January 2012

Mastering marlinespike

Short splice

Splicing is an art, and the final appearance is your reward. Done correctly, the short splice is aesthetically pleasing and strong.

Although stronger than the long splice, the short splice increases the line’s diameter, making it difficult, if not impossible, to pass through a block.

To splice 3/8-inch laid rope, unlay about 8 inches at the end of each line to be joined, for a total of six strands using three-ply rope. Heat-melt the end of each strand.

Short splice

A. Intertwine the strands as shown, with strand 6 between strands 1 and 3 and strand 2 between strands 4 and 5. Pull the ends to tighten the rope.

B. Secure the center with a twine sack knot to hold the ropes while you complete the tucks.

Short splice

C. Make the first tuck by passing strand 1 over strand 4 and under strand 5. Rotate the splice a bit, and make the second tuck by passing strand 2 over strand 5 and under strand 6.

D. Make the third and last tuck by passing strand 3 over strand 6 and under strand 4. This completes one set of tucks.

E. Make two more sets of the three tucks, going over and under as described above. Make sure that all the strands are pulled and twisted with the lay after each set of tucks to snug the strands in place. This makes the final splice neat and firm.

F. Next, turn the splice end-for-end, making three sets of tucks on the other end as well.

Remove the twine sack knot, place the entire splice on the deck, and roll it back and forth with your foot to smooth the splice and make it uniform. Heat-cut the protruding ends of the strands and hide them by dimpling using a heat melt

If you need to see it in practice, check out this great video.

Original materials used with thanks to Irene Rodriguez and John Bennett

Keep your windshield clear with this USPS ice scraper!

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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