While things were curing/drying, I decided to go up the mast to attempt to figure out what has happened to my deck light. Last time I was in Brunswick I fixed a broken wire and on the trip up to Virginia it went out again. When I was in Southport, I tried replacing the bulb and that is when I found that it wasn't the bulb but somewhere in between. So, today I went up to see if I could figure out anything more. The only thing I really figured out was that 12 volts was available at the connector below the mast but disappears before it reaches the bulb. They must be magic electrons.
While setting up to go up the mast, I noticed some chafing on my spinnaker halyard line. It appears to be rubbing excessively against the spreaders, so I found a new place to secure it when not in use that should alleviate the chafing. But this got me thinking about replacing that line.
Unlike the other lines that I have replaced on the boat thus far, this line has an eye splice at the end for a shackle so you can easily attach the spinnaker. Now I know one can order lines with splices, but I think knowing how to splice lines is a good skill for a sailor to know so I decided I should learn how to do it.
I consulted the oracle, and found some links to instructions and videos. There are varying techniques, but they all follow the same basic process.
Of course, in order to splice line, you need the special needle-like tools called fids. They are kind of like knitting needles except instead of the standard end they have a tapered cut and are hollow so they can be used a bit like a sewing needle. Of course, I didn't have these handy little tools. I tried using a partially deconstructed ball point pen, but that didn't work. I was talking with Mark, one of my new friends at the dock, and he said he had a set and since they are "swallowing the anchor" he gave them to me. Thanks Mark, I hope to put them to good use.
On a side note...if you are looking for a 50' mono-hull, their completely refitted '87 Gulfstar is an impressive boat. Mark is a woodworker and engineer and the boat is gorgeous and systems seem to be immaculate...right down to the wiring behind the electrical panel that would put every boat maker to shame. And for the James Bond in all of us, the dishwasher that pops out of the galley counter at the push of a button and the companionway steps that automatically raise to provide access to the immaculate engine room are just jaw dropping.
Anyway, this evening I decided to try a practice eye splice in some 1/4 inch double braid I had on the boat. Figured I would see if I could manage it before I ordered new line for the spinnaker. Armed with the couple Youtube videos I had watched and the instructions from Samson, I added an eye splice to the end of my line. I think it turned out really well for a first attempt. Seems to be a very solid splice even without the locking stitching that everyone seems to recommend. What do you think...
I'm betting if I can do it with the 1/4 inch line, the larger line should be even easier to complete.