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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6/30/2010 - Splicing Again

I really don't particularly enjoy splicing double braided line. Regular old 3-strand makes sense to me. Once one learns how to do it all you need is some tape, some seizing twine, a knife and maybe a fid or marlinspike. Not so with double braid. Besides the tape, seizing twine, and knife, you need a special fid, a measuring tape, a marking pen and, most importantly, a set of instructions. And not just any set of instructions. They need to be understandable. I have several sets and they are all somewhat arcane. Brion Toss, in his book "The Rigger's Locker", has so far come closest to demystifying the splicing of double braided line.

Today, I did two splices. I wanted to make a tether for each of my primary anchors. These are short pieces of line with a chain hook on the end. The hook is attached to the anchor chain and the other end is tied off to the foredeck mooring cleats. Their purpose is to hold the anchors in their stowed position and take the strain off the windlass which really isn't meant to be used as a mooring bitt.

To attach the chain hook to the line, I wanted to splice a thimbled eye in the end of the line. Then I could shackle the chain hook to the eye. My first attempt, using instructions that came with the splicing fid set, was a complete hash. My next attempt, using Brion Toss' instructions was successful but took me over 2 hours to do. My next attempt was also successful and only took about 45 minutes. The eyes are very strong but they are just unsatisfying to do (for me anyway).

Here are the finished products. The thimbles look a bit large for the line and I'm not sure why. The line is 1/2" and the thimbles are for 7/16" line, although they actually measure 9/16". Sometimes buying this hardware is worse than buying plumbing parts. But, it looks like they'll do the job.

Guess I may as well suck it up because I imagine I have lots of double-braid splicing in my future.


Anonymous said...

If one couldn't already tell that you are an artist by your weaving and splicing and such... they could tell by the way the " Riggers Locker" book is Pearched on the previous weaving project. You are the man! P.s. Lulu could do it too!

Anonymous said...

The thimbles are over sized so the metal, not the line, is in contact with the bottom (or what ever the thing is scraping against). Your splices look way better than mine did. Salty old guy named Pete taught me. Ken

Steve and Lulu said...

Thanks, Ken. Just seemed like some line should show above the edge of the thimble. But your explanation makes sense. I'd feel a lot better about the splicing if I didn't have to drag my book out again the next time I need to do one. But thanks for the compliment. BTW, seizing is like molding in a house: covers up lots of mistakes.