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Quietening 'shackle crack' when sailing in light airs



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What is the issue?
When the wind fills and un-fills from the sails in light air it can cause reverberating snapping of shackles. This is particularly the case if the vessels head sail blocks are attached by shackles as was the case with our circumnavigating vessel.

Why address this?
The repetitive cracking of the blocks as the wind loads up and drops can be wearisome, particularly so for crew trying to rest.

How to address this?
Dampen the snapping of metal shackle-upon-metal-shackle by placing a sleeve of reinforced PVC hose piping around the 'U' bend of each shackle.

Shackle and section of reinforced PVC
Photo: Michael Harpur


This can easily be accomplished by:

  • • Undoing the connecting shackle.

  • • Cutting off a section of PVC pipe and heating it by placing it in hot water so that it can be squeezed over the wide eyes at the end of the shackle.

  • • Then press the hose cutting around the shackle and reassemble.


Dampened Shackle
Photo: Michael Harpur


Eliminating the metal to metal will have an immediate and dramatic quieting effect.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession. Header photo with thanks to Yacht Rent.
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