is to the left of the second spiral and the standing part is to the right. The end of the rope is again pulled up and to the right.

2Make a second full wrap around the green rope. This wrap should be jammed between the first wrap and the standing part.

The end of the blue rope travels a few inches to the right and then crosses under the green rope, over the green rope, and under itself, making a half hitch around the green rope.

3Make a third wrap around the green rope, this time to the right of the previous two wraps.

Pass under the blue rope to make a half hitch.

A green rope crosses the frame horizontally. A blue rope enters from the left of the frame and is tied to the green rope with a midshipman’s hitch. Two spirals of rope are wedged together on the left side of the knot and a half hitch is on the right. The knot is pulled tight and snug, but looks less tidy than an adjustable grip hitch.

4Snug the knot into position. Take your time and make sure that the whole knot is tidy and snug.

Notes for nerds

References and naming

This knot is ABOK # 1855

This is part of a family of similar knots that are frequently confused with each other. See the Friction Hitches chapter introduction for a full discussion of the topic.

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© COPYRIGHT 2018-2022 FULL CIRCLE KINK LLC