I experimented with using tape to keep the lashings from slipping, but it didn't work for me. I did not try self amalgamating tape, however -- I tried medical
tape. What worked best for me was to use thick dacron thread and then use a screwdriver as a lever to make a series of underhand knots around the wire very, very tight. Traditional waxed twine stuff was the most slippery, and nylon thread seemed to stretch instead of get tight. The dacron thread seemed to have a way of holding knots tight.
The lashing for the three-strand dacron ratlines were only about an inch along the wire, so I would make the eye splices as small as you can, for aesthetics. I feel it looks more neat than large loops, even though it is hard to splice a small loop. Aesthetically, you also want the lines to be very tight, but you can cheat a bit by rolling the three strand in the direction of twist to tighten it up before you lash it to the wire.
The ratlines did not require any maintenance
. Both the ratlines and lashings were dacron, which does not rot
. They would occasionally slip if someone stepped hard right against the lashing, but this was only some of them, and it was easy to slide them back up. Stepping a few inches away from the wire would keep them from slipping. I intentionally backspliced much longer than usual to double up the rope
at the edges, so that it was a little more comfortable to climb up in bare feet. Though of course we got used to it and would generally stand on the spreaders or the teak
steps anyways. I never got comfortable standing on the middle of the spreader, it just does not seem strong enough, and so would keep my weight on the inside and outside edge.
I was very happy with ratlines on Boat #1, and this will be one of our first "non-criticial" projects on Boat #2. I think I've talked way too much online about how much I like ratlines, and so will stop now.
I am going to experiment
with splices on double braid rope
to see if there is a better way to do it-- a tree in my neighborhood has branches that are supported with an interesting splice that looks like a Chinese handcuff, it looks like they left a tail on the splice and then tightened it with ratchet straps, then snipped the tail off. I am wondering if that's possible with something like Dyneema
, but will have to make up or figure out how to do that splice. It would be cool to have a more modern interpretation of ratlines that's also faster to splice and easier to make tight.