Running backstays, replaced just in time.

During the recent re rig process aboard Empiricus, I discovered that the running back stays were frayed badly, just at the eye. I believe this was due to, too short of a shackle being used to carry them both.

Another problem with the backstays were that the leeward stay, would slide back and forth on the backside of the mainsail, causing chafe.

Chafe is the enemy.

Replacing the backstays was a given. But instead of wire, I used Amsteel. No stretch. Cable strength. Quiet and nice to handle.

But I had never spliced Amsteel. So I asked a few fishermen. My method used here is a culmination of suggestions and “Empirical” knowledge. Enjoy!

The old backstays were near failure.  Only close inspection brought this to my attention, as the fray was buried behind the shackle.
The old backstays were near failure. Only close inspection brought this to my attention, as the fray was buried behind the shackle.
This is a new one on me.
This is a new one on me.
I used a fore Arm length of splice length.
I used a fore Arm length of splice length.
A slight taper to the bitter end.
A slight taper to the bitter end.
Serving the eye section prevents Chafe from eating the strands of fiber.
Serving the eye section prevents Chafe from eating the strands of fiber.
Lay the served line into the Thimble.
Lay the served line into the Thimble.
I held the line onto the thimble with a constrictor knot, while splicing.
I held the line onto the thimble with a constrictor knot, while splicing.

DSCF1882

DSCF1888

I took six passes (3 recommended) down the running part, burying the tapered end.  Then began stitching the splice in place.
I took six passes (3 recommended) down the running part, burying the tapered end. Then began stitching the splice in place.
The stitching tension should always match the tension of the line.  Tight stitches in loose line will break or cause damage when placed under strain.
The stitching tension should always match the tension of the line. Tight stitches in loose line will break or cause damage when placed under strain.

This was a fun little project. I enjoyed how the old methods blended with space age materials, for a sturdy, simple final product.

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