Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

PDQ issues applicable across all PDQ Yachts (or if you can't find a place for something, it probably belongs here for now)
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thinwater
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Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

by thinwater » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:56 pm

PS ran a piece on main halyard shackles that declared soft shackles unproven. I found that amusing, since the started on square riggers and are used on Vendee Globe boats. So I was asked to do a follow-up piece on real-world experince.

I started using simpler versions decades ago to secure tarps, sails, and stuff; they have the priceless advantages of being safe against gelcoat and sails. More recently I began using Amsteel versions on the genoa clew, when I switched to inside/outside leads (which was a great success to windward); they are strong, releaseable, and won't dent either the mast or scalp. Again, priceless. And yet both are practically free if you tie your own, which is simple enough and ensures they are custom sized. Also, you can tie hibreds that are easier to use than any comercial version.

Pendants and main clew straps are good applications.

For most things I am happy with steel, carabiners, or knots.

So, got any interesting applications?
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Re: Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

by Phenix » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:17 pm

I use one at the attachment from the swivel to the anchor. This is in addition to the anchor shackle. But you got me thinking about the jib sheets. :)
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Re: Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

by thinwater » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:31 pm

Now you've got me curious. Why would you have a soft shackle around the swivel? To back up the swivel in case of failure? Ditch the swivel.

The way I see it the swivel is to handle the turning of the boat at anchor. With ~ 100' of chain out, certainly may dozens of twists could be accepted before the chain will hockle, and unless you are on a mooring, you will move before that. When the chain comes up, the twists unwind as soon as the anchor clears the bottom. And so long as the chain is correctly aligned in the windlass and we give it a few seconds to spin out, it will stow correctly.

Image

Is it possible that the chain is attached to the anchor rotated? I've made this mistake before.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2014/ ... wards.html

Or is it to back-up the shackle? If it is a good shackle, it should be no more vulnerable than any link of chain, though in theory the leverage can be worse.

Or to back-up both?
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Re: Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

by Phenix » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:48 pm

The chain is attached to the swivel. The swivel is attached to the shackle. The shackle is attached to the anchor. It's to back up the shackle. But it is probably true that it is unnecessary.
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Re: Soft Shackles--Where Have You Found Them Useful?

by thinwater » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:11 pm

Fair enough. No weight penalty (!), and you never know....

Image

Technically, that is not my swivel, but I did have the same model AND mine did have a crack on the inside when I swapped out my anchor ~ 2 years ago. The crack was in a location that was not visible without disassembly. So it would have been my swivel eventually.

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Great for jib sheets. Very safe and no scratching. My tip is that you should go a little over sized just because it makes them easier to work with. And they will last longer too. I think I used 1/4" just to make it easier to hold, which was the right call for me. About 14,000#! Basically, they will last until I lose them overboard. Maybe they are too big. 3/16" would have been good, though I like the extra length.

Image
Writing full time since 2014.

"Rigging Modern Anchors,"Seaworthy Press, https://www.amazon.com/Rigging-Modern-A ... 1948494078

Book Store. http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2017/ ... store.html

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