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Old 12-11-2009
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To weigh in here on some of this:
-Tying the turnbuckles together does not work as the threaded stud on the shroud end of the turnbuckle is free to loosen and the windings of the wire rigging will provide the force to loosen it.

- Sanduskysailor is absolutely right that Ring dings can in fact get snagged and pulled out by flailing rigging, and it surprising how quickly a stud will unwind from a turnbuckle, at the very least loosing the stay and at the worst allowing the stay to come undone. That said I have used them for years and only seen that happen a couple times. If I sailed in an area where the conditions were routinely windy and the chop worse (like San Francisco) I would not use ring-dings. Here on the Chesapeake they work well enough but as I write this I am thinking that I have procastinated too long in making up a set of PVC turnbuckle covers.

-While I have used ring dings for years to keep the turnbuckle from turning, I haved always used cotter pins in the clevis pins.

- Have also sailed on boats that had the velco wrap pins. This really is a good product for a one design boats like a J-22 (although J-22's around here seem to use tubular turnbuckles with locknuts a set-up that I don't especially like for a bigger boat) or J-105 where rig tension is important and gets changed with some degree of frequency.

-I don't think that velcro wrap pins, ring-dings or cotter pind make much of difference once the rig comes down. Jettisoning a rig is a bear, but trying to un-turn a turnbuckle after the rig comes down gets nearly imposible. Whether you cut off a ring-ding, cotter key or a wrapped cotter, that is the least of the problem. The nearly impossible part is turning loose the turnbuckle body. I had to do this on a Folkboat with the stub of mast threatening to pierce the planking and it was incredibly difficult. I cannot begin to imagine backing off a turnbuckle with the rig down on a bigger boat.

The standard advice for offshore cruisers is to carry big enough bolt cutters to sheer off the standing rigging, but if you have ever tried to sheer a heavy peice of rigging wire even with a very high quality bolt cutter it is not exactly like slicing butter. Add to that the impossible motion of a sailboat without its rig, I am not sure that there is a good solution for a good size boat to jetison its rig quickly.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
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