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Old 17-10-2016, 17:34   #1
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Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Looking to get some of these, I don't want to make them, but there are quite a few different brands.

Any consensus on which brands have performed best, or has anyone analyzed best bang for the buck.

Only threads I found are on making your own.
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Old 17-10-2016, 18:57   #2
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

I don't use them but I've noticed Wichard on most chandlery shelves.
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Old 17-10-2016, 19:49   #3
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Sort of like asking who makes the best felt tip pen. Just buy the best priced shackles; if they're from a good fiber; dyneema etc you'll be fine and have enough to buy a beer.

Just curious....Why not just make your own?
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Old 17-10-2016, 19:56   #4
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Softie® Shackles / Hanks — Colligo Marine®

Soft Shackle Ocean
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Old 18-10-2016, 11:49   #5
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Why not make your own? Not complicated. Granted my first one took a little time till I mastered the lanyard knot but now it just takes me a few minutes to make them. 1/4 of the price of buying off the shelf. For easy instructions go to Grogs Knots (website or app). Animated step by step instructions and a calculator to make different sizes so you can customize based on application. Just need a fid for the line size and you're off to the races.
Practice your sailor marlin spike skills.
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Old 18-10-2016, 11:56   #6
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

thanks. don't have a fid, but do have fingers that can point and click on amazon or defender and something that works just shows up at my door;-) Certain things I am expert in, certain things I want to learn. This isn't one of them.
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Old 18-10-2016, 13:24   #7
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

There was a comparison test on one of the yachting magazines of off the shelf soft shackles where they tested them to destruction. They also compared them to home made jobs as well. The results were quite surprising. Bought was always best!
This is probably bad manners but some good reading here. Improved soft shackle - Page 2
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Old 18-10-2016, 14:34   #8
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Colligio, Winchard, and I think Ronstan all sell commercial soft shackles. But frankly they are all very expensive. Not compared to the cost of manufacturing, but compared to the cost of making them (labor here I say pretty high). I figure a soft shackles costs between $1-1.25 in materials and the rest is labor. Wi commercial prices running around $25 it's a big hit.

The tools to make them are trivial in comparison. I use commercial finds for larger ones, but in a pinch (i.e. I left my tools at home) I have made them with everything from a coat hanger wire to a ball point pen. It really doesn't take much. It's just threading one side thru the other then tying a knot.
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Old 18-10-2016, 14:40   #9
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfesmy View Post
Why not make your own? Not complicated. Granted my first one took a little time till I mastered the lanyard knot but now it just takes me a few minutes to make them. 1/4 of the price of buying off the shelf. For easy instructions go to Grogs Knots (website or app). Animated step by step instructions and a calculator to make different sizes so you can customize based on application. Just need a fid for the line size and you're off to the races.
Practice your sailor marlin spike skills.
I find it less effort to make them, then to trudge to the marina office to pick up the box of ready-made ones, open it, and dispose of the packing materials. It is extremely easy and does not actually require any special tools. Ball point pen, sharp scissors, a Sharpie, a ruler, some tape, bit of monel seizing wire, and you're good to go.

The easiest and best one I've found is Starzinger's "Improved Soft Shackle", the variant with bury loops instead of knots. Splicing single braid is literally easier than tying a knot (the Turk's Head knot was too much for my meager skills).

One tip is the dyneema material which is treated with some kind of resin, is much easier to work with, and feels better in use, than the very light, dry stuff.

Making up a couple shackles is a pleasant busy fingers job during sundowners. I like to give them away -- they are always useful and people are always happy to receive them.

Thanks to Evans for the excellent design.
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Old 18-10-2016, 18:51   #10
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

I learned to make them in about an hour....

I also found the rigger would make them for 15 dollars if i handed him some dyneema.
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Old 18-10-2016, 19:07   #11
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

The "best" soft shackle instructions are by Seaworthy Lass right here:


Unveiling the New BB Soft Shackle
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Old 18-10-2016, 19:09   #12
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

good grief, folks, he has made it clear that he does not want to make the bloody things. He wants to buy them ready made. This may not work for you, and it does not for me, but it is his choice, and he wanted some recommendations for sources.

Stop trying to change his mind and try to give him some help if you can. I can't, but would if I had useful info.

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Old 18-10-2016, 19:29   #13
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Looking to get some of these, I don't want to make them, but there are quite a few different brands.

Any consensus on which brands have performed best, or has anyone analyzed best bang for the buck.

Only threads I found are on making your own.
I would be less concerned with brand than...
  • Size (length and diameter. For uses where they will be handled often (jib clews) bigger and longer is helpful.
  • Style (open or closed. The closed ones are nice for permanent items, and the open shackles are faster and less prone to jamming (snubber shackles get junk in them).
The thing is, they're like candy. You can't have just one or two. There are many places I still use metal shackles, but they are loosing ground.
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Old 19-10-2016, 04:40   #14
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Try Ebay. I bought some from a person making them in Montana. Thought they were the best bang for the buck. I've been happy with them, though I can't locate the name, at the moment.
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Old 19-10-2016, 04:55   #15
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Re: Soft Shackle, I don't want to make my own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
good grief, folks, he has made it clear that he does not want to make the bloody things. He wants to buy them ready made. This may not work for you, and it does not for me, but it is his choice, and he wanted some recommendations for sources.

Stop trying to change his mind and try to give him some help if you can. I can't, but would if I had useful info.

Jim
Jim, he might not really know how easy they are to make. I think the comments have all been helpful. Especially for others who may be sitting on the fence. Not only the OP will be reading this.

Concerning the store-boughten ones:

They mostly use a "dog bone" instead of a knot for the fastening. This has some advantages and I guess will be stronger, since only simple loops are used instead of the more complicated bends of the home-made ones.

I especially like the Wichard one which is very elegant:

Click image for larger version

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However, most of these store-boughten ones have metal bits like a dog bone or Wichard's clever bit, while this is an advantage for strength, and for putting them on and taking them off, this adds something sharpish and hard to rip up something if they are on a flogging clew or otherwise strike something. So I would tend not to want to use this type for sheet attachments etc. YMMV.
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