Author: Adam Robinson
Eye splicing three strand mooring rope is easy and looks neat. You’ll need a sharp knife, narrow masking tape, a pen and matches as a minimum.
Boating Article by Modern Boating
There are numerous ways to make an eye in rope. Tying a bowline may be the simplest, but if maximum rope strength and aesthetics are important, nothing beats an eye splice, especially in easily spliced three strand rope. A finished eye splice looks more impressive and difficult to tie than it actually is! Rope should ideally be of good quality, as cheap polypropylene unravels very easily and makes splicing difficult. The better the rope, the easier it is to splice.
You’ll need a sharp knife, narrow masking tape, a pen and matches as a minimum. A marlinespike is handy for prying open tight strands on the standing part of the rope.
Start by counting about 18 twists from the end and marking with masking tape. Using a sharp knife, cut the sealed end into three strands. Use a flame to seal the end of each strand before taping tightly with narrow masking tape. Tape helps greatly later, when tucking the strands. Unravel the three strands back to the tape. Measure the length of the eye required then mark with masking tape again. 30cm is a common eye length (Pic 1).
Make the shape of the eye and label each strand I, II and III from left to right. Starting with the middle strand II, tuck it under the standing part of the rope as pictured, using a marlinespike if required (Pic 2).
Next tuck strand I to the left of the standing strand that strand II is tucked under (Pic 3). This step is important, as you may be tempted to tuck strand I to the right of the originally tucked strand, but this will result in a messier beginning.
Turn the eye over now and tuck strand III into the remaining uppermost strand on the standing part of the rope. A U-shape will form as pictured (Pic 4).
Pull the three strands firm, twisting with the natural lay of the rope to prevent the strands from losing shape. Repeat the same tucking steps four more times in the same order, beginning with strand II, each time passing over then under a strand on the standing part of the rope (Pic 5).
A tapered finish is neat and can be easily made by making an extra tuck for strand II and two extra tucks for strand III (Pic 6).
Finish by cutting the strands with a sharp knife and sealing with a flame. As the splice takes a load, the strands will retract slightly so there is no need to trim too close.
Review supplied by Modern Boating