Soft Shackle Failure


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Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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I found a place I can't use a soft shackle that I thought was a natural... Attaching the clew of my main to the outhaul car.

I was fed up with the hard shackle clacking against the car when at anchor so I made a soft shackle using 8mm diameter Dineema - but in less than 3 months of sailing, it nearly chafed through!

Is this the wrong place to use a soft shackle - or did I screw up in it's making or in it's use? The shackle was quite a big one - to go through the car and the clew and also to attach the outhaul line to...

Your thoughts and criticisms welcomed!


Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Dick
Dick
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Bill Balme - 7/22/2019
I found a place I can't use a soft shackle that I thought was a natural... Attaching the clew of my main to the outhaul car.

I was fed up with the hard shackle clacking against the car when at anchor so I made a soft shackle using 8mm diameter Dineema - but in less than 3 months of sailing, it nearly chafed through!

Is this the wrong place to use a soft shackle - or did I screw up in it's making or in it's use? The shackle was quite a big one - to go through the car and the clew and also to attach the outhaul line to...

Your thoughts and criticisms welcomed!


Dick
Dick
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Bill Balme - 7/22/2019
I found a place I can't use a soft shackle that I thought was a natural... Attaching the clew of my main to the outhaul car.

I was fed up with the hard shackle clacking against the car when at anchor so I made a soft shackle using 8mm diameter Dineema - but in less than 3 months of sailing, it nearly chafed through!

Is this the wrong place to use a soft shackle - or did I screw up in it's making or in it's use? The shackle was quite a big one - to go through the car and the clew and also to attach the outhaul line to...

Your thoughts and criticisms welcomed!

Hi Bill,

Dyneema, as line goes, is better than most at resisting chafe. You wanted the soft shackle as the metal shackle was bothersomely noisy at anchor. I suspect that means you have a roller furled main with a little sail emerging that causes the movement.

In any case the movement experienced by the metal shackle was probably enough to cause the Dyneema to chafe over time. No line likes constant movement and slapping about. The other candidate would be UV damage, but that seems unlikely.

If you think this is the case, I would suggest a lashing, seized at both ends. Lashings give lots of warning that they are starting to chafe or have problems and have other benefits over soft shackles, especially in areas where frequent release is not anticipated.

As an aside, I think high modulus lines are great but many are finding uses for them on cruising boats that lead to unintended consequences, sometimes serious.

My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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Not an in-mast furling - slab reefing. I think it didn't appreciate slatting in no-wind conditions. I checked the slew for any sharp points - none obvious so not sure why it gave up - especially since it was very much overkill in terms of sizing...


Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Dick
Dick
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Bill Balme - 7/26/2019
Not an in-mast furling - slab reefing. I think it didn't appreciate slatting in no-wind conditions. I checked the slew for any sharp points - none obvious so not sure why it gave up - especially since it was very much overkill in terms of sizing...

Hi Bill, Slatting is certainly horrible and hard on equipment/gear and I hate it: drives me crazy. I had guessed the in-mast as you mentioned movement at anchor. My best, Dick
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