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Old 12-05-2016, 12:14   #1
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Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

On my new mainsail the reef cringles are smaller and the sail is stiffer making it harder to hook onto the reef horns at the gooseneck. I have 2" stainless rings taken from the old sail that fit nicely over the horns. My question is, what is the best way to attach the rings through the reef cringles? Pardon the crude drawing.

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I want to keep the rings as close to the sail as possible with little space between them because I don't want to change the geometry of the reef attachment. I'm thinking of passing 1/4" Amsteel line through the cringle and the rings several times. Is 1/4" sufficient? How should I finished it? Splices on both ends or just lash it? If lashing what knots to finish the lashing? Or is a soft shackle the only way to go?


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Old 12-05-2016, 12:22   #2
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Standard is to use several passes/loops of webbing (polyester ok, spectra better) and then sew them

Amsteel is tricky because of the short length - not enough room for proper bury. And knots will be bulkier and can slip. It can be done, but webbing is the better solution.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:28   #3
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Thanks Evans. I'll look into some spectra webbing. Any idea of size needed?


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Old 12-05-2016, 12:30   #4
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

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Thanks Evans. I'll look into some spectra webbing. Any idea of size needed?


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Whatever size will fit thru the grommets and rings nicely. You want say three loops (2 ok if 3 gets too thick) - and that will massive strong in even small sizes. Your sewing will probably be the weak point - but it will be fine.

I think sailrite has spectra webbing.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:49   #5
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Thanks. Sailrite has 1 1/2" inch spectra which is to thick. But I found 1" at APS in Annapolis. I'll order some.


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Old 12-05-2016, 13:59   #6
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

It isn't often I argue with Estar, but here I would use a dyneema loop. Basically multiple passes of a single line thru the cringe, then end for end spliced together. It automatically load balanced, and the multiple passes provide enough length of the line to allow for a proper bury. I would probably use 3/16 and more passes, but 1/4" would work as well. The more passes the larger the surface area on the grommet and strength is simply not a concern, though UV with really small line (1/8") might be.

The downside is it has to be spliced in place, which may be tricky if you aren't comfortable doing it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 14:04   #7
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Stumble, thanks for your thoughts. That is what I was considering doing but the difficult part would be getting the whole thing tight to the sail and trying to get the end to end splice in there. I'm thinking the spectra webbing stitched in place may be the way to go in the tight space.


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Old 12-05-2016, 15:45   #8
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Tayana42,

We hand sew, and use nylon webbing, not as strong as spectra, but adequate for our main (~550 sq/ft.)

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Old 12-05-2016, 15:52   #9
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Thanks Ann, that gives me a lot of confidence that this is one correct way to go.


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Old 12-05-2016, 17:30   #10
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

I’ve got a couple of different takes on some of the already offered up ideas. Plus one or two new ones.

~ Buy the proper length pre-made Loop, & Cow Hitch it to one ring. Pass it's end through the sail, & do the same on the other side? Or, alternatively, do this but use Bow Shackles, as below.

~ Dispense with the metal rings altogether, & seize/serve the “legs” of a loop passed through the cringle, together. In order to keep it affixed in place on the sail, & also to form openings in its ends. Both of which would be slipped over the reefing hook.
You could either fix two of these through the cringle; one for each side. Or only have one; pushing it over to the appropriate side, & slip it over the reefing hook.

~Similarly, you could Cow Hitch one or two, stock, or custom length loops, through each cringle. Lock them in place. And when reefing, slip their business end(s) over your reefing hooks.

~ Pre-fabricate the proper length Loop, or sewn Spectra strop, on your workbench/sewing machine. Leaving a small opening at either end. And then use stainless Bow shackles, in lieu of stainless rings.

Sliding the shackle’s cross pins through the openings in the ends of the loops/strops.
This would let you first fit the loop or strop through the sail, & then attach the shackles. Ergo, no sewing or splicing in small spaces would be required.

Plus, with the small diameter of the opening in the ends of the strop/loop, it won’t be able to slide off of the cross pin, & down onto the shackle’s body. Though with a beefy enough shackle, it’d likely be okay if this were to happen. And it might even make sense to turn the shackle 180 deg. from the above.

The shackle’s manufacturer would know, for sure, what would safely work.

If going this route, use a Bow shackle with a cross pin that requires a Hex or Torx wrench to open/close it. So that there are smooth surfaces all of the way around on the shackle. Thus mitigating the chances of the shackle chafing the sail.
And use a drop or two of Blue Loctite on the shackles threads, if they the aren’t the self-locking type.


NOTE: For most (or all) of these methods, I’d prefer to have Wichard snap hooks welded onto the bar where the reefing hooks are. That way your Tack reef attachments can’t accidentally slip off when you’re re-tensioning the halyard.
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Old 12-05-2016, 17:36   #11
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Polyester or Spectra webbing loop(-s) (normaly two turns are enough). Hand sewn to lock.

Not nylon as this stiffens and deteriorates in the sun. It is fine in short term but polyester will last longer.

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Old 12-05-2016, 18:09   #12
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Ive used many passes of smaller 2 or 3mm covered spectra with success. I just knotted the start with a buntline hitch and ended with a round turn and a bunch of half hitches. Very crude, but strong and flexible, and easy to adjust if you find you want a bit more length. Also quick to replace.

These days I have taken to not even using the rings, just one big loop of spectra through the eye that can be pulled though the front to hook on port or stb as needed. If its sized right it makes a nice handle to pull the luff down with. A soft shackle might work as long as there was nothing for it to foul up on further up the mast.

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Old 12-05-2016, 18:20   #13
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Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Uncivilized, Barnakiel and Snowpetrel, thank you for the replies. I've already ordered some 1/2" spectra webbing which I'll try with the rings I have. If I have trouble sewing in the tight space I'll try pre making the loops and either cow hitchhiking a single loop at each cringle or bow shackle on each side. Two clever neat and simple solutions.


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Old 12-05-2016, 20:04   #14
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Uncivilized, Barnakiel and Snowpetrel, thank you for the replies. I've already ordered some 1/2" spectra webbing which I'll try with the rings I have. If I have trouble sewing in the tight space I'll try pre making the loops and either cow hitchhiking a single loop at each cringle or bow shackle on each side. Two clever neat and simple solutions.


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If you don't have the snap hooks on your boom as uncivilized suggests (something I will do on my boom at the next round of modifications) make sure that your loops, rings, or whatever you use are just the right length. That means that you have to use some effort to pull them down and over your horns so that they spring into place on the horns. That way you don't have to worry about them falling off as you tension the halyard.

The unused ones will stay in place too - us high latitude fools often have four reefs in the main so on the fourth reef there are three unused loops hanging around.
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Old 12-05-2016, 20:09   #15
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Re: Best Way To Attach Rings Through A Reef Cringle

Good advice, thanks.


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