- Put net over old nets, tie out all 4 corners with scrap line, then cut away old net.
- (Optional, but helpful). Using large zip ties zip tie the net every 4-6 lacing points and pull as tight as the zip ties will allow.
- Establish lacing pattern all 4 sides (double lacing pattern as shown in drawing). Start with a small bowline & run the line through each side in the correct pattern, the net will be small at this point and you might not have enough line to complete as the net will be far away from the edge. Temporarily terminate ends with a half hitch or two and DO NOT CUT LINE.
- After the lacing pattern is established on all 4 sides go back and start tensioning each side. Keep the net roughly centered pulling a few inches out of the gap on each side by working the line tension from bowline to line end…finish with a temporary half hitch or two. After all 4 sides have been tensioned take a minute to cuss at me and swear there’s no way the net’s big enough (don’t call me about that yet though). Then walk all over the very bouncy net with 2 or 3 people for initial break-in.
- Repeat 3.
- Repeat 3, but you might be able to skip the cussing at me part because you’re probably starting to think the net just might fit.
- Repeat 3. You might have it at this point or you might need to repeat 1 more time. The net should be 2-1/2” to 3” from the edge now and should be a good, taut trampoline. When you’re ready to call it good, terminate the ends with 7-12 half hitches. Leave at least 3’ of excess line when you cut as you will want to retention again in 1-4 months. Tie up the excess line and hide it as best you can.
Enjoy lunch if you’re a pro, dinner if you’re not.
- Lay the new net out onto the old net and make sure it is oriented correctly.
- Attach temporary lines to the corners of the net and tie to the structure somewhere so that the net will be held in
- Remove the old net and free up all of the lacing points.
- Starting from a corner begin running the lacing line loosely through the grommets and lacing points following the
intended lacing pattern. If the line has been pre-cut it will probably not go the full length of a side because the
lacing gap is larger. Just go as far as you can and tie it off. Do not tighten the lacing line yet keep it loose
with a larger lacing gap.
- Continue running the lacing line loosely on the next side of the net until all sides of the net are supported with
loose lacing. Some nets, especially those made on a diagonal configuration, can be distorted easily, overstretched
in one direction making them smaller in the other, so it is important not to start tightening the lacing until all
sides are supported.
- Once all sides are supported, gradually start tightening the lacing line starting on the side with the largest gap.
Gloves can be helpful at this point to prevent blisters. Pull the line from one grommet at a time working the slack
down the side. Do not try and tighten one side completely, work gradually, tie the line off and move to the next side
with the next largest gap. Try to keep the net centered as it stretches out.
- Walk around on the net to help stretch it out, and then re-tension, pulling the line from one grommet at a time
working the slack down the side of the net. As the net starts to get tight a pair of pliers can be helpful in grabbing
and pulling the line.
- When you are satisfied with the net tension, make an additional wrap of the line around the corner grommet and tie the
end of the line off with 3 half hitches at the lacing point. This will hold and allow you to untie the knots later on if
re-tensioning is necessary.
- Cut the excess line and melt or whip the ends.
Additional installation considerations for nets with alternate border types
A Boltrope is a hard, non-compressible rope sewn into the border of a net that will slide into a track,
mounted on the structure. It holds the net without requiring any lacing or providing any means of
tensioning. Nets with boltrope on one or more sides will need to insert the boltrope into the tracks
before any lacing is done. Make sure the track is clean and free of burrs. The ends of the track should
be rounded, not sharp, use a file or sandpaper if necessary to round any edge that might touch the boltrope
or the net. A lubricant can be helpful if the boltrope is a tight fit, WD-40, Silicone or soap will work.
If the net has boltrope on opposite sides these will need to be inserted simultaneously, easier with 2
people, but possible with one alternating sides pulling just a few inches or cm at a time. Once all of the
boltropes are in the tracks follow the general tensioning procedure for the tensioning sides.
Nets can be attached to cables by lacing or with sleeves. If the net laces to the cable you would
just follow the General Tensioning Procedure as described above. On Nets with sleeves for cables
you will need to disconnect and insert the cable through the sleeves and re-connect it before attaching
any lacing sides (but after inserting boltrope if your net has both). The amount of tension to put on
the cable will depend on the amount of Catenary curvature designed into the net. If the net was designed
with a minimal amount of curvature (around 40:1 length to cord ratio) then you should tighten the cable
hard and straight. If the net was made with more than the minimum curvature (i.e. smaller ratio) then
you should tighten the cable until it has about half of the curve cord measure with the loose weight
of the net hanging on it (no lacing).
This will be a starting point and you may need to adjust the cable turnbuckle or lashing as the net is
tensioned. Tie the remaining corners of the net with temporary lines to hold the net in place and start
lacing the tensioning sides of the net as described above but monitor the cable curve as the net stretches
out. It would be best to have a tight reference line (small cord) drawn from the Cable pad eyes to measure
the curve. If the cable is curving too much and needs to be tightened you may need to loosen up the lacing
on the net to do this and then re-tension the lacing. If you are using synthetic lines be aware of
elongation. Dyneema lines should be pre-stretched to get to their elongated length before final tensioning
of the net.
Internal Tension Lines support the net similar to a Cable in a sleeve, across an unsupported side
to strong Pad Eyes at the corners of the opening. They are usually finished with spliced eyes
and stainless steel thimbles at the ends. These ends will need to be lashed to Pad Eyes at the corner
of the opening before the rest of the net is attached. Using a slightly smaller line than for
lacing, 7/64” or 1/8”, tie a bowline to the eye on the end of the tension line and run the loose
end of the line through the Pad Eye. Run the line through both the Tension Line eye and the
Pad Eye 3 more times, passing through each in the same direction, so that you have 7 lines total
running between the 2 eyes. Tie the line off with half hitches around the bundle of all 7 lines.
Do this loosely on both ends before trying to tension the lashing.
Just as with Cables, Internal Tension lines will have a catenary curve. The lashings at each end should
be gradually tightened, with the gaps between the net and the opening equal on both sides, until the
curvature of the tension line, with the net hanging loose on it, is about half of the designed amount of
At this point, using the general tensioning procedure above, begin lacing the remaining sides of the
net. Monitor the increasing curvature in the Tension Line, and if necessary adjust the lashings so that
the curve ends up near the designed amount when the net is completely tensioned. Note that it will be
nearly impossible to tighten these lashings when the net is tight, so any adjustments should be made
before the net gets completely tight, and if necessary the net may need to be loosened in order to adjust
the Tension Line lashings. Finish the lashings off with 3 or more half hitches around the bundle of lines
snugged up tight to the Pad Eye.
Nets with Rope Borders have rope woven through the netting at the perimeter, and spliced together
to form a closed loop around the net. Since rope borders have practically no stiffness when loose,
in order to support the netting between lacing points, they should be under significant tension.
This tension must be applied from the corners where the rope border makes a turn. At every point
where the perimeter of the net makes a turn, lash the rope border to a lacing point on the opening
with 6 or 7 passes of line. Do this loosely at first and then gradually tighten up the lashings so
that all corners of the net are an equal distance from the opening. These lashings should be tightened
as much as possible so that the Rope Border is hard and stiff and not easily bent. It is important that
the lacing points that the corners of the net are lashed to be strong enough to hold the extra stress.
After all corners of the net are lashed tight then the sides of the net can be laced and tensioned as
described above in the Standard Tensioning Procedure.
With the new net laid out on top of the old net, insert the battens, one at a time, through all of the
webbing loops on each side of the net. The 1/8” lines attached to the battens will be tied off to lacing
points on the boat to control the batten rotation and movement. The battens should be cut slightly
longer than the side of the net they are intended for, so that when all battens are inserted they should
overlap in the corners. Position the battens so that the rotation control lines are free of the net
webbing loops, there should be an extra hole nearby if the line needs to be moved to clear a webbing loop.
Begin lacing the net up, loosely at first, until all sides are laced. Then gradually tighten the lacing
around the net, working the slack line toward the corners. Tighten most on the sides with the largest
gap, so that the net becomes centered in the opening with an even lacing gap on all sides. As you tension,
keep an eye on the battens to be sure they remain overlapped in the corners, the battens will become
difficult to move after the net is fully tensioned. Repeat this several times until the net seems tight,
walk around on the net and then repeat the tensioning again.
The overlapping battens will need to be cut back to install the End Caps. Measure back from the center of
the overlap 1-1/8” and cut the battens off square with a hand saw. If the space is to tight for a saw, a
hack saw blade will work.
Unbolt the set of End Caps if they are bolted together, slip the End Caps over the batten ends so that the
set screw holes face inward, and line up the bolt holes. Insert the shoulder bolt and attach the lock nut.
Tighten with the wrenches. The End Caps are designed to fit loosely over the battens so that the net can
be retensioned as necessary.
A 3/16” hole can be drilled near the end of each end cap for a #8 x 1/2” set screw. In most situations,
where the batten is held by end caps at both ends these set screws should Not Be Used. If both ends of
the batten are not fitted with end caps, these screws should be installed, on that end cap only. To install
the set screw, drill an 1/8” hole into the batten through the hole in the end cap, and then screw in the set