Winter Projects: Splicing Wire Rope

Colin splicing wire rope. #rigging #sailing #cruising #diy #boats

The time has come to replace the standing rigging on Mimi Rose. As Colin practices splices, we come upon this great quote. Brion Toss has a way of writing that adds levity to difficult tasks around the boat, and his words about fairing out a bumpy splice are pretty darn funny. From The Rigger’s Apprentice:

It is difficult to describe in print exactly how hard one should strike to fair different-sized wires, but the matter is important, so as an aid I will tell you a little story. A sailmaker and I once had a loft on the top floor of City Hall in Anacortes, Washington. Ours was the only unrenovated room in the old building–below, city employees typed and filed away in carpeted, fluorescent-lit comfort. Trying to work quietly, I discovered how little muscle was actually needed to fair a splice. Since gentleness is a good thing for wire, imagine, as you fair, a nest of bureaucrats below. For wire up to 5/16 inch in diameter, the noise will not bother them at all; pounding 3/8-inch wire is noticeable but reasonable; 7/16-inch can be tolerated anytime except first thing Monday morning; 1/2-inch should be done only during lunch or after hours; and 5/8-inch and up will drop plaster into the typewriters, so should be done in the parking lot.


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