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Old 22-08-2008, 07:59   #1
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seizing wire for shackles

Okay, I (stupidly) tried a bit of regular copper wire we had laying around. Stuff dissolved in less than a week. I WAS going to get stainless steel wire, but I read somewhere that that's not a very good idea either to use with galvanized chain/shackles/anchor. So what do I use, and where do I get it?
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Old 22-08-2008, 08:03   #2
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I've used the military spec stainless wire, because that's all that was available from the chandlery. It's actually worked very well, even on the anchor shackle. Check it each time you use the anchor.

I believe that Monel is the preferred material.
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Old 22-08-2008, 08:16   #3
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I use a stainless braided wire I got from Brion Toss Riggers. Much easier to use than the traditional monel or stainless wire, and the ends don't poke and rip as easily. I think it's actually just stainless wire fishing leader.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:18   #4
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The biggest problem is NOT using anything. I once took over a delivery from an owner who spent the previous night in a rough anchorage near Point Conception. As I reviewed the boat with him, my eye was drawn to the anchor, stowed on deck. The shackle had unscrewed to its last two threads. The owner would never have known why he lost the boat.

Moral: use anything you've got, including dental floss, to retain that shackle until you can install something better, THEN CHECK IT REGULARLY.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:37   #5
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I use epoxy to ensure the anchor shackle will not come undone. Much prefer for the shackle to have to be cut off, than for it to come undone when I dont want it to.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:38   #6
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I use monel but I have also heard of some people that use nylon wire ties.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:51   #7
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Not sure where you heard not to use stainless since that is what everyone, just about, uses. We too use the military grade wire and it lasts until I cut it off to work on the anchor or change the shackles.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:56   #8
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Yup - stainless works fine, and so does Monel (if you can find it). Like everything else on a boat, tho, check it frequently.
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Old 22-08-2008, 12:08   #9
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Monel or Inconel wire is easier to bend & twist than Stainless, and just as corrosion resistant.
Ormiston & Brookfield Wire companies produce Monel & Inconel seizing wire.
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Old 22-08-2008, 18:26   #10
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Where to get it -

Years ago I just went into a big rigging company that did work for fishing fleets, etc and asked for some ss wire to seize shackles with.

The guy I spoke to just went to a big spool of stuff they obviously used for the purpose and wound a fist full off on his hand and gave it to me .

It is initially quite flexible so is easy to thread and to get the locking twist going. Doing the locking twist work hardens the wire so the twist becomes permanent.

Use with galv shackles -

Have only used ss anchor shackles for many years now but have used the ss wire on galv with no problems (except that el cheapo chandlery shackles will lose their galv a few millisecs faster at the seizing than they do over the rest of the shackle ).
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Old 22-08-2008, 18:39   #11
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Google "lockwire". You will find all the info you will need as this is a common practice in the aerospace and motor racing industries.
Just one source http://www.malinco.com/aerospace/index.html
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Old 22-08-2008, 18:46   #12
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Thanks guys, for the answers. I forgot to mention, the main reason I'm worried is that I'm going to be putting down an anchor for a mooring/last resort hurricane anchor. It'll stay there probably permanently as I don't expect to be able to find it/pull it up once it's been down there a while. Does this make a difference? I want wire/whatever I use to last as long as possible. The epoxy idea sounds great, and I'll probably add that along with whatever else I do. The nylon ties sound permanent enough and corrosion resistant. Any objections to that idea?
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Old 22-08-2008, 19:05   #13
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I personally dislike nylon ties as they are not abrasion resistant.
FWIW, I take a belt and braces approach and use a medium grade Locktite, tighten up firmly with a spanner /wrench etc and lockwire with SS using either 32 thou. wire for robustness or 20 thou. wire for ease of use.
I can't see a reason for not using epoxy except for the delay in mixing and curing; mess; difficult in removing. IMHO Locktite wouldbe a better product and easy to obtain.
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Old 22-08-2008, 19:26   #14
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If it is a permanent mooring then don't use ss for seizing (or for anything else) at the anchor end.

Like Wotname I don't like the use of plastic cable ties for mechanical strength reasons - while this is not a permanent mooring example, a quick and rough trip against our bow roller cheeks will have them off in a jiffy. However, if intent on using them on a permanent mooring perhaps avoid the good quality ones with the ss locking tag as that may or may not prove to be a problem buried in the bottom of the sea.

I myself also would not use epoxy, etc as in my view the locking method should be able to be visually inspected for assurance of its integrity.

I have no experience with permanent small boat moorings (GMac is the guy you need ) but after some experience maintaining large navigation buoys in exposed seas and having the same one insist on coming loose a number of times I would be inclined to weld the anchor end shackle closed myself if relying on it in extreme conditions.
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Old 22-08-2008, 20:52   #15
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I used a thick nylon tie on a mooring once. After I pulled my boat off the beach I used stainless.
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