Sunday, April 27, 2008

Learned to eye splice double braid

As anyone knows who has wasted time reading any of this blog, I love to fix things and learn new skills. In order to replace our old wire main halyard I decided to learn how to eye splice double braid to put the eye in for the halyard shackle. I got a copy of the Brion Toss eye splice video from the local library (after asking them to buy it, which they fortunately did) and saw it was just a procedural problem. His method uses various tools, like a special fid, that I don't have, so I searched online for a more low tech approach. Sure enough, found one that doesn't require a fid or anything else not on every boat.

Happy to say it worked great on my very first try. It took me about 90 minutes and lots of head scratching to make sure I didn't ruin it, but I didn't.

Doing this eye splice was one of the more pleasing things I have ever had to do for the boat. It is always fun working with rope, and these splice are really elegant things. Knowing that they preserve close to 100% of the strength of the rope, and are less prone to catching on things, makes it all the more satisfying.

After doing the main halyard, I had to eye splice the new traveler lines for where they attach to the end cars and this also worked great. Way, way better than tying knots in these traveler lines.

Brion Toss has a great recommendation for how to determine how much of the rope to bury in the splice. You take the diameter of the rope, say 3/8, convert it to 16ths, so 6/16ths, and then take half of the numerator and add it to itself, so 6 plus 3 gives 9, and that is how many inches of this diameter line you should bury. Way easier and more elegant than multiplying the diameter by 22 or other such methods.

I finished the splice by taking heavy thread and sewing through the neck a few times and wrapping the line around to seize it together.

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