5 hours of sanding with a random orbit sander has yielded a single pass on the port side of the boat. Unfortunately I haven’t even come close to removing the gel coat, it seems a more aggressive approach will be necessary… So while figuring out the next step for the hull I’ve decided to turn my attention to the practice of splicing rope.

Splicing is one of those old school sailor things that I’ve always wanted to learn, so I sat down with spike, rope, numerous references, and Mtn Dew Code Red.

The first step is to unlay the rope and whip the ends of the individual strands to prevent them from unraveling. 30 minutes and one false start later, I’ve switched to beer.

Brian Toss’ “The Rigger’s Apprentice” is an excellent resource and recommends using a nifty little knot called the “Double Constrictor.” Here it’s used to prevent the standing part of the rope from unlaying further as you begin the splice.

Getting the splice started is the tricky part, apparently there are several schools of thought. The entrance I used is known as the “Pro Splice” as opposed to the “Mariner’s Splice.” I have no idea what the difference is. Once the knot is started, it’s fairly straightforward to weave the strands together, although I found it difficult to find where to tuck the third strand in sequence. After another false start, occasional wailing, and much grinding of teeth, I completed something you might categorize as a splice.  I think I went backwards with a tuck at one point but I’m pleased with the result. Next time will be better.

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