Seaworthy Lass

Adding UHMWPE covers to UHMWPE loops (eg Dyneema, Spectra, Stealth Super 12, Acera)

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Hi all,

Our mooring lines are 20mm diameter Tipto Twelve and despite extra beefy double bollards serving as cleats on board, the line tends to clutter up the bollard. To allow the bollard to be freed up for additional use if needed, and to improve chafe protection and minimise creaking, I have just made several 8mm UHMWPE loops (2.5m circumference using Stealth Super 12) to loop around the cleats. The loops will be cow hitched to the eye splices on the ends of the mooring lines.

To give added chafe protection, I added UHMWPE covers to these loops.

It is dead easy to add covers on straight stretches of single braid line (just poke the line through the cover, then bury the cover in the core of the single braid and secured the junction with some whipping, similar to here:
https://youtu.be/hnIp-Uzlpqs

This technique is not possible on loops (although with a bit of fiddling one end could possibly be buried this way) so I decided to use a tuck splice technique to secure the cover.

To tuck splice, the cover can simply be unbraided, divided into bundles and woven in a straight line up (as is done with 12 strand Tipto Twelve). Alternatively it can be woven in a helical pattern, following one strand of the single braid. Octoplait can also be tuck spliced either way.

I have played with both methods and found the helical pattern gives a much neater finish, particularly if the bundles of cover are first twisted together. So this is what I ended up doing.

I am not sure how many tucks are needed, but six seemed like the magic number given this wasn’t taking the full load.

Instructions:
Cut the cover the same length as the single braid line, less the length of the tails that will be buried. 
Mark the midway point of the cover and feed the single braid through the cover.
Create a loop of the single braid as you usually would (long bury of tails, lock stitch junction using UHMWPE).
To stretch the cover neatly over the loop, move the cover around until the halfway mark sits on the junction of the bury (this means that the cover will be tucked into the portion of the loop that has no tail buried in it), place this point around a fixed object (eg a winch), then stretch out the loop by attaching a line and applying tension by winding the line on a winch.
While the loop is under tension, milk the cover to snuggly sit over the loop and secure it with tape and a needle about 20 cm from the apex of the loop.
Remove the loop off the winchPHOTO 1

Unravel the ends to the cover all the way to the tape. PHOTO 2

Divide the strands of the cover into 6 bundles (my cover had 48 strands, so 8 strands in each). You could alternatively divide into 12 (I did that when adding covers to the loops at the end of our series drogue bridle), but I think that is overkill. For a neater result if you have the enthusiasm or any compulsive tendencies :), divide one lot of 8 into 2 lots of 4, twist each lot of 4 then twist the two around each other. Tape ends to secure. Repeat for all six bundles. PHOTO 3 

Work on one bundle at a time. Poke it into the loop close to the tape and exit at least a couple of strands away. Then simple weave the bundle following one strand around in a helical pattern. After the initial insertion no tools were needed, the strand the bundle was being tucked under could just be lifted easily using my fingers.

Repeat with the other 5 bundles. Three of them weave clockwise tucked 7 times following every second of the 12 strands, three anticlockwise tucked 6 times also following every second strand. PHOTO 4 shows all 6 bundles woven on one side and just 3 on the other.

The tails could just be taped and cut off at this stage, but I buried them for a neater finish, tapering evenly. PHOTO 5

Four finished loops. We tie up anywhere so rarely that I think these loops and mooring lines will last my lifetime smile.gifPHOTO 6

The Tipto Twelve mooring lines that these loops will be attached to. PHOTO 7


I hope that help anyone planning to add chafe protection to loops. 
I have “winged it” with the exact method smile.gif, as I could not find any instructions anywhere, so any suggestions for improving the technique would be welcome.

SWL

 

These photos have loaded out of sequence. The last photo was supposed to be # 2

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1 hour ago, Alcatraz5768 said:

You do amazing work. 

Many thanks :).

I enjoy it a lot, especially the challenge of working with a relatively new material that we are still in the process of learning how to best handle. We have almost no SS shackles left on board and I am coming up with more and more uses for UHMWPE, particularly since such low cost options are now available from reputable manufacturers. I discovered both Acera and Stealth Super 12 at fishing chandleries in the Netherlands at about a third of the cost of dyneema. In Europe, strength for strength the cost of single braid UHMWPE is now lower than polyester.

 

SWL 

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4 hours ago, Haligonian Winterr said:

Any reason you don't do a "normal" cover-cover tuck, the same as with multi-strand loups?

 

HW

I have been hunting for instructions for this. Do you have any links?

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9 hours ago, Haligonian Winterr said:

Any reason you don't do a "normal" cover-cover tuck, the same as with multi-strand loups?

 

HW

OK, you sent me on a scouting expedition :).

Post #11 in this archived SA thread has some written information:

 

 

I think that will create the type of result available commercially from companies such as Premium Ropes (photo attached):

https://www.premiumropes.com/dyneema-loop-cover

The technique described would be fine without continual movement of the loop, but I am not confident it would hold up otherwise. The cover is not stretched under load so the “Chinese Finger” principle of having the buried portion gripped would not work (the tails of the cover are not buried in the core, just in the loose cover). Does anyone have any experience using this technique where the cover is being rubbed back and forth under high load?

Tucked splices of covers are used commercially for applications in the shipping industry and are extremely secure. That is very appealing.

 

SWL

 

 

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If anyone is hunting for a YouTube showing the “normal cover-cover tuck” that Haligonian Winterr was referring to, this one does this at about the 4 minute mark. Dealing with the cover starts about 9 minutes in:

 

 

 

This technique looks ideal for loops that will be fairly stationary (eg for blocks), but I am not sure of the suitabiliy for mooring loops. Any thoughts?

 

SWL

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20 hours ago, Seaworthy Lass said:

I have been hunting for instructions for this. Do you have any links?

Havent found a good step-by-step, have been considering making one myself.

 

It does hold up well under moving applications, if the cover is milked over thoroughly and seized/stitched securely (we have used in mooring applications, jib sheet ends, and towing applications.

 

I use Millionaires tape to secure the cover that won't be tucked onto the core (with a slight taper).

 

HW

 

 

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4 hours ago, Haligonian Winterr said:

It does hold up well under moving applications, if the cover is milked over thoroughly and seized/stitched securely (we have used in mooring applications, jib sheet ends, and towing applications. 

HW

 

 

Many thanks for this feedback. I will give the technique a go on one of our mooring loops and see how it stands up. Given the loop is just a single strand of 8 mm rather than multiple loops of thinner line, I will be able to bury one end rather than taping it to secure it. That will help.

 

SWL

 

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5 hours ago, Haligonian Winterr said:

Havent found a good step-by-step, have been considering making one myself.

HW

 

 

Hi HW

After one end of the cover has been taped onto the loop and the other end pulled over it, the loose end can be buried two ways depending on whether or not the line was initially fed through both ends (method 1) or whether a tail was left on one end before the line was inserted (method 2).

 

Method 1 is shown here:

https://youtu.be/xqCjaaPrAVY

The line is initially fed through both ends of the cover and one end is later unravelled. Although it will take longer unravelling the strands and burying them in bundles, this will produce a much smoother junction. It is not clear from the video how many bundles of strands were created after unravelling (or the minimal length needed), but it looks like four bundles. Six or eight would be even neater. 

If the cover is cut just a bit longer than needed this method also removes the guesswork  of getting the length exactly right as the cover can be unravelled to whatever point you wish.


 

Method 2 (as described in post #11 of the SA link given earlier) is shown here:

https://youtu.be/FZVhCHHKVKM

Because a tail is left on one end before the line is buried there is no need to unravel the strands. The whole tail is just buried. Doing this will produce a less smooth result, but it would be much quicker.

This video explains all the steps carefully, so it is very useful to watch even if you end up using Method 1.


 

SA member Aka54 whose superb rope work is an nothing short of an art form, posted a link a few years ago showing how he makes these loops, but permission is needed to view the blog, so I have no idea what he does. Unless he has come up with something entirely new, I suspect Method 1 is used. Being a perfectionist he probably divides the strands into many more bundles (eg 12 or more):

http://alu56.blogspot.it/2013/02/loop-4x-4-mm.html


 

We have lots of TyeTec blocks on board with these loops so once they need to be replaced I will now be ready :). Thanks for giving me the nudge to explore this method.

 

By the way, I have added covers to several soft shackles by simply feeding the cover over and the tucking under the end to give it a neat finish (copied from how TyeTec add an additional layer of cover on their smaller blocks, the bigger ones use leather). As with the Tyetec blocks, this  is completely unsecured, but as long as there is not heaps of movement the cover stays put very well.

 

SWL

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Following Haligonian Winterr’s suggestion, I have made up a covered loop using a similar technique to that used in covered loops made of multiple strands in the core.

 

I will split the instructions using one photo per post so the sequence is not incorrect like it ended up above.

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

I used 8mm Stealth Super-12 as the core.

The Stealth cover used was suitable for 10-14 mm line, but seems to work perfectly well for 8 mm. It is the only cover I have on board.

Quantities depend on how big you are making the loop, but the cover needs to be cut about 50 cm longer longer than the finished circumference of the loop.

 

Insert the core about 25 cm from the end of the cover and feed all the way through to the end. This tail will later be tapered and buried. 

0377EA19-CF71-4228-BB8F-60AB413FC262.jpeg

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Make a loop using using a long bury splice (I make the bury 70 x line diameter), and lock stitch. Being covered in this instance, there is no chance of the bury shaking loose, so it just needs to be lightly secured. Probably just tape would be fine.

 

Feed the cover around so that the halfway point lies in the splice junction and secure this point with some tape. This means the cover will be joined in a section of the core that does not have a bury in it.

 

Put the loop over a fixed object (I used a winch), apply tension using another winch, then milk the end of the cover with the tail. Secure well with tape and poke a needle through for greater security. I can’t usually push the needle through fully until I have released the load a bit.

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Bury the tail in the core, tapering the last third evenly and secure with a few stitches.

Burying the tail rather than just taping it to the core means both greater security and a smooth junction.

70482C66-1AD4-4148-B149-B3D05CF3BF80.jpeg

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Put the loop back under load and this time milk the other side until it overlaps the cover that was buried. I don’t think the overlap length is important, but I made it about 10 cm. Secure well with tape and poke a needle through again.

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Unravel the strands of the cover all the way to the tape.

Divide into six lots and tie off loosely until ready to bury.

Mark the staggered exit points of the six lots of bury. I started the first 10 cm from the tap, and added 2 cm each time, swirling the six points evenly around to make one turn.

Mark these points. I used needles so I would not be left with Texta marks.

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Rather than cutting all the excess at the exit point, pull each bundle out a bit and cut so the last 2 cm is tapered.

 

The technique I have described gives an absolutely seamless junction.

 

The junction still needs to be secured. Depending how enthusiastic I feel while watching tonight’s movie, I may either simply whip it or I may add a Turk’s head if I can remember how to do one :).

 

Although a bit skimpy as I have assumed some background skills, I hope this helps anyone trying it for themselves. There is a real lack of decent written instructions for working with UHMWPE.

 

HW, thanks again for your posts. I think that sharing of knowledge can only lead to progress. Any feedback from anyone regarding how I could improve what I have done would be great.

 

SWL

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That is very much like what I did when putting a dyneema chafe sleeve on the eye splice of a halyard, as the way to finish the non-eye end of the sleeve.  This part needs to run through the exit sheave, possibly highly loaded when the spin almost fully up, and I didn't want some big lump from a large whipping on stuff the whole cover into the halyard in one spot.  It gave a nice joint without a big seem.

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It was all going so well, then I made a pig’s ear of the finish.

 

I was so busy weaving a Turk’s head that I didn’t notice that the junction was starting to spread apart, as the buried bundles were pulling out a little. It needs stitching the instant the buries are completed and the tape is taken off. It also needs to be very tightly bound, so whipping is really the best way to finish this junction.

 

I had already completed a 5 lead 4 bight Turks head using these simple instructions, apart from tightening it all up:

http://www.paracordguild.com/5-lead-4-bight-turks-head/

so rather than taking it apart I stitched and whipped the junction and added the Turk’s head to the top.

 

Not very elegant if you examine it too closely, but it will do.

I will skip any decorative finishes next time. Not my forte :).

 

SWL


 

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On 9/14/2019 at 8:42 PM, Haligonian Winterr said:

Any reason you don't do a "normal" cover-cover tuck, the same as with multi-strand loups?

 

HW

Any reason your cover buries into core don't look as good as hers?

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1 hour ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

https://youtu.be/V5g39PFSvXI

 

I like this guy's method. 

Thanks for the link. The link to this video in an old SA thread was broken and I was curious to see what they did, as it was referenced a few times.

 

The video was made in 2011 and I bet Gréement Courant have now refined their technique in a couple of areas:

 

1. If the line is fed through the cover just once and the end taped to form a small loop, then the loop can easily be twirled around in the cover multiple times. This saves feeding each turn through the cover separately.

 

2. If the line is fed through the very end of the cover on one side (instead of leaving a tail on both ends) it can be lightly taped to the “finished” core. Then other end of the cover will easily slide over the top, very neatly burying that end of the cover. You then have only one end of the cover to bury by pulling a tail through.

 

SWL

 

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On 9/14/2019 at 6:54 AM, Seaworthy Lass said:

Hi all,

Our mooring lines are 20mm diameter Tipto Twelve and despite extra beefy double bollards serving as cleats on board, the line tends to clutter up the bollard. To allow the bollard to be freed up for additional use if needed, and to improve chafe protection and minimise creaking, I have just made several 8mm UHMWPE loops (2.5m circumference using Stealth Super 12) to loop around the cleats. The loops will be cow hitched to the eye splices on the ends of the mooring lines.

To give added chafe protection, I added UHMWPE covers to these loops.

It is dead easy to add covers on straight stretches of single braid line (just poke the line through the cover, then bury the cover in the core of the single braid and secured the junction with some whipping, similar to here:
https://youtu.be/hnIp-Uzlpqs

This technique is not possible on loops (although with a bit of fiddling one end could possibly be buried this way) so I decided to use a tuck splice technique to secure the cover.

To tuck splice, the cover can simply be unbraided, divided into bundles and woven in a straight line up (as is done with 12 strand Tipto Twelve). Alternatively it can be woven in a helical pattern, following one strand of the single braid. Octoplait can also be tuck spliced either way.

I have played with both methods and found the helical pattern gives a much neater finish, particularly if the bundles of cover are first twisted together. So this is what I ended up doing.

I am not sure how many tucks are needed, but six seemed like the magic number given this wasn’t taking the full load.

Instructions:
Cut the cover the same length as the single braid line, less the length of the tails that will be buried. 
Mark the midway point of the cover and feed the single braid through the cover.
Create a loop of the single braid as you usually would (long bury of tails, lock stitch junction using UHMWPE).
To stretch the cover neatly over the loop, move the cover around until the halfway mark sits on the junction of the bury (this means that the cover will be tucked into the portion of the loop that has no tail buried in it), place this point around a fixed object (eg a winch), then stretch out the loop by attaching a line and applying tension by winding the line on a winch.
While the loop is under tension, milk the cover to snuggly sit over the loop and secure it with tape and a needle about 20 cm from the apex of the loop.
Remove the loop off the winchPHOTO 1

Unravel the ends to the cover all the way to the tape. PHOTO 2

Divide the strands of the cover into 6 bundles (my cover had 48 strands, so 8 strands in each). You could alternatively divide into 12 (I did that when adding covers to the loops at the end of our series drogue bridle), but I think that is overkill. For a neater result if you have the enthusiasm or any compulsive tendencies :), divide one lot of 8 into 2 lots of 4, twist each lot of 4 then twist the two around each other. Tape ends to secure. Repeat for all six bundles. PHOTO 3 

Work on one bundle at a time. Poke it into the loop close to the tape and exit at least a couple of strands away. Then simple weave the bundle following one strand around in a helical pattern. After the initial insertion no tools were needed, the strand the bundle was being tucked under could just be lifted easily using my fingers.

Repeat with the other 5 bundles. Three of them weave clockwise tucked 7 times following every second of the 12 strands, three anticlockwise tucked 6 times also following every second strand. PHOTO 4 shows all 6 bundles woven on one side and just 3 on the other.

The tails could just be taped and cut off at this stage, but I buried them for a neater finish, tapering evenly. PHOTO 5

Four finished loops. We tie up anywhere so rarely that I think these loops and mooring lines will last my lifetime smile.gifPHOTO 6

The Tipto Twelve mooring lines that these loops will be attached to. PHOTO 7


I hope that help anyone planning to add chafe protection to loops. 
I have “winged it” with the exact method smile.gif, as I could not find any instructions anywhere, so any suggestions for improving the technique would be welcome.

SWL

 

These photos have loaded out of sequence. The last photo was supposed to be # 2

 

 

 

 

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ok i'm lost , how did the tops ones connect to the bottom ones?

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1 hour ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

ok i'm lost , how did the tops ones connect to the bottom ones?

I have simply cow hitched the uncovered portion onto the eye of the mooring line. There is little movement there, so the lack of chafe protection in that portion won’t matter. I could have spliced the loop on, but having it removable means it can be used for other purposes.

 

This is how one of the uncovered loops functioned when it was tested:

 

88BAD2A5-8E47-4580-9194-24E28DAD7971.jpeg

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That raw aluminum is looking nicely weathered, I hope you and your partner are enjoying yourselves! I'd love to see some more pics of the boat now that she's launched.

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Hi IStream

We are having a ball :).

 

Spent last summer in the Shetlands, autumn and winter in the Hebrides (we are suckers for punishment :) ), spring in the Netherlands and this summer in Norway.

 

The boat looks much as the same as when delivered, other than a nice patina developing on the exterior.

 

SWL

 

A couple of photos taken in Norway:

 

 

EBF65D3D-95D2-41CE-BC3F-98198D152C47.jpeg

988768CD-DFAF-48F4-B5A3-01645D5806C6.jpeg

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On 9/19/2019 at 5:00 PM, markvannote said:

Any reason your cover buries into core don't look as good as hers?

Well I would say that it's simply down to skill. It's on my list now to try it her way!

 

HW

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:27 AM, Seaworthy Lass said:

Thanks for the link. The link to this video in an old SA thread was broken and I was curious to see what they did, as it was referenced a few times.

 

The video was made in 2011 and I bet Gréement Courant have now refined their technique in a couple of areas:

 

1. If the line is fed through the cover just once and the end taped to form a small loop, then the loop can easily be twirled around in the cover multiple times. This saves feeding each turn through the cover separately.

 

2. If the line is fed through the very end of the cover on one side (instead of leaving a tail on both ends) it can be lightly taped to the “finished” core. Then other end of the cover will easily slide over the top, very neatly burying that end of the cover. You then have only one end of the cover to bury by pulling a tail through.

 

SWL

 

I was surprised that coffee-guy didn't taper the ends of the covers before he milked them under. That's the only thing I can see about your Note 2. is that the end with the 'automatic' bury wouldn't be tapered. I realize that this wouldn't be a strength issue as the cover doesn't take the load, but I imagine it would make the finished product a bit smoother.

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37 minutes ago, overdraft said:

I was surprised that coffee-guy didn't taper the ends of the covers before he milked them under. That's the only thing I can see about your Note 2. is that the end with the 'automatic' bury wouldn't be tapered. I realize that this wouldn't be a strength issue as the cover doesn't take the load, but I imagine it would make the finished product a bit smoother.

I agree. I was also surprised he didn’t drink his coffee a bit more quickly :) .

 

Using the method I described in Note 2 there is no reason the  “automatic bury” could not be tapered before being taped, although no one seems to do this in the YouTubes I have seen. I would certainly taper for a smoother transition.

 

SWL

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33 minutes ago, Seaworthy Lass said:

Using the method I described in Note 2 there is no reason the  “automatic bury” could not be tapered before being taped,

agreed, although I feel like you'd need a bit more tape that I'd like to get it to feed in smoothly. 

A bit of a threadjack, but back in the old splicing/testing thread (I gather it's disappeared?) I read that some of the commercially made loops used what amounted to unconstructed spectra/dyneema/uhmwp yarns inside the cover, like with zillions of turns, and that with enough turns apparently there was zero connection of the two ends inside. Just the size of the stack of the turns provided enough binding that there was no further finishing done. Kinda blew my mind, but it also makes me wonder where the transition is... as in how many turns of yarn would you need inside the cover before the thing was self sustaining.

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30 minutes ago, overdraft said:

A bit of a threadjack, but back in the old splicing/testing thread (I gather it's disappeared?) I read that some of the commercially made loops used what amounted to unconstructed spectra/dyneema/uhmwp yarns inside the cover, like with zillions of turns, and that with enough turns apparently there was zero connection of the two ends inside. Just the size of the stack of the turns provided enough binding that there was no further finishing done. Kinda blew my mind, but it also makes me wonder where the transition is... as in how many turns of yarn would you need inside the cover before the thing was self sustaining.

I haven’t seen this method used. With this material being so slippery and with the cover not tightening under load  I am not confident it would be much better than a simple bury. Depending on usage though, there may be little force pulling the junction of the cover apart so it may be perfectly adequate. For some applications even a completely unsecured cover is fine (eg as used on TyeTec blocks).

 

I think if there is any force on the cover nothing will beat the “tried and true” tuck splice technique that I used in post #1.  Because the cover is woven into to core, the higher the load the tighter it is clenched.  A variation of this is what is used commercially in the shipping/fishing industry for eye splices and it a useful method to learn.

 

SWL

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9 hours ago, overdraft said:

found it! last sentence of the last post of page 11 and first couple of posts on page 12

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/154025-ropeknotsplice-load-testing/&page=11

I agree with what you're saying... hence the 'mind blown' meme on my post...

Oh, I misinterpreted completely and thought you were talking about the cover not the core! Thanks for the link.

 

Weird technique. It looks like 3mm line was used (breaking strength about 1000 kg) with about 20 or more turns. If you could load the turns evenly (not really possible) and if you spliced the join, I am guessing the breaking strength would therefore be around 40,000 kg. They are probably only rating the sling to a small fraction of that, as you just can’t load that many turns evenly.. It seems they are wasting a huge amount of line to avoid a splice. There are some wacky methods being used!!!

 

By the way, there is a wealth of information in that thread. I am going to go and read it properly, as I have only sampled bits in the past. Evans’ load testing document contains a summary of all the data, but the chatter in the thread reveals lots more gems.

 

SWL

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7 hours ago, Seaworthy Lass said:

By the way, there is a wealth of information in that thread

ya, i lived in that thread when it was live... i learned a ton in there!

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1 hour ago, overdraft said:

ya, i lived in that thread when it was live... i learned a ton in there!

I got  1/3 of the way through today to about post #700 when my brain started to go numb :) . What a mammoth brainstorming effort. The process was just as interesting as the results.

SWL

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