In the spirit of "Meet the Robinsons" (a great movie, by the way), I am proud to report that I FAILED!!
I happily crawled into my new DIY gathered end hammock (eventually to evolve into a WBBB clone, with addition of side panels, pull outs, footbox, bugnet) for my very first night sleeping in a hammock... ever. Something didn't feel right. Even laying diagonal, I couldn't get flat or comfortable. I was just about to get out and move the brand new whoopie out further to the end when I heard the dreaded ripping sound. I felt around trying to find it, but nothing.
Must have been the tree strap stretching (darn stretchy tree straps!), I thought.
Then I heard it again.
This time when I felt around up by the head end whipping I poked my whole hand through a hole.
As I tried to carefully turn to swing my legs over the edge and get out, the whole thing failed.
Lucky for me, I was only a foot or so from the ground, and the only thing injured was my pride.
I have a guess why it failed, but am hoping for a second (or more) opinions.
I'm 6'4" tall, ~190Lb, and cramped in my friend's HH Explorer Asym. I'm also brand new at all things hammock related and not sure what length hammock will fit me best. I plan to use my hammock for backpacking, so the plan was to start long, and trim down after some experimenting to find the right length. No need carrying around excess fabric and stick out from under the ends of my fancy new 12x10 hex tarp.
Starting fabric dimensions were 12'8" x 5'. Fabric is a Polyester/Nylon blend taffeta from Hancock Fabrics. I don't know the weight, but it feels thicker and heavier than my 1.9 oz sil ripstop. I hemmed the sides, then hemmed the ends, leaving a channel for the whipping line. I mostly followed Knotty's directions for the gathered end hammock whipping.
And all was right in the world.
Well, sort of.
This thing was HUGE. I felt like I had to be able to shorten it.
I read where someone used a descender ring like a napkin roll to experiment with different lengths (sorry, not sure which thread that was in). I made a small paracord loop and started sliding it in from the head of the hammock to see where it started to feel too short. Then I moved it back towards the head end a bit to try to dial in the right length.
Awesome! I found what felt like just the right length. Man that thing was comfortable! Well, it was comfortable for the 10 minutes that I was in it. I figured I needed to sleep in it overnight at least once before deciding on the final length, cutting it down, and re-whipping.
So, I finally got my whoopie slings done yesterday. Mostly finished the tarp the day before. Forecast was for a low of 68F last night, maybe with some rain. Seemed like the perfect time to test everything out.
The things that I did different than Knotty's video were a) slide the larks head at the end of the whoopie in past the whipping to where my little paracord loop was... the one that I was using to adjust the length of the hammock body, b) didn't use ripstop, c) I used HC4U's loop thingy to attach the ridgeline through the whipping instead of looping it over the end of the whoopie. However, the loop thingy pulled out and I ended up tying it off at the whoopie, so I guess it ended up being knotty's way. d) had a figure 8 at the end of my whoopie instead of an eye splice.
When the fabric failed, the tear started in the center and spread in a straight line across the fabric to the side hems. It tore on the hammock body side of the whoopie larks head. So, I'm guessing there was just too much strain on the fabric on the hammock side of the whoopie (as opposed to on the tree side of the whoopie).
Hmmm. Also, since the hammock was soooo long, and the whoopies added a foot to each end, I couldn't find ideally spaced trees. I was using trees around 20 feet apart. I had to pull the whoopies fairly tight before getting in to keep it from sagging so much that I touched the ground.
I suspect this added considerably to the strain on the fabric.
When I started writing this I felt pretty confident that the failure was due to connecting the whoopie's larks head too far in from the bundle created by the whipping. However, I'm having trouble visualizing how the whipped end would relieve much/any of the strain, as the larks head appears to constrict the same no matter where along the hammock body it is attached. I'm wondering now if the bigger contributor may have been the tension on the whole setup caused by setting up on trees that were too far apart.
Sorry to be so long-winded. Just trying to fill in any info I think could be useful in sorting out what happened.
So, what do you think caused the failure?
BTW, The rip was at the place I was going to cut to shorten the hammock. So, if I can sort out the likely cause and feel confident that it won't happen again, then I'll just hem that edge, whip, and use at the current length.
(ie. if it was just that I used the wrong fabric, then I'll trash this, else, I'll correct the issues and reuse this decapitated hammock body)