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Old 24-11-2008, 10:42   #1
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cotter pins or rings???

He folks,

I'll be dropping my mast for some repairs and I'm not sure what is a better replacement, cotter pins or rings? Any good pro/con suggestions appreciated!

CHeeRS!
-dennis
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Old 24-11-2008, 10:46   #2
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Use cotter pins if it is something that you do rarely. Use rings if it is something you do frequently. I think cotter pins are more secure. Cotter pins can be bent so the chances of them sticking you are minimal.
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Old 24-11-2008, 11:23   #3
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Ask any professional rigger and cotter pins win.
They are stronger, plus it is much easier to see any damage to a pin (use binos on a daily 2 minute rigging check when cruising long distance).

But do use once only and then replace.

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Old 24-11-2008, 14:39   #4
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I use cotter pins on all clevis pins and rings on the turnbuckles bodies.
CSJ makes a good line of rings. The one I use for 1/2" and 5/8" turnbuckles is called an R-5. Inserted through the centerdrilled stud and around half of the open-body of the turnbuckle, they are quite effective and reusable. The best thing is that they wont catch things as easily as a cotter pin.
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Old 25-11-2008, 11:14   #5
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Something I've been wanting to ask forever...

Bill Seifert suggests in his Offshore Sailing (ISBN 0-07-137424-8, Int'l Marine) that turnbuckles should have "round-head machine screws tapped into the cotter pin hole." pg 40, tip 43.

Has anyone ever tried this? It seems like a good idea - no tape needed, etc. It might be a bit slower in an emergency dismasting to remove the screw before unscrewing the turnbuckle, unless you have a rig with long cotter pins which have been curled around and are impossible to remove at the dock let alone in an emergency...

Anyway, was wondering if anyone had practical experience with this technique.
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Old 25-11-2008, 11:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amgine View Post
Bill Seifert suggests in his Offshore Sailing (ISBN 0-07-137424-8, Int'l Marine) that turnbuckles should have "round-head machine screws tapped into the cotter pin hole." pg 40, tip 43.

Has anyone ever tried this? It seems like a good idea - no tape needed, etc. It might be a bit slower in an emergency dismasting to remove the screw before unscrewing the turnbuckle, unless you have a rig with long cotter pins which have been curled around and are impossible to remove at the dock let alone in an emergency...

Anyway, was wondering if anyone had practical experience with this technique.

I'd be less worried about time needed to let them go if a rig came down, than having vibration work them out when underway.
When the rigger gave us his lecture as to why cotter pins were best - it was for that reason plus the ability to see with binos (saves climbing rig to check high up) if anything was ever working its way out.
I'm not a rigger - this was what we were all recommended by a team from SparCraft.
JOHN
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Old 25-11-2008, 12:11   #7
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Clarification

This was only for the turnbuckles, not for anything off the deck. (Seifert is a strong believer in Olin Stephens's 20 wedge, a tool to make sure the legs of a cotter pin are spread no further than is useful and necessary.)
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Old 25-11-2008, 13:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amgine View Post
This was only for the turnbuckles, not for anything off the deck. (Seifert is a strong believer in Olin Stephens's 20 wedge, a tool to make sure the legs of a cotter pin are spread no further than is useful and necessary.)
Educate me (us ?) - I have no idea what a 20 deg. wedge (tool) is, nor it's purpose.
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Old 25-11-2008, 14:15   #9
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Olin Stephens

Olin Stephens (and Bill Siefert) walks around with a small wedge machined to exactly 20, and with a center line graved on it, in his pocket.

If a cotter pin's legs are each bent exactly 10, they will develop the optimal holding power with the optimal ease of removal. More than 10 and there is little gain in holding power but considerable reduction in ease of removal. The wedge is used to measure the spread of the legs.

IIRC, Stephens's wedge was in bronze. It's primary benefit is increasing awareness (among crew, riggers, and whoever is helping you fit out) that small details matter.
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Old 25-11-2008, 17:53   #10
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Drill the cotter pin hole and insert a machine screw? What holds the machine screw? Loctite?

I wouldn't do that.

10 degree bend in cotter pin? I have no idea why you would limit to that. I always curl the legs into a circle back on themselves so they won't poke anyone.

You can remove a cotter pin by grabbing the head with a pair of side cutters and leveraging out. Discard, never reuse.

Rings for anything you plan to adjust between annual inspections.
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Old 25-11-2008, 18:46   #11
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Agnostic, myself...

I'm not convinced one way or another. From spreaders down - where they tend to catch sails and sailors - I've nipped a lot of the pins off reasonably short, and filed/ground off all the sharp edges. I'm not carefully measuring them at 20, but they're probably not much more than 45.

As for the tapped screw, I don't think you'd need to drill it further. Just find an appropriate sized tap. I was just looking for input if anyone had tried this, to see if it works/is stupid. M Seifert has more sea miles than I, but I expect he may have a different approach to maintenance.
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Old 26-11-2008, 01:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amgine View Post
Olin Stephens (and Bill Siefert) walks around with a small wedge machined to exactly 20, and with a center line graved on it, in his pocket.

If a cotter pin's legs are each bent exactly 10, they will develop the optimal holding power with the optimal ease of removal. More than 10 and there is little gain in holding power but considerable reduction in ease of removal. The wedge is used to measure the spread of the legs.

IIRC, Stephens's wedge was in bronze. It's primary benefit is increasing awareness (among crew, riggers, and whoever is helping you fit out) that small details matter.
I have heard this several times over the past few decades but have rarely seem anyone actually do it. Most bent the ends right around but one old engineer always insisted that the "short" leg be left straight and the "long" leg be bent about 20 degrees - no more.

I reckon it really doesn't matter much on you rig, even a bent nail would probably suffice - not pretty and would need replacing as it rusts away though.
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Old 26-11-2008, 02:18   #13
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Threaded retaining devices (bolts) should be safety wired.

Preferred cotter pin installation from the Standard Aircraft Handbook for Mechanics and Technicians By Lawrence W. Reithmaier
Goto: Pages 151 & 152
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...sult#PPA151,M1
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Old 26-11-2008, 02:56   #14
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...but one old engineer always insisted that the "short" leg be left straight and the "long" leg be bent about 20 degrees - no more.
He must have been the guy who rigged our boat then .

None have ever fallen out - well none that I've noticed.
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Old 26-11-2008, 03:11   #15
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Threaded retaining devices (bolts) should be safety wired.

Preferred cotter pin installation from the Standard Aircraft Handbook for Mechanics and Technicians By Lawrence W. Reithmaier
Goto: Pages 151 & 152
Standard Aircraft Handbook for ... - Google Book Search
Hmm... the illustration on the left is in on plane while the right one another plane.
Do you think they are saying both are preferred and if so, preferred to what other arrangement?
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