Rope is an integral part of life on the sea; from casual kayakers to professional fishermen, anyone who runs a boat must know how to properly tie and secure ropes to keep things safe. According to Top Kayaker, an online resource for safe kayaking, an eye splice in a rope creates a small loop at one end of the line, which is useful for anchors, lifelines and bowlines to secure the boat. Braided rope is a strong line, so can be an excellent choice for an eye splice line.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Braided rope
- Tape measure
- Black marker
- Duct tape
- Protective gloves
Lay your braided rope in front of you on a flat surface. Measure 5 feet from one end of the rope. Tie a slip knot in the rope at this point; this knot will keep the slack of your rope close at hand while you work, so you can easily reach both ends of the rope.
Lay a fid flat against your rope, lining up the end of the fid with the same end of the rope from which you measured. Mark the other end of the fid on the rope with a black marker or duct tape.
Measure the size of the eye splice you want (this will vary depending on your needs). Use the mark you just made as one side of the loop, and fold the rope over so that the other side of the loop is pressed against the first mark. Mark this second spot with marker or duct tape.
Bend the rope sharply at the mark you made in Step 2. Use the pointed end of your fid to carefully separate the rope's cover strands, until you expose the white inner cord. Pull this cord out completely, until the end of the white cord that corresponds with your measured end is exposed.
Cut the loose cover from the rope with scissors, leaving only the inner cord attached to the rest of the rope. Wrap duct tape tightly around the last 2 inches of the inner cord to stop the end of the cord from fraying. Tape the joint between the cover strands and the exposed inner cord, so it does not fray or break when the eye splice holds weight.
Bend the rope sharply at the mark you made in Step 3, and repeat pulling the inner cord out of the cover. Pull enough inner cord out that it forms the preferred size of your eye loop.
Start at the base of the inner cord loop that is closest to your inner cord tail. Use the fid to gently spread the inner cord loop strands, until you can fit the end of the tail through the cord. Push the tail through and pull the slack through. Repeat as close to this first pass as possible, pushing the tail back through the other direction.
Continue to weave the tail through the loop until you reach the end of the tail. Pull the tail completely taut, and secure the end of the tail to the cord loop with a piece of duct tape.
Tie the slip knot you created in Step 1 to a sturdy anchor point. Put on protective gloves to avoid rope burn.
Pull firmly on your rope with the other end secured; this will move the cover sections that contain no inner cord up and over your eye loop. Continue pulling until the eye loop is completely covered. Untie the slip knot and use a hammer or your hands to flatten any bulges in the cord.
Tips and warnings
- Find rope and fids at boating retailers or on the Internet.
- You can sew stiches around the joint where the cover cord meets the inner cord for a more secure hold, if you are worried about your eye splice holding under pressure.
- Test your eye loop cord under tension and holding weight before relying on it on your boat.
- Do not pull any cover strands out of place when you expose the inner cord; only the white inner cord should be exposed after Step 4.
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