Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-10-2015, 06:12   #1
Moderator
 
Seaworthy Lass's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Aluminium cutter rigged sloop
Posts: 12,819
Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I am just making up a few more Dyneema soft shackles.
What is the design currently considered the best?

The original ones I made used a bury for the entire length and a diamond knot. The drawback with these is that the opening is fiddly to milk shut and in time this becomes harder.

This year I started making the "Better Soft Shackle" described in L-36. I was a little slow to adopt this version, as we have never had the original version fail for any reason (always a first time I guess ):
Better Soft Shackle
The end is easy to open and closes snuggly around the diamond stopper.

As I understand it, the strength of both these types of shackles is limited by the stopper, but is still greater than the strength of the line itself.

Last year the author of L-36 (Allen ?) together with Evans Starzinger and Brion Toss developed a "High Strength Soft Shackle" using a Button stopper whose ends are inserted back through the Dyneema to strengthen the knot junction:
High Strength Soft Shackle

I have never made or used this type of soft shackle.
The strength may be higher, but is is better overall? Ease of use matters.

Has anything better been proposed more recently?

SWL
__________________

__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen
"To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space." Clifford Ashley
Seaworthy Lass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 06:38   #2
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,028
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

L-36 is a great resource but those have to be among the worst knot tying instruction I think I've ever read. SWL do you think you could convince Grog to put this soft shackle instruction up on his site? It sounds like it would be a great variation to know about.
__________________

__________________
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 07:37   #3
Moderator
 
Seaworthy Lass's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Aluminium cutter rigged sloop
Posts: 12,819
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
L-36 is a great resource but those have to be among the worst knot tying instruction I think I've ever read. SWL do you think you could convince Grog to put this soft shackle instruction up on his site? It sounds like it would be a great variation to know about.
No influence with Grog here . If I did, I would have persuaded them to show the dressed double sheet bend, that is superior to the undressed version taught everywhere .

I will try making a High Strength Soft shackle tonight when I work out how to tie a Button Stopper.

Is it the tying instructions for the Best or High Strength that you think are confusing on L-36? I will simplify them with photos and post here if that would help.

There are probably dozens of YouTubes illustrating this, but my internet is not sufficient to explore and see.

SWL
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen
"To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space." Clifford Ashley
Seaworthy Lass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 08:12   #4
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,028
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I am most interested in the "high strength soft shackle". It seems it should be easier to make and Evans tested it as stronger than the others. The button knot has lots of examples on the web but the rest of L-36 instructions are difficult to understand, several grammar errors and there are no in-process photos. If you can post a series of photos how to make this shackle that would be great I think.
__________________
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 11:26   #5
Registered User
 
tstano's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NH
Boat: Pearson 530
Posts: 98
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I'm using Edwards soft shackle instructions on Grog, very easy.


All U Get
__________________
All U Get
tstano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 12:21   #6
Moderator
 
Seaworthy Lass's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Aluminium cutter rigged sloop
Posts: 12,819
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tstano View Post
I'm using Edwards soft shackle instructions on Grog, very easy.
Tstano, thanks for the info.
I hadn't checked Grog for a while and all three versions of soft shackles I mentioned in the first post have now been added:

Soft Shackle:
Soft Shackle | How to tie the Soft Shackle | Splicing Knots
The original version. This is the one I made last year and I found it requires effort to get the eye snug, although it never actually slipped if it could not be well snugged.

Soft Shackle Edwards:
Better Soft Shackle | How to tie the Better Soft Shackle | Splicing Knots
This is the one Allen Edwards of L-36 calls the "Better Soft Shackle":
Better Soft Shackle
I have found the eye is beautifully snug with seemingly no risk of the stopper slipping through.

Stronger Soft Shackle:
Stronger Soft Shackle | How to tie the Stronger Soft Shackle | Splicing Knots
This is what Allen calls the "High Strength Soft Shackle" on L-36:
High Strength Soft Shackle
It was developed by Allen Edwards together with Evans Starzinger and Brion Toss.
Allen states on his website: "This is another trick in your bag of tricks but in my opinion, not one that replaces the easy to use better soft shackle."
Now that dinner is over I will have a go tying this tonight.
Has anyone used this shackle? Would you agree with Allen that this version is not superior?


Transmitterdan, your wish has been granted regarding an animation .

Grog's animation does whizz through the stoppers though. I think there are better explanations for how to tie the stoppers. When I first learned how to tie a Diamond stopper, I found Grog's unnecessarily complicated. In fact, it did my head in trying to follow it . The Diamond is actually simply a Carrick bend with each end continuing to curve around until it reaches the other, then each is poked through the centre of the Carrick and the whole lot tightened. Easy peasy.

SWL
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen
"To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space." Clifford Ashley
Seaworthy Lass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 12:57   #7
Moderator
 
Seaworthy Lass's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Aluminium cutter rigged sloop
Posts: 12,819
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Nothing like knots for entertainment . I burst out laughing tightening my first attempt at a Button stopper after following (or more correctly, not properly following) Grog's animation.

I thought I would share the result .

I will go find Allen Edwards instructions and see if I have any more success.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	398.3 KB
ID:	111732  
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen
"To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space." Clifford Ashley
Seaworthy Lass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 13:11   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I have stuck with the 'better soft shackle'. The higher breaking strength to me doesn't justify the difficulty I have had making them, and where more strength is needed I just upsize the line. In part this is because I like having the two legs buried inside each other since it makes a cleaner look, and I am not sure modifying the higher strength ones to this configuration is possible while retaining the tested strength.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 14:00   #9
Moderator
 
Seaworthy Lass's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Aluminium cutter rigged sloop
Posts: 12,819
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I give up on the Button stopper for tonight!
All day passage tomorrow and we have a 5am start.

I found Allen's instructions (http://l-36.com/button_knot_top.php) just as hard as Grog's to follow. It doesn't help that the line is not in fact different colours as in the instructions. I reach the last step in Allen's instructions and my configuration seems to look identical, but there is no way all 4 lines (the two standing ends and the two working ends) can end up emerging together in one spot. Three attempts have tightened into a very symmetrical knot, but not with the lines emerging together.

Has anyone succeeded tying this Button stopper? What instructions did you use?
If I do eventually manage, but need to look at instructions each time I make a soft shackle, it would be an absolute PITA. I can just about make the "Better soft shackle" with my eyes closed (OK, that is a slight exaggeration ), giving it a HUGE advantage.

I will report back when I have a chance to try the Button stopper again.

SWL
__________________
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Dinesen
"To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space." Clifford Ashley
Seaworthy Lass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 17:48   #10
Registered User
 
tstano's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NH
Boat: Pearson 530
Posts: 98
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Here's a picture of 1/4 inch and 3/8 lines tied with the Grog Diamond knots. I used vice grips to pull them tight, then used a winch to pull them through a cleat. The result was a very tight knot.

All U Get
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1028151924b.jpg
Views:	167
Size:	407.1 KB
ID:	111760  
__________________
All U Get
tstano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 19:50   #11
Registered User
 
RainDog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Varies
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 34 #142
Posts: 1,183
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

I use the better soft shackle too. You can always add a pull tab to help opening of desired. They are so outrageously strong my purposes that a variation with higher strength has little appeal. Ease of use if for sure #1 to me.
RainDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 19:58   #12
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,753
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

SL,

The only place I found the "stronger" design to be really valuable was on chain snubber. You are limited in the size soft shackle you can push thru a chain link. The "better" one is really a bit weak for the application while the 'stronger" one is a better match with the typical strengths of the rest of the components. Once made, the stronger one is the same in operation as the "better" one.

Otherwise, the "better" one is mostly more than strong enough. And you can upsize your line, although I find using bigger that 6mm line makes for a "too bulky" diamond knot and prefer the "stronger" design if I need something that strong (stronger than the "better" design in 6mm).

The button is really no harder than the diamond once you have tied one correctly. Brion and I both had (different) photo sequences on our web sites. I have not looked recently to see if they are still there, but there was a big thread on SA where we worked thru how to tie the button which went into gory detail. I could probably find some good clear instructions if you still need them.

There has not been any significant development since the "stronger" one. I developed a few variations that were easier to tie and Brion developed one that was even stronger, but they all had drawbacks and we agreed were really not practical alternatives.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 20:16   #13
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,347
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Any information on failures (either releasing or breakage)?

This is a little different than asking about strength. I've never had one break or shake off, but I have seen chafe in the center, away from all of the weak spots.

So, do failures coincide with know weak areas (knots), or do they result from chafe other places?
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing

Writing full-time since 2014.
Bookstore:http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/20...ook-store.html
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 20:27   #14
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,753
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

The failures I have seen of the "better" design have all been at the "structural weak point". These failures have all been in two categories - one is people trying to use really tiny dyneema (silly small), or people significantly under estimating the potential "user error shock loading" in an application (or both).

I have seen chafe on them but have not seen one fail at the chafe. You need quite a bit of chafe to make that point weaker than the structural weak point and pretty much everyone retires the soft shackle well before that happens (it looks really really bad well before that point).

I have also seen some failures when people used what they thought was 100% dyneema line, but it was in fact a blend with other weaker fibers.

I have not seen a "stronger" failure yet. . . . Correction I have seen some improperly tied ones fail, but not a properly tied one.

There was initially concern about them flogging open, and there is a clever trick with a rubber o ring to prevent it, but in actual use none of them seem to ever flog open so people have stopped doing the o ring thing as unnecessary.

None of that is statistical or scientific . . . . Just what people have shared with me.

Edit - oh yes, using a metal toggle, rather than a knot, is an alternative "stronger" designed used by some of the Volvo racing type crowd. It is as strong as my "stronger" design but perhaps a bit easier to work with gloves on and easier to make if you have someone who can make the metal toggles.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2015, 20:58   #15
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Soft Shackles - What is the Latest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Edit - oh yes, using a metal toggle, rather than a knot, is an alternative "stronger" designed used by some of the Volvo racing type crowd. It is as strong as my "stronger" design but perhaps a bit easier to work with gloves on and easier to make if you have someone who can make the metal toggles.
I do better at making the metal toggles on my lathe than tying diamond knots. I'm working on the anodizing process to get nice colors but gray is it so far.
__________________

__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
More work: soft shackles s/v Jedi Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 18 08-05-2014 09:15
So how Strong are Soft Shackles? Paul L Anchoring & Mooring 83 14-01-2014 16:17
Soft Shackles - release under pressure? Paul L Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 14-06-2013 15:44
Making Your Own Soft Shackles boat_alexandra Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 12 31-01-2011 18:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.