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Old 28-11-2020, 07:14   #1
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Halyard -- splice or knot

My main halyard, a VPC line that came with the boat, is getting ready at the top and I intend to end for end it.

The halyard is currently attached to the shackle by a splice. The traditionalist in me says splice the new one. The idle end is virtually mint (stored in a locker!) so I think I can splice it even though it is old.

But then I stopped to think. I have used bunt line hitches on halyards in many places, and they seem to be an outstanding knot.

Is there any advantage of a splice instead of a bunt line hitch? The hitch is obviously massively easier and faster, but I don't want to take the easy way out if a spice is a better answer.

Thoughts?
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:03   #2
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

The buntline hitch should be fine but I’d put a couple stitches in the tag end to ensure the core doesn’t creep. I’ve found it very slippery in use.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:06   #3
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

I also hope you mean a halyard shackle and not just a snap shackle.


I used a bowline on my halyard shackle.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:29   #4
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I also hope you mean a halyard shackle and not just a snap shackle.


I used a bowline on my halyard shackle.
And exactly what is wrong with use of a snap shackle on a main halyard? I've done so for some 45 years now, and would hate to think I'd been doing something bad.

And I've used both splices and knots to attach the halyard to the shackle. In some instances the increased diameter where the buries from an eye splice in double braid causes a problem with jamming in the masthead sheave, so a knot is better... other places a splice is tidier.

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Old 29-11-2020, 14:34   #5
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

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And exactly what is wrong with use of a snap shackle on a main halyard? I've done so for some 45 years now, and would hate to think I'd been doing something bad......................

Jim, I one had a snap shackle open all by its lonesome. I was in the bosun's chair at the time. I've never trusted those shackles and have removed all of them from my boats. That's why. Your boat, your choice.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:52   #6
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

It is actually a screw shackle -- one of those with a plastic part at the top that the knot/splice nestles into to hold all secure. One of the advantages of the buntline hitch is it snugs VERY tight on the shackle - a splice can be done tight if you are careful.

My jib halyards are spliced to a snap shackle, my spin is buntline hitched to a snap shackle -- so I have quite a mix! Diversity in action. LOL
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:53   #7
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

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Jim, I one had a snap shackle open all by its lonesome. I was in the bosun's chair at the time. I've never trusted those shackles and have removed all of them from my boats. That's why. Your boat, your choice.
Stu, surely you were not hanging via the shackle? No matter what type of shackle one has on one's halyard, a bosun's chair should not rely upon it to keep your bum aloft! That's pretty basic ..

In our case now, reaching the main's head to attach the halyard involves climbing up on a step on the mast, holding on with one hand whilst snapping on the halyard at arm's length. A pin type shackle really requires both hands to fix, and that would be hard for me, so the snap shackle is a big help.

And I've never had one open in that usage, mostly because it doesn't get subjected to flogging about like a spinny sheet does (where they do sometimes open spontaneously).

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Old 29-11-2020, 15:28   #8
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I also hope you mean a halyard shackle and not just a snap shackle.


I used a bowline on my halyard shackle.
Why wouldn't you just use a bowline?
Save weight - save $$$

Its how I did all the sailing vessels we had, never had any issues.

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.

And I've never had one open in that usage, mostly because it doesn't get subjected to flogging about like a spinny sheet does (where they do sometimes open spontaneously).

Jim
And another reason for us going a bowline over a shackle
Would rather get hit with a rope vs a lump of metal
Plus in light air, weight of shackle (and rope for that matter) can be enough to collapse a kite
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Old 29-11-2020, 15:39   #9
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

Here is what I got. At least the two with white look the same...
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Old 29-11-2020, 15:43   #10
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

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Here is what I got. At least the two with white look the same...
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Old 29-11-2020, 17:27   #11
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

LOL! I'll put it on the list.
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Old 29-11-2020, 17:33   #12
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

I think I've tied buntline hitches without knowing it had a name. Or, rather, not knowing what its name was. Seems every gnarled twist of rope has a name.
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Old 29-11-2020, 17:34   #13
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

Splices deliver >70% breaking load of the line.
35% is a good result for a knot.
Some knots rate less than 20%.
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Old 29-11-2020, 18:04   #14
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

Why waste your money on shackles????? Have been tying halyards and sheets directly to the sails for nearly half a century and 5 figure ocean miles without a problem. Have used bowlines, buntline hitches, and halyard hitches. Currently use a buntline hitch for halyards as it's more compact than a bowline and feels more secure to me than the halyard hitch. If there is room, loop the halyard through the cringle twice as it puts less load on the knot and spreads out wear on the halyard.

For my roller furling sails use a dedicated sheets attached to the sail with a Brummell splice. The Brummell splice doesn't hang up on the shrouds like a bowline and makes tacking a lot less dramatic.

The spinnaker halyard and sheets are my only exception as there are times when blowing a line via a quick release shackle has merit.

Never ever hook a line to a bosun's chair, harness using a snap shackle unless you don't value your life. Tie the halyard on leaving the shackle dangling.

Yes knots reduce the strength of line but usually halyards and sheets are sized for comfort rather than ultimate strength. Even a 50% or more reduction in strength doesn't matter.
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Old 29-11-2020, 18:33   #15
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Re: Halyard -- splice or knot

Make sure you can handle the strength reduction of tying knots VPC--Vectran does NOT like knots. You'll lose much of the strength of that line, as others have mentioned.
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