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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What type of shackle to use on a halyard???

I'm going to be replacing my main and jib halyards this offseason and would like to know the rationale for using either a headboard or swivel snap shackle? I know the main typically has a headboard and the jib a swivel snap, but why, and can they be interchangeable?
 

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I would use a locking halyard shackle and not a snap shackle. I once use a snap shackle on my spinnaker halyard and it let go while hoisting after getting caught in the "groove" between a lower shroud and the mast.
 

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Telstar 28
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Traditionally, the reason for the headsail having a snap shackle, rather than a locking shackle like the mainsail was that the headsails were often changed regularly, since there was no really good way to reduce jib sail area in many cases, and the head sails were swapped out for smaller or larger ones as conditions changed. However, with the advent of roller furling headsails, this is far less necessary, and I'd highly recommend getting and using headboard type shackles on both the headsail and main sail.
 

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On a spinnaker we generally get it under control and stuffed fast BUT you really need to able to POP everything off in a matter of seconds if things GO BAD



Tylaska are NOT coming open unless they should and will open with a full load when needed to get the boat under control again in nasty weather



 

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Tommays—

He was talking about jib and main sails, not spinnakers.
 

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Seattle Sailor
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I prefer snap shackles on the head sails (Wichard on my boat currently, and they work well). I change headsails often, and like to be able to do it quickly. If you are using a roller furler, a locking D shackle may be a little more reliable over time. I use the newer type Wichard snap shackle with a trigger release for the spinnaker. I too like to be able to release the head very quickly if there is a problem with the spinnaker. I've never had problems with this type of shackle on any of the boats I've races on.

I use "D" shackles on my main halyard, since I connect to a headboard, and like the fit, plus I never change the headsail during a typical sail or race.

It helps to be very comfortable using what every type of shackle you choose, since you will often need to be attaching and unattaching them in some of the worst adverse conditions you experience.
 

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STARBOARD!!
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I prefer the Wichard key shackle w/bar for the main halyard for three reasons. First it is stronger than most snap shackles; second it has a very secure key which won't rattle loose; third the "bar" prevents the halyard from slipping down the side of the shackle, assuring that the shackle will not get turned sideways before a load is placed on it. Once it's snapped shut it is very difficult to un-snap; a new one will take some real effort to un-snap.

This shackle:

http://shop.sailnet.com/images/WIC81432.jpg
 

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I've got snap shackles on both the jib and spinnaker halyards. Perhaps they need to be cleaned out and lubricated, but I find that despite the quick-release mechanism, it still often takes two hands to both open and close the shackle. I don't think the "key-operated" shackle like the one that connects my main halyard to the headboard would take significantly more time to operate, even in adverse conditions.

However, I could see the snap shackles being advantageous if I need to release the shackle while there's tension on it; can't image such a situation except perhaps going up the mast to free a stuck halyard.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Gotta agree with keelhaulin. The Wichard shackle is great for the main. Captive pin, and captive rope. They also make a unit that is STOUT, with a plastic splicing thimble, in 2 sizes. Good for a 36.7.

Snapshackle for a chute. Always.

If RF jib, a cheap, stamped, captive-pin and captive-rope shackle saves some bux. If hanked-on, and changing frequently, a snapshackle or the wichard unit is fine.

I do use nabshackles for chute sheets -- but only in LIGHT breezes. I use them on Samson ultralight sheets.

The pricey Tylaska shackles are used by hardcore racers around here. They have the wallets and the rope strains that make them the best choice in those applications.
 

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Old thread but I hate starting new ones for quick questions...

This addresses the halyard but what's the ideal shackle for the tack of jib? I've currently got an elongated D shackle without a captive pin and I've got a hank on jib. So someday it's going to fall in the water. And swapping sails in bad weather while focusing on not dropping the shackle/pin isn't ideal.
 

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As Jackdale recommends.
Buy good ones from name brand manufacturers. Don't buy the Chinese no-brand junk on ebay. They break easily.
 

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I actually use horns for the tack, not shackles. Once the sail is up it is just as secure, and it makes changing out headsails really easy, since there isn't a shackle you have to undo once the sail is down. That being said, the type Jack posted would be my favorite.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Yup. And buy a Forged piece, not a Chinese cast bit'o'junk. On a small boat (say under 28 feet), a cheap sea-dog unit will be OK. But [pricey] Wichard rules the snapshackles.
 

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BTW - that shackle gets mounted on the deck, not the jib clew.
 

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Yup. And buy a Forged piece, not a Chinese cast bit'o'junk. On a small boat (say under 28 feet), a cheap sea-dog unit will be OK. But [pricey] Wichard rules the snapshackles.
There are four ways to make a shackle, of them only three are acceptable for anything that will be put under tension or is structual.

1) casting - this is by far the cheapest way to make parts, particularly those that are complicated, and have a number of different geometries. The problem is that if there are any imperfections in the casting process, like air bubbles, dust, ect that get into the molten metal and can ruin the strength of the part. Cast parts should not be used for high loads, no matter what the nominal breaking strength.

2) forged - here you take a metal blank cut from a billet and punch it into final shape. Works great, has some work hardening issues, but overall an acceptable way to make parts. Many boat parts are made this way. Relatively inexpensive, but very high set up costs initially.

3) machined - like forged parts you start off with a raw billet, but instead of beating the metal to shape, you cut away everything that isn't the finished part. Typically this is only done for small production runs, because it involves a lot of labor time.

4) sintering/hipping - certainly the newest production method. Here you start with either a cast part, or powdered metal poured into a mold. Once in the mold very high temprature and preassure is applied in an oxygen free environment, fusing the metal into a single piece, and driving out impurities and voids that may have existed in the cast part, or the metal powder. This is almost always more expensive than cast parts, and generally more than forged parts, but less than machined parts.

Sintered and Hipped parts are the gold standard in reliability and predictability, but are also some of the most expensive (since almost no mass market parts are machined). In another thread we were talking about how two things that look identicle can be very different, well this is a perfect example of why, Tylaska shackles are are all Hipped. To my knowledge no other stainless manufacturer is bothering. This is one of the reasons Tylaska parts are so expensive, they have an extra quality added step.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Yes, on a bigger race machine, we use Tylaska bits, especially for the spin sheets. They are definitely top-o-the-line items. But at well over $100 apiece, we typically don't put then on the jib tack of a Contessa 26.
 

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Another option for the tack is this (esp on furlers):



We don't have UV cover on our headsail so I take it down between trips.. this sail modification (with the Wichard hook) means we don't have to mess with the shackle pin on the Harken furler drum. We added the same to the head for the same reason.

It also allowed us to get a couple of inches more hoist/halyard tension without the length of a standard snap shackle in the equation.

Oh.. and assuming rope halyards I'd be looking at tying the main halyard rather than using a shackle... easier to deal with future chafe damage, no heavy object flinging about etc etc. For jibs it's not so easy, esp if you change often, but for the main tying on works well.
 
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