Features May 2018 Issue

Re-evaluating Eye-splice Thimbles

Some designs are too weak and can introduce new chafe points.

A great many sailors believe a splice intended for high loads is not complete until it is fitted with a thimble. Undoubtedly, a thick layer of steel provides the ultimate in abrasion resistance when attaching to a rusty, galvanized mooring shackle. And the thimble also increases the turning radius, which more evenly distributes the load among the fibers that make up the weave. But are thimbles best, and is a thimble best or even required in all circumstances? We are especially interested in strength.

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