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Old 02-26-2009
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What type of shackle to use on a halyard???

I'm going to be replacing my main and jib halyards this offseason and would like to know the rationale for using either a headboard or swivel snap shackle? I know the main typically has a headboard and the jib a swivel snap, but why, and can they be interchangeable?
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Last edited by EXS2; 02-27-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 02-27-2009
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I would use a locking halyard shackle and not a snap shackle. I once use a snap shackle on my spinnaker halyard and it let go while hoisting after getting caught in the "groove" between a lower shroud and the mast.
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Old 02-27-2009
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Traditionally, the reason for the headsail having a snap shackle, rather than a locking shackle like the mainsail was that the headsails were often changed regularly, since there was no really good way to reduce jib sail area in many cases, and the head sails were swapped out for smaller or larger ones as conditions changed. However, with the advent of roller furling headsails, this is far less necessary, and I'd highly recommend getting and using headboard type shackles on both the headsail and main sail.
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Old 02-27-2009
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On a spinnaker we generally get it under control and stuffed fast BUT you really need to able to POP everything off in a matter of seconds if things GO BAD



Tylaska are NOT coming open unless they should and will open with a full load when needed to get the boat under control again in nasty weather



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Old 02-27-2009
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Tommays—

He was talking about jib and main sails, not spinnakers.
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Old 02-27-2009
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I prefer snap shackles on the head sails (Wichard on my boat currently, and they work well). I change headsails often, and like to be able to do it quickly. If you are using a roller furler, a locking D shackle may be a little more reliable over time. I use the newer type Wichard snap shackle with a trigger release for the spinnaker. I too like to be able to release the head very quickly if there is a problem with the spinnaker. I've never had problems with this type of shackle on any of the boats I've races on.

I use "D" shackles on my main halyard, since I connect to a headboard, and like the fit, plus I never change the headsail during a typical sail or race.

It helps to be very comfortable using what every type of shackle you choose, since you will often need to be attaching and unattaching them in some of the worst adverse conditions you experience.
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Old 02-27-2009
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I prefer the Wichard key shackle w/bar for the main halyard for three reasons. First it is stronger than most snap shackles; second it has a very secure key which won't rattle loose; third the "bar" prevents the halyard from slipping down the side of the shackle, assuring that the shackle will not get turned sideways before a load is placed on it. Once it's snapped shut it is very difficult to un-snap; a new one will take some real effort to un-snap.

This shackle:

http://shop.sailnet.com/images/WIC81432.jpg
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Old 02-27-2009
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I've got snap shackles on both the jib and spinnaker halyards. Perhaps they need to be cleaned out and lubricated, but I find that despite the quick-release mechanism, it still often takes two hands to both open and close the shackle. I don't think the "key-operated" shackle like the one that connects my main halyard to the headboard would take significantly more time to operate, even in adverse conditions.

However, I could see the snap shackles being advantageous if I need to release the shackle while there's tension on it; can't image such a situation except perhaps going up the mast to free a stuck halyard.
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Old 02-28-2009
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We have them on everything even nice skinny J-locks spliced into the heavy air sheets as we as really light plastic ones on light air sheets




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Old 02-28-2009
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Lightbulb

Gotta agree with keelhaulin. The Wichard shackle is great for the main. Captive pin, and captive rope. They also make a unit that is STOUT, with a plastic splicing thimble, in 2 sizes. Good for a 36.7.

Snapshackle for a chute. Always.

If RF jib, a cheap, stamped, captive-pin and captive-rope shackle saves some bux. If hanked-on, and changing frequently, a snapshackle or the wichard unit is fine.

I do use nabshackles for chute sheets -- but only in LIGHT breezes. I use them on Samson ultralight sheets.

The pricey Tylaska shackles are used by hardcore racers around here. They have the wallets and the rope strains that make them the best choice in those applications.
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