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Old 29-03-2007, 07:32   #1
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The New Shackles at West Marine

Has anyone gone and bought the new shackles from West Marine yet?

I just picked up a 1/2" shackle to fit my anchor rode and frankly, I'm frightened. The amount of metal is far less than the metal that my original shackle had. It's much thinner in areas such as:

*the threads/loops that hold the pin in place
*the straight areas between those "loops" that hold the pin and the main, large arcing section directly across from the pin

The pin itself seems to be of a similar size.

The shackle is made in China and seems to have that very poor quality metal I found in my chinese genset, chinese meat grinder, etc...

I wonder where the voids are in this thing?

Frankly, I'm scared to death to bet everything I own in my entire life on this little piece of junk.

This is a SeaFit shackle, West Marine's 1/2" galvanized model. My last shackle was made in Italy and was made of some absolutly beautiful, high carbon steel. When I cut it with the angle grinder, it was a nice, deep blue in side. Pity I had to cut it at all. The pin was frozen in.

I paid $7 for this new one. I'd gladly pay $50 for a real one, but West Marine only carries this garbage.
Does anyone know where I can find one made of quality metal? Are there suppliers of marine hardware out there that make higher quality hardware that people have used and like?

Thanks for any info. I'm going to bet the farm on this shackle only for our trip up North. After that... I need to order a real shackle.
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Old 29-03-2007, 07:58   #2
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Does anyone know where I can find one made of quality metal? Are there suppliers of marine hardware out there that make higher quality hardware that people have used and like?
Winchard is known for some of the very best. Try an on line marine supply dealer.
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Old 29-03-2007, 08:37   #3
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Sean,

The shackles from WM are junk. They don't carry good ones.

What you want are alloy shackles from either Columbus McKinnon (CM) or Crosby. They aren't cheap, but they can be had online at reasonable prices.

I bought a bunch of them recently for myself and several friends. Mine came from:

Construction and Rigging Supply, Inc.
805-647-4792

1555 Los Angeles Av
Ventura CA 93004

There are lots of other distributors. Just Google for them.

Re: prices, be wary of store prices. Fawcetts in Annapolis wants $35 for a shackle I paid $18 for online.

Bill
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Old 29-03-2007, 12:17   #4
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Originally Posted by btrayfors
Sean,

The shackles from WM are junk. They don't carry good ones.

What you want are alloy shackles from either Columbus McKinnon (CM) or Crosby. They aren't cheap, but they can be had online at reasonable prices.
DITTO!

Just buy American made stuff, it's to code!! Any well-known industrial rigging supplier should carry them.

One should take one of those chinese clones to a rigger and have it tested and see what it really holds. It should hold 4 - 6 times its rating.

WM is just like every other greedy business out there, paying cheap for supplies and passing them off as good stuff at their going rate, maybe just a little under to attract the retentive anal.

I believe this was addressed in another thread....................._/)
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Old 29-03-2007, 13:01   #5
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WM is just like every other greedy business out there, paying cheap for supplies and passing them off as good stuff at their going rate, maybe just a little under to attract the retentive anal.)
Oh no... did all my p*ssing and moaning about corporate America sway you?

Thanks for the sources, guys. I see some nice high-carbon steel shackles at these places. I don't think I could have slept at anchor with that West Marine shackle.
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Old 29-03-2007, 15:03   #6
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Oh no... did all my p*ssing and moaning about corporate America sway you?
There is an old saying that "I" try to live by:

"People should be loved and things should be used, NOT the other way around!"

Businesses should be used to provide a service/product. And if that service is done properly it should provide for the one manageing it...................._/)
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Old 29-03-2007, 15:44   #7
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I bought my Crosbys fron Defender.
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Old 29-03-2007, 18:02   #8
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Worst Marine has gone so far down hill they should be a source of last resort. The store inventory is terrible and the quality of products unless well known names should always be suspect. Many online sources are a much better source IMO.
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Old 29-03-2007, 18:16   #9
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I'll also second the "Crosby's" they have a painted shackle pin meaning they have been load tested. I just bought two 1/2 at under 9 bucks a piece.
Bill,
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Old 29-03-2007, 18:23   #10
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Agreed about Worst Marine.

I didn't even see it happen. It really kicked in this fall. I went into the store and couldn't find anything I wanted in stock. I asked them to order me the part, and they wanted me to pay ahead of time, which was a first at WM for me.

Also, I did see the quality drop in a lot of areas. Agreed.

I ended up getting a Crosby shackle and the anchor light that is just plain missing from my masthead. We had a lot of falcons and other birds of prey hanging out up there making a lot of noise last year, so I'm wondering if they had anything to do with it.

Thanks again, guys. The pointers to the places were very helpful. I was able to compare the safe working loads and all.
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Old 30-03-2007, 14:00   #11
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Isn't that the way it is pretty much everywhere anymore subpar crap for more than you used to pay for the GOOD stuff.

I see this more and more.
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Old 30-03-2007, 16:09   #12
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So true - that also includes the level of competance from many repair/service technicians who many times miss something when repairing equipment, don't do it right or just don't care to do a good job - they still get paid well though and we get charged alot for inferior work.

That's why I try to do most all my own repairs and instalations and why this forum is so great as there are so many knowledgeable members who are willing to help with their advice.

Hats off to all of you
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Old 30-03-2007, 16:28   #13
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I just read a British Magazine with shackle and swivel tests in it. The differences in strength were huge The key seems to be a pin thats much thicker than the shackle. Otherwise the pin bends and the threaded end pulls out. Lots of meat aroubnd the pin at the treaded end and the other end makes a huge difference.Buy your shackles from industrial supplies rather than marine stores, preferably ones with SWL stamped on them.The ones with the coloured pins were the best. Wichards were not the best.
Brent
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Old 30-03-2007, 17:17   #14
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Originally Posted by Benny
So true - that also includes the level of competance from many repair/service technicians who many times miss something when repairing equipment, don't do it right or just don't care to do a good job - they still get paid well though and we get charged alot for inferior work.

That's why I try to do most all my own repairs and instalations and why this forum is so great as there are so many knowledgeable members who are willing to help with their advice.
This is true as well, I do a lot of rebuilding of old machinery for my Father -n-law cause the stuff that you can buy today just does not last and are made of crap/like crap. My father-n-law has a saying for something that is made of substandard material and made in China "Ching-shin".

If its crap its Ching-shin!
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Old 30-03-2007, 17:47   #15
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Guys,
First things first, in my book, Wichard makes the best stainless anywhere ... proud to have it on my boat, but no stainless (regardless of manufacture) below the water.
Have been working for Worst Marine here in Marathon for the last 4 or 5 weeks ... and it has been an eye opener. This is a very profitable store ... no thanks to the West organization ... but due to Sean, a young, but knowledgable manager. We're probably better stocked than 99% of the West stores ... and Sean works day & night to try & make it better. Having said that, I have to say that the pricing of items (we're talking corporate now) apalls me. When I worked at the Marine Trading Post (North Fort Myers ....Marine Trading Post Affordable Parts and Accessories) we worked around a 40% profit margin, and were doing well. Worst has many, many items at 300-400% margin ... and they're loosing money!?!?! I haven't seen this first hand, but have been told that in a year when Worst lost $200 million ... they paid out over $200 million in "bonuses". Gee ... what's wrong with this picture?
Kissing off Worst this week ... headed to the Abacos around the 21st .........
Bob
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