1. Three turns are
taken away from
the direction of the
strain, then the
bitter end crosses
under the turns and
over the line under
2. Cross under the
standing part of the
line to form a loop.
Developed by John Smith to meet the challenge of holding under a
lengthwise pull toward the thin end of a tapered spar, the icicle hitch
finishes by taking both ends of the line through a jamming hitch to
increase holding power.
Performance: The icicle hitch took twice as long as the rolling
hitch to tie, but it performs better than the rolling hitch, holding in all
conditions. Though the hitch may separate a bit as it’s tensioned up, it
never slipped even with maximum load. This was the easiest hitch to
undo after it had been tensioned against line.
Bottom Line: The icicle hitch holds in all situations; its extra holding power and the ease of release more than make up for the slight
increase in complexity of this hitch.
3. Take the bitter
end over the top of
the line under tension and through the
loop. Pull tight.
Evans Starzinger has sailed more than 110,000 nautical miles. This summer
he left the Chesapeake Bay in May aboard his 47-foot sloop, sailing single-handed for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.