Group: Forum Members
Not sure about best, but the following is my take:
A splice is always stronger than a knot.
My take on splices is that, for most of us, it is better to let a pro do the splice (with braid, stranded line I still do all my own splices). If you are doing them all the time, you just do a better job. I gave up doing them after learning to splice braid years ago, as I found my occasional (once every couple of years) efforts while perhaps strong enough suffered from looks and the tapers were not so functional.
For conventional line, a buntline hitch is an excellent knot to attach a shackle to a halyard. A bowline is not recommended as the nature of its construction is such that it keeps the halyard from being raised full hoist. The buntline hitch is essentially a slip knot that jams on itself. It is a very secure knot, but can be a bear to untie, which luckily is rarely necessary for halyard to shackle connections.
For high modulus halyards I would generally have a pro doing a splice as HM lines lose more of their strength when knotted and the core can slip through knots. I do not have a lot of experience with knots in HM lines, but when I do use them I always secure the core to the outer layer with stitching and make sure that the strength of my HM line is overkill for the job as the knot will compromise strength to a greater extent. This has worked for me as my halyards are HM line and for two of them I have turned end for end and cut off the splice and used buntline hitches to secure the “new” end to the shackle.
Spliced halyards should all have a “knob” of some sort to keep the splice from being drawn into the sheave and jamming. With a hitch this is unnecessary as the knot will be the “stopper” at the sheave.
Come back with questions/comments.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy