At the end of summer in 2016 our Gemini catamaran’s ground tackle (anchor, chain, and rode) were upgraded by removing a rusting 3/8 non-marine grade galvanized chain and replacing it with ISO Grade 43 Hot Dipped Galvanized Chain with Oversized End Links. It’s G grade 5/16th chain by Perless. The 100 feet of marine chain was just under $500- but that’s actually a positive story.
Previously I had used multiple half-hitches to merge the chain’s shackle to its nylon rode. Number one- that type knot attachment reduces the rode’s strength by 40% or so due to the biting effect of the knot against the rope’s pull. Secondly the large knot resulting from 5/8 inch line was occasionally an obstruction in the bale of the anchor roller assembly.
Eye splices result in less than 10% strength loss. Eye splices offer smooth transitions for the anchor roller system.
My problem arose when I asked a Morehead City specialty marine service shop to, for a fee, create eye splices for my ( two year old previously used in salt water ) anchor lines. “Too old, too stiff” was the tech’s comment as he handed the bundle of anchor line back to me. “It’s so stiff I don’t know how long “id” take. But I don’t think you’d want to pay me that much.”
What the hell. I had needed a good excuse to learn to do eye splices, anyhow.
And so I set about to learn the trade. After watching multiple YouTube how-to-videos; obtaining a length of ½ nylon rope to practice on; and repetitively creating and reworking my “learning line”- I was able to produce professional grade eye splices for stiff 5/8 inch anchor lines.
After setting up my work space, it took about 45 minutes each to do the splices. Assuming a $100 an hour rigger’s wage the eyes were worth $75 each. (I love saving money!)
After completing the anchor line eye splices, I dropped by a sailboat oriented rigging shop in New Bern and had the owner look at my work. It met his approval- especially since I had half again as many tucks as most splicers would have used. Plus I added whipping at critical points.
Final whippings were added and a protective clamping of shrink tube coating ensures there’s no slippage . I think of my personal technique as a “Tri-splice”- it being tucked, cord whipped, and tube clamped.
The story / blog of Yacht A Fun, a Gemini catamaran sailboat, traveling the ICW and east coast with insights to the extended cruising life. Eye splice technique