This is the easiest, most common splice. Typically, it’s used to put an eye in the end of a mooring line or anchor rode. I’ve used blue varnishing tape here to better illustrate how to keep the line itself, as well as its three strands, from coming apart. Color-matched duct tape works better in the real world.
After you’ve unlaid and taped the bitter end of the line as shown, size your eye and tuck the bitter end’s middle strand under the topmost strand in the standing part (1), then tuck the bitter end’s next strand (the one that naturally lays inside the eye you’ve just formed) under the standing part’s next strand, albeit the one that’s closer to the eye’s interior. Work against the lay (that’s what you call a line’s built-in twist) of the standing part as shown. Now flip the splice over—this is the tricky part—and tuck the bitter end’s remaining strand under the remaining strand in the standing part (2), using a forefinger and thumb to keep track of which strands have already been tucked, making sure to loop around as shown so you’re tucking against the lay of the line as before.
Make three more sets of tucks (3), continuing to work against the lay of the standing part. After, trim the tape on the strands with a sharp knife and roll the splice between your palms like a cigar—that’s it!
The video below will show you how to do a three-strand splice step-by-step:
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.