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Old 16-08-2013, 16:49   #31
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I question the validity of cotter pin etc at all...really do you think this flimsy bit of metal would stop a rod from turning in a turnbuckle? Do we just do this out of convention? I know it will keep a castle nut from turning, but that is a very diff set up from the typical open turnbuckle. A loaded bit of rigging that decides to turn I think will fold over the typical cotter pin like butter (maybe the least of your worries at that point).
Well, mate, cotter pins seem to have worked for thousands of boats for decades...
but yeah, they are pretty questionable all right.

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Old 16-08-2013, 18:54   #32
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

My insurance company is telling me I need to remove the split rings from my lifelines and replace with cotter pins just because the surveyors opinion was that you should use pins instead of rings.
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Old 16-08-2013, 19:04   #33
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

I hate the stupid rings. My fingers just can't make them work worth a darn.
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Old 16-08-2013, 19:22   #34
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I hate the stupid rings. My fingers just can't make them work worth a darn.
The few places I have rings, I've taken pliers and bent out one end of the clip a little. This makes it easy to find the spot and get the ring started. I wouldn't do this if there was any chance that the ring would rotate on it's own, or where the bent-out end could snag something.
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Old 16-08-2013, 19:43   #35
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I like to leave shorter leg straight and just bend the longer leg by 10 to 20 degrees
+1 on that.
That's the way that I've been doing it for the last 30 years.
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Old 16-08-2013, 20:02   #36
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

How do you easily REMOVE cotter pins?
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Old 16-08-2013, 20:18   #37
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How do you easily REMOVE cotter pins?
Depends on how they were inserted. Nicely bent, just pull. Badly bent, I just nip the head off with side cutters and pull through backwards.
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Old 16-08-2013, 20:19   #38
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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How do you easily REMOVE cotter pins?
Snap-on Tools

It also helps if you don't mangle them when you install them.
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Old 17-08-2013, 11:04   #39
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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I use rings on some clevis pins, but use cotter pins any place where a sheet might snag. I've had rings get snagged and pulled open. The dab of silicone sealer on the cotter pin end keeps the pin from drawing blood, and I suppose helps secure it a bit.

Another option for turnbuckles is small bolts with nyloc nuts. If you adjust standing rigging tension the bolt/nut makes it easy and there are no sharp ends.

One reason for using slightly-splayed cotter pins is that they are easy to pull if you lose your mast and need to free the rigging. I hope to never take advantage of this feature.
Is there an easy way to get cotter pins out without cutting them? The ones on our boat are jammed in the holes and difficult to get out.
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Old 17-08-2013, 11:51   #40
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How do you easily REMOVE cotter pins?
If you just slightly seperate the ends, as described in a few posts here, when installing them its easy.
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Old 17-08-2013, 12:53   #41
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

A badly mangled cotter pin will probably require a pin punch to extricate. Cut or break off the end and drive out with the pin punch. Be careful. Pin punchs that small are delicate animals. When you reinstall the pins, just spread the legs 10-20 degrees.

On very few occasions have seen cotter pins with bent heads or legs by the body of the turnbuckle. Since it takes very little force to keep a turnbuckle from turning, can only assume it was owner/rigger abuse caused it. Trying to turn the turnbuckle with a wrench without removing the cotter pin is hard on the pins.

As someone previously stated from personal experience. Way easier to pull the cotter pins and the clevis pins to jettison a rig than cutting the wire. Even small diameter wire is a bitch to cut with properly sized Felco wire cutters. Using a hack saw is awkward and very time consuming. FYI, a race boat with all the latest go fast wonder running rig lost it's stick when knees bearing the load of the shrouds pulled through the deck. The crew easily pulled all the pins for the standing rigging. Went through every knife they had on board and a lot of sawing with dulled blades to cut the Dyneema halyards and running rigging with the mast banging agains the hull.
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Old 17-08-2013, 13:01   #42
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I question the validity of cotter pin etc at all...really do you think this flimsy bit of metal would stop a rod from turning in a turnbuckle? Do we just do this out of convention? I know it will keep a castle nut from turning, but that is a very diff set up from the typical open turnbuckle. A loaded bit of rigging that decides to turn I think will fold over the typical cotter pin like butter (maybe the least of your worries at that point).
FWIW, cotter pins have worked fine in turnbuckles on our boats for the last 25 yrs. We did suffer a dismasting when one got plucked out of a clevis pin, snagged by a stays'l sheet. Taping would have prevented that, but we still don't tape, simply do other things to make that type of failure unlikely. Also a different boat now.

I have heard of using tiny machine screws in the holes, as well, but the pins are the most common.

Ann
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:04   #43
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

My preference-
Cotter pins above deck, ends bent just a bit as mentioned, rings at deck level where they are easily monitored.

Pins (or rings) in the turnbuckles are meant to keep them from completely unscrewing. Aircraft standards suggest wiring turnbuckles to maintain adjustments.
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:17   #44
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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Oh Lordy not this again. I watched a man from England argue with one of the largest hardware stores in the country that they'd labeled the cotter pins wrong, that they were SPLIT pins and what was wrong with America, anyway?

It was embarrassing, frankly.

In the US we call them cotter pins. I don't think anyone doubts what we're talking about here, and the US has made its choice.

So to answer your question -- if the poster is from the US, he/she really meant "cotter pins."
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:18   #45
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Re: Why Cotter Pins

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Originally Posted by sartorst View Post
I had been changing out pins for rings until they started getting hung on sheets sails etc then they become meat hooks ! even had a few pulled out so I went back to pins

I haven't experienced it, but others have told me that the cotter pins stay in better than the rings.
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