Eye Splice “Tri-Splice” in rope and lines

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.

Tools for the splice

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.

Diann’s SailRite hot knife works well to cut and seal synthetic line

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.

Note the long length of tucked line


Heat Shrink Tubing clamps the tucks in place at the two 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

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