I read an article some time ago in a European mag that a warp to chain splice had a greater breaking strain than a spliced thimble. Does anyone know if this is correct?
Not necessarily, it can't be stronger but then it also doesn't have to be any weaker. For a not experiance splicer the thimble is the safer option as it is harder to cock that one up. But a skilled splicer who knows R2C connections can do a splice that is equal in strength to a thimble splice or any other similar splices. Note there the 'who knows R2C connections', there is a bit more to them than meets most's eyes.
Note I am talking about the correct spliced used with the right gear done by someone who knows what they are doing, don't laugh that isn't as common as you'd expect. The amount of 'You have to be kidding?' we get to fix is a growth business...and that's directly because of the interweb.
In all the testing we have done over the last few decades a well done thimble splice is no different in strength than a well done R2C (rope to chain) splice. Talking here when using the same and correct products for the application.
Why only the 1st link wheels? I find with the back splice through only the 1st link that the splice binds in the winch.....
Remedial splicing classes can be arranged
Next time you come past drop in and I'll show you a few things to suss/do which should make your winching experiance nicer.
Basically you're doing something wrong or using the wrong gear or on the odd occasion that can indicate the winch has spit a pressure arm out, buggered the stripper or something like that. But by far the biggest reason for comments like that is the splice is not right. The splice itself maybe fine but isn't finished in the right way or the rope maybe pushing used by dates or it's simply the splice has bound up and it's time for it to be redone.
What IT is getting wouldn't be relevant to Chariot as IT has a Auto R2C winch i.e. one that swaps between rope and chain automatically, which are now very common place. As Chariot is just running a capstan (rope drum, warping drum, that round thing on top of the winch and a few other names) the splice don't need the finishing it would in IT's application but the 2 will be very similar.
DO NOT do the R2C splice that has the rope running down a few links of chain. That is called The Winch Killer splice and for a good reason, it kills winches. Some argue that is the strongest way to connect the two, BOLLOCKS with a capital Bullshit. So just don't go there, it is the land of fools, more than likely very well meaning but still fools. The interweb makes many fools using that splice.
Swivels, just like anchors they suffer many myths lies and occasionally even little truth in spots. A good swivel is fine and a sh*t load stronger than most of the shackles people will put in because they have been told swivels are dodgy. The fe links Stev mentions is probably a OK idea if you have a big boat and are world cruising but there is NOTHING, NOTHING to support the claim a few links are a must have. That few links thing was being pushed hard not to many years ago by a anchor manufacturer who was caught lieing about the quality of their product which lead to the shanks bending a lot, something they still do to this day. In an effort to deflect from being busted they started saying it was due to the swivels blaa blaa blaa. Basically that has popped up and become something due to spin far more than anything in real life that suggests it's a must do.
Anyway most people put in a swivel to to being the victim of interweb marketing or an up sell by the chandler. We are commonly getting people with issues and on sussing we find they have fitted a swivel, and most can't tell us why they did bar 'they said I should'. We say take the swivel out and hello, the problems gone away.
Run this program and you'll be in a OK place -
If you have an all chain rode or one where you use rope bugger all - do not fit a swivel
If you run a rode that uses a non-rotating rope like the multiplaits - do not fit a swivel
If you run a rode that has a laid (3 strand) rope in it - DO use a swivel.
After that call then run this lot -
Are you going to anchor continuously (as in non-stop) in a place you may end up going around your anchor many times - then consider fitting a swivel
If you aren't going to anchor continuously for days on end - do not fit a swivel
That above allows for a swivel to stop your rode twisting up should you circle your anchor, that isn't good but will take a few days before it gets a worry so parking in Hickydoo bay form Friday to Sunday is no need to fit a swivel sort of thing.
Then consider what anchor you have -
If you have a spinner then a swivel is a good idea. Older ones that have had a work out and have lost their 'symmetrical' can spin badly. That tends to happen first with chinese made steel as it is soft.
If you have a anchor that comes up backwards a lot then there is a gizmo called a Anchor Straightener for those ones. It looks like a device a lady may use to amuse herself when hubby is away or when Stephen Joyce really pissed her off. About the only name that comes up backwards a lot and where 90% of our straighteners sales goes to are Rocnas, especially after a change to them a year or 3 back. But on occasions other anchors have done it for assorted reasons.
So what to use if you don't need/want a swivel or straightener? A good old school shackle. If it's std commercial galvanised one used the biggest you can fit, which is usually a size up from the chain i.e. a 8mm chain use a 10mm shackle, 10mm chain then a 12mm shackle. Or these days there are many Hi Load shackles about, they all tend to have a painted pin. The colour is pretty irrelavent as they all are the same bar Green Pins which are the original ones china copied all the rest from. Van Beest must have awesome protection as we have yet to see china paint any pins green. There is also Crosby who use Red but china has coped red so watch for that. I don't know a chandler who stocks green pins but a few specialist riggers etc know the value in them so do. The asian knock offs are OK though, bit ruff in the finish and a hint larger than GP's but never heard of one failing when it wasn't supposed to. We sue GP's on serious things, knock offs on the not so. NOTE these are physically smaller than the big std so you may need 2 or 2 of differing sizes to get the chain connected to the anchor, that's fine and no worries. Also these have pins that are larger in diameter then the bodies so watch for that.
Mouse/loctite/etc the shackles or whatever well. You'd be both gob-smacked and a bit concerned if you saw how many times we go to change something to find the anchor.chain connection can be undone by hand. It is very common and those boats anchor amongst us. Crank the shackle up well with a big spanner and then a simple bright coloured cable tie thru the pin. Gp to deploy your anchor and do the quick checks like not dropping it into a dingy - check. Anchor there - check, cable tie there - check. Any anchor restraining devices off - check ..... All good then deploy.
The hassle the punters have is weeding thru the marketing to find what is real and what isn't. Some of it is very good and very persuasive but sadly that often means the shopper will spend a sh*t load and only get average when you could spend less and have got better. The lack of salespeoples product knowledge in a key area like this is a bit frightening....and it's getting worse fast.