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  #1  
Old 12-08-2011
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Which is stronger?

After much frustration and sore hands, I have finally made a successful eye splice. Below is the picture (the white one). I learned through experience that even for practice you need to use new rope and the proper tools. Hollow fids and a pusher are a must. I did it the way it's presented here:
splicing double braid - YouTube

This one.... not so much:
How to Eye Splice double braid rope

Here's my question:
I'm replacing a worn main sheet and the old one has a whipped eye splice (pictured on the right). I have no reason to think the PO did something wrong, so, I submit to you: which splice is strongest between the two pictured?
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Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
After much frustration and sore hands, I have finally made a successful eye splice. Below is the picture (the white one). I learned through experience that even for practice you need to use new rope and the proper tools. Hollow fids and a pusher are a must. I did it the way it's presented here:
splicing double braid - YouTube

This one.... not so much:
How to Eye Splice double braid rope

Here's my question:
I'm replacing a worn main sheet and the old one has a whipped eye splice (pictured on the right). I have no reason to think the PO did something wrong, so, I submit to you: which splice is strongest between the two pictured?

The eye splice is considerably stronger than the seized eye.

Here's another splicing video that you might like to check out.

Double Braid Becket Splice - YouTube
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Old 12-08-2011
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As a practical matter, niether will fail.

The rope will chafe somewhere first. More likely, the rope was sized for "hand" than strength, so again any difference is unimportant.

One reason you sometimes see seizings instead of splices is difficulty in splicing old rope.

The major downside of a seized eye, in my expereince, is vulnerability to UV damage, since the seizing twine is small diameter and exposed.

A practical advantage of a seized eye (or a knot) is that it does not stiffen the rope due to tail bury and thus can be placed closer to a block (the tail of a splice doesn't go through blocks well). A compact knot can be even better and will allow for easier line end-for-end swaps.
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Old 12-08-2011
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the tail of a splice doesn't go through blocks well
This is an excellent point. Thanks.
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Very true. A splice is the strongest option but the thickening of the throat does occasionally become an issue.
A knot will weaken the line more than a splice but on most cruising boats, the line is usually so strong that it doesn't make any difference. That's why bowlines have been so popular over the years. They are easy to learn and they work. The halyard knot is by far superior to the bowline because it doesn't deform the standing part of the line, but you won't usually be able to untie it after it's been loaded. Which is itself not much of an issue if you buy you lines a little long.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
After much frustration and sore hands, I have finally made a successful eye splice. Below is the picture (the white one).
That eye splice you made looks nice! I have the tools, the books, just need the motivation!
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Old 12-09-2011
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That eye splice you made looks nice! I have the tools, the books, just need the motivation!
I'll be honest- My hands are like an accountant's: SOFT. They hate me right now for at least a half dozen failed attempts and now I'm going to do a couple more. It does get easier. I'm also learning to whip the old ropes with the twine/liquid method as well. The video mentioned above by knothead is good. It goes a little too quick, so watch the 12:00 version I recommend first.
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Old 12-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
I'll be honest- My hands are like an accountant's: SOFT. They hate me right now for at least a half dozen failed attempts and now I'm going to do a couple more. It does get easier. I'm also learning to whip the old ropes with the twine/liquid method as well. The video mentioned above by knothead is good. It goes a little too quick, so watch the 12:00 version I recommend first.
The eye splice is far superior to a knot or seizing although you might also want to pass some whipping twin through the throat with a sail needle and then add a whipping to prevent slippage with new line. In future you might also want to add a thimble to a splice where it will be used for a halyard or main sheet shackle.

Also, you might try wearing sailing gloves the next time you make a splice. I have found that they protect one's hands pretty well.

The ability to splice can come in very handy. I cannot count the number of 6-packs of "Full Sail" I have received from dock-mates who cannot themselves splice.

FWIW...
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I use three strand for sheets and halyards, in part because it's easy to splice. I don't worry about stretch because on my heavy cruising ketch it won't make a difference. Also, line stretches significantly as it nears it's breaking point, which will never happen.
I plan to splice some double braid dock lines soon.
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Old 12-10-2011
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Done!
I only had to do it twice. The first splice didn't quite work out, as you can see from the picture on the left (the one with the block hub in it is the good one). I had 30' of extra line so I could splice away to my heart's content until I got it right.
On the left is my settee table with the aftermath of the process. On the right is the new main sheet in its place below my boom. One bit of advice when doing an eye splice: Know in advance which side of the rope you need to pass the core or cover through each other. That is the key to the final pull over.
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