Splicing Modern Ropes

Book Review : Splicing Modern Ropes

By: Books

Splicing Modern Ropes : A Practical Handbook by Jan-Willem Polman

As the sub-title suggests this is a very practical handbook on splicing ropes, all kinds of ropes. But that’s not all it covers. The book starts with a very good description of the new synthetic fibers and what differentiates them. Breaking loads and safe working loads are discussed, as well as, stretch and creep in the various materials.

Then the discussion turns to the actual construction of ropes. Single braid, double braid, or braided covers over a core. Again, the pros and cons of each are discussed, and when and where they should be used.

Which type of rope for which function is a very important question on any boat. What’s best for sheets and halyards? What’s best for control lines and running backstays? Mooring lines? And what about lines that work best with clutches? What about weight? Does the line need to float? All of these rope characteristics are covered and explained clearly with multiple color pictures and charts.

The next section starts with the description of a splicing kit, or basically, the tools necessary for splicing. And then the fun begins. The handbook clearly explains in detail all kinds of splices for all kinds of ropes. Twisted ropes, braided ropes, or double-braided with cores, they are all discussed and each is unique when it comes to eye splices, splices to shackles, weight saving and tapering techniques, plus thickening and strengthening methods. Whipping techniques and halyard reeving are also covered. So whatever your rope, and whatever your need, it is in this handbook.

For anyone planning a long passage this book is a must for your library. Because when you’re out in the middle of it, without an internet connection for ‘how to’ you-tube videos, it’s back to basic learning from a book. And this book explains techniques clearly with lots of helpful pictures. But also important is the fact that the book is well-constructed with a hard cover and sturdy pages that are durable and should last for many years.

To recap, the first couple of chapters should be read so you are more knowledgeable about the best rope to use for the required task as you outfit your vessel. Then purchase a splicing kit so you can practice on a few splices before you leave. It’s not easy, but definitely a valuable skill to learn for the seafaring sailor who will be far from a rigger for hire.

“Splicing Modern Ropes”
A Practical Handbook by Jan-Willem Polman

Book review written by Captain Bob Solliday, a Master licensed 50 ton USCG captain with over 15,000 blue water sailing and boating miles in over forty years on the water. He resides near Marina del Rey, CA and is an ASA certified sailing instructor. He does boat deliveries and continues to race sailboats and teach sailing.