Back Splice with Crown Knot

Back splices are 1 way to make a good-looking and secure end to your rope. And keeping your ropes in good shape, is part of good seamanship, of course.

From time to time, you need to check your ropes for wear and tear. There are a lot of things that can damage ropes and chafe is always there.

So, try your maximum to reduce the chafing. This way, your ropes will last much longer, which saves you money!

Ropes in bad condition are not only bad-looking for your boat, but, more importantly, you can't trust them anymore...

Allright, let's get started!

Hereunder I show you step-by-step how you can make a back splice in a three strand rope. 

First, we start with the...

1. The Preparation

3 stranded rope
taping the rope

We start with one end of the 3 stranded rope, which is normally heat-sealed to prevent unlaying.

Put some tape on the rope, so that you have sufficient rope to make the splice.

swedish fit
breaking the 3 stranded rope open

Now, to make life easier, you can use the tool on the left, which is called a Swedish fid. You use it to make some space between the strands. Especially useful when the rope is very hard...

unlaying the rope
unlayed rope

With the Swedish fid, I'm breaking the rope open, so that I can unlay the rope until the tape.

making a crown knot

Once you have done this, you get what is pictured above. Make sure that the 3 loose strands are not falling apart further. You can tape the ends or heat-seal them, if you want. 

(Click here if you want to make an eye splice)

To make a back splice, we have to begin with a crown knot.

2. The Crown Knot

making a crown knot 2

Take the rope in your hand so that there is a strand hanging left, right and away from you.

Take the strand, which is away from you, and bring it towards you. Keep it there with your thumb.

Now, you take the strand, which is hanging on your left side, and you bring it to the right side. In front of the arch you have made with the first strand.

making a crown knot 3
making a crown knot 4

Then, you take the strand, which was hanging on the right side, and you bring it to the left side, through the arch, which you have made with the first strand.

The second strand should go through the arch of the third strand.

the crown knot

So, basically, you make 3 arches, and every strand goes through the arch of its neighbour if you go anti-clockwise.

You should get what is pictured above. If so, tighten the knot.

The Crown Knot 1

The crown knot

3. The Back Splice

making a back splice 1

When you look at your crown knot, you see each strand coming out at the same place on the rope, at three different corners, of course.

Now, we will go 1 level further with all three strands, 1 by 1.

This we do by passing over the first strand we come accross and then under the next one. 

When you have done a pass-over and pass-under with each of the 3 strands, you have what is pictured on the right.

You'll see that all strands exit at the same place of the rope on different corners.

making a back splice 2

Now, do the same a second time!

Pull the strands tight every time you build an extra level.

You can also roll the splice between your hands or on the floor, to make the splice even and symmetrical.

rolling the back splice
making a back splice 4

Build in the third level!

Remember that 3 levels are the minimum. You can always do more, if you want.

Now, the back splice is made.

We only have to make it nice and neat.

4. The Finishing Touch

You can choose yourself how you like the finishing.

You can cut the remainings of the three strands and whip the ends or you can do the following, which I prefer.

You can make a nice transition from splice to rope, so that you get a tapered effect.

making a back splice 5

Leave 1 strand as it is and continue the pass-over and pass-under once again with the other two strand. Now, you'll see that 1 of those 2 strand exits at the same corner as the strand untouched. This is good.

Next, you take the strand which still exits on another corner and you do another pass-over and-under, so that also this one exits at the same corner as the other 2, but a level further, of course.

The picture above shows you the result.

Put some tape on each strand as close as possible to its exit.

Take the rope cutter and cut through the tape and strands. Remove the rests of the tape.

back splice

And finally, your piece of art is there! Your back splice!

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