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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Cotter Pin
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-06-2008 01:51 AM
sailboy21 I have read in more than one "how to sail around the universe" style book that using a length of 3/32" TIG welding wire, or tapping the hole and screwing in a small machine screw are superior to cotter pins or rings. I haven't tried either of these methods yet.... I have been using a mix if cotter or split rings. It depends on whatever seems to fit the hole "best." The shroud turnbuckles always end up getting a dose if rigging tape, which isn't applied directly to any of the stainless parts so it shouldn't be a problem.

In any event, rings, cotter pins, TIG wire or even nothing at all is superior to those jam-nuts I see every now and then. What a bad idea that was!
09-05-2008 10:40 PM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Still, as I showed in the picture, I use circular rings to lock the turnbuckle and a straight cotter pin for the clevis.
I've used rings for turnbuckles in the exact manner you show and I think that is their best application. I'll try and source some of those larger sizes. None of my local riggers seem to have much of a selection and most use cotter pins. I actually like rings on turnbuckles because it makes tuning the rig faster and your more likely to make the tweaks to your rig mid season that you know you want/need..

I still don't feel comfortable with them on the clevis pins after that Pearson experience and BTW the pin was the right size for the hole. As I said I suspect a slack rig under downwind loads and too long of a pin were also contributing factors...
09-05-2008 08:16 PM
sailaway21 John Rousmaniere has also advocated the use of cotter pins over ring-dings elsewhere on sailnet as well. He was not expansive on his reasoning other than he'd had ring-dings fail in some way.
09-03-2008 09:31 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
Not certain I'm reading you right, but it sounds like you're saying the ringding was being pulled through the clevis pin hole? If that's the case, I'd argue the clevis pin diameter was too small, as well.

This thread does remind me of an incident this spring. We were stepping the mast when one of our lower shroud's clevis pins fell out of its fork, bounced off the deck and *plonk* - into the drink it went. They all had had ringdings on them. So that's another case I've seen personally of ringdings working themselves off hardware. Related: Twice I've had a split ring on my keys manage to work itself off.

I think next time we're out at the boat I'm going to throw a bit of tape around all the ringdings.

Jim

There are some people, my partner being one of them, who run their rigs so loose that they actually have slack.
He claims that he is able to fine tune the rig while racing. I can't argue with his results because he usually wins. However, it's not a tactic that I would recommend to any of my customers.
In my opinion, your standing rigging should never, under normal conditions, be allowed to slacken to to point that your clevis pins move around freely.
There is a certain amount of movement on a headstay, but with the use of toggles for articulation, your clevis pins should never, under normal conditions, move around in it's hole.

Having a key ring work it's way off is really not the same thing as your standing rigging.
Still, as I showed in the picture, I use circular rings to lock the turnbuckle and a straight cotter pin for the clevis.
09-03-2008 09:16 PM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
The issue was a ring used on the lower clevis of a head stay on a Pearson 36. The ring was undersized and was pulling back through the hole due to wear.
Not certain I'm reading you right, but it sounds like you're saying the ringding was being pulled through the clevis pin hole? If that's the case, I'd argue the clevis pin diameter was too small, as well.

This thread does remind me of an incident this spring. We were stepping the mast when one of our lower shroud's clevis pins fell out of its fork, bounced off the deck and *plonk* - into the drink it went. They all had had ringdings on them. So that's another case I've seen personally of ringdings working themselves off hardware. Related: Twice I've had a split ring on my keys manage to work itself off.

I think next time we're out at the boat I'm going to throw a bit of tape around all the ringdings.

Jim
09-03-2008 08:59 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsusailing View Post
Simple post and 13 really good responses, that what makes SN, and its members, special.
Halekai brought up a good point, it appears that most cotter rings I have seen are very thin and are not robust enough to handle the clevis pin hole. Never thought about it before but sizing is critical.
Sounds like if the cotter is off good quality, the right size, and inspected each time you sail, then it minimizes the chances of failure. Rings are easier to handle but it seems that regular pins are more robust.

Thanks for the info...........

John
s/v Daphne

Not too long ago, one of my customers lost his rig during a race.
It was determined that a cotter pin was lost, allowing one of the upper shrouds to detach itself from the chainplate.
There was some intimation that perhaps the cotter pin hadn't been opened enough. I was concerned because I was the last rigger to do any real work on the boat.
The thing was though, the boat was raced regularly and I had done the re-rig over 11 months prior to the accident.
I don't know how many people inspect their clevis pins and cotter pins everytime they sail but If you are racing, then you sure better check it once in a while. Heck, thats what all those deck monkeys should be doing as you motor out to the start.

BTW, If a pin had fallen out aloft, I probably would have replaced that rig at my expense. But there is no excuse for not inspecting one's chain plates and turnbuckles before racing.

I will reiterate. You can find circular pins as stout, (thick), as you would ever desire. Maybe not at your local WM. But like I said SailNet certainly can get you rings as strong as you want.
Check out the CSJ online catalog.
09-03-2008 07:32 PM
lsusailing Simple post and 13 really good responses, that what makes SN, and its members, special.
Halekai brought up a good point, it appears that most cotter rings I have seen are very thin and are not robust enough to handle the clevis pin hole. Never thought about it before but sizing is critical.
Sounds like if the cotter is off good quality, the right size, and inspected each time you sail, then it minimizes the chances of failure. Rings are easier to handle but it seems that regular pins are more robust.

Thanks for the info...........

John
s/v Daphne
09-03-2008 07:29 PM
camaraderie Thanks Knotty...nice to know I wasn't completely crazy...at least I have company!
09-03-2008 06:54 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
One important point no one has brought up is pin to hole clearance. We all know a clevis pin must be the right size for the hole it is fit into to avoid failure and maximize the contact surface area of the clevis pin to the hole in say the chain plate.

I don't like rings and neither does my rigger. Why? Pins are very hard to find in the right wire diameter for the clevis pin end holes they are intended to fit into. These holes need the proper size coter pin and that's easy as coter pins come in many diameters. A cotter pin or ring sized too small for the clevis pin hole IS a potential failure point!

I never reuse a cotter pin and I would never re-use a ring. Talk about being "penny wise pound foolish". My entire lifetime supply and assortment of stainless cotter pins cost me about $35.00 over seven years ago and I still have a LOT left.

The most important thing to consider when installing cotter pins and or rings is the fit in the hole. The pin should be as large as possible yet still fit into the hole.

Years ago I had a goose neck failure on my boom because someone at the factory used an undersized cotter pin that slopped around in the hole until it failed. I replaced it with another cotter pin, of the right size, and it's still going strong over ten years later. In fact I just passed my old boat while sailing yesterday..

I have yet to see a properly sized, bent and taped cotter pin fail though I'm sure it could happen. I have seen one ring failure due to it being undersized..
halekai36, I agree that size is important.

However, I have been using circular pins for many years and have never had anything happen that could be remotely attributed to a properly used circular pin.
I come across clevis pins now and then with holes so small that you need a tiny little cotter pin. I toss em.
I like a heavy duty pin or ring but not a tight one. I install stuff with the thought in mind that I am going to be the one having to take it apart again.
The problem with close tolerances with cotter pins is that sometimes it's a real pain to get them straight enough to remove. I've even had them gall and ruin clevis pins.
C. Sherman Johnson, (csjohnson . com), has just about every conceivable clevis pin, cotter pin or circular pin that you would likely ever have a need for.
And I bet SailNet is still a dealer for them.


This is pretty much how I always pin a turnbuckle.



Attachment 2227

The three circular pins on the right in the picture below are pretty much all I have ever had a need for. They are from smallest to largest the CSJ R-2, R-3, and R-5. The R-5 is so stout that it's tough to open with a thumb nail. I usually have to use my Leatherman to get it over the body of the turnbuckle.
The one on the left has a little pig-tail. Which in my opinion kinda defeats the purpose if you are looking for something that won't snag. I won't use those. However many products such as blocks come with them new. I don't usually remove them.
I also agree that it is not smart to reuse a deformed pin, straight or circular.
09-03-2008 01:57 PM
camaraderie Thanks Halekai!
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