Turnbuckles: difference between jaw and fork - SailNet Community

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Old 07-21-2010
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Turnbuckles: difference between jaw and fork

Hi folks,

I recently bought a Paceship P-17 and two of the threaded turnbuckle ends are bent. My only option is to order replacements online but I'm kind of worried I'll end up with the wrong type/size. I haven't seen anything exactly like the current ones around--this is probably the closest: (couldn't link, but they're on PrideMarine: Rigging->Standing Rigging->Threaded Toggle Jaws)

But the current ones aren't "toggle"-type, I think I understand that kind. What is the difference between "fork" and "jaw"? If I shouldn't replace the current non-toggle ends (must be either jaw or fork) with toggles, I may end up just replacing the whole turnbuckle. Should I use jaw-jaw or fork-fork? Or does it really matter?

Thanks!
Nick
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Old 07-21-2010
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not an expert

I'm no expert but I imagine it doesn't matter what configuration the connection is as long as it fits. I'd worry more about getting the correct threads, fine or course, and shaft diameter.
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Old 07-21-2010
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The folks at riggingonly.com have a good selection with pictures.
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Old 07-21-2010
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If I go with replacing the whole turnbuckle, I've seen the option to go with a fork/fork or jaw/jaw, but I can't tell the difference from the pictures--they both look like they would work!

For the same price as getting one of the threaded toggle jaws I could get what they call an "offshore-made" turnbuckle. I'm assuming that means not made in the US. Wonder what the quality would be like?
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off shore-made

Offshore made means the very definite possibility of lower quality. Do you really want to gamble that it won't break under load and cause your mast to buckle?
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Might be worth asking the manufacturer about, since the same folks are making them offshore and... onshore. If the offshore are performing poorly, it would hurt their overall image.
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I'm not sure what a 'fork' turnbuckle is.. I would have to guess that it's a jaw turnbuckle.

Regardless, there is a time and place to look for great deals, and a time and place to invest what it takes to get the right part. Standing rigging is not where you want to try to save money.

Obviously I'm not suggesting that expensive is better, but go with a reputable supplier, get the right size/fitment for the job, and make price take a back seat in the decision making process. Saving a few bucks, even 20 bucks, by buying cut-rate rigging is a rough way to get around.

If you have any doubt about your supplier, get a new supplier. Skimp on the curtains.. buy the best turnbuckles you can afford.

Course, I have the advantage of a little boat.. so my parts aren't expensive
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Old 08-03-2010
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I only have a little-ish boat too (17') but it's old and missing half its parts. After waiting a week turns out I was too hasty and ordered the wrong turnbuckles (somehow I didn't notice that it was the body and only one side fitted). Besides the turnbuckles, I've been trying to find replacement sheaves for my masthead and can't find ones that fit right.

Looks like I may not be sailing at all this summer, which is pretty disappointing.
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