Congratulations, you have just moved to not only the lightest, but the easiest hammock suspension yet.
Your excellent directions illustrate just how easy and simple it is to make the buried splices for the Whoopie Sling and I thank you for posting them so that others will know how easy it is to splice the modern high tech braided ropes. Splicing is easy and the tools are readily available and inexpensive.
I'm getting to be a big fan of splicing the braided rope. It has many advantages:
- rated strength of the rope - according to Samson and other references I have seen on the web, a bury splice like you are doing de-rates the rope strength by 3% at the most and likely none at all. At least one reference I have seen states that the buried eye splice retains 100% of the rated rope strength.
- relatively no wear on rope - since the abrasion forces are spread out over the length of the splice, the abrasion on the rope is very little. Also, since the adjustment of the splices is done once when hanging the hammock, the wear is non-existent compared to tying and untying knots or using a Figure 9. Also, since the splice doesn't slip under heavy loads (well, heavy for a hammock), the only abrasion is when the splice is slid under little to no load conditions. Thus, the abrasion due to the splice is very little.
- No concentrated forces or small radius bends - The bury splice does not introduce bends in the rope. With knots and Figure 9s, the forces are concentrated on a very small spot on the rope and the bends in the rope are very small. Both factors introduce weaknesses and cause premature breaking of the rope. Hence, when using knots or Figure 9s, you have to figure you have lost anywhere from 30% to 50% of the rope strength. I don't know that anybody has tested to determine how much the use of a Figure 9 de-rates rope strength.
- easy to do - as you illustrate, splicing is easy. As you gain experience, it gets even easier. If you want to spend $55 you can get the Toss splicing wand and make the splicing considerably easier. The splicing wand is optional though. The needle can be easily carried in your kit and splicing done in the field to repair rope or make new Whoopie slings or to bury the end of a rope. Burying the end is the nicest and cleanest way to whip the rope end to prevent fraying. I've found that even just burying 1" is sufficient. I like to bury about 4" since the fatter end bury gives a "handle" on the end of the rope to grab and hold.
- do once and then use - unlike knots which have to be tied and untied with every use, the splice is done once and you're done. Tying and untying knots introduces wear on the rope above and beyond the wear of loading the knot.
- makes adjusting super easy - sliding the bury splice is extremely easy and very intuitive once you have done it once. I've started making Solomon Bars on my Whoopie Slings to use as markers that I can slide on the rope to mark a certain spot. For me, it makes adjusting the sling even easier. Google "Solomon bar" and you'll find several videos on how to tie one.
- no slippage - I learned very quickly, that a proper bury splice loaded on both ends of the bury like a Whoopie Sling or buried eye splice, does not slip under load. On webbing, I have used cam locking buckles and ring buckles. On rope I have used rings, zig zag cleats, the Hitchcraft rope cleat and Carabiners. All of the hardware I have used has at least 3 disadvantages:
- weight - this can be very significant for some of the hardware
- slippage - all of the hardware I used has slipped on me at least once until I learned to use a safety half-hitch
- wear - the hardware is, well, hard and it abrades the rope or webbing and can significantly shorten the life of either rope or webbing.
- no hardware - this is one of the central things about the bury splice that I really like. Like a knot, I don't need anything other than the rope itself. Unlike a knot I retain, for all practical purposes, the full strength of the rope.
What's not to like about the Whoopie Sling for the hammock suspension??