June 7, 2012

Guilty, but unabashed

FOR YEARS I FELT GUILTY about not being able to splice double-braid line. As one descended from a seafaring family, one who has always displayed reasonable prowess in the bosun’s art, this failure to form a simple loop in the end of a rope has long been a secret blot on my family escutcheon. But I’ve finally gotten over it. I no longer give a damn about eye splices in double-braid line. I’m no good at it and I don’t care.
It’s not as if I didn’t try. Heavens, no. I have three different splicing tools and none of them did any good. I try now to forget the blighted hours I spent trying to shove those tools through, around, and under unyielding nylon and Dacron.

Master rigger Brion Toss describes the splice as “a bizarre, alien construction, and one that most people find intimidating.” He got that right.

I make magnificent splices of all kinds in good old three-strand line. If I have to use double-braid line, I make my loops with bowline knots. Life’s too short to splice double-braid.

PS: Somebody told me that the mistake I made was to practice on stiff old line. “You can only splice brand-new braid,” he said. Too bad. It’s too late now. I’m put off for life.

Today’s Thought
Technology . . . is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.
— C. P. Snow

Confucius say man who sail like hell bound to get there in the end.

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)


KevinH said...

Oh, thank you Mr Vigor. ! I've spent half a lifetime feeling useless, inadequate, inept, and just plain stupid because I too cannot splice braided rope. Now I too can admit to my dire shortcomings as a sailor and not give a damn.!

atemybuick said...

I've done a few double braid splices but not enough to ever remember how to do it. Easier to buy the pre-spliced line.

BTW, I think "Life’s too short to splice double-braid." would make a great t-shirt.