Hello, people. I'm newly-registered here, having found my way via a Google/YouTube search for braid/braid techniques. I have tup'pence worth to add or, if you prefer, 'my two bits worth'....
I'm now looking after an 11000lb sailboat on a fore/aft mooring
near Plymouth, UK, which needed inter alia
4 new mooring
strops. I was given several hundred feet of new, soft 20mm polyester braid-on-braid made by English
Braids, rated by them at over 11200kg. "Should be man enuff for the job", I thought.
Most of the problems mentioned by others turned up at my door - especially 'burying that last few inches.' I found an application of washing
up liquid to be a little helpful, but the main cause of the difficulty was created when I first eased the initial small loop of core
from the cover at, I believe, 'Point X'. I managed to pull several individual strands out of place a bit from their proper position in the rope-core, and that meant there was more material, a bundle or 'knuckle', AT THAT POINT to be buried, right at the end. So I learned A) to pull any such extra strand-material back up the length of the core
, out of the way. B) to lever the cover strands well back from the first tiny opening as shown in, I believe, one of the Samson
videos, making a bigger initial hole on the cover and making it much easier to get that initial grip on most/all of the core. That made a big difference right at the end.
I took to 'lockstitching' my splices and also whipping them tightly, using 1.5-2mm monofil garden strimmer line ( like thick sea-fishing line ), as I'd been advised that process - done tightly - adds quite a bit of strength to the splice by keeping it all stabilised under repetitive 'jerk' loads. The problem there was passing the end of the monofil line initially and at the end, for while I could, with some difficulty, drive a sailmaker's needle through the buried splice, the stiff monofil threaded through the needle eye would not bend through 180 degrees to pass easily through the centre of the rope
splice. I've broken off several needle eyes doing this, and have been hunting unsuccessfully for 'cannulae', or hypodermic needles, of suitable dimensions to be used as mini-fids.
Once I had the splices and whippings sorted, I covered each in a length of industrial heat-shrink tubing. That may add little to the strength, but it hides some sins and certainly does look good. See piccy.
Please note I have whipped together the two 'throats' of the paired mooring strops to minimise chafe, using 3mm cordage.
Now, I also have several hundred metres of 5-6mm line which has been used once to pull fibre-optic cable through underground ducting, and then discarded. This has a loose orange braided polyprop cover and a bundle of load-carrying straight, unbraided, un-laid core fibres. I suspect this white core fibre is some form of 'exotic' and relatively strong. It's very difficult to knot
this stuff successfully, and the only splice technique I've tried which holds more than a minute of two is weaving it back through itself, in a 'ski slalom' pattern, a dozen times.
I'd certainly not use it for 'Safety Of Life At Sea' tasks, but would be interested to hear of any better techniques I could try.