Splicing vectran traveller

Take a look at this thread


Jimmy and I used the splice in the triangle as his diagram shows, I now have 2+ years sailing it with, in winds up to 30, no problems. It's low and neat, saves you about a foot of line vs doing the long bowline, but you lose the ability to easily remove/replace the trav line (ie if you are chartering at a regatta and want to bring your trav. with you)
You'll need send an email to Jean-Luc on the simple loop, but I suspect it could be illegal. There is no issue with the handle.

The measurers at the radial worlds did not agree with this. One measurer was fine with a splice in the handle whereas Nick Livingstone wouldn't pass my friends boat for measurement till the splice was taken out of the handle.

Both measurers failed his traveller for the splice where most of us have it tied with a bowline and knot (load bearing). It was just the handle splice they disagreed on.
Did the bury of the tail of the splice on the handle extend into the cleat ? (ie was the line thicker where it ran thru the cleat)


Active Member
Certainly ...Here's how.

Take the Vectran too your car.

Go to the store with the Vectran.

get a hunk of 100% Spectra like Amsteel that is the same length and thick enough to grab in your cleat.

Take the Vectran home and practic splicing with it.

Install the Spectra traveler on your boat

Use a bowline for the knot so when the Spectra wears a little you can adjust that knot and extend the life of your line.
I don't follow why the splice loop in the traveller would be illegal. The class rules state:

(a) Control System Definitions
i The Cunningham, outhaul, vang, traveller and

mainsheet are the Control Line Systems. . .
Each Control Line shall be a single piece of

uniform thickness and material. A line is a
Control Line if any of the line moves along
its axis during adjustment of the Control
Line System. A line that exclusively attaches
items together is a Tie Line.

(b) Control Lines and Fittings
i. Control lines shall be natural or synthetic rope,

except that aramid fibre (e.g. kevlar) is not
permitted for the boom vang or cunningham
control systems.
ii. Control lines shall be of uniform thickness and
shall not be tapered except for the purpose of a

splice at the load bearing attachment point.

(h) Traveller – also see Rules 3(a) & 3(b)

i. The traveller shall be a single line. It shall be
rigged as a simple closed loop through the
traveller eyes and the free end passing through
the traveller cleat.
ii. A spring, ball or tape may be used between the

traveller blocks.

It seems to me that whether it's a bowline or a splice, it's a load bearing attachment point where the traveller line forms the closed loop so the class rules explicitly allow a splice.​

For the handle however, the rules state:​

ix. Rope loop handles covered with plastic/rubber

tube and/or tape may be included anywhere on
the free end of a control line.
x. The free ends of different control lines (except
mainsheet) may be tied together and/or tied to any
deck fitting or the centreboard, the centreboard
handle or a rope loop used to attach a retaining
line. Free ends of control lines shall not be tied to

shock cord (except mainsheet).

Since it doesn't state that the rope loop handle can be formed by a splice I suppose that one could argue that the fundamental rule bars using a splice to form the handle.​

But then again, since the rules don't say how the rope loop handles should be formed and only refer to tying when talking about tying to each other or fittings it seems that you could easily argue that the fundamental rule also bars using a knot to form the rope loop. . .​

Or I am reading this wrong?​
This has been a most instructive thread for me. It also makes me question exactly where/when any splice is legal on a Laser. As a professional mariner, I tend to think of splices and knots as being very much the same and certainly being in the same tool kit for bending rope and wire to itself, to fittings, or to other rope and wire. I choose to use a "splice" or "knot" based upon what I think best for the application. It is interesting that many of the old seaman's knots are very complex and much like splices, and many of the "splices" used for modern lines are much like simple knots.

I am not good at the sea lawyer thing, but it appears the class phobia about splices evolves from the rule that control lines cannot be tapered--where splices would provide one way to do produce a tapered line. My old eyes are not perfect, but the only place I could find the word "splice" used in the class rules was in:

3.(b)ii - Control lines shall be of uniform thickness and shall not be tapered except for the purpose of a splice at the load bearing attachment point.

On reading this part of the rules, I am led to understand that splices are allowed at least somewhere on a Laser. Since the traveller is a control line and is not specifically excluded from having a splice, I would think that a splice (which in most versions would change the diameter of the line [creating taper or transition] over some part of its length) would be legal at the load bearing or fixed part of the traveller that connects to itself to form the loop, but perhaps not at the free or "handle" end as that is not continuously load bearing.

Regardless any specific sentiments about whether "splices" should be allowed in a particular line or part of one, I wonder if we should perhaps focus on what appears to be a lack of clarity in our rules which may be so confusing that even some class measurers have struggled at being consistent.

Again, this is a great discussion. Thank you to all for sharing your thoughts!



Former ISAF Laser Measurer
I agree Nextcast about the clarity of the rules issue, it certainly is difficult for the measurers to be consistant.

3bii can be read legimately be read as meaning that the only point where a splice is permitted anywhere in the control line system is at a load bearing attachment point, which would exclude handles and most likely the simple loop of the traveller. As pointed out above, Jean-Luc is the person to contact.

PS I'm still waiting an query I sent him 8 months ago to be answered.
I agree with Alan about the exclusion of splices on the handles, but as for the primary loop on the traveller, I must disagree (not that I carry any weight with my opinions).

The knot required to close the loop on the traveller prior to heading through the cleat is a load bearing attachment at all times. If it were not so, you could sail without that connection and not miss it (like a handle). Good luck with that.

Now personally, I could see it making more sense to splice the handle (if it were legal) than the primary loop, as then you could still remove the line easily for cleaning/maintenance, etc.

I don't think a reference to the chief measurer (or whatever Jean-Luc's title is) is needed for this case, as the rules speak for themselves (if only they would speak with a little more clarity).