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

Saturday, Apr 6, 2024 (1:15 pm - 4:15 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.

If you want to sign up for this but are unable for any reason to sign up for this particular lesson, add your name to the sign-up. Interest Sign-Up Page

Location: This is currently scheduled to be in the Park View Room on the 4th floor of the Union across from Great Hall. -- Check the Today in the Union website or the digital signs in Memorial Union on the day of the lesson. It will show up as Marlinspike. If looking on the website, you may have to search for "Marlinspike" because the page can have too many items. If you need help with the web page, I prepared a guide: How to Search for Events on the Today in the Union Web Page

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.

There is no rating for this, at this time.

Post-Lesson Resources:

Instructor Evaluation Form

Incident & Accident Reporting

Event Type
Lesson / Training (ratings may be achieved)
Cancellation, Reschedule, and Refund Information
If this event is cancelled more than 24 hours in advance, participants will be notified via the email associated with their membership account. If the event needs to be cancelled within 24 hours of the event start time, the instructor will call each participant individually via the phone number associated with their membership account. We ask that students remove themselves from a lesson as soon as they know they will be unable to attend; lessons dropped within 24 hours of the lesson's start time will be considered a Late Drop. If you no-show for a lesson without informing the instructor, they may temporarily suspend your lesson sign-up privileges.
Equipment/ Gear Required by Participant
This event will occur on land. Participants are welcome to attend in their regular attire, no need for sailing clothes.

Registration Count

Registration Type Registrations Remaining
All Participants 1 4
Waiting List 0 2