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No matter how careful you are, if you do enough sailing, you’ll probably end up with the occasional winch override. The override, or riding turn, often occurs when the lead angle to the winch is not correct (the line being trimmed should be lead to the winch on a slightly upward angle). It can also happen if the line is eased too quickly, or without care. Once the override occurs, and the jammed line is under load, it can be difficult to clear. The method shown in this video is the safest way to free the line, and with a bit of practice, it can be rigged and implemented quickly and easily.

How to tie a Rolling Hitch

The video below, from Animated Knots, details how to tie a rolling hitch, the knot I used in the above video.

For the record, the knot we have always referred to as a rolling hitch is listed on this page as a seatbelt hitch.


  1. I also JUST did this a couple days on the main halyard. Fortunately, after some head scratching, was able to yank down the sail by a reefing line, but this is smarter for sure. Thx.

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