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A Soft Shackle starter

by SV Crystal Blues 11 Mar 23:49 PDT
Soft Shackle View © SV Crystal Blues

Soft shackles can and do replace conventional stainless D shackles in many places aboard sailboats today. We like using them because they can articulate readily, they don't rattle, won't scratch other fittings and don't bleed rust (as all the stainless shackles will do in the long run).

On Crystal Blues we've been using them for some years, originally purchasing shackles made by our friend David at Precision Shipwright Services in Phuket, Thailand.

Eventually I was shamed into learning how to make my own, settling on a process that is clearly described here at L-36.com, a great source of boating and rigging info. We do like the "better" soft shackle described there.

Now I'm a hunter in all the chandleries we visit, looking for short lengths of Dyneema high strength line that I can buy cheap - off cuts, roll ends etc. On occasion I've been given short lengths for free, which are quickly converted into valuable shackles. Most of our shackles are made on passage, whiling away the hours on watch at sea, so it's not an onerous task. The calculator on the L-36 web page will guide you as to the critical dimensions and line lengths required.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of SV Crystal Blues.

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