from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Same as hand-tight.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The brig carried a pair, of davits on each quarter, so I hauled the boat up on the starboard side, made her fast, slipped down into her and hooked on the tackles, and then, climbing inboard once more, hauled them both hand-taut.
There was, however, a little winch affixed to the fore part of the mast, chiefly used for this very purpose; so, upon jumping down off the companion, my first act was to assure myself that the mainsheet was securely belayed, after which I rushed forward, and, setting hand-taut the main halliard, threw two or three turns of the fall round the barrel of the winch.
He set the weather-topping - lift up hand-taut, and took a turn with the lee one; then dropped the peak of the mainsail until the end of the gaff was pressing against the lee-lift; triced the tack right up to the throat; then let run the throat-halliards, and hauled down the throat of the sail by the tack tripping-line; whilst I rounded in upon the main-sheet.
The moon -- or what there was left of her -- was not due to rise until an hour and twenty minutes later; but by the time that we had got the two gigs hooked on, and the tackles hauled hand-taut -- which was as much as we intended to do with them before getting clear of the basin -- we had come to the conclusion that the stars afforded us light enough to see by, and we therefore determined to proceed at once with the task of setting the canvas.