Sailboat control lines come in all different kinds – single braids, double brands, and blends of Vectran, Dyneema, and polyester. What you may have found out the hard way (in some cases) is that these lines don’t all behave the same way when hit with a Hot Knife or lighter and that sometimes it isn’t practical to make a permanent termination with an End Whip, although this is always our recommended method.
We’ve broken it down for you into a few simple DIY ways to keep your line ends from fraying without using a hot knife.
First is heat shrink — by slipping a piece of Shrink Whip (just slightly larger than the diameter of the rope) over the end of the rope, heating it until it contracts, then snipping it with a sharp pair of Shears, you can keep the strands from separating and fraying.
Another way to keep the ends together is by using tape. We’ve used Rigging Tape, but your everyday masking tape works just as well. By simply wrapping the line with tape about twice around, then snipping in the middle of the tape, you’ll get a nice clean end. Although this is not as permanent as the heat shrink method, it will work really well until you can whip the ends.