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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 11-19-2009
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Incorrect: a figure 8 with a tuck-back on the tail is a 90% strength knot

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
Just be aware that you are cutting the strength of the line by about 50% when you put a knot in it. When use an eye splice you retain over 90% of the original line strength; and usually the eye does not fail unless it was chafed through.
I used to make climbing equipment and I have tested this on a rig many times. Food for thought; rock climbers routinely take soaring whippers on 10mm ropes, never held with a splice, always a figure 8. Their lives do depend on the knot.

A bowline is ~ 55% strength, probably what you heard.

The trouble with a figure 8, and why it is not so popular on boats, is that once loaded hard it cannot generally be untied. Oh well. A figure 8 never fails unless cut through.

I can spit out 90% strength knots EVERY TIME in 10 seconds, probably with the lights off. Is the reliability of amateur splices better than that? How would you feel about falling 30 feet onto your splice? I have done that on knots.

Note on tuck back; a figure 8 can be increased in strength from 80% to 90% by taking the tail around behind the standing part and tucking it into the previous turn. Most knots fail on the first sharp turn, and this pads the turn. Some call this a Yosemite finish. A further improvement takes this another turn. Please see the attached.American Alpine Institute - Climbing Blog: The Figure-Eight Follow-Through.

Climbers don't know all the knots, but they have learned a few very well.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 11-19-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2009
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A simple but effective knot that retains much of the line's strength is the buntline hitch. However, be warned that a buntline hitch does tend to become rather permanent and difficult to untie if its set under load all season.

As for splicing, I second the Toss splicing wands. I would also point out that what line you have will often determine how it can be spliced. Parallel core, high-tech core, or other lines will require a different splice technique from a traditional polyester double braid. Using the wrong splice on a line can be a very, very serious mistake.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2009
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In splicing, practice counts. I'd pick up an extra dozen feet of line and use the ends for practice, then cut 'em off and practice again until the splices look nice and clean. What's left can always make a fender line or something else on the boat, it won't be wasted.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
In splicing, practice counts. I'd pick up an extra dozen feet of line and use the ends for practice, then cut 'em off and practice again until the splices look nice and clean. What's left can always make a fender line or something else on the boat, it won't be wasted.
Good idea. Just don't make the mistake of trying to put a splice into an old used piece of line. It'll put you off splicing for life.
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
I used to make climbing equipment and I have tested this on a rig many times. Food for thought; rock climbers routinely take soaring whippers on 10mm ropes, never held with a splice, always a figure 8. Their lives do depend on the knot.
So you'd rather tie that unruly blob of a knot to your halyard shackle (just waiting to get fouled in your rigging) than simply take the time to do a proper eye splice?

I don't discount that a figure eight may be a knot with higher strength; but I don't think it's suitable for use on sailboat halyards or sheets (unless it's an emergency). I can't remember how many times our sheets would snag and hold to the shrouds with bowlines tied; since switching to eye splices we have had none.
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  #26  
Old 11-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
So you'd rather tie that unruly blob of a knot to your halyard shackle (just waiting to get fouled in your rigging) than simply take the time to do a proper eye splice?

I don't discount that a figure eight may be a knot with higher strength; but I don't think it's suitable for use on sailboat halyards or sheets (unless it's an emergency). I can't remember how many times our sheets would snag and hold to the shrouds with bowlines tied; since switching to eye splices we have had none.
Do you splice the jib sheets to the jib? I've haven't seen that... could certainly see less fouling on the shrouds.
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  #27  
Old 11-20-2009
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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Good idea. Just don't make the mistake of trying to put a splice into an old used piece of line. It'll put you off splicing for life.
Knotty,
I've done that for practice, very hard and seldom works. But what a Challenge.
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  #28  
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Knotty—

No one ever said he was very bright... Stubborn, yes, bright, no....
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Knotty,
I've done that for practice, very hard and seldom works. But what a Challenge.
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  #29  
Old 11-20-2009
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  #30  
Old 11-21-2009
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Splicing Instructions
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