Brief introduction to Splicing with Marlow Ropes

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29er spinnaker sheet soft eye splice

What is splicing?

A splice is a way to connect two ropes, or finish rope ends without using knots. In this article, we will give you a brief introduction to splicing, with a little assistance from Marlow Ropes. A splice is usually a neat and tidy way to do this which doesn’t impact the strength and longevity of the rope in the same way as a knot.

The Sailingfast team have built up their splicing knowledge over the years and are happy to offer various types of splice. Tapering a sheet or a halyard or putting soft eyes in the end of the ILCA kicker primary line – these are available to purchase, pre-made online. 

Alternatively, if you would like to have a go at your own splicing, all you need is some rope to practice on, some splicing tools and the Marlow ‘How to’ videos on YouTube.

Marlow Ropes logo 2021

DIY Splicing – what do I need?

Some of the Splicing Tools available are:

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. 

Splicing vs Knots: the pros and cons

Marlow Strength InfographicSplices: 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. 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. 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.

Find out more

We hope this introduction to splicing article was useful. If you would like a bespoke quote for some splicing drop us a line on 01324 861 756 or via email info@sailingfast.co.uk . Or if you would like to get some kit together to have a go yourself, get in touch too!

In the meantime, here are a few of Marlow’s most popular ‘how to’ splicing video guides. 

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