Everything you need to know about splicing!
WHAT IS SPLICING?
A splice is a way of terminating a rope or joining two ends of rope together without using a knot. Apart from being bulky and unsightly, even a correctly tied knot can cause significant loss of strength to a rope. At Marlow our splicing team have over 150 years of combined splicing knowledge and experience and we offer a splicing service to our trade and commercial customers for bespoke rope assemblies, slings and strops. For sailors and boat owners, we always recommend using your local rigging professional to splice and install your ropes. Find your local Marlow Rigging professional here.
For those wishing to splice their own ropes, we have produced a comprehensive splicing guide and range of splicing tutorials (scroll down to view) detailing a range of splicing methods. For hands-on splicing demonstrations, visit the Marlow stand at any of our shows and exhibitions throughout the year, or sign up to attend a Marlow Rope-Show held across the UK at sailing clubs once per month.
When learning to splice, the right tools will make the job much easier. Below is a list of common splicing tools available through your Marlow dealer
Swedish fids are used primarily for 3 strand and multiplait splicing. They also aid Marlowbraid and D2 Racing splices.
Braid on Braid Fid Set – Selma fids are used primarily for doublebraid, D12 and D2 splices, but can also be used to aid 3 strand and marlowbraid splices.
Splicing Needles – Large and small used for Marlowbraid, D2 Racing. Can also be used for the doublebraid splice.
Excel Control Splicing needle – Used primarily for Excel Control and Excel D12 2.5 and 3mm.
Other tools and equipment – Sharp knife and/or scissors, tape measure, permeant marker pen, splicing (or insulation type) tape, strong point on your work bench, hot knife or flame for sealing the rope.
SPLICES VS KNOTS
Splices: Most Marlow ropes can be spliced, this is normally the preferred method of termination. A good splice using the recommended method should not reduce the strength of a rope by more than 10%.
Knots: A knot will reduce the strength of the rope, sometimes very significantly. This loss is caused by the tight bends and compression found in any knot. The amount a rope will be weakened will depend on the knot, type of rope and the material from which it is made but can be up to 60%
Eye Sizes: Wherever possible the angle formed at the throat of a splice when it is loaded should be 30 degrees or less. This means that the length of the eye when flat must be at least 2.7 times the diameter of the object over which the eye is to be used and the distance from the bearing point to the throat when in use should be at least 2.4 times the diameter. Some materials like Aramids and HMPEs (Dyneema) will require a larger eye with an angle at the throat of 15 degrees or less.
D2 Covered Eye Splice
D2 Covered Eye Splice – D2 and V2
Used for core dependent rope constructions such as D2 Racing, V2 etc. Designs where the core contributes most or all the strength and the cover provides protection to the rope.
Skill rating: Advanced 4/5
Locking Eye Splice – one end free
A popular starting splice great for beginners and one that is most common for locking Dyneema splices. This versatile splice can be applied in all applications where a lock is required.
Skill rating 2/5
Locking Eye Splice – both ends free
A popular starting splice and one that is most common for locking Dyneema splices. This versatile splice can be applied in all applications where a lock is required.
Skill rating 2/5
EXCEL CONTROL CONTINUOUS LOOP SPLICE
Control Line End-to-End – Control Line.
The Excel Control Line Continuous Loop splice is specifically designed to make endless loops useful for kicker, cunningham and outhaul systems. Marlow’s Control Line has a tough, strong cover that takes much of the load bearing duties and a small polypropylene core that is designed to be sacrificed in this very neat end-to-end slice.
Skill rating: Beginner 2/5
EXCEL R8 Taper
Excel R8 Taper – Excel R8
A Taper splice is useful in areas of rope that don’t require handling, for reducing friction and when needing to change the diameter of the line. Marlow’s high performing Excel R8 is the perfect rope for this type of splice available in 4-8mm diameters either working as a halyard or high performance sheet working well in ratchet blocks.
Skill rating: Intermediate 3/5
HOW TO MAKE A SOFT SHACKLE
Soft Shackles are a great skill to master and they can be made in all shapes and sizes suitable for a variety of applications and fastenings. This quick and easy tutorial will guide you step by step.
If you are new to diamond knots, this part may take a bit of practice, however, the splice is quick and easy. Made with Dyneema, Marlow Soft Shackles have incredible breakload strength and are a worthy addition to your climbing or sailing kit, for use at home, outdoors or wherever you may venture.
Skill rating -Splice 2/5 | Diamond knot 4/5