Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Sailing

Something magical happens on the Chesapeake after Labor Day. All the kids are back in school, vacations are over and the power boaters begin winterizing their boats; yet the winds start picking up after the August doldrums, the water is still warm enough for swimming and your favorite anchorages remind you of why they became your favorites in the first place. Simply put, September is a wonderful time to be a sailor on the Bay!

Although Phoenix’s interior is by no means finished, we have more than the basic essentials at this point to enjoy some time on the hook. So when my parents decided to come out for a week to celebrate Mom’s birthday, we decided the perfect birthday treat would be a September sail. The past few weeks were a bit cooler and wetter than we had hoped, but we were able to get some sailing in and to share one of our favorite anchorages with them.

We set off on a Sunday afternoon with NW winds at 10-15 knots (generally 10 with some puffs to 15).  We motored out of the creek for a bit to top off the batteries, and with the new MaxProp we installed in August, Phoenix motors like a champ! Once we raised the sails, we sailed on a beam reach for several hours to our chosen destination, hitting mostly 6s and 7s the entire trip. This was one of our first trips with the clean bottom and new prop, and we were much happier with her performance.

Phoenix under sail in light air

We arrived just in time for happy hour, and once the anchor was set, Mom and Bill headed down below to prep the cocktails and appetizers.

Mom and Bill getting ready for happy hour
September’s magic was in full effect and we were the only boat in the anchorage – just us and the bald eagles, blue herons, ospreys and sea gulls. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset, but it was too chilly to stay up top for dinner, so we retired to the main cabin for the rest of the evening’s festivities.

An anchorage to ourselves!

Serenity at its finest!

Our time at anchor was packed with activities: walks on the beach, dinghy rides, swimming, and of course, lots of fun!

Mom and Dad exploring the beach

Ahoy matey!

Pick Me, Squeeze Me, Make Me Wine for more sailing!

Dad hamming it up in the dinghy!

Perfect morning for a swim

Mom checking the anchor
We couldn’t have asked for a better time, though a predicted change in weather (40+ knot winds with a cold front approaching) made us decide to cut the trip short and head back home. We motored most of the way home through some decent chop with 20-25 knot winds (some gusts to 30) on the nose pretty much the entire trip. Despite the headwinds we were still doing 6.5/7 over the bottom at only 1,600 rpm. Like I said the new MaxProp rocks!

On our way back home

Man of War Shoals
Regardless of the weather, we made the most of the trip and are glad we were able to share the memories with Mom and Dad. If only they lived closer; they could experience more of the wonders on the Bay.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Finally Sailing!

It’s been a whirlwind summer for us here on the Chesapeake, Bill announced his retirement so we can start gearing up for cruising, and after many years (the previous owners had the boat up on the hard for more than 10 years), Phoenix had a MAJOR milestone and is sailing again!

We were fortunate enough to have Bruce Bingham and the Wiles join us for her sailing debut and have been able to take her out a handful of times this summer in between projects.

Prior to our guests’ arrival, we pulled Phoenix for a short haul and power wash – new bottom paint was on the to do list but not something we were able to get to before their arrival in June. We had fairly light winds that first sail, but we were so excited to finally have her out, it didn’t matter! She performed respectfully that first sail, close hauled in 5-10 knots until the winds died, then we finally had to motor up and return home.

Heading out on our first sail!

Bruce and Bill discussing the finer points of mainsail trim

Elisa and Bruce trimming the genoa
One thing we learned from this initial sail and from sailing her sister ship Eager Dreamer, the Andromeda design is surprisingly tender and the boat likes to heel, especially when close hauled. Even though she weighs nearly 40,000 lbs, when close hauled she will lay over, even in light winds.

I should also mention that Phoenix’s headsail is a monster – a 140% genoa whose car leads, when close hauled, are almost back into the first ports of the aft cabin – just forward of the mizzen shrouds! This, combined with our new, super-stiff 9 oz main, and she can be a bit of a handful! But I digress…

Bruce trimming the headsail. Notice where the car lead is (WAY behind him)

The new main

After our light air sail, we decided to take her out a few times in somewhat better air: NW winds 10-15 knots – and again playing around close hauled with the main and headsail. Not only was she tender but there was some definite weather helm the closer we pointed upwind. After letting up a bit on the main sheeting, she settled in and started to find her groove (Bruce would have had a fit at the twist we had in the main, but thankfully he was back in Florida at the time). We were a little disappointed in her speeds (5s and just hitting 6) but could definitely tell we had new growth on the bottom causing some drag in addition to  the drag caused by the freewheeling fixed 3 blade prop..

Close hauled

Close up of our Phoenix insignia
Back at home we did a quick inspection and saw she had at least an inch of mussel growth below the waterline! It had been less than a month since our short haul! We later learned we weren’t alone and this has been a particularly bad year for bottom growth throughout the Bay and especially on our creek. Perhaps it was the early warm weather, though others blame the Tall Ships coming in for the 1812 Sailabration; but any way you slice it, the normal barnacle growth was overrun with small mussels and even the marina couldn’t believe the amount of growth we had in the weeks between our short haul and haul out for fresh bottom paint.

We were out of the water for less than two weeks (more about that later), but once back in the water with a clean bottom and new feathering MaxProp and we had a totally different sailing experience. First and foremost, no more annoying freewheeling – drag or noise – while under sail. She also gets up to speed much faster than with the old, fixed prop. Again in NW winds 10-15 knots, but this time at a beam reach, she was comfortably heeling and settling in around 7 knots. We sheeted out the main again a bit to help reduce weather helm, and will incorporate a vang in the future to reduce some twist.

We have A LOT more tinkering to do to really get a feel for Phoenix and to figure out everything she’s capable of. One of the great things about the ketch rig is the numerous sail configurations we’ll have at our disposal, but so far we’ve really only played with the main and genoa. Now that we have her sailing, we’ll be able to play with and tweak the rigging, try different sail configurations and really see what she can do. Stay tuned; you’ve heard about some of the projects, but the sailing/cruising log is just getting started!

Happy Sailing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Making a Storm Dodger for the Aft Cabin Hatch

Nothing is worse than hanging out down below in the rain with the boat closed up and no ventilation! If you’re anything like us, you want to keep your boat as open as possible while onboard and maximize airflow whenever you can. Our 4-way wind scoop is great in fair weather, but we needed something a bit more substantial in a squall. We’ll make a storm dodger for the foredeck in the coming months (with a much different design), but since the aft hatch is directly over the bed in our master stateroom, increasing ventilation and keeping it dry was a top priority.

Our aft cabin hatch is essentially square, has a 3”rise off the deck, and opens aft to help draw the air out of the boat. We toyed with designing it to open both fore and aft, but our hard top dodger and bimini spoil the airflow over the aft cabin, so we kept it simple and minimized the extra hardware.

Aft Hatch closed
Another consideration was overall windage – we already have plenty of that! So a hatch dodger seemed a better choice than an awning or boom tent.

We began by looking at several different design options and finally settled on one we found in Karen Lipe’s book more Boat Canvas, but with a few modifications of our own…  (As an interesting side note/coincidence, we learned that Bruce Bingham did the cover illustration for this book when he was here for the Andromeda party).

Step one was to determine how high we’d like the hatch open underneath the dodger. Approximately 45° seemed about right to us the maximum and we can always lower it if the winds are really blowing. Then came the measurements. We started by measuring the basic hatch dimensions, as illustrated below.

Opened and ready for measuring

Note that the length “A” is determined by the distance you want your dodger to extend out away from the hatch, “E” is the height with the hatch opened, “G” is the width of the hatch at the closed end, and “F” is the width at the base on the open end, which will come into play if you add the optional “splash guard” panel we’ll describe later.

Once our measurements were complete, we laid out our Sunbrella fabric and mapped out 3 panels (using measurements A through E) – one top panels and 2 sides – and added a 1” hem allowance to all edges. The panels were cut out, stapled together, then checked for fit on the opened hatch.

Stapled and checking for fit

When we were satisfied with the fit, the three panels were sewn together and the edges hemmed with ½” double hems. Since we installed twist locks (aka common sense fasteners) to the base of the hatch for our everyday hatch covers, we were able to use the same fasteners to secure the hatch dodger. With the dodger in place, I marked the location of each twist lock stud, sewed a 1”wide piece of webbing to the inside of the dodger in each spot for added reinforcement, and installed the corresponding eyelets. An additional length of 1” webbing was used to secure a stainless steel O-ring to the top edge so we could tie the dodger’s overhang to the stern pulpit.

Dodger in place, facing aft
After looking at the design, we decided we needed a “splash guard” to prevent any driving rain from bouncing off the deck and down the hatch. We played around with different heights, and finally decided that a finished height of 4” would be enough to keep water out without reducing the airflow too much. Using our previous measurement “F,” we mapped out a rectangular piece of Sunbrella to fit, added our seam allowances, cut and hemmed the piece. We checked for fit, attached the new piece to the two sides of the dodger, added the webbing reinforcement and eyelets, and our creation was complete!

Side view

Splash guard in place

Sunday, July 15, 2012

From the Galley: Jicama Coleslaw Recipe

This is one of our favorite summer salad recipes, and a nice departure from your typical coleslaw. Whether serving it in fish tacos or as a side salad with BBQ ribs or chicken, the flavors are really refreshing and the cayenne gives it just a hint of a kick. 

It does make a large batch, but it’s always a party favorite, it s a breeze to make, and got rave reviews at the Andromeda party. Plus, unlike typical coleslaw, the jicama will hold its crunch and not get soggy, so you’ll enjoy the leftovers as well.

Yield: Makes 8 cups

Jicama-Cilantro Coleslaw

1 large jicama, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 head green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 - 2 limes (enough for 3 tablespoons juice)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

Toss jicama, cabbage, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Let stand, covered, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate the rind from the lime, and squeeze juice to measure 3 tablespoons. Stir together rind, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add to the cabbage mixture and toss well. Toss in cilantro, stirring to coat.

Refrigerate for a few hours (or even overnight) to let all the flavors meld, and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name…

So much has happened in the past month and we have quite a backlog of things to share. Bruce Bingham, Gary, Lana and the Eager Dreamer clan (the Wybranski family) all came out, along with some of our close friends, for Andromeda-fest 2012. Perhaps as we discover more Andromeda’s out there our numbers will grown into a true gala event, but with only 2 boats, it will remain a “fest” for now and we will share the highlights soon. J

In the meantime, you may recall our posting on Phoenix’s Origins, how we discovered that she was an Andromeda, and how we met Gary, Lana and Bruce in the first place. Fast forward to Bruce’s arrival and upon first glance telling us that she is NOT an Andromeda, but a Christina. Now we were really confused…

Bruce designed both boats in the 60s and the Christina is simply a modified version of the Andromeda. Our understanding is that the key distinguishing characteristics in our design are:
  • Single, rather than double ports in the hull
  • The bulwarks are slightly taller and have more flair
  • Squared rather than “bubble” cabin tops
  • Slightly fuller, more pointed canoe stern
Beyond that, the LOA, LWL, beam, displacement, etc. are the same. When we began our blog we said we were a “highly modified Andromeda,” but apparently we didn’t know the half of it! We were crediting all of the previous owners and ourselves for her modifications, though some were there from the start!

Gary and Lana have the line drawings comparing the two designs tucked away in an attic somewhere, and we hope to get a copy some day so we can do a more proper comparison. Call her an Andromeda or a Christina if you’d like, but soon we’ll be calling her home.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Building a Custom Salon Table

It’s no secret that Bill and I love to hit the flea markets -- you never know what kind of treasures you’re going to find! One particular "gem" eventually morphed into our salon table. Well, sort of...

Phoenix’s salon table was another item that was MIA when we bought the boat, and we weren’t settled on what type of table we wanted to make. We looked at several designs, got quotes from marine carpenters that were absolutely outrageous (not to mention impractical -- no room for a regular sized plate!) and once again decided we would create something ourselves.

We found an Ethan Allen solid cherry harvest (drop leaf) table at the local flea market, and negotiated it down to $5. At that price, we couldn’t go wrong and if nothing else, it could serve as a prototype to help us visualize what we wanted. So we took it home and went to work.

Bill removing the drop leaves
The first thing we decided was that we didn’t want the drop leaves; we preferred a table that you could comfortably sit at without hitting your knees on a leaf, and that could expand without disturbing anyone sitting at the table. A gimbaled design was out for a similar reason -- we didn’t want to hit our knees or feet on the counter weights (and they are a pain to make).

We also decided that we wanted the table to run parallel to the seating area rather than the center line of the boat. Not the most traditional look but aesthetically it looked better to us and it strategically moved the corner of the table away from the companionway ladder base (to help avoid any potential accidents when coming down the steep ladder). And the table base needed to be very strong and sturdy, yet light at the same time (in case we needed to move it to get to the tanks under the floor boards).

Since the seating is on an angle, we decided to make the table more of a parallelogram than a traditional rectangle. I mean, why make the project easy? And we determined that two leaves would give us the flexibility we wanted for entertaining, sewing, laying out charts, etc.

After putting the bargain table in place to check the fit and take measurements, Bill started to part out the table. He removed the leaves and table base and then decided we could use the remaining tabletop in our design. He cut the ends on an angle to match the seating area, rounded the corners, and then cut the table in half lengthwise. I laminated almond colored Formica to the two pieces, while he planed some teak boards to trim the inner edge. The trim pieces were affixed with epoxy and stainless nails. 

Never can have enough clamps!
Meanwhile, Bill designed the metal framing for the table base, and had our friend and local metal fabricator make it and the backing plates out of aluminum. We zinc coated and then painted the completed frame and found wooden sliders to open the table for the leaves. 

Table base and sliders

Close up of the backing plates

Ready for leaves and trim edges!
We wanted the leaves to contrast with the tabletop, so Bill made those out of solid teak. The boards were cut 7” wide, edges were run through the joiner, the faces planed, and the ends cut to match the length and angle of our parallelogram-shaped table. 

Leaves cut to length
Then came the fun part of manufacturing custom teak trim to edge the table and leaves. We found ourselves lamenting our “unique” table angle design at this part of the project, but Bill’s templating and woodworking skills almost made this part of the project look easy! The trim pieces were also affixed with epoxy and stainless nails, and all nail holes were filled with a mixture of epoxy and teak dust. Everything was sanded fair, hardware was installed, the tabletop was attached to the base, and it was time for finish work.

Hardware's installed and getting ready for poly
Additional hardware was added under the tabletop to lock the table halves and/or leaves in place as needed to seat more people. When the leaves are added the whole top can be moved to allow easy access to the seating, and then slid back and locked into position once everyone is seated. The “lock” for the sliders is simply a long stainless pin with retaining pin that can be placed in different pre-drilled locations perpendicular to the slider.

After taping off and applying several coats of polyurethane to the teak, the table was finally ready for install. We carried the table down to the boat, determined the desired placement and through bolted the table and backing plates to the cabin sole. 

All taped off
The end result is A LOT different than the original $5 table, but we're very happy with the way the project turned out and the flexibility we have with the main salon! (Pay no attention to the cabin sole, that's another project!)

Table without leaves

1 leaf option, and slid towards the seating area

Both leaves in place and ready for party-mode!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

From the Galley: Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Not sure which one of us enjoys cooking more, but trying and/or creating new recipes is definitely a big part of our lives -- both on and off the water. As we prepare for cruising we're always thinking of ways to adapt our eating habits to a cruising lifestyle, and how we would make our favorite dishes onboard.

One of the things we're looking forward to most is experiencing the different flavors of the countries/cultures we visit and learning new tricks, so to speak. But in the meantime, we'll start by sharing some of our favorite recipes that are staples in our life.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa was a sacred source of strength for the ancient Incas. It is technically a seed in the herb category, but is traditionally treated as a grain. Conventionally quiona is boiled, but the secret to this salad is steaming the quinoa, which gives it a light, fluffy texture.

This salad is quick/easy to prepare, but tastes best if made 1 day ahead (chilled, covered). Before serving, bring salad to room temperature. You could serve it as a vegetarian main dish, though we usually make it as a side dish for parties. It pairs well with grilled chicken, pork or shrimp.

Approx. prep time: 20-25 minutes
Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 as a side dish

1 1/2 cups quinoa (small disk-shaped seeds)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked corn or 1 can cooked corn
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup (or more if you like) finely chopped fresh cilantro

For dressing
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Make dressing In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.

In a colander, thoroughly wash quinoa with cold water.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in fine-meshed sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and cilantro and toss well.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, April 30, 2012

4-Way Wind Scoop

One of the things we've learned while anchoring in the Chesapeake is the importance of a wind scoop! The summers here can get pretty steamy and anything you can do to increase airflow down below is vital for a comfortable night's sleep.

We had the original Windscoop Ventilator on board our previous boat which does a decent job, but when the wind shifts directions, you have to go up top and reposition the scoop accordingly. This wouldn't be an issue for a shallow drafted boat that points into the wind at anchor, but heavy boats like ours that draw 6' + don't always point into the wind and move with the current instead.

The Original Windscoop

There are several 3- or 4-way or "omni directional" wind scoops on the market, but the most common designs are narrower at top than at hatch level, which in our opinion loses a lot of air.

Plastimo's Omni-Directional Wind Scoop

And with "custom" hatch measurements, most commercial wind scoops wouldn't work with our hatch dimensions. So after looking at many designs on the market, we set out to design our own.

We wanted to maximize airflow as much as possible, so with the bowsprit and high free board, we needed a particularly tall scoop. We also wanted a rigid top that would keep its shape and withstand reasonable wind gusts. And we needed strong, yet light weight material that would move easily, along with a "skirt" that would help direct the airflow and keep the leeward scoop pieces neatly in place.

The result: a 6 1/2 foot tall scoop with four panels made from rip stop nylon. Each panel is wider at the top and tapers down to match the width of the hatch opening. The top is made of nylon flag material, which has better UV characteristics than regular rip stop. A fiberglassed piece of Luann is sandwiched between two pieces of the green nylon flag material to give the top some rigidity, and the 4 panels are sewn to the 4 sides of the top. We bound the four panel edges together with 3/8" Sunbrella binding tape, and attached tube webbing loops to all of the top and bottom to serve as attachment points. The "skirt" was made of Phifertex, which keeps the side panels in place without blocking too much air flow. (The first skirt was made of Sunbrella, but it really knocked down the air and was quickly replaced).

This design really drives the air down below -- you can feel the breeze coming out the cockpit and even flowing into the aft cabin! And whenever the wind changes, the wind scoop self adjusts, giving us one less thing to mess with!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Pressure is On!

June is a little over a month away and we still have a lot to do before Phoenix is ready for her close-up; well, at least her visit from Bruce Bingham and her first sail in nearly 20 years (not counting her 1,100 mile motor from Detroit -- that wasn't sailing)!

All the halyards are spliced, but not all installed. Bill's been hard at work getting the running rigging squared away. New topping lifts and outhauls are just about finished, to name just a few minor tweaks. Next on the list are mast wedges; once they're made we can put the sails on, do a little "dock sailing" and tune the standing rigging.

Of course, the bottom has become a wonderful barnacle farm over the past 7+ years that we've been working on her, so we'll take her to one of the local marinas for a short haul and power wash to tie us over. A full haul out and new bottom paint are slated for later this year -- after we get a chance to sail her a few times...

Fuel polishing system, running lights, getting the head somewhat functional, and the minor task of cleaning up our construction zone down below... I could keep going, but you get the point...

Guess I better quit writing and get to work!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Andromeda Specifications

The Andromeda ketch is a rare breed with an unknown number of fiberglass and/or Ferro-cement versions made by DIY enthusiasts/boat builders.  While the Andromeda is better known, Bruce Bingham made a slight variation in the bow and stern flair of the Andromeda design to create the "Christina" version.  Only 2 Christina fiberglass hulls were made in the Bingham factory, and to our knowledge, no Andromeda's were factory made. Bruce's book -- Ferro Cement Design Techniques and Application -- gives a great deal of insight into the Andromeda's design characteristics, and the line drawings highlight the subtle differences between the two versions.

Phoenix is hull #1 of the Christina line and an outlier among both the Christina's and Andromeda's, as she is the only one we know of with a bow sprit (extending the foot of the headsail for more sail area) and an additional stays’l rig (for a storm sail).  This will provide a variety of different sail configurations for the various sailing conditions we may encounter.

So, for those who are curious, here are the Andromeda specs (Phoenix is a Christina):

LOA                                     48' (54' for Phoenix with bow sprit)
LOD                                     48' (Christina version 49')
LWL                                     40'
Beam                                   14' 6"
Draft                                    6' 6"
Displacement                    38,000 lbs.
Ballast                                 19,000 lbs.
Sail area                              1,257 ft (100% foresail and mizzen)
Mast height                       57'   (above water line)
Sail Area/Displacement   17.9
               Water                   240 gallons
               Fuel                       228 gallons
               Holding                103 gallons

Reprinted with permission from Bruce Bingham

Monday, April 9, 2012

Double Braid Eye Splice

With the wire-to-rope splices done it was time to move on to the two remaining halyards -- the spinnaker and the staysail. These are all line, so they needed an eye splice with a thimble and shackle attached. Most people would start with the eye splice and graduate to the wire-to-rope, but I've never been one to follow conventional wisdom!

When you get the hang of it, eye splices are relatively easy; you just need the right tools for the job. Fids are essential, but ridiculously overpriced. New England ropes has a great chart detailing the appropriate "fid lengths," which vary depending on the size line you're using. Bill used the measurements (and diameters we found online) to make me several fids out of aluminum knitting needles. They were a huge savings, and since they come in pairs I was able to use one as a fid, and the uncut needles served as the "pushers" needed to push the fid and line through the splice.

Once you have all of the tools, you start by measuring one "fid" length on the end of your line. This will be the amount of cover that eventually gets inserted back into the line.

Next you determine the size eye you want to make, and make a second mark. In this case it was dictated by the size of the thimble. Move up the line about 5-6 more fid lengths, and tie a jamming knot. Then go back to your second mark and extract the core from the cover.

Hold on to the core and "milk" the cover towards your jamming knot and back again a few times to "equalize" the lines. Your core should now be a bit longer than the cover. Make one mark on the core where it now exits the cover. Pull more of the core out and make a mark one short fid from the initial mark. Then another mark 1 1/2 fid lengths further down the line.

To make a more streamlined splice, you should taper the cover before feeding it into the core. Extract a few strands every inch or so from your first mark down towards the end of the line and cut them flush with the cover. IF you are adding a shackle, this is also the time to slide it on the core -- it will be too late after this point.

Now, insert your fid into the core at the short fid mark, and feed it through until it exits from your third mark. Put your cover end into the fid and use a "pusher" to move the fid and cover through the core. Tie a small knot at the end of the cover so it doesn't go back in while you're working on the next step.

Feeding the core into the cover is a bit trickier, since it will be a tight fit towards the end of the splice and if you force it too much, it will bunch up an seize. Insert your fid into the core at your first mark, and feed it through, past the point where you originally extracted the core and keep going about a short fid length. If it gets to tight, pull more core out. This also helps ensure you didn't snag any lines along the way. Put the end of the core inside the fid and use your pusher to move the fid and core through the cover. Once it's through, pull it tightly to remove any bunching at the "cross-over" (essentially the juncture where the cover and core meet). Hold on to the cross-over and smooth the line out.

Taper the ends of both the cover and the core so they essentially disappear back into your splice.

Your splice is now essentially done, except it's a bit oversized and you need to milk the cover back over itself to close your splice. Find something secure (a winch, a fence post, etc.) and belay your jamming knot to it. Hold firmly on your splice and milk the cover back, keeping tension on your splice the entire time. IF you're using a thimble, make sure you put it in spot before the eye closes too much. Milk slowly, being careful not to bunch up the line. Give it a few tugs, snaps, bends, etc. until the core moves all the way around the eye. The bigger the line, the more tension, tugs and muscle you'll need to get the job done, but in the end, you'll have a great looking eye splice that maintains the full strength of the line!