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Thread: Splicing dock lines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Wink Splicing dock lines

    It's been twenty years since I had to do any serious splicing of lines.Does anyone know of a book that will get me back up to speed with doing dock lines and what have you.Memory is great just short!
    "Rise Again Majestic Spirit"

  2. #2
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    Dec 2007
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    Cape Coral, FL
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    "Bundinn er bįtlaus mašur" Bound is boatless man.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    these are the splices I need for both 3 strand and double braid
    Fenders get eye splices-dock lines get end splices-thanks for the link for 3 strand Chrisben
    "Rise Again Majestic Spirit"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    Boy do I have trouble with that amateur instruction.

    First, the fids. Splicing fids, as opposed to large fids that are really very large spikes, are best if they open and hold open the line. The illustrated fid leaves the line's lay tight after passing through, causing the yarns to kink as you dras them through. The Norway fid (a tapered U), the Bristol fid (find a pic) and the Fid-O (a detachable tube fid) all must be inserted opposite the direction of the tuck. Then when removed the fid helps settle the tuck.

    Second, the first tuck. Shown is the Boy Scout method - totally uncool. A good start is made by either making two tucks with the first strand or by tucking the first strand under two strands. It will then be obvious where the other strands enter. The outcome is easy on the line and makes a throat so clean you can't tell which side's the fall and which the hoist.

    Thirdly, the taper. The "alternative" taper is indeed the correct solution today. They should have emphasized that the reason for taper is not simply looks, but to allow the line to resettle gradually. It makes a real difference in spliced line strength.

    The trouble with splices for docking is that unless the loop is quite large, forcing the spliced loop over a piling puts an unfair strain on the splice's throat. So make it big.

    I don't like a bowline for dock lines as they reduce the line strength by 40%. A couple turns and then a nice taughtline hitch or a tuggie's hitch are my personal favorites.

    One end or the other should be tied, not spliced, to allow for adjustment.

    I never splice fender or fenderboard lines as they get changed all the time, depending on the slip or boat rafted up or whatever. Those fender hangers you find at wastemarine are the sign of a rank farmer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Those fender hangers you find at wastemarine are the sign of a rank farmer.
    They are dysfunctional in addition to everything else. Man did you hit this one on the head!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    I used to splice the one end of the fender line then thread it through the eye of the fender then run the working end through
    "Rise Again Majestic Spirit"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego
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    63

    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    I second everything Ian said - hollow splicing fids, first tuck method, taper method, large loop size, splice rather than knot on one end, tugboat hitch on the other.

    Ian referred to the method I also prefer for an eye splice in three strand rope, which is called Lever's eye splice or the pro splice. It involves making the first tuck with the strand closest to the standing part and tucking it twice before tucking the other strands for the first time. It makes a very clean entry for the spliced strands.

    It was first published in Darcy Lever's "The Young Officer's Sheet Anchor" in 1808 and is entry #2727 in the Ashley Book of Knots.

    The best explanation I've seen of how to make Lever's eye splice is in "The Complete Rigger's Apprentice" by Brion Toss. Excellent book.

    In synthetics, I prefer the so-called "alternative" taper referred to above. Most folks seem to call it the West Coast taper. It's a quick, simple way to taper the splice so there's no abrupt shoulder where all three tucks end, which would weaken the splice.

    To do a West Coast taper: after you've finished the tucks with all three strands, tuck two of the strands another time, then tuck one of those two yet again. I always arrange it so the three ends line up along the length of the rope.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Seattle, WA USA
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    Two good books:

    The Sailmakers Apprentice by Emiliano Marino

    The Complete Rigger's Apprentice by Brion Toss

    http://www.briontoss.com

    or a bookstore near you.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  9. #9
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    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Splicing dock lines

    I don't have it in front of me, but Ian's way is illustrated in a 1930's Brit seamens guide, and then reproduced directly into a former Soviet (Russian) seamens' guide.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

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