SailNet Community banner
21 - 30 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi all. I just got a load of clear heat shrink (adhesive lined) in preparation for slowly rewiring my boat. Well, I put some on the end of some dock line and heated it up and I liked the results. Has anybody else done this before? It's kind of like a big shoe lace end. Being clear, I would think that moisture can eventually be dried by the sun. Can anybody see any downside to using heat shrink for this purpose? I am thinking of doing my reefing lines that are attached to the main. Last time out in a big blow they began to unravel. Anyway, thanks in advance for the input.

Fair winds, Bill
I am a part-time rigger and have been using heat shrink for years! It is brilliant! It is a good idea to experiment with temperatures a bit though. There is a heat shrink tube with internal adhesive which will go from 3 cm to zero! Mine is black which suits the shedload of Aramid cordage I use.
Mornader
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,175 Posts
I once had lines arrive with shrink wrap. I can't recall from where, it might have been Defender, but can't say for sure. I think I did not order whipping, so that's what I got. I was surprised. I would have planned to whip it myself, but didn't bother. I recall, it held up just fine. It would have been a control line, so the bitter end, with the whipping was never in use. It was behind the stopper knot. The truth is, the hot knife melts the cordage together at the ends and the shrink wrap was only holding it together. I beleive the cut was made right through the shrink wrap. The line is long gone for me, but I do not recall it being a problem.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
9,895 Posts
I am a part-time rigger and have been using heat shrink for years! It is brilliant! It is a good idea to experiment with temperatures a bit though. There is a heat shrink tube with internal adhesive which will go from 3 cm to zero! Mine is black which suits the shedload of Aramid cordage I use.
Mornader
While I do use heat shrink on dynema, and aramids that I don't back splice, I disagree that heat shrink is a suitable substitute for a whipping. A rigger, that I used to use extensively, was a big believer in heat shrink instead of whippings. Both of the halyards that he made for me had the cores pull into the covers. Once the core slides past the heat shrink, there is nothing keeping the core and the cover together. A proper whipping is stitched on and so keeps the core from creeping. Frankly, I have almost never had to replace a whipping on a control line, but I have had the heat shrink fail long before the line failed. So while heat shrink is convenient, and probably okay for lower tech line, I strongly but respectfully suggest that its a poor solution for heavily loaded lines, expecially since a properly performed whipping takes so little time to make.

Jeff
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
I haven't tried the heat shrink approach, but I don't see why it wouldn't work well. As other curmudgeons have mentioned, an actual whipping is really not hard to do, and only takes a few minutes. That said, I bet I have a few lines on my boat that are "whipped" with tape, and they seem to hold up just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,175 Posts
Both of the halyards that he made for me had the cores pull into the covers.
That's an interesting thought, for lines whose strength comes entirely from the core. I'm sure the lines I recall above, were double braid. It was long before I would have sprung for high tech.

Nevertheless, the way they were done was the shrink wrap was clearly put over and shrunk on the line, before it was cut with a hot knife. The wrap, the cover, and the core were all melted together to some degree. In use, I would have put a stopper knot just in front of it, so I'm not sure how they'd pull apart, even if the melting let go a little. I must not have had this on the other end, I just don't recall. Might have been a pre-spliced eye on the other end. However, it would have at least been a knot of some kind. It would have needed to be tied and untied many times to come apart, I would think.

Maybe this idea works best for lines that stay in one knotted configuration all season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
That's an interesting thought, for lines whose strength comes entirely from the core. I'm sure the lines I recall above, were double braid. It was long before I would have sprung for high tech.

Nevertheless, the way they were done was the shrink wrap was clearly put over and shrunk on the line, before it was cut with a hot knife. The wrap, the cover, and the core were all melted together to some degree. In use, I would have put a stopper knot just in front of it, so I'm not sure how they'd pull apart, even if the melting let go a little. I must not have had this on the other end, I just don't recall. Might have been a pre-spliced eye on the other end. However, it would have at least been a knot of some kind. It would have needed to be tied and untied many times to come apart, I would think.

Maybe this idea works best for lines that stay in one knotted configuration all season.
You still need to bind the cover to the core somehow, or they will shift. A few stitches or cut the end with a hot knife.

Climbing rope are ususally finished this way. In part, they do it so that they can label the rope specs (UIAA single, etc.). Lots or most of them fall off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,175 Posts
You still need to bind the cover to the core somehow, or they will shift. A few stitches or cut the end with a hot knife.
At the very end, all three were essentially melted together, but that's pretty typical, or probably should be.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
9,895 Posts
While burning the ends, might work with polyester double braid, aramids are very slippery and do not melt. In fact, I like to use the line for a a few sails. then run stitches through the core and cover a couple feet in front of the lock while under load and then behind the lock when not loaded. I typically put a sacrificial cover over the cover of the line where it sits in the lock (prevents chafe and slippage) and I tuck the cover at the fore and aft ends and then run stitches through the whole assembly. It greatly extends the life of the line, and prevents the whole slippage issue.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
I just bought some whipping line and a needle, and have been trying out the whipping thing. It's fun, and it's fairly easy. But I have to say that the quickest and easiest way to keep the ends from unraveling is to melt them. And no, you don't need a hot knife. Just a lighter. Light the end on fire, and let it burn for a few seconds. Blow out the flame, and while the ends are still mushy, squeeze them together. The end will be hot, so it would be best to lick your fingers before squeezing the gooey mess. Do not ask me how I know this. Also, a good idea to let the rope end burn over something sacrificial, as there may be some drips, which could ruin your wife's favorite sweatshirt that she left on the cockpit seat, trusting that only a moron would melt plastic with an open flame without any protection. But once done well, the fix seems to last just as long as whipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
At the very end, all three were essentially melted together, but that's pretty typical, or probably should be.
Yes, with polyester or nylon. However, with covered Dyneema the core and cover melt at different temperatures and don't always fuse well, and aramid core does not melt. Just being generic.
 
21 - 30 of 30 Posts
Top