APS - Annapolis Performance Sailing

logo

Shackles & Fittings

How to Choose and Use a Trigger Sailboat Shackle | Expert Advice

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch […]

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch and accidentally open. Another advantage to the trigger shackle is that it is generally stronger and more compact than a snap shackle.

HOW DOES IT WORK

A trigger shackle is made up of a hinged bail, the shackle body with the trigger house within, and a swiveling bail.  Lines are attached, or spliced, to the swiveling bail.  With the shackle open, insert the sail attachment point (ring or eye) into the shackle housing and close the shackle until you feel it snap into its locked position.  Inside the shackle housing is a small spring loaded trigger that, when pressed, opens the bail and releases the sail.

WHAT IS A FID

Release Fid

Release Fids

One advantage to the trigger shackle is being able to release under load. To release under load, use a fid. When releasing it under load, there are 2 reasons to use a fid: 1) It is difficult to actuate the trigger with just your finger while the shackle is highly loaded 2) You should keep your fingers away from the recoil of the shackle to prevent injury. A fid is conical pin or spike. Insert the fid into the space where the trigger is to depress the trigger and open the shackle.

BROWSE ALL FIDS

TYPES OF TRIGGER SHACKLES

The standard bail is the most popular. With a standard size bail in relation to the shackle, you should choose your size based on the appropriate working load (not breaking load). Standard bail trigger shackles are ideal for a jib halyard, a spinnaker halyard, spinnaker sheet, or a spinnaker tack line.

Large bail trigger shackles are designed for spinnaker sheets and guys. When spliced to the guy, you can snap the spinnaker sheet shackle to the larger bail used for the sheet.  Another option is to splice both your sheet and guy to one large bail shackle, allowing you to save weight and simplify spinnaker attachment, but you do lose the flexibility of detaching the sheet and guy separately which is helpful if the wind lightens up or you are preparing for a ‘peel’ to another spinnaker.

A clevis bail trigger shackle is perfect for a permanent application where you want it to stay with the boat. These are very popular to attach a jib to the bottom of a furler drum.

BROWSE ALL TRIGGER SHACKLES

How to Choose and Use Sailboat Snap Shackles | Expert Advice

Snap shackles come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are generally used for halyards, sheets, guys, and tack lines, along with a few specialty applications.  The beauty of a snap shackle is the easy open and release function. Let’s take a closer look. HOW DOES IT WORK A few basic components are found on every snap shackle. The hinged bail, the shackle body bail to which your line is attached, a spring loaded plunger pin with a pull […]

Snap shackles come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are generally used for halyards, sheets, guys, and tack lines, along with a few specialty applications.  The beauty of a snap shackle is the easy open and release function. Let’s take a closer look.

HOW DOES IT WORK

A few basic components are found on every snap shackle. The hinged bail, the shackle body bail to which your line is attached, a spring loaded plunger pin with a pull ring on the end. When you pull the ring,the spring loaded plunger pin slides back until it disengages.  At this point you can swivel the hinge open and then release the pin.  Once the shackle is open, you can now attach what you need- clew of a jib, head of spinnaker, etc. Simply press the free hinge back closed, and it locks tight with a ‘snap’.

Now, if you are concerned about the snap shackle leash or ring catching on some part of the boat while in use and accidentally opening up, you can secure it with a few wraps of rigging tape around shackle covering the pull ring.

It’s important to remember that snap shackles cannot be safely released under load.  If you’re in a situation where you might need to release a shackle under load, like when ‘peeling’ to a different spinnaker, you’re going to need a Trigger Shackle.

HOW TO CHOOSE

The first thing to help decide which one you need is to figure out the load of the application and compare that to the safe working load (not the breaking load) of the shackle.  Also, take into consideration what you’re attaching it to.  Is the body of the shackle large enough to accommodate what will be inserted into it?

 

The first type is a fixed bail snap shackle. The bail is part of the shackle body and does not swivel. This works for applications where you don’t want any twisting, or the application is simple and a more expensive swivel block is not warranted.

Next, the most common, is the standard bail snap shackle. The bail is connected to the shackle with a swivel. A 360 degree range  allows twists in an attached line to work themselves out, or a twisted spinnaker to untwist more easily on the hoist. Popular for jib and spinnaker halyards, and sheets.

Next, is the large bail. The larger bail allows more space to splice or luggage tag lines. Some prefer to connect both the guy and sheet to one shackle. Or, with the guy spliced permanently to the large bail, there is room to attach the snap shackle of the sheet to it when using separate spinnaker sheets and guys.

Finally, the clevis bail, or a screw bail. The Wichard bail comes with a clevis pin, while the Ronstan bail uses a flat head screw. These are ideal for permanent attachments, and especially popular to attach the tack of a jib to the base of the furler drum.

BROWSE ALL SNAP SHACKLES

ACCESSORIES

Ronstan Shackle Pulls

Schaefer Leather Leash for Shackle

Some snap shackles come or can be fitted with accessories to help make opening easier whether it’s a braided line or a leather leash. These are attached permanently to the pull ring on the end of the plunger, and add extra area to grip for ease of opening.

How to Choose and Use Soft Shackles | Expert Advice

There are dozens of shackles you can use on a boat; screw pin, key pin, trigger, J-Lock just to name a few. Recently there is a newer style of shackle that’s been added to the mix. These shackles are collectively referred to as Soft Shackles. Soft Shackles have quickly grown in popularity as the technology for low stretch line like Dyneema and Spectra have advanced. The primary benefit of this shackle is weight reduction without loss in breaking strength. The downside is diminished durability but for most people this is an acceptable trade-off. Our […]

There are dozens of shackles you can use on a boat; screw pin, key pin, trigger, J-Lock just to name a few. Recently there is a newer style of shackle that’s been added to the mix. These shackles are collectively referred to as Soft Shackles.

Soft Shackles have quickly grown in popularity as the technology for low stretch line like Dyneema and Spectra have advanced.

The primary benefit of this shackle is weight reduction without loss in breaking strength. The downside is diminished durability but for most people this is an acceptable trade-off.

APS Soft Shackle

Our two most popular soft shackles are the APS Dyneema-Shackle Loops, which are all-Dyneema shackles, and Equiplites Soft Shackles which  have an aluminum bobbin used to secure the Dyneema loop in place.

Equiplite Soft Shackle

The benefit of the aluminum bobbin is that no matter how highly loaded the shackle is, it
is just as easy to open whereas the Dyneema Shackle loops can snug onto themselves, sometimes making quick sail changes difficult to perform. But the all-Dyneema loops are much less expensive whereas the Equiplites can often cost many times more. It really depends on the application which you should use and each has their pros and cons.

How Tylaska Spool Shackles Work | Expert Advice

While it may look like a spool for your mother’s sewing machine it most certainly is not. A Spool Shackle is yet another light-weight shackle option for sailboats looking to keep things simple and decrease weight. Unlike a conventional knots on halyards, sheets, or outhauls, a spool shackle will not jam up. It will remain easy to fasten and unfasten, even after being under high load. Spool Shackles have exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. The key to the magic of its strength is the line that you use. […]

While it may look like a spool for your mother’s sewing machine it most certainly is not. A Spool Shackle is yet another light-weight shackle option for sailboats looking to keep things simple and decrease weight.

spool shackle

Unlike a conventional knots on halyards, sheets, or outhauls, a spool shackle will not jam up. It will remain easy to fasten and unfasten, even after being under high load.

Spool Shackles have exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. The key to the magic of its strength is the line that you use. The line supplies the strength while the shackle redirects the force.

They work with both conventional and hi-tech lines with a “looped end”. This looped end can be a pre-made eye splice, or a simple overhand knot loop.

The Tylaska Spool Shackle comes in several different sizes to match the size of line intended for use. All you need to do is figure out what size line you need and match the shackle to it.

SOAK Dogbone Shackle | Expert Review

8/2016 NOTE: This product is currently out of production.  check out our other dogbones here These shackle alternatives are super simple, lightweight and easy to use. In the video below I will show you our preferred method for using the SOAK Dogbone Shackle. There are certainly other ways to use this clever invention but the method shown below is how we intend our custom rigging that utilizes the dogbone (like our J70 tackline) to be installed. The best uses for a dogbone shackle […]

8/2016 NOTE: This product is currently out of production.  check out our other dogbones here

SOAK Dogbone

These shackle alternatives are super simple, lightweight and easy to use. In the video below I will show you our preferred method for using the SOAK Dogbone Shackle. There are certainly other ways to use this clever invention but the method shown below is how we intend our custom rigging that utilizes the dogbone (like our J70 tackline) to be installed.

The best uses for a dogbone shackle that we have found are for main halyard attachment, outhaul attachment, and spinnaker sheet and tackline attachment on boats under 27’. The dogbone comes in 3 sizes;  #8 for 1/8” line or smaller, #10 for 1/8”-3/16”line, and #12 for 3/16”-1/4”line.

The sky is the limit with these little gems and if you can think it up, we can probably make it for you. We have seen the dogbones used all over the place from reefing lines to attachment of running back turning blocks, to securing an outboard lead for jib reaching. Give us a call with your idea for using dogbones, and our customer service team and riggers will be happy to make you a solution that fits your needs. Enjoy!

How to Lash a Harken T2 Ti-Lite Soft Attach Block | Expert Advice

Here, an APS Rigger shows you how to properly lash a soft attach Harken T2 block using an APS Dyneema Shackle Loop (DSL). Background: Harken’s T2 Soft Attach Blocks represent the first blocks with no fasteners, rivets, or other metal parts – making them incredibly light. These blocks paired with soft shackles will give you lightweight, high performance without compromising strength. Whether you call them soft shackles, softies, or loops – it’s clear that spliced Dyneema shackles are quickly becoming the norm […]

Here, an APS Rigger shows you how to properly lash a soft attach Harken T2 block using an APS Dyneema Shackle Loop (DSL).

Background: Harken’s T2 Soft Attach Blocks represent the first blocks with no fasteners, rivets, or other metal parts – making them incredibly light. These blocks paired with soft shackles will give you lightweight, high performance without compromising strength.

Whether you call them soft shackles, softies, or loops – it’s clear that spliced Dyneema shackles are quickly becoming the norm on high-performance race boats from the America’s Cup to moths and everything in between. Extremely lightweight and strong, these can replace shackles almost anywhere you need them and happen to be ideal for jib sheets as they won’t bang up your mast or get chewed up by inhaulers.

APS Dyneema Shackle Loops are also a great way to attach blocks like the Harken T2 or Airblocks to a padeye, toerail, or boom when you need a block to be able to rotate and pivot in ways a shackle won’t allow. A Velcro securing strap comes with each shackle to prevent the loop from coming undone in no-load flogging situations.

These Dyneema shackle loops are offered in a wide range of diameters and lengths. Developed in-house by APS expert riggers: They are all made in the APS rigging shop and can be custom made to any length you need.

APS Dyneema Shackle Loops (DSLs) | Expert Review

Often called soft shackles, softies, or loops – Spliced Dyneema Shackles are quickly becoming the norm on high performance race boats. Their safe working load-to-weight ratio was a popular characteristic that landed these puppies on an America’s Cup boat holding the mainsheet to a padeye. Sailors like these loops because they are extremely light, they won’t scratch up the boat, and besides looking slick – they’re flexible and can be fastened just about anywhere. Soft shackles can replace traditional shackles […]

APS Dyneema Shackle Loops

Often called soft shackles, softies, or loops – Spliced Dyneema Shackles are quickly becoming the norm on high performance race boats. Their safe working load-to-weight ratio was a popular characteristic that landed these puppies on an America’s Cup boat holding the mainsheet to a padeye. Sailors like these loops because they are extremely light, they won’t scratch up the boat, and besides looking slick – they’re flexible and can be fastened just about anywhere.
Soft shackles can replace traditional shackles and happen to be ideal for jib sheets because they won’t bang up your mast or get chewed up by inhaulers. They make the lightest weight halyard attachment when spliced onto the end of a stripped line. Our rigging department is proud to offer our very own in-house APS Dyneema Shackle Loops in a wide variety of diameters and lengths. To be sure the loops don’t come undone when not under load, a velcro strap a.k.a. “keeper” comes with every shackle. If you need an attachment for your Harken T2 block or Harken Airblock, these shackles are ideal and can be a great block attachment on padeyes, toerails, or booms.

Jarrett Hering, one of our APS rigging gurus, explains how Dyneema Shackle Loops work and how you use them. With a little practice, you’ll even be able to manipulate these with one hand…

Tylaska Locking Snap Shackle and Spring Loaded Clevis Pins feature image

Tylaska Locking Snap Shackle and Spring Loaded Clevis Pins | Expert Advice

Favorite vendors, friends and customers both old and new, the Annapolis Boat Show is the place we see them all. It”s also the time and place we get to see some new and unique products. This year I got to catch up with Tim and Dianne from Tylaska and, as usual, they didn”t disappoint me and they had something new and unique to show me. Check these out… On the left you”ll see what looks like a standard snap shackle. […]

Favorite vendors, friends and customers both old and new, the Annapolis Boat Show is the place we see them all. It”s also the time and place we get to see some new and unique products. This year I got to catch up with Tim and Dianne from Tylaska and, as usual, they didn”t disappoint me and they had something new and unique to show me. Check these out…

On the left you”ll see what looks like a standard snap shackle. But, this is no ordinary snap shackle. Notice the small slot to the left of the pull ring? That”s what makes this little guy different from anything else. This snap shackle features a locking pull pin and that little slot is where the mechanism rests. No more worries of a line or other bit getting caught around the ring ding and opening the shackle. Simply give the pin a twist and you”ll feel the locking mechanism seat keeping the pin in place. Another twist and a pull opens it all while otherwise opening and closing like any other snap shackle.

On the right you”ll see what looks like a pretty standard clevis pin. But, this is also no ordinary clevis pin. This is a clevis pin raised to the power of Tim Tylaska! If you look at the center of the pin you”ll notice there is a pin within the pin. Push this spring loaded pin in from either side with a fid, or anything pointy (I couldn”t do it with my finger), and a set of three balls retract allowing the clevis pin to enter or exit its hole. Carefully recessed, the center pin is designed not to be accidentally unloaded or to allow it to fall out. Essentially, this is like a “Fast pin” but without the protruding extra bits.

These bits are set to be officially launched at METS in a few weeks but Tim and Dianne don”t like to launch products without plenty of stock behind them so we”re not 100wp_posts.post_contenture when these pieces will be available to market. However, we”re told they”ll be available in various sizes very soon. Rest assured that if you receive our Weekly EList you”ll likely be one of the first to know. If you don”t already receive it we encourage you to sign up for it here!