The Heartbeat of the boating community!
 All photos and text in this article are copyright and property of The Coastal Passage. Reproduction or publication without the permission is prohibited.  This information is offered for private use only and remains the property of The Coastal Passage.

 Back to Home Page 

  Technical articles

 FREE download of the latest edition of The Coastal Passage.

 The Original NORSON SPLICE. Designed by the author to be the simplist to learn and perhaps as strong as it can be done.

 "PRO SPLICE" This splice was discovered by "reverse engineering" when the author cut apart a splice done by a professional rigger in the UK. It's simple and easy.
 The new NORSON DOUBLE SPLICE is designed to satisfy the most sceptical rigger and sailor. A little more complicated but with double the graphics to learn from, should be do-able even for the novice.

 After investigating the method that the pro's had used on my main sheet, this is a report and instruction on their simpler method for making an eye splice on double braid rope. THINK CHINESE FINGER PUZZLE!


Before preceeding, get hold of the core and pull it out the end of the cover for about 2 to 3 inches. (50 to 75mm) Wrap some PVC tape tightly around the joint and cut. This leaves you some extra cover material that will make life easier when doing the last step. Also note the knot, this one is a little to close to the work but I wanted to get it in the photo. This prevents having to "milk" the cord over a longer length. Recomend about 5 feet (1.5 metre) from the end.

 (1) My fid marks the location of the join and the tape measure indicates how much of the core will be removed. The amount shown is more than enough.
 (2) The cover was pulled back and the indicated length of core removed. I did this by putting tape around the core where I wanted to cut then cutting through the centre of the tape. It prevents unravelling. “Milk” the cover back in place and fasten a clamp as shown or better yet, use the gadget below to sew the core in place all around where the clamp is shown in the photo. Then disregard the presence of the clamp in the the instructions that follow.


This tool allows you to do the new way of securing the core to the cover. It is the "STITCH IT AWL" made in the Whitsunday's by a cruiser of best materials. Handmade of 316 stainless. Unbelievably handy and cheap. No boat should leave harbour without one.

  (3) Now part the weave of the cover and push the fid under the core and force it out through the opened weave of the cover. This is touchy. Be careful not to pull strands of the cover out of place. A smaller tool may be useful but mainly care, and in the case of old farts like me, a powerful set of reading glasses can be used to advantage. This step is easier when the cover is a dark colour.
  (4) Pull core out of the length of rope, not the loop. Notice how the cover on the length of rope becomes 'fat' as the core is extracted.
(5) A length of heavy wire would do this job too but I seem to be a screw driver guy... what can I say. Don’t you have a two foot long screw driver around? But I digress. Stick your chosen tool up the middle of a section of core a little longer than the length of excess cover you have dangling out the other side of the loop. The weave of the core makes this easier than you might think. The core needs to be pushed together to "fatten" it to make room for the tool in the middle. Leave about an inch or 30 mm from the join.
 (6) Tape the loose end of the cover to the tool as shown and....
 (7) start to gently pull the cover through the core.
 (8) Once pulled through the lengths are uneven because the cover is stretched and the core is bunched up.
 (9) So “milk” the core back untill the cover which is now the core dissappears within the former core. If you wind up with excess former cover hanging out, either re-do the last few steps or just trim it off if it’s not too much. But in any case you want it to finally look like the photo in...
  (10) Yup... thats what it is supposed to look like. You can make the doubled core section as long as you want it. Presumably the longer the stronger.
 (11) “Milk” as with the Norson Splice.


This last step was always bitchy. The update at the top of the page should already help a lot but even so.. the core can bunch up right at the end and rather than fight it, a little screw driver can be used to poke under the cover in the loop and pry it up using the bunched up core as a fulcrum. Do this gently, all around and then milk again.

 Then check the fit and do a little more with the tool if required but if it is a little lumpy and still resisting you...
 a hammer (gently) on a concrete floor does a great job of getting rid of the lumps and high spots. It compacts the core. Then one last milk..
 (12) Tidy and very strong.
And a little bonus..By cutting off the core in the loop on step # 4 this method works to give you a perfect bitter end as well

You must note that all this is a method in art as well as science. If it doesn't work well the first time you have lost some time and a half metre of rope. Think about it and try again.

 Have a question, comment or suggestion to improve the method? Email me