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Marlinespike Seamanship D --- Dyneema®, Amsteel®, Soft Shackles and Hollow Braided Line UHMWPE

Sunday, Dec 10, 2023 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Leader: Charles Kenyon
Required ratings:
Marlinspike A

Event Information


Prerequisites: Marlinespike A rating (but write to instructor for admission without this rating). Open to Hoofer Sailing Club Members.

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This lesson is about using and splicing UHMWPE (Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethelene) lines including work with Soft Shackles. Samson Ropes defines Amsteel® as a “high-modulus polyethylene” rope. The high-modulus part means that Amsteel® has “low elasticity elongation,” or in other words, it doesn’t stretch much. However, this also means that this type of rope doesn’t like to be shock-loaded, so ease into the hammock! Safe working loads do not apply to shock loading.

This is an exploratory lesson - we are in the process of setting this up. Hollow-braid rope is much easier to splice than even three-strand line. People are replacing standing rigging on boats with it. It requires different knots or knot strategies than other line.

We will start with a basic paracord soft shackle, then do some splices in hollow braid polyethelene, work on the following knots: Ashley Stopper Knot, Two-strand diamond knot, and Two-Strand button knot. Then we will do at least one 5-inch soft shackle in Dyneema® . You are welcome to bring your own line as well if you want to work on more than one or want to make a larger one..

Here is a link to my page on how to calculate the length of line needed for a Dyneema® soft shackle based on the diameter of the line used.

Here are a few links about HMPE rope and Soft Shackles that you should review before the lesson.

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