Spicing Double braid…Epic Fail!

It was quite a few years ago, summer,  I was having a cup-a-joe at a cafe in Serifos. A friend was saying he messed up his return ticket and had booked out of his room…. officially homeless for a night (I can think of worse things). That’s when his son said “epic fail” and I fell off my chair laughing.

And that’s pretty much what happened to me last week. Just to let all you know…. braiding used double braided rope is impossible!!! Wanna know why? Read on…

dsc01683As I mentioned in the previous post, you need a fid for the appropriate rope. I had an old 12mm copper tube I used to use for blowing my BBQ and it seemed perfect material. I used my angle grinder to hack it up into a fid. And I was lucky not to hack anything else up while sitting on the tube over the kitchen sink. dsc01684Well, all I got was a glorified deadly tube, pretty much useless! Then I got funky and bought some cheep plastic knitting needles. This time I used a small vise and my new toy… and multitool thingy (cheep from Lydl) . Quite soon and without the drama of an angle grinder, I ended up with the perfect fid. So I thought…


dsc01686So I set myself up on the coffee table with the necessary paraphernalia, a working magic marker and youtube at my fingers. dsc01687The first thing to do is to mark the rope where the eye splice will be and to extract the core from the sleeve at a specific point. OMG! It took me over an hour and I could hear a bunch of stands tearing in the process. Not a good sign.


Then I pulled out and cut off a few strands from the sleeve so it would tapper when fed into the core at a specific mark. That’s were the fid comes in. That’s when I realized my fid is too fat. So I shopped some smaller needles (10mm), marked ’em up, chopped ’em up. And that’s when I realize it is totally impossible to accomplish the task at hand. You have to manage to insert your fid into the core by bending and separating the strands, and feed it through with the sleeve. HA!

I was warned by a follower that it would be difficult with used rope. I also had washed the rope as instructed by New England Ropes or Samson Ropes.  It looked so easy from the youtubes I had seen, but they all used new rope which looked like silk and was soft and manageable.

Not my mainsail sheet. It looked nice and new on the unused end….. but it’s used and impossible to splice. Impossible! End of f%$# story! I’ll tie a knot. So there! God, I wasted so much time on this…. all part of the learning process.

Back on ol’Zoot…… I decided to have my alternator serviced and change the belt. That means removing it. That also involves removing the coolant tank.


Well, poor ol’ Zoot’s looking gutted again. What a mess…. again!

Stay tuned and neat,

Capt Pete.

ps….. hey, I can see my thermostat from here!

pss… on a whim, I got some 8mm knitting needles….. still impossible to insert into the core. Anyone need a sweater? Baby, it’s cold outside!



About Sailing Zoot Allures

A demoralized mechanical engineer/ bass player/ sound engineer/editor seeks Freedom
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4 Responses to Spicing Double braid…Epic Fail!

  1. Blame the beer bottle on the bench…it’s still full! One more item to check off the “it seemed like a good idea list,” and most sailboat owners have a long list. I’ve never splice a line, not even a dock line, and I still call myself a salty sailor (any splices to be seen on Jakatar are at least 13 years old).


    • I just went back to check the beer and you’re right, it still is! wtf?
      And you’re also right with the list. It’s like “I’ll just do this and ….”
      Bam!……hours lost!
      I did a small 3 braid line once(!). It’s got my name all over it. Kinda like my sewing!!
      What a shameless salty lot we slaves are!


  2. arcady001 says:

    😦 I feel your pain from all the way from here! – Sorry it didn’t work. When a spliced eye seems too daunting, I resort to one of these instead…

    Liked by 1 person

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