And you can tailor those lines to suit your own boat rather than having to buy stock lengths.
Once you have mastered the basic technique there are numerous other uses such as anchor lines that require an eye with a metal thimble to protect the line from chafe, rope ends that need tidying or lines that need joining.
Where a permanent join or eye is required in a line, splicing will not
only look much neater and more seaman-like than a knot but will also be
only need a few basic tools, a sharp knife with the emphases on ‘sharp’
so the ends can be cut cleanly and a marlinspike or fid to separate the
The marlinspike is a round pointed spike used to lift and separate the
A Swedish Fid will do the same thing with the advantage that the
‘hollow’ side makes it much easier to thread the strand to be tucked.
working with synthetic ropes a
heated rope cutter will hep seal
the ends and prevent unravelling, a cigarette lighter can be used but
this will have a tendency to blacken the ends if you are not careful.
On the other hand some tape such as the cheap electrical type is fine
for temporarily holding the yarns to stop the ends unravelling.
And as I will explain later I also use my ‘Handy-Stitcher’ and some
The Basic Technique
It is always best to use good quality rope
on board and the better the
rope, the easier it is to splice.
The strength of any splicing will increase with the number and
tightness of the ‘tucks’.
the first four or five are the most important, any subsequent ‘tucks’
will have a decreasing effect on the overall strength.
The first thing to do is to slice the rope end cleanly with
sharp knife, if you wrap the end with tape first then cut through the
middle of the tape it will hold the strands until you are ready to
Decide how much of the bitter end will be needed to give the required
number of ‘tucks’.
You should allow a length of three times the rope diameter for each
tuck, so for
five tucks allow a length of approximately 15 times the rope diameter.
am very much the amateur at this, I only do it on my own ropes, so
not very often.
The trick I use to get started without the rope unravelling
too far is to tie a couple of whipping turns at the point where I want
the splice to start.
And I anchor the whipping by using my ‘Handy Stitcher’ to push one end
of the twine through the rope.
Then the rope can be un-laid as far as the whipping.
The ends of the strands now need to be either wrapped with tape or
heated with a flame to prevent the strands from fraying.
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.