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  #1  
Old 10-26-2013
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Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

Yes, I know how to splice multiple types of line. Yes, I know washing can help--published an article on that. Yes, I know a knot is an alternative. Yes, I could get new line. Easy answers.

I have a unique rigging problem (the sheets go between shrouds when setting a specific sail close to the wind) that I believe a splice and soft shackles would solve. Knots--I've tried all of the standard suggestions for sheets--work but are not as smooth as I would like. I have an older halyard in perfect condition that will be good for the application, but it's way too stiff for me to want to try splicing. I have sewn splices before in similar cases, and invariably the line eventually failed... away from the splice.

Typically I sewed enough passes (part way into the rope, round stitching on both sides) that the thread count would carry the load, and then added some whipping at the opening and the taper. Sometimes I covered it with heat shrink, sometimes rigging tape, sometimes nothing. Takes about the same amount of time as a double braid splice in new line if sewn by hand, but generally less. Machines do it MUCH faster. Common practice for construction trades.

Rope Splicing | SherrillTree.com

On a boat UV is more important than for these other applications, but any sort of covering handles that, and chafe is only a factor in certain boat applications. Someone is going to say it can fail if sewn wrong; these are used for climbing and I've seen conventional double braid splices work apart too. I've sewn and failure tested climbing equipment; I understand the methods.

A seizing is also a possibility, but sewing is really just a variation on that that can be made smother (the link above did not show a taper, but it is easy to do.

Anyone have actual experience with actual applications on boats? A better method?
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Yes, I know how to splice multiple types of line. Yes, I know washing can help--published an article on that. Yes, I know a knot is an alternative. Yes, I could get new line. Easy answers.

I have a unique rigging problem (the sheets go between shrouds when setting a specific sail close to the wind) that I believe a splice and soft shackles would solve. Knots--I've tried all of the standard suggestions for sheets--work but are not as smooth as I would like. I have an older halyard in perfect condition that will be good for the application, but it's way too stiff for me to want to try splicing. I have sewn splices before in similar cases, and invariably the line eventually failed... away from the splice.

Typically I sewed enough passes (part way into the rope, round stitching on both sides) that the thread count would carry the load, and then added some whipping at the opening and the taper. Sometimes I covered it with heat shrink, sometimes rigging tape, sometimes nothing. Takes about the same amount of time as a double braid splice in new line if sewn by hand, but generally less. Machines do it MUCH faster. Common practice for construction trades.

Rope Splicing | SherrillTree.com

On a boat UV is more important than for these other applications, but any sort of covering handles that, and chafe is only a factor in certain boat applications. Someone is going to say it can fail if sewn wrong; these are used for climbing and I've seen conventional double braid splices work apart too. I've sewn and failure tested climbing equipment; I understand the methods.

A seizing is also a possibility, but sewing is really just a variation on that that can be made smother (the link above did not show a taper, but it is easy to do.

Anyone have actual experience with actual applications on boats? A better method?
My arms hurt just thinking about trying to splice old double braid:-) To me that's a no-do, basically impossible. Thanks for posting that "Grizzly Splice" page. I didn't know sewing was even an option for double braid. As far as making the transition smooth, built-up rigging tape is the only thing that comes to mind but it'd no doubt wear out pretty quickly. How about tapering the tail and wrapping with seizing? I just did some soft shackles and experimented around soaking the ball end in some tool handle plastic. It seems to have soaked in and skinned over nicely and really cemented the diamond knot. Maybe some of that stuff over seizing to make it a bit more durable?
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

Samson Rope published a special splice for this:
http://www.samsonrope.com/Documents/...UG2012_WEB.pdf

It isn't as strong because the cover isn't spliced back into the core, but it is a lot easier. I've used it on line (jib sheets) that is oversized so the reduced strength is not an issue.
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Old 10-28-2013
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Re: Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

This isn't an idea I dreamed up, it is an old one that I read of many years ago in the New Glenans Sailing Manual. They also speak of stropes, the precursor to soft shackles.

The new Glenans sailing manual: Centre nautique des Glenans: 9780914814108: Amazon.com: Books The new Glenans sailing manual: Centre nautique des Glenans: 9780914814108: Amazon.com: Books


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Re: Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

I've been using soft shackles to hold my eye spliced jib sheets to the sail for about a year. It works very nicely.

If the experiment works well for you then the next upgrade is to make some tapered jib sheets.
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Re: Splicing Old Double Braid Line--Sewn Splice?

If you have done this with old line and it failed away from the splice, I really think that (1) your sewed splice is actually pretty strong, but (2) you probably ought to reconsider and get new line. That's just me. I just yesterday gave away three shrimp baskets full of old sheets and halyards and preventers and thises and thatses in addition to several years worth of mooring lines replaced. So obviously I am biased towards new line so take that with a gram of salt. But in your situation I have sometimes spliced both sheets permanently into the clew with an ordinary double braid eye splice so there is nothing at all to hang up when pulling a headsail in tight between the shrouds. This would be a little awkward when racing because you have to run the new sheets through their blocks when changing sails but I don't race. If it is a short run I leave the dock with the sails I am going to come back in with, and jiffy reef the main and roller reef the jib if needed. But if you need detachable sheets for speedy changes then I guess you are stuck with the soft shackles.

If you identify an area prone to chafe, it is good to sew on another layer of cover, though. I have done that. Just slide it on and stitch it to the original cover and whip the ends. Prolongs sheet life, yeah. There's a very useful outlet to your needle skills.

On ships I have spliced old 12" Samson double braid mooring lines and yeah it takes all day but it can be done. The fresh water and detergent thing gets funny looks but it definitely helps. With patience and making sure that the cover and core slide freely, your old halyard can be spliced conventionally. A hard strain to reduce the splice diameter will help it to bury but if it doesn't fully bury, it still has a pretty good amount of strength. Sometimes you have to take tension and release it through a few cycles to get the crossover down to a compact size. Smacking it a few dozen licks between two hammers helps. Any lumps or protuberences will hang up when you go for the bury. I will even cut an offending yarn or three if necessary. So don't be shy about splicing old stuff. And I hope you will reconsider buying new stuff. And nothing wrong, it appears, with your sewed splice if the stitching doesn't catch any chafe and fail on you. And good luck. Have a happy project!
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