Friday, April 1, 2011

Hi-tech splicing

Carol and Livia on s/v Estrellita 5.10b are replacing their running backstays with hi-tech line.  Let's tag along as they splice it up...

Carol playing splice.
We've been working hard for about two weeks now and our boat doesn't come out of the water until tomorrow. We have another solid two or so weeks of work before we get to scoot North.

Non-boating friends - this one is just going to be boring. See you next time.

Spliced eye with d-ring & stemball
We are converting our running backstays from wire to a hi-tech core dependent line (D2 for the rope people). We needed to shorten them because they are long enough that when we stow them at the shrouds with the block and tackle still on, they bang on the deck. While we were shortening them we thought we would change to synthetics rather than wire so we could further minimize banging and because synthetic line is sexy.

In process
Carol used the Marlow splice book (instructions also online) and a set of splicing tools to create 4 eye splices - a set on each running backstay. These connect via a d-ring to a stemball fitting which fits into cups in our shrouds.

A big thanks to Lauren of SV Piko and Ken of SV Seeker (both sister ships) for advising us on this process.

Finished except for trimming tail
I then took the splices and finished them off with a half-hitch style whipping from the Samson instructions.

All in all, they are not as aesthetically perfect as if done by a professional but as far as we can tell in this type of splice, pretty isn't the same as functionally strong. In fact, Carol moved a large cement block, on accident, while pulling on the splice.

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