Islander 36 Conversion: Making the Deadeyes

Once the length of the stays has been measured, manufacturing of the synthetic rigging can begin! The total length of the stay is a combination of all the components involved. 

At the top of the shroud, you will have the mast attachment components, and at the bottom of the stay, you will have a system for tensioning the stay. The length of all of these components needs to be subtracted from the length of the shroud to tell you how long your synthetic stay needs to be from eye splice to eye splice.

Before you can make the eye splices in your stay, you need to know exactly how long all of these components are, meaning you need to assemble everything before you can put the eye splices in the stays. 

The first step will be to manufacture the deadeyes. Each deadeye consumes four feet of line and is a bit of a tedious process. It is important to make all the deadeyes first, before you start making the stays. Having the finished deadeyes will let you measure the entire ends of the shroud and calculate how long the stay needs to be.

For the Islander 36, we will need to make one deadeye for the backstay and eight deadeyes for the shrouds, since it is a double spreader rig. This means that nine deadeyes in total must be manufactured. 


These dyneema loops are called grommets. They are made by creating a mobius brummel splice in the line, connecting the two ends together in a way that they can not slide open under pressure. The splice actually locks the two ends together in a fair and low stress method with the tails buried within the length of the grommet. 

The lot of these grommets took me just under seven hours to make, and it was a very tedious process. The next step will be to insert the stainless steel thimbles and tie a seizing knot in the middle to hold everything together. For more details on how to make a dyneema deadeye, check out the link below.

I didn't service the ends of these deadeyes like I did when I made my first set because the service is completely unnecessary. My thought process when I made the first ones was that the lashings might chafe the fibers of the deadeye as they run by it. The reality is the lashings do not chafe on the deadeyes because they are led by the thimble and never contact the deadeye. Secondly, as the deadeye creeps into place, the bluk of the deadeye thins and the service become loose on the deadeye and begins to unravel. Servicing the ends of the deadeyes took more than an hour per deadeye and was completely unnecessary. While it did add a splash of contrasting color to the deadeye, it ends up being a rather expensive feature that offers no additional benefit to the deadeye. If it is requested, the ends of the deadeye can be serviced with whipping twine, but it will add considerably to the labor time involved in manufacturing the synthetic standing rigging.

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