Skip to main content

Heaving a Line

heaving a line from a boat

Monkey’s Fist ... Nope

A heaving line comes in handy for messengering heavy towlines across open water. Years ago, a sizable ball comprised of a complex knot with steel or a rock inside (a monkey’s fist) was often tethered to the ends of heaving lines to boost range. Monkey’s Fists caused so many injuries they’re now extinct. Go instead with 70 feet of 3/8-inch three-strand nylon. Coil it, split the coil into your two hands, rear back and (with your throwing hand) launch. Let extra bights loose from your stowage hand if increased range is needed.

How-to Guide to Knots, Hitches, and Linehandling Techniques ▶