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Old 03-16-2012
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Shackles on Jib Sheets?

I'm moving up from an 18' day boat to a 25' cruising boat.

I just like sayin that!

On my 18, the jib sheets were one long line that was tied to the jib clew at its midpoint. This was the arrangement for every boat I've ever sailed.

I haven't rigged it yet (or launched it, or much of anything) but I recall that the jib sheets on the 25 are two separate lines with a shackle at one end; this leads me to assume that they would snap onto the jib clew.

It seems to me that I wouldn't want several ounces of stainless steel at the clew of the jib. Wouldn't it whack the mast pretty often? Not every time I tack, but pretty often; wouldn't you think? I think it would start to mark up the mast.

I'm finding it difficult to imagine how a crewmember (or a skipper!) could get hit by it, but boy if they did that would really leave a mark.

I can see that this would make it easier to replace just one sheet if it were damaged; that is the only reason I can see to do it this way.

Is this the common arrangement for larger boats?
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Old 03-16-2012
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I have a 40' and just attach the job sheets with a couple of bowline knots. I don't see that there's any real advantage to shackles.
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Old 03-16-2012
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You could get eye splices put in your separate jib sheets and connect them to the jib using a soft shackle. I do this on my smaller racing boat and have been thinking about doing it on my 42 as well. It would allow you to be more flexible when sailing.
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

As I reread my post I realized that all my boats have had only one headsail. You wouldn't want to run new sheets during a sail change. My question might be answered.

D'oh!
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Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

If you change headsails while sailing, the shackles save time. Unless you race or are cruising where you might change to a different size jib they are unnecessary, and yes, they do hurt!
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

Are you sure that the two lines with the shackles aren't intended as spinnaker sheets? Check the length. I think spinnaker sheets are usually at least 2 ◊ LOA, whereas jib sheets are a lot shorter.
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

Thanks, guys.

I can see that shackles would be better for racing where every second counts.

It's a low priority, but I'll probably rerig the sheets and eliminate the shackles.

Adam, No spinnaker on this boat. I'll miss it.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

Shackles on jib sheets are just plain dangerous. I even tie on my main halyard. I do have shackles on headsail halyards and spinnaker sheets, although on a previous day racer that we owned we tied the spinn sheets on there too.

The worst kind of shackles on jib sheets are those that can 'snap themselves' onto something like a shroud or a lifeline while they're flailing about on a bad tack.

It is possible to have sheets attached to each sail like you've done before (mid point larks head) and run them on each sail change. Not ideal because you generally end up stowing sheets with the sails and if it's all wet that's not great. But the advantage is you can match them to the required length.. working jib sheets can be much shorter than genoa sheets.

If you're getting a boat with a twin foil headstay then you need to be able to move sheets from sail to sail individually for a clean change. If it's got a furler that's a moot point and not necessary as you're stuck with bare headed changes anyhow.
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

I will never understand the lengths people will go in order to not tie a bowline. It’s the most common knot in sailing and we should all have proficiency in tying one. Snap shackles are not only heavy and hurt when they conk you on the head, but they will open on their own when the sail is flogging or rubbing against a shroud while tacking. If you insist on a shackle, you will want to use a “Jlock” spliced to your jib sheets if you feel the need for speed while making jib changes They start at about $120 apiece for 3/8 line and are in the $200 range for sheets larger than Ĺ inch. My personal experience is they are definitely faster and useful for doing peel away headsail changes. But you can’t wear gloves while doing it which is a disadvantage for your bowman in colder climes.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Shackles on Jib Sheets?

If you keep the shackles wear a helmet when you are off to the bow! Head injuries are in second place to foot injuries when sailing. I tie the bowline and wear a soft cap. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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