A very thick and strong rope used only for the heaviest work on board ship and for the towing cable of a tug. It is made by laying up three ordinary ropes which have themselves been made by laying up three strands. Whereas in ordinary rope, known as hawser rope, the three strands are laid up from left to right, in cable-laid rope the three hawsers must be laid up from right to left; otherwise the strands in the hawser become untwisted and lose much of their strength and durability. If, in the days when fathoms were used, three hawser-laid ropes of 120 fathoms (720 ft/220 m) each were laid up in this way, they made a cable-laid rope of 100 fathoms (600 ft/183 m).
Cable-laid rope is sometimes known as cablet, and also as water-laid rope, because it absorbs less water than hawser-laid rope.