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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Had a crummy day out on the water yesterday.

It should have been great: it was fine and sunny, winds 5-10kts. The sea was a bit lumpy but there were 16 yachts of various sizes all trying to get around the course - which included a really long run lazy back home... and, for me, that's where it all went pear-shaped.

Although my yelling from down aft probably didn't help, despite a pre-race practice run, on a wildly rolling deck my foredeck crew struggled to get the pole up. After what seemed like an ETERNITY back aft (probably only a minute or two) the kite was finally clipped on and hoisted, only to come fluttering down into the water leaving the open halyard snap glaring down at us from the top of the mast. :mad: :mad: :(

After having a Ronstan one explode on me last series, this was a real Wichard one too and not cheap! One of these:



Needless to say, we came last (I'm not competitive.. not much!) The unconfirmed theory from up the pointy end was that the ring 'must have caught on something'. Yeah suuuure... :rolleyes:

Anyways, what do you guys use?!? Are the mega-expensive 'ringless' ones really as good as they're made out to be??
 

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I can't tell you how much I hate those piston shackles. As you experienced they are very prone to opening, and it's difficult to guarantee that the shackle is fully closed.

They are far from cheap, but the Tylaska T5 shackles are my favorite. It's easy to tell if they are open, and I have never had one open accidentally.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are far from cheap, but the Tylaska T5 shackles are my favorite. It's easy to tell if they are open, and I have never had one open accidentally.
Thanks, Stumble. Wichard make a similar trigger snap - this one:



Maybe that's the way to go, but I do find it can be painfully difficult to open trigger snaps with your fingers if they haven't been regularly lubricated - to the point of needing a spike handy. :eek:

Another option for about half the price is one of these:



Thoughts??
 

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never seen a shackle open by itself. if it was not latched it was the crews fault. if it got hung on something during a hoist it was the crews fault. over the years I have used every type of shackle and every time it opened accidentally it was the crews fault. tell the crew to latch the shackle first before they hoist.
 

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I have never seen a properly seated snap shackle "pop" open. It does not take much rust/debris to prevent the pin from fully engaging the stirrup eye, however, and, with that the shackle appears to be closed but isn't locked. Clean up and polish the shackles and use a little SailKote on the pins and you'll be good to go.

FWIW...

PS: I should add that on our boat, we pass a length of black one-wrap Velcro tape through the cotter-ring on the pin and close that around the locked stirrup, just in case.
 
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If you don't or can't tape them (my usual, but then I don't set chutes like monohulls do). If you leave the chute on deck in its bag, as we do, you can just tape the shackle and be done with it.

Otherwise, the answer is the trigger type. BTW if you read the directions to the trigger, it does say not to stick your fingers in there to open it - use a spike :).

I've used both the trigger and the 'quick release' snap shackle (ergo both pictured above). My foredeck used to tape the quick release that we had, he never trusted it. IMO both of them are better than the common-variety snap shackle for spinnaker work - the little ring will snag your laundry or other things and either just plain tear stuff up or come open.

No matter what shackle is used, it is incumbent upon the foredeck to make sure the shackle is engaged, and upon the skipper to make sure they're cared for/lubricated...

--oh, forgot... two other options: the Equiplite shackle; the soft shackle. I have had two Equiplite shackles, both were swivelling type; I used them on a screacher setup but the shackle would be fine on a chute whether you use the swivel or not

Equiplite
APS - Equiplite High Tech Soft Shackles

Soft shackle
Soft Shackles
 

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Thanks, Stumble. Wichard make a similar trigger snap - this one:



Maybe that's the way to go, but I do find it can be painfully difficult to open trigger snaps with your fingers if they haven't been regularly lubricated - to the point of needing a spike handy. :eek:

Another option for about half the price is one of these:



Thoughts??
The winchard trigger shackle probably works fine but I haven't used it. I have always leaned towards Tylaska since their manufacturing and QC processes are just better than other makers, but they are expensive.

I don't like the pull string type or soft shackles for a halyard since they require two hands to work properly, and spin halyards you are often in a rush to get attached. For sheets and other things I am a huge proponent of soft shackles.

And making sure you lube them... Well we lube everything after every day of racing. Like flaking sails it is just part of putting the boat away.
 

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Thanks, Stumble. Wichard make a similar trigger snap - this one:



Maybe that's the way to go, but I do find it can be painfully difficult to open trigger snaps with your fingers if they haven't been regularly lubricated - to the point of needing a spike handy. :eek:

Another option for about half the price is one of these:



Thoughts??
I thought the problem was the halyard shackle. Those are clew shackles.
 

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If it's a rope/line halyard consider tying them on with a good ol' bowline... Put a swivel on the head of the kite to take care of twist.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If it's a rope/line halyard consider tying them on with a good ol' bowline... Put a swivel on the head of the kite to take care of twist.
I must admit I hadn't thought of that - although the spinnaker really needs to be clipped on and hoisted in fairly quick time (or unclipped even quicker and got below at the end of the run) so there isn't time to tie/untie a bowline.

Maybe I should take up cruising instead.. oh, wait, I live in Melbourne. :rolleyes:
 

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How much time did you lose with the shackle open vs the time it should take for the crew to tie a simple knot???? ;)
 

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If it's a rope/line halyard consider tying them on with a good ol' bowline... Put a swivel on the head of the kite to take care of twist.
Tying knots for racing is pretty poor practice. Not only does it restrict your selection of line since many high tech lines shouldn't be knotted, a knot is always weaker than a splice. Combined with the time it takes to tie and untie the knot over and over during a day of racing it just doesn't work very well. Knots also require the sail to fly lower than a shackle.
 

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I race and we put the chute up and down quite often some days. I have all Wichard shackles and can't remember one opening up. However on many race boats the foredeck has some vinyl tape in his/her pocket and tapes them closed just in case.
The spiked shackles are meant for clews only, the idea being that you will use a spike to blow the guy for take down.
 

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Tying knots for racing is pretty poor practice. Not only does it restrict your selection of line since many high tech lines shouldn't be knotted, a knot is always weaker than a splice. Combined with the time it takes to tie and untie the knot over and over during a day of racing it just doesn't work very well. Knots also require the sail to fly lower than a shackle.
True, some of the newer lines don't lend themselves to tying.. but I think the strength issue isn't a real concern with most lines far stronger than the actual load..

We tied them on, but the boat was rigged so that the kite went in and out of the bag in the companionway and never needed to be unclipped or repacked beyond that...
 

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Faster,

When dealing with dyneema it isn't the strength loss from the knot so much as it is the knot undoing itself as the line slides past itself. Depending on size dyneema has shown a propensity to uni it itself at as low as 10% the MBL. However this figure is pretty unpredictable since exactly how tightened down the knot is when it's tested can greatly effect the point at which it starts to slip.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting!.. FWIW, where I've got shackles knotted to the ends of lines I'm using a Halyard Knot with the ends whipped snug.

I race and we put the chute up and down quite often some days. I have all Wichard shackles and can't remember one opening up. However on many race boats the foredeck has some vinyl tape in his/her pocket and tapes them closed just in case.
Now there's a plan! :) It seems that, for now anyway, I'll clean and lube the shackle I have and tell my foredeck to tape it next race. That'll force him to check that it's seated properly next time!!!...

The spiked shackles are meant for clews only, the idea being that you will use a spike to blow the guy for take down.
That makes sense, but have seen quite a few boats using them for halyards. It sounds like that really isn't a good idea. I know from first-hand experience that using your fingers to open them isn't a good idea either. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How much time did you lose with the shackle open vs the time it should take for the crew to tie a simple knot???? ;)
About 20 minutes in that race. My crew don't do bowlines.. it's too complicated for them. :rolleyes:

(It's not so much that a good crew is hard to find around here - more that the good ones are spoilt for choice. If I want to go out I do have to take what I can get - and then try not to yell at them...)
 
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