Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses) - SailNet Community
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Question Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

New boat owner here (1969 Ericson 23). I'm going through all the goodies left on the boat from the previous owner, and among them I find four(!) headsails. All are hank-on type, and my headstay is non-furling. All the sails have Swedish snaps.

Unfortunately, all of the snaps also came with a thick coat of green corrosion. From experimenting, I've determined that soaking in a solution of vinegar and water will take off the corrosion. However, rather than unbend all the snaps, soak, and replace them all, I was thinking...

And I know this might be really dumb (I'm prepared for that), but I can't see why...

Why can't I use carabiners instead of Swedish snaps?
It seems like an obvious solution--lightning fast one-hand attachment to the headstay (instead of the two hands required for the Swedish snap), easy detachment, cheap, strong, versatile. The swedish snap honestly looks like a seriously outdated design, with the fact that it doesn't create a full loop for strength (like a carbiner does), that the spring inside can easily fail and then it doesn't close, and that to attach or detach requires you to bend the metal, weakening it.

My only hesitation is that I've never seen carabiners used as hanks. So either it's not done because it's not "how things are done", or there's actually a good reason for it. Are there downsides?

For that matter, looking around my boat, I can see all sorts of marine-type shackles where it seems a carabiner would perform much better (lifeline attachments, the ...thing.. that hangs my boom from the backstays, etc.)

Why do we see no carabiners in the boating world?

Thoughts?
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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

Just clean up the snaps , you don't have to take them off .That green, is "patina" and it is a badge of experience . Carbines are for mountain climbers . Welcome to SailNet !

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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

There is a good reason for plastic in this area.. it breaks.. rather then the sail ripping.. can save you much money!

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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

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Originally Posted by tzink View Post
Why do we see no carabiners in the boating world?

Thoughts?
Function. Carabiners have a habit of clipping on to anything they brush against, making them terrible for halyards and sheets. How would you like a halyard clipped to a shroud up high? It has happened.

Size. If you mean climbing biners, there is only one size. Often we want something smaller or stronger.

Corrosion. Wire gate biners do fine in most applications, but it they are wet constantly they will corrode and SS is better. Non-wire gate biners generally freeze-up very quickly--don't bother.

That said, there are limited but good applications. I use them to hang dingies, deflect mooring lines, rig MOB systems, secure fishing tackle, and park spare running rigging (faster than dealing with a snap shackle). If it is something you might otherwise use a SS marine carabiner for, a mountaineering carabiner is probably a better solution.
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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

I guess all those points make sense. Probably the most convincing is the prospect of having a halyard clipped to a shroud at the top of the mast while underway. I suppose you could use a screw-gate version to prevent this, but then it does take away some of the speed and ease factor.

In terms of corrosion, I was actually referring to the SS versions, not the aluminum ones. Does that make a difference?

What are the plastic hanks that you speak of denise?
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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

You can make soft shackles. Soft Shackle | How to tie the Soft Shackle | Splicing Knots
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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

The last edition of the volvo ocean race, they used carabiners for some of their sails. A bit overkill on a 23 footer.

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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

The Norway type bronze piston hanks are best cleaned/maintained (removing the green) by soaking them in lemon juice / citric acid then spraying on clear lacquer. No need to remove them from the sails for cleaning/maintenance.

Soft shackles are 'wonderful'. Their downside is that they take toooooo long to remove when the headsail has to come off ..... RIGHT NOW as in an emergency.

:-)

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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

A Wichard hank is basically a carabiner shape, but, much smaller.


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Re: Carabiners as jib hanks? (and other uses)

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A Wichard hank is basically a carabiner shape, but, much smaller.

Interesting. Still requires semi-permanent attachment on the sail side, however. Also, why brass? Isn't stainless steel more corrosion-resistant?

I'm thinking something like this:
Spring Clip SS T316 - 3-3/16" Length : Ratchet Straps, Tie Down Straps, E Track Tie Downs, Moving Blankets & Pads, Cargo Straps, U.S. Cargo Control

Maybe with these for the top 5 or so:
Oval Snap Hook w/ Screw Nut SS T316 - 3-3/16" Length : Ratchet Straps, Tie Down Straps, E Track Tie Downs, Moving Blankets & Pads, Cargo Straps, U.S. Cargo Control

What kind of load requirements are necessary for a hank on a boat this size (23')? The linked biners have WLL of 300-350 lbs
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hank , jib , rigging , swedish snap

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