Mind Your Hi-Tech Splices!!!
Yesterday, while making 7.5 knots on a close reach toward Egmont Key in 15-18 knot winds we suddenly heard a bang like a rifle shot (I actually reflexively ducked) and our Main dropped like a rock. (My-much-better half actually came flying out of the cabin thinking we'd been shot!) Long and the short of the story is that the splice in the main halyard to the headboard shackle had let go in the splice (the shackle was still attached to the headboard). Our Main halyard is 10mm T-900 and is now about 10 years old. When I made up the lines, a local rigger told me that since the stuff was so strong, I had no need of a thimble in the eye splices for the halyard shackles. While that went against everything I'd been told for 50+ years, I took his word for it and didn't use thimbles. Evidently a dumb decision on my part, eh! While T-900 is supposed to be super UV resistant and super strong, evidently not strong enough, particularly without a thimble. Fishing the line out of the masthead and re-reeving the halyard will be a real pain. Chopping off the ends and remaking the splices of that and all of the rest of the similarly made halyards will be the real joy. Not what I had in mind for my wife on our Mother's Day weekend.
N'any case, a word to the wise...
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."