Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Velocitek Prism 728x90

Soft shackles are a win-win

by Phil Anniss, upffront.com on 10 Aug 2016
Lightweight, zero corrosion and kind to deck, mast, rigging and sails upffront.com
Soft shackles are a fraction of the weight, stronger, safer and have a similar life span as their metal equivalents. Generally made of single braid, polyurethane coated Dyneema® SK75 or SK78 with a diamond stopper knot, they can be used to replace virtually every stainless shackle on-board.

Applications

  • Attach halyards to sails instead of a snap shackle
  • Attach sheets to sails and reduce snagging and impact damage to mast and rigging
  • Attach blocks quickly and easily to toe rail or deck padeyes
    o An increasing number of blocks on the market are designed to be attached using soft shackles, strops or lashings
  • They can be used as sail hanks

the list goes on...

A soft, strong and secure universal connector!



Benefits


  • Super lightweight compared to stainless equivalents - weight savings of 70-80%
  • Quick, simple, reliable connection
  • Easy to remove, never binds even after heavy load
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • No corrosion
  • They naturally articulate

    • reduce need for additional metallic toggles
    • Self-aligning to load angle

  • Flexibility – the same soft shackle can be used in a wide range of applications
  • Reduce damage to mast, rigging, deck and sails
  • Dyneema® is waterproof and floats – no more worrying about dropping that pin over the side!

Single line or twin line shackle

There are two general styles/configurations of soft shackle: those that look like a single line with the diamond knot at one end and an eye splice at the other end (which can be opened to slip over the knot); or where the eye splice is formed by passing the line through itself which leaves the body of the shackle as x2 individual lines.



They are both made from exactly the same material, with the same strength properties, they are just a different construction technique. Which type to use mainly comes down to personal preference, however, at upffront.com we would recommend the twin line version for x2 reasons: we believe they are a little easier to open/close and secondly, blocks tend to sit more comfortably on the two lines as they can move around to take the load more evenly.



Maintenance and replacement

Being waterproof and corrosion resistant there is very little that needs to be done to maintain your soft shackles. Assuming the bearing surfaces are smooth you should see relatively little abrasion of the fibre.

As with all rigging elements, the life of the shackle is primarily dependent on the normal working load as a percentage of its designed break load. For example, a shackle working at 25% of its break load will last twice as long as a shackle working at 50% of its break load.

Shackles should be inspected as part of your routine maintenance and annually removed for a full visual inspection. If any fluffing of the fibre is evident, it should be replaced and, as a precaution, we would recommend general replacement after 3-5 years depending on use.



Conclusion

If you haven't made the switch to soft shackles on your boat, you really should consider it. It is quick and simple to change and can be a relatively inexpensive upgrade which offers many performance and ease-of-use advantages. Click here for more technical details on our range of soft shackles.



About Upffront.com

Upffront.com offers an extensive range of sailing hardware and rigging systems online for customers worldwide. Our focus is on sailing systems and our aim is to improve knowledge and accessibility to the latest developments in lightweight, composite rigging and promote lighter, faster, safer sailing for boats of all shapes and sizes from dinghy's to superyachts.

For more information visit www.upffront.com or e-mail support@upffront.com



MBW newsletters (top)

Related Articles

Gotifreddi Maffioli cruising lines explained
A vast range of very specialist cores and covers Family run, Italian rope makers, Gottifredi Maffioli, have an international reputation as one of the leading brands across the full spectrum of yachting lines from Olympic class dinghies, grand-prix TP52s and mini-maxis to the largest superyachts.
Posted on 27 Feb
Karver's double whammy at the DAME Awards
Compact winch and carbon handle applauded in Amsterdam The Dame Awards are the leisure marine industry's equivalent to the Oscars, awarded every year at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS), held in Amsterdam each November.
Posted on 19 Feb
Local Ropemaker to America's Cup Supplier
How did little Italian rope producer Armare make it to the top? Despite being a small, family-run business, Armare Ropes are operating at the top of their game.
Posted on 13 Feb
Robline Rope Cruising Ranges Explained
How to choose which range you need The success of Robline as an international rope brand is based on decades of expertise in manufacturing fibre ropes, the experience of professional sailors in the company, and the intensive collaboration with Olympic gold medallists.
Posted on 5 Feb
nke Depth and Speed sensors explained
nke are the standard for the majority of Mini-Transat and IMOCA 60 classes The marine industry has been awash with new and exciting technological innovations in recent years and standing at the forefront are companies like nke marine electronics.
Posted on 30 Jan
Tylaska Cone and Plug Fids explained
How to release loaded fittings remotely Tylaska Marine Hardware is an American manufacturer of high quality- marine hardware for the sailing and marine industry. Tylaska's stated aim is to make the best product based upon physics and not economics.
Posted on 16 Jan
Velocitek - get your electronics strapped in
Brackets for every possible mounting point Simple, clear and extremely functional. Velocitek electronics are popular among sailors from beginners to competition veterans thanks to their functional design and ease of use. Upffront are big fans of the Velocitek range of electronics
Posted on 8 Jan
Tuff Luff head foils care and maintenance
A guide from upffront.com Tuff Luff's twin-grooved headfoil allows for easy and fast headsail changes. It is a must-have system for any club or competitive race boat. Tuff Luff is owned by Schaefer Marine Inc. who has been in marine hardware design since 1966.
Posted on 2 Jan
Soft Attachment Blocks - a guide to the basics
There has been a quiet revolution going on in the last 5 years There has been a quiet revolution going on with block attachments over the last five years. Soft attachments are universally accepted as the preferred method of securing a block.
Posted on 25 Dec 2019
Bamar's RLG EVO - Code Zero Furler
Sleek, performance-orientated furling designs investigated Hailing from Northern Italy, Bamar are over 40 years old and on a mission to create sleek, performance-orientated furling designs that aim to 'partially automate sailing operations'.
Posted on 19 Dec 2019