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Hi All,

As I was putting the sails back on last week, I noticed most of the shackles I replaced were of the "screw in" variety (the pin screws in vice a pin with a cotter key or lock ring on the outside). I have seen them installed with "safety wire". Should I "safety" these types? Do they come apart on their own? Anyone ever had one fall apart?

Dave
 

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Good ones (like Winchard) have notches that prevent the cross pin from coming out and I don't think they need to be wired. They typically require a wrench to be removed, even if they are installed only hand tight. I use those in most places on the rigging.

I do wire ones that are really important and rarely changed, like the shackle that holds the anchor to the chain. I could see securing the shackle that holds my spinnaker in the sock (it's buried way up in the head of the sock), but wouldn't use wire because that could cause a chafing problem. I would probably tape that one.

I would never wire the shackles that hold my sail to the furler, that would make sail changes too difficult. If anything I've considered upgrading to snap shackles there to make sail changes even easier and tool free.
 

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Unless you are undoing them on a daily basis, I don't see why you wouldn't want to seize them. This is certainly a "stitch in time" situation, don't you think?
 

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I've had two come unscrewed while sailing, the first I just heard a "ping" "bounce" "splash" from above. The second I'd just opened a beverage and laid back on a long downwind run in 15-20 kts. Glancing thru the dodger I saw the shackle holding the mainsheet to traveler had unscrewed and backed halfway out. The only thing holding it really was the pressure it was under, another couple minutes and things would have got exciting.
I like the important ones seized when possible, I'd feel real dumb if someday I had to say it happened 3 times.
 

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Is it just a matter of wrapping wire in the hole and around one side of the shackle, or is there more to it? I thought about that for my jib halyard, but had the same thought as Alex - I was afraid the wire would chaff against the head of the sail.
 

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Those are really nice. I couldn't afford that kind of money at the time, so I bought a cheap pair - Made in Taiwan. That was twenty years ago, I've used them a lot, they are still going strong and I won't feel so bad when I do eventually drop them over the side :)

Although not quite as secure, you can mouse with a small nylon cable tie; no tools required.

Edit: I did a quick google search.....
 
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Those are really nice. I couldn't afford that kind of money at the time, so I bought a cheap pair - Made in Taiwan. That was twenty years ago, I've used them a lot, they are still going strong and I won't feel so bad when I do eventually drop them over the side :)

Although not quite as secure, you can mouse with a small nylon cable tie; no tools required.

Edit: I did a quick google search.....

And, I see you are using a black tie in your picture, which I was told was much more UV resistant that the other colors that the plastic ties are sold in. Don't know if that's true or not from any kind of scientific standpoint, but they do seem to hold up much better than the lighter colored ones.
 

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I'm with capta on this, mousing shackles is just basic seamanship, why would anyone not do it? For shackles that might need to be undone frequently, ones with locking detents like Wichard and others are well worth having. Titanium shackles are especially secure, in that regard...

We've just had this discussion re halyard shackles in Gear & Maintenance. For shackles that are opened frequently, a circular cotter ring can work nicely, only takes a few seconds to secure...





Black cable ties can also be used temporarily/short term, but I don't like them as a more 'permanent' solution. I'm always amazed how often I see anchor shackles moused with cable ties, seems an incredibly poor practice, to me...
 

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I'm with capta on this, mousing shackles is just basic seamanship, why would anyone not do it? For shackles that might need to be undone frequently, ones with locking detents like Wichard and others are well worth having. Titanium shackles are especially secure, in that regard...

We've just had this discussion re halyard shackles in Gear & Maintenance. For shackles that are opened frequently, a circular cotter ring can work nicely, only takes a few seconds to secure...





Black cable ties can also be used temporarily/short term, but I don't like them as a more 'permanent' solution. I'm always amazed how often I see anchor shackles moused with cable ties, seems an incredibly poor practice, to me...
I agree, they are definitely for short term use, and stainless steel or monel wire is much preferred for anchoring gear. But the nylon ties are handy for a lot of stuff (I used them to row back to the boat one day, when one of my oarlocks popped out and went overboard, by looping several of them together to make a temporary oarlock!)
 
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Those are really nice. I couldn't afford that kind of money at the time, so I bought a cheap pair - Made in Taiwan. That was twenty years ago, I've used them a lot, they are still going strong and I won't feel so bad when I do eventually drop them over the side :)

Although not quite as secure, you can mouse with a small nylon cable tie; no tools required.

Edit: I did a quick google search.....
Though I use cable ties for things like our mooring shackles (NOT anchor), which I inspect quite frequently, I believe they are only an indicator that the pin is moving. I'm not sure they are really able to stop it backing out. For security a couple of wraps with monel seizing wire will certainly supply the same good sleep a proper anchor and scope provides.
 
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snake charmer, cat herder
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as plastic deteriorates rapidly in sun , and as other methods disappear at the most important of times...(ask me how i know all of this ..lol...btdt.) seizing wire is applied to ALL shackles on my boat.
nothing like topping lift separation while under way or at anchor , nothing like separation of shackle on mooring pendant..lol... is a lot of fun drifting, but not when in mooring situation, however, and nothing like .....
main boom traveller separation while under way...lol is a lot of fun trying not to be killed by your own tackle and rig and equipment.
it is so easy and fast to apply so why risk loss and damage and injury when you can prevent with seizing wire application.

as for cotter rings, they have more play than spacing for separation..can still lose mooring with these. ask m e how i know this..even with constant inspection. why not ease your mined with a bit of seizing wire and sleep well at night.
 

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Tying off a shackle so the pin doesn't, or can't, unsrew is called "mousing" it, IIRC.
Actually, if you want to get technical, mousing is "turning small stuff around a hook", as in a lifting hook, not fishing.
markh3084 Re: Shackle security
So how do you seize them or mouse them?
I will run a couple of figure 8 wraps around the shackle, adjacent to the pin, and through the hole in the pin and finish it off with a few twists, which I fold under the wraps. This is much more easily accomplished with monel wire, rather than stainless, as it's much more flexible. Sorry, I don't have a pic as they're all aloft or in the water right now.
 

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as for cotter rings, they have more play than spacing for separation..can still lose mooring with these. ask m e how i know this..even with constant inspection. why not ease your mined with a bit of seizing wire and sleep well at night.
Perhaps I should have been clearer, I'm only suggesting the use of such rings for applications that need to be opened regularly or frequently, and have a Wichard-type locking detent. Over in the halyard shackle thread, I've already said that for anything more prolonged than a daysail, I think you want to take the time to run some seizing wire, in addition.

Certainly, for anything more permanant like a mooring that can't be inspected at a glance, a proper mousing is the only way to go...
 

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Is it just a matter of wrapping wire in the hole and around one side of the shackle, or is there more to it? I thought about that for my jib halyard, but had the same thought as Alex - I was afraid the wire would chaff against the head of the sail.
Main halyards come off every time you finish sailing (to keep the halyards from ringing against the mast in harbor). A shackle that requires securing seems like a poor choice for a main halyard.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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Main halyards come off every time you finish sailing (to keep the halyards from ringing against the mast in harbor). A shackle that requires securing seems like a poor choice for a main halyard.
not on cruising boats they dont. they are used year round. must be ready to flee at a moments' notice.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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Main halyards come off every time you finish sailing (to keep the halyards from ringing against the mast in harbor). A shackle that requires securing seems like a poor choice for a main halyard.
i have seen snap shackles and some other items of alleged security ffaail during sailing with resulting loss of ability to complete the sailing. my son had a snap shackle on his jensen wenk 24--it failed as he entered lost angels harbor 1993 returning from marina del rey. not a cool happening while under way. it is a smart thing to make sure shackles dont spontaneously separate.. my topping lift shackle, even unused and resting, separated..lol at rest. these fails can make a lot of hurt in money and physical injury.
we had a secured shackle on a seidelmann37 fail with resulting damnearkillme as i exit cabin for watch in gom.. good thing i was quick and saw it come at my head when i did.
secure all shackles. lol no matter how often you check em
 

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And, I see you are using a black tie in your picture, which I was told was much more UV resistant that the other colors that the plastic ties are sold in. Don't know if that's true or not from any kind of scientific standpoint, but they do seem to hold up much better than the lighter colored ones.
{thread drift} I don't know if it's the UV that does it, but yes in my experience the black ones seem to last quite a bit longer than the colored ones. **/thread drift}
 
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