12-Plait Braid Onto Bail or Becket

This splice is for 12-plait rope, such as NER’s Regatta Braid, Mega Braid, Mega Braid II, and other 12-plait ropes where the center hollow isn’t big enough for a bury splice, and the strands must be tucked instead. Commonly used as a rope-to-chain splice, here we see it spliced to a chain hook for a snubber.

12-plait polyester rope
Big fat polyester 12-plait from Marlow Ropes and a chain hook. Technology has moved past chain hooks, but some folk are still stuck in the past…..
Measure about twelve diameters and tie a firm constrictor around the rope with some whipping twine.
Start to unlay the rope, wrapping a piece of tape around each strand so it can’t unravel.
Splicing Polyester 12-strand rope
Unlay all the strands back to the whipping twine.
Splicing 12-plait rope
Now you have to pay attention: half the strands rotate one way, and half the other: we’ll call them S and Z. Take one of each that are next to each other, and tape their ends together to make them a pair. Pair them all, and you’ll have six strand pairs, each with one S and one Z strand.
Take three strand pairs and reeve them through the bail in one direction, and the other three in the other direction. Notice I tied the chain hook to a bench post so I can pull snug against it.
Take a fid and push it under two strands, or picks.
Pull a strand pair through where the fid went and pull it more or less snug. We’ll tighten everything up a little later.
Right next to where you dived in with the fid the first time, dive under two other strands. The fid will go the other direction.
Ok, so now you have two strand pairs going under two strands each of the standing part, next to each other. Keep doing this until all six strand pairs are tucked into the standing part, each next to the other all the way ’round.
Should look like this: snug each strand pair up until it’s all reasonably close to the bail. Some folk try to pile the strands up so they don’t spread out on the bail so much, but I find it easier to ensure that they’ll all be loaded evenly by allowing them to breathe.
Returning to the first tucked strand pair, along the same line of picks, skip one strand, and dive in under the following two strands. The splice is under two, over one. The strand pairs don’t rotate around the standing part: they follow a straight path along the line of picks.
Once you’ve tucked each strand pair along its path for four tucks, untape the pairs, and carry on with one strand of each pair for a few more tucks. This will give you a taper. Here’s where you can get fancy, alternating a Z and S if you like, depending on which way the standing strands are twisted, but it’s not necessary for the strength of the splice.
Once you’ve drawn the strands all snug, trim them off with a hotknife. Some leave a little tail sticking out to prevent it pulling out, but I prefer to trim it close.
Rope snubber with chain hook
There it is, all trim and symmetrical. This is not the only way to splice this rope, but this splice is easy and reliable, if a little bulkier than other methods. This snubber photographed went on to sail the Northwest Passage and worked flawlessly in a several big blows and one stray typhoon. To prevent chafe against the chain and roller, I later leathered the splice, and recommend it to anyone still using a metal chain hook.
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