EMERGENCY SHROUD KIT & SPLICING NUTS
Like many conservative cruisers, we generally carry a length of wire rigging as long as the longest stay on the boat, together with a collection of end fittings that will enable us to replace any stay or shroud should it fail. The wire ends up at the bottom of a locker, where it sits year after year.
Colligo Marine (www.colligomarine.com) has come up with an ingenious emergency kit that includes a 53-foot length of 7mm Dynex Dux with a lashing eye spliced into one end. Another lashing eye is loose in the kit. In the event of a stay or shroud failure, the line is cut to an appropriate length and the loose eye is spliced in place (detailed instructions are provided). The two eyes are lashed to the mast and at deck level. The kit is recommended for replacing standing rigging up to 1/4 inch in diameter, although there is no reason why the approach cannot be expanded to include larger pieces of rigging. The one drawback is that it's not easy for first-time users to splice in the second eye.
Another clever invention is the "splicing nut" (www.splicingnut.com). This is a two-part device. One half is slid up a length of braided line. The tail of the line is wrapped around the second part and then the two parts are screwed together to create a "spliced" eye in the end of the line. According to the website, "Anyone who can screw in a light bulb can splice a braided line." This, it seems to me, might be the best way to splice the second eye into a Colligo emergency shroud. Unfortunately, Steve Brennan at InoDesign, inventor of the splicing nut, specifically recommends it not be used in standing rigging. However, if I was in an emergency and worried about the mast coming down, I might give it a try—after all, there’d be little to lose. Once the emergency was passed, I could take the time to make a proper splice. - N.C