Know-How

8-Strand splice

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When I replaced the ground tackle on our project boat I did not hesitate to relegate the 15 feet of half-inch three-strand nylon rode to the bottom of the cockpit locker. During the years I spent sailing around Europe, I became a firm fan of plaited nylon anchor rode. It piles up tightly in the anchor locker and pays out neatly, without kinking or twisting, and I believe its shock-absorption qualities are superior to those of three-strand.

When the time came to upgrade our anchoring system, I was tempted by New England Ropes’s Megabraid, a 12-strand rope that is very good for docklines, but in the end I was seduced by a great deal on a length of Yale Cordage’s Brait, a comparatively recent arrival on the anchoring scene. It has the same soft “hand” as the octoplait I used in Europe and the same resistance to hockling, that annoying tendency of three-strand to form loops when it’s twisted. I bought 20 feet of 5/8" Brait to splice to 70 feet of 5/16" G4 chain, which I hooked up to my Delta anchor. I figure this should let me sleep well at night in anything short of a full gale—and if I’m anchored in a full gale, there’s no way I’m going to go to sleep anyway.

Yale has some well-laid-out instructions on its website for a rope-to-chain splice, which you will need to follow if you use an anchor windlass. However, since I don’t have a windlass, I replicated the long splice I’ve seen used numerous times on boats in Europe. You can find these instructions on the Jimmy Green Marine website. I doubt there’s any breaking-strength advantage, but it just feels better to me to have the rope woven through a number of links of chain than just doubled around one link. At any rate, I have to say that you follow these instructions at your own risk.

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