October 2010

Mastering marlinespike

Eye splice (laid rope)

The strongest, most attractive way to install a loop at the end of a line, an eye splice forms a permanent loop in the end of laid rope.

To fit an ordinary cleat or bitt, eye splices are usually 12 to 14 inches long, but they can be made any length.

Razor cut a suitable length of three-strand nylon line. Prepare the strands with masking tape twisted to a point. Unlay the line about 10 to 12 inches, leaving the center strand on top.

Make five sets of tucks (A, B, C), shown completed in figure D.

Eye splice

A. Make the eye loop the desired length on each leg, and tuck the center strand under the topmost strand of the working part.

B. Tuck the left strand under the left working part strand and tighten the lay.

Eye splice

C. Turn over the loop to see the remaining working part strand. Tuck the third end beneath it, going from right to left.

D. The five sets of tucks

E. For decoration, finish the splice with a wall and crown knot.

Continue building your marlinespike skills by taking the Knots, Bends and Hitches seminar. Find a seminar near you or purchase the USPS guide Knots, Bends and Hitches for Mariners. Call 888-367-8777 ext. 0 for more information.

Original materials used with thanks to Irene Rodriguez and John Bennett

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Mastering Marlinespike


Cleat hitch

Round turn with two half hitches

Clove hitch

Sheet bend

Figure eight

Anchor bend

Rolling hitch

Double sheet bend

Eye splice

Becket bend

Reef knot

Blood knot

True lover’s knot

Monkey’s fist

Carrick bend

Angler’s loop

Strangle knot

Jar sling

Japanese success knot

Spanish bowline

Stevedore knot

Heaving line knot

Three-part crown knot

Sack knot

Short splice

Constrictor knot

Slip knot

Japanese bowline

Hawser bend

Slipped bowline

Bowline on a bight

Lark’s head

Buntline hitch

Jury mast knot

Slipped buntline hitch

Painter’s bowline

Binder’s loop

Wall and crown knot

Inside cow hitch

Toggled reef knot

Long splice

Tugboat hitch

Crown sennit

Toggled lark’s head

Matthew Walker knot


Back splice

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