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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am finally replacing the 4:1 mainsheet system I have on my 1985 27' Pearson. The bearings fell out of what was probably the original Harken fiddle block. I'm replacing with a Garhauer 30-06 US and a 30-01 US combo (thanks to Guido at Garhauer for awesome help) for less than half the price of a comparable Harken system. The original setup had a splice (a clamp :confused:) with a thimble on the standing end of the mainsheet where it is attached to the becket of the fiddle block+cam cleat assembly (see photo).

Is the thimble preferred/necessary to reduce line stress? Is there a better thimble to use than the teardrop shape? Finally, who do you recommend to do custom splicing? I am looking at Defender since they have good prices on rope, but they want $18 for a custom splice. I'm toying with the idea of buying a fid with the rope purchase and trying it myself, but don't know if I am up to the effort or challenge.
 

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I can't really tell from the pic, but it seems that block could chafe right through an unprotected line. Probably why the thimble is used.

That thimble doesn't look spliced, but rather sewn, which is easier and ironically can be stronger.
 

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I disagree. The becket on that fiddle block is made of Marlon and has a radius for line. A thimble is not needed. You can attach the line to the becket with a bowline or anchor hitch. I prefer a short splice myself. If you ever chafe through the cover, you can always cut the splice off and tie a bowline. My mainsheets all wear out from overstress long, long, before the splice begins to show wear.
 

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....The becket on that fiddle block is made of Marlon and has a radius for line......
Well, I said I could not tell from the pic. You must know this about that piece, as I can't see how the pic helped. If you're right about it having a plastic radius, a knot would certainly be fine.
 

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The load and movement at that point in the line is so small it really doesn't matter. And as George pointed out the becket is large enough to spread the load some anyway.

In an absolute sence it probably reduces max load on the line by a few (2-3) percent. But it's lost in the noise.
 

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For what its worth, all knots will reduce the breaking strength of a line by a minimum of 30% to as much as 60%. I believe a bowline is in the 40% range.

Should be moot, as the specs for breaking strength of our lines considers the excess necessary for this.
 

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I've always liked the look of a nice splice, even when a knot would do. If need to remove, just make the eye longer and feed the eye thru the becket and the end thru the eye to make a loop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input guys. Here is a slightly better pic of the setup. You can see the thimble setup hidden partially by the mainsheet. The becket is very small in diameter and under load I imagine it will put some significant kink stress on the line. So who is a good source for custom splicing?
 

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Remember you're a womble
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Get a fid and splice it yourself. Useful skill to learn and you'll soon save the price of the fid(s).
 

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For what it is worth-I bought a splice kit and have done a few splices none of which I will show anyone much less use on the boat. I did learn that new larger diameter line is easier than old line.
 

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I am finally replacing the 4:1 mainsheet system I have on my 1985 27' Pearson. The bearings fell out of what was probably the original Harken fiddle block. I'm replacing with a Garhauer 30-06 US and a 30-01 US combo (thanks to Guido at Garhauer for awesome help) for less than half the price of a comparable Harken system. The original setup had a splice (a clamp :confused:) with a thimble on the standing end of the mainsheet where it is attached to the becket of the fiddle block+cam cleat assembly (see photo).

Is the thimble preferred/necessary to reduce line stress? Is there a better thimble to use than the teardrop shape? Finally, who do you recommend to do custom splicing? I am looking at Defender since they have good prices on rope, but they want $18 for a custom splice. I'm toying with the idea of buying a fid with the rope purchase and trying it myself, but don't know if I am up to the effort or challenge.
For your boat, 3/8" Sta-Set, or equal, with a tight eye-splice, perhaps with a little teflon tape tightly wrapped through the eye, will be all you need. Splicing double braid is really a no-brainer, easily learned, and a useful skill. In re: your Garhaurer blocks, be sure to inspect the blocks from time to time to insure the cotter rings/pins are in good shape. We've twice lost the dead-ends of lines when the cotter-pins holding the shaft in the beckets went missing and the shafts slipped out, opening the beckets, when pressure on the lines eased during a tack. Very inconvenient, I can assure you.

FWIW...
 
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Boy I wish one of you plait-splice heroes lived near by. I've bought every fid know to man, even made a few of my own and for the life of me, I can't complete an eye splice. I'm a handy guy, the original jack-of-all-trades. My wife describes me as way above average on being able to just-do-it. (It's all the other times that I'm an incompetent idiot.) But, I always fail at the last step when you pull the tail about 1/2 fid thru the cover. I just can't get it done. Any Maine guys that can, feel free to offer me a class, or let me stop over with a six of Sammy's and 20' of 16-plait from the wild ends barrel at Hamilton.

Don
 

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Don--

It really isn't that hard. Take a look at
If you can't get the cover all of the way through the core in one go, do it in parts, simply reinserting the fid at the first exit point from the core until you reach the end.

FWIW...
 
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Boy I wish one of you plait-splice heroes lived near by. I've bought every fid know to man, even made a few of my own and for the life of me, I can't complete an eye splice. I'm a handy guy, the original jack-of-all-trades. My wife describes me as way above average on being able to just-do-it. (It's all the other times that I'm an incompetent idiot.) But, I always fail at the last step when you pull the tail about 1/2 fid thru the cover. I just can't get it done. Any Maine guys that can, feel free to offer me a class, or let me stop over with a six of Sammy's and 20' of 16-plait from the wild ends barrel at Hamilton.

Don
When the braided line first came out, Sampson would send reps around to yacht clubs, etc. and give splicing lessons. I just couldn't get it and hated the stuff. When I purchased this boat, one of the first things I did was replace all the running rigging. At $30.00 a splice by a rigger, I figured the time had come to grow up and learn.
I've used Royce's Sailing Illustrated as a teaching tool for my crews for 50 years, so I opened the book to braided line splicing and set to work.
My first one was functional (and still in use) though not too pretty. Each progressive one got better and now I can whip one out in just a few minutes.
So, I guess my suggestion is to pick up that book, and try it from his instructions.
Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: Took the advice in this thread and made my own eye splice. Followed the Samson 10-part instruction sheet and am not too displeased with the results. I secured it by stitching through with waxed whipping thread. Think it will hold?
 

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