Halyard/Shackle Connection


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Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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What's the best method to attach a shackle to your halyard?

Currently, all mine are spliced on - which I haven't learned to do yet. However, I can tie a reasonable bowline - or even a Palomar. Which is stronger - knot or splice? (I know which is cheaper!)

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Dick
Dick
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Hi Bill,
Not sure about best, but the following is my take:
A splice is always stronger than a knot.
My take on splices is that, for most of us, it is better to let a pro do the splice (with braid, stranded line I still do all my own splices). If you are doing them all the time, you just do a better job. I gave up doing them after learning to splice braid years ago, as I found my occasional (once every couple of years) efforts while perhaps strong enough suffered from looks and the tapers were not so functional.
For conventional line, a buntline hitch is an excellent knot to attach a shackle to a halyard. A bowline is not recommended as the nature of its construction is such that it keeps the halyard from being raised full hoist. The buntline hitch is essentially a slip knot that jams on itself. It is a very secure knot, but can be a bear to untie, which luckily is rarely necessary for halyard to shackle connections.
For high modulus halyards I would generally have a pro doing a splice as HM lines lose more of their strength when knotted and the core can slip through knots. I do not have a lot of experience with knots in HM lines, but when I do use them I always secure the core to the outer layer with stitching and make sure that the strength of my HM line is overkill for the job as the knot will compromise strength to a greater extent. This has worked for me as my halyards are HM line and for two of them I have turned end for end and cut off the splice and used buntline hitches to secure the “new” end to the shackle.
Spliced halyards should all have a “knob” of some sort to keep the splice from being drawn into the sheave and jamming. With a hitch this is unnecessary as the knot will be the “stopper” at the sheave.
Come back with questions/comments.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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Thanks for the response Dick.
I'm not quite clear on some terms... braid and stranded lines that you do yourself - do you mean things like 12 strand Dyneema and 3 strand Poly type lines? When it comes to "double braid" you turn to a pro? Sorry, somewhat separated from my native language having started sailing in the States!
My halyards are High Modulus lines and unfortunately have suffered damage such that I need to end for end one and completely replace the other. (I got lucky - it was nearly in half about 1/3rd down the length... I clearly have a problem in the mast!)
I'm not sure how successful anyone will be splicing the lazy end of an 11 year old halyard - hence the thought of moving to a knot. Thanks for the steer to the Buntline Hitch - not one that resides in my admittedly very small arsenal!

I'm now trying to identify appropriate line types in the UK for both the halyard I need to replace as well as some reefing lines that I want to convert to HM.

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Dick
Dick
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Hi Bill,
By stranded, I basically mean the 3 strand nylon I use for dock lines, snubbers, anchor bridle etc. although I have used some of the multi-strand whose name escapes me now. And yes, I turn double braid polyester/Dacron over to a pro as well as all HM line for splicing. Somewhat against advice, I turned an HM line end for end a few years ago and finished it off with a buntline hitch and stitching and it has stood the test of time. Older lines are generally not worth (or possible) to splice. My one time of having a halyard chafe inside the mast was, I believe, caused by having the halyard quite loose for a long time in very boisterous conditions: it was the main sail halyard and for 24+ hours we were running before a gale with the main down and the halyard not pulled tight).
My best, Dick
David Tyler
David Tyler
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Bill,

I use the snare knot, or poacher's knot, for semi permanent attachments such as this, It is very secure, even in bare Dyneema, and has the least bulk and best strength of any such knot, as far as I'm aware. It can be tied very short-ended. Once snugged up and loaded, it needs a spike to loosen it, so is best used wherever you'd use a splice.

https://www.animatedknots.com/poachers/index.php
Dick
Dick
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Hi David,
Thanks for coming in on this.

That is an interesting knot that I was unaware of and I will keep it in mind and give it some practice when I get a chance. I especially like that reports indicate that it is more more secure with HM lines. I am also aware of the EStar (developed and tested by Evans Starzinger) which is also good for HM lines but seems a bit bulky for halyards although I have not used it in that context.

My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Bill Balme
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That is an interesting knot David... Add a few more wraps and it begins to look like a hangman's noose!

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

David Tyler
David Tyler
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[quote=Bill Balme]That is an interesting knot David... Add a few more wraps and it begins to look like a hangman's noose![/quote]
With three turns instead of two, it's called a scaffold knot. Useful to know in case you have a mutiny aboard and your rig includes a yardarm.
GO

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