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Old 23-09-2022, 09:34   #136
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Thumbs up Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Hi All,

We've been using and tweaking this system all summer whilst cruising from the Chesapeake up to Maine and back, so I thought I'd share how it has evolved for us.

The aft mooring cleat I was using was directly behind a raised base for the spinnaker turning block, so I moved the anchor to the toe rail using just the soft shackle instead of the strop, which is a seriously beefy aluminum rail. I have no concerns with the strength of this attachment especially since the strain is directly in line with its base. I did put some Dacron chafe sleeve over the soft shackle where it passes through the holes in the rail - though they probably aren't really needed.

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The location of the 5/8" nylon across the deck worked fine as a snubber - but it turned out that having a round line on the deck was a hazard, as it likes to roll underfoot. So I lashed a series of those gold-colored "rappelling rings" to the toerail using 1/8" dyneema and moved the line outward so I wasn't stepping on it all the time. You can see all four if you zoom in.

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The forward end is pretty much as originally built - unfortunately covered by mooring lines here .

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All in all, its worked quite well all summer - we haven't really worked it very hard (just a couple of short-term T-storms) but we've used it quite a bit and both the Admiral and I find it easy to use. (She puts the anchor in, I pick it up )

One very useful thing that turned up is that whomever is sitting at the helm now knows how much tension is on the snubber - and dragging is VERY visible - both on the foredeck and from the helm! This alone justifies the "on deck" placement of the snubber, IMHO.

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Old 12-10-2022, 04:49   #137
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

A few pictures of my recently set up snubber arrangement


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The first three pictures show the snubber in it "standby" set up, with the nylon snubber secured to the upper guard rails to keep it clear of the side deck.


The following pictures are of the snubber in use. Three LF rings used, secured in bullseye strops. Two are secured to mooring cleats, midships and forward, and one to a fold down "D" ring, which was necessary to achieve the correct lead through the port side bow roller.


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The nylon snubber is 12mm octoplait, and the leader over the bow roller is 10mm 12 strand dyneema with locked eye splices each end.



A short soft shackle made from 6mm dyneema connects the dyneema leader to the snubber, and a long soft shackle used to connect the leader to the anchor chain.


In the pictures, the connection between nylon and dyneema is shown quite close to the LF ring. This picture as taken during initial set up of the system, and when in actual use, the connection is aproximately 4 feet aft of the LF ring.


A drop nose pin is used through the port side bow roller to ensure that the dyneema leader cannot be forced off the roller if anchored in really bad weather with the boat pitching.


So far, it has dealt with being at anchor with 25 knots of wind, no sign of any chafe in the system.
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:36   #138
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Your setup looks good, Nigel (and I love the anchor dog!)

I just took our snubber setup apart and put it in a bag for winter storage. I inspected it closely, and the only component showing any wear at all is the soft shackle that attaches to the chain, which is showing the usual Dyneema compression, plus the colored coating is fading (or being worn off, I can't tell). Everything else looks like it did in the Spring.

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Old 12-10-2022, 06:14   #139
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
A few pictures of my recently set up snubber arrangement


Attachment 265645

Attachment 265646

Attachment 265647


The first three pictures show the snubber in it "standby" set up, with the nylon snubber secured to the upper guard rails to keep it clear of the side deck.


The following pictures are of the snubber in use. Three LF rings used, secured in bullseye strops. Two are secured to mooring cleats, midships and forward, and one to a fold down "D" ring, which was necessary to achieve the correct lead through the port side bow roller.


Attachment 265648


Attachment 265649


Attachment 265650


Attachment 265651


Attachment 265652


Attachment 265653



The nylon snubber is 12mm octoplait, and the leader over the bow roller is 10mm 12 strand dyneema with locked eye splices each end.



A short soft shackle made from 6mm dyneema connects the dyneema leader to the snubber, and a long soft shackle used to connect the leader to the anchor chain.


In the pictures, the connection between nylon and dyneema is shown quite close to the LF ring. This picture as taken during initial set up of the system, and when in actual use, the connection is aproximately 4 feet aft of the LF ring.


A drop nose pin is used through the port side bow roller to ensure that the dyneema leader cannot be forced off the roller if anchored in really bad weather with the boat pitching.


So far, it has dealt with being at anchor with 25 knots of wind, no sign of any chafe in the system.
Looking good Nigel! Your dog is looking at the most forward LFR, thinking that making the lashing a little longer may reduce the angle the snubber makes while still not touching the stainless cheeks near the roller
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Old 12-10-2022, 07:16   #140
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Thanks Nick, yes, that occurred to me, it's difficult to judge the correct length with no weight on the system. A slightly longer lashing will improve things
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Old 12-10-2022, 07:41   #141
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Thanks Nick, yes, that occurred to me, it's difficult to judge the correct length with no weight on the system. A slightly longer lashing will improve things
It was the dog, give him/her a treat
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Old 30-06-2023, 22:03   #142
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

@Seaworthy Lass
I really like your explanation or instructions for tying the Button Knot. This is an excellent thread on high-strength Soft Shackles.



I teach Marlinespike for the Hoofer Sailing Club at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Wisconsin USA.


I am writing to request permission to use your instructions and photos in teaching how to tie this knot. This will be with credit and a link to this thread.


I expect that they would be used both in a PowerPoint and a manual.


Other than Marlinespike, most of my teaching is in our Cruising Keelboats curriculum.


I've had a link to this thread for some time in the list of Marlinespike Links I give my students. Marlinespike Links https://addbalance.com/Sail/Knots/Li...rlinespike.pdf


BTW: the link for Evan Starzinger's pdf does not work and the site appears to have been abandoned.
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Old 04-07-2023, 14:48   #143
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Just for Nick, the lashing on the LFR has been replaced to make a bit longer, I think Flash looks a bit happier with it.


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That cynical look from last year, she gets that from her dad, who happens to be Dutch, but despite that, he did go on to win the World Championship twice.
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Old 04-07-2023, 19:05   #144
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
@Seaworthy Lass
I really like your explanation or instructions for tying the Button Knot. This is an excellent thread on high-strength Soft Shackles.



I teach Marlinespike for the Hoofer Sailing Club at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Wisconsin USA.


I am writing to request permission to use your instructions and photos in teaching how to tie this knot. This will be with credit and a link to this thread.


I expect that they would be used both in a PowerPoint and a manual.


Other than Marlinespike, most of my teaching is in our Cruising Keelboats curriculum.


I've had a link to this thread for some time in the list of Marlinespike Links I give my students. Marlinespike Links https://addbalance.com/Sail/Knots/Li...rlinespike.pdf


BTW: the link for Evan Starzinger's pdf does not work and the site appears to have been abandoned.
Hi Charles
Welcome to CF.

Yes, of course you may use the instructions, but thank you for asking.
I am so very pleased that they are useful. It makes all the effort worthwhile .

I have updated the pdf of instructions occasionally over the years, modifying the notes as I refine my technique. I will read over it again tomorrow and see if anything needs to be added before I post a copy. It was last updated in March 2022.

It will be in 2 parts as the size is too large for one document to be attached here. I have not polished it to present well, as it would just take too much work for only cosmetic gain, but it is full of tips on how to produce the very best result.

SWL
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Old 05-07-2023, 01:34   #145
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Just for Nick, the lashing on the LFR has been replaced to make a bit longer, I think Flash looks a bit happier with it.


Attachment 277685

Attachment 277686


That cynical look from last year, she gets that from her dad, who happens to be Dutch, but despite that, he did go on to win the World Championship twice.
Nice!
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Old 05-07-2023, 11:12   #146
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Hi Charles
Welcome to CF.

Yes, of course you may use the instructions, but thank you for asking.
I am so very pleased that they are useful. It makes all the effort worthwhile .

I have updated the pdf of instructions occasionally over the years, modifying the notes as I refine my technique. I will read over it again tomorrow and see if anything needs to be added before I post a copy. It was last updated in March 2022.

It will be in 2 parts as the size is too large for one document to be attached here. I have not polished it to present well, as it would just take too much work for only cosmetic gain, but it is full of tips on how to produce the very best result.

SWL
Thank you. I found these the only instructions I could easily follow. The ones on Animated Knots (Grog's Knots) are impossible.


We are working up lessons on Dyneema splicing and soft shackles in our Marlinespike curriculum.Not yet done, but here are two links to the powerpoint and the pdf from it from your instructions and images.
I changed to US English and changed anticlockwise to counterclockwise.
I left out the second image from Step 2 and from Step 8. Both confused me.



Here are links to two of my compendium pages of Internet links I prepared for my students.
Any idea where to find Evan Starzinger's pdf or Brion Toss' original instructions?
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Old 05-07-2023, 13:24   #147
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

I have updated all my instructions for making high strength soft shackles using the Brion Toss Button and added notes at the end about extra long soft shackles and captive ones and also ones with a reinforced eye. The instructions for tying the button itself are unaltered. The new pdf is attached below.

In post#116 Tudorsailor very kindly compressed an earlier version, but some of the contents must have been from years ago, as I was still incorrectly calling the eye a “noose”, as were most soft shackle instructions at the time. I was not able to modify this document so my attached pdf is still lengthy. Apologies to everyone for this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
Any idea where to find Evan Starzinger's pdf or Brion Toss' original instructions?
The only spot I have seen Brion Toss’s instructions (with hand drawn illustrations) are in his last edition of “The Complete Rigger's Apprentice”. His description was unlike any other I have seen. I wonder if he used this method when he explained the knot to Evans and Allen?

Evans Starzinger’s pdf of instructions can probably still be found using Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, but I think Evans once mentioned that it contained some errors that he had not yet had a chance to correct.

This is the link to Allen Edwards’ instructions (the third member of the team that came up with the high strength design). Some people may be able to follow them, but they baffled me completely:
https://l-36.com/button_knot_top.php

SWL

UPDATED PDF WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR TYING THE BRION TOSS BUTTON and HIGH STRENGTH SOFT SHACKLES USING THIS KNOT:
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Old 05-07-2023, 13:49   #148
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
Thank you. I found these the only instructions I could easily follow. The ones on Animated Knots (Grog's Knots) are impossible.
They were immensely harder to follow a few years ago!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
We are working up lessons on Dyneema splicing and soft shackles in our Marlinespike curriculum.Not yet done, but here are two links to the powerpoint and the pdf from it from your instructions and images.
One small comment:
The first page states “From Brion Toss’ instructions via Cruising Forum”. Brion developed this button, but his instructions for tying the knot are nothing like this. In his book his description is quite different. Unfortunately I can’t post it here due to copyright issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
Here are links to two of my compendium pages of Internet links I prepared for my students.
An excellent resource, but you missed the Queen of knots (most people would agree the Bowline is King).

Check out this very old thread to reveal all :
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ad-128727.html

SWL
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Old 05-07-2023, 16:47   #149
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

I will be amending that. While I only have the first edition of the Rigger's Apprentice, the club has the latest one in its library and I will look there. We have a number of his splicing wands which are especially good for double-braid splices.

I have also experimented with the "Easy" soft shackles which use a figure-8 or even an overhand knot. They should be as strong but the knots are huge and they take even more line than the button knot.


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Old 06-07-2023, 18:07   #150
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

These YouTubes are always useful to watch.

In the first video the load test on the grey shackle is particularly interesting. It broke at the taper.
The conclusion was to taper better .

Each leg should only be experiencing a quarter of the load. A leg should never break at the taper, even if no taper at all was made.
So why has this occurred?

This is my theory:
After commenting at the beginning of construction that the eye “looks about right” (whatever that means), there was no care taken that after tying the stopper and tensioning it that it was actually large enough to hold 4 lots of line (the very minimum required).

The presenters almost constantly call the eye a noose (although “eyelet” was used a few times at the beginning), giving the impression that it needed to grip. The only remarks I heard regarding the required size were that you don’t want to make it too big.

So what happens when you form a noose that is not large enough to contain the legs, rather than an eye? One leg is then loose and the load will be taken up entirely by the other leg. This is easy to demonstrate. As the closed shackle is a loop, if there is no other weaker point in the system the leg will break roughly when the applied load is close to twice the breaking load of the line.

Where is it then most likely to break? At the weakest point, which in this case is the taper.

This is precisely what occurred (unless the line coincidentally happened to be defective just in this region).
The grey line was 5mm. The breaking strength of this about 5500 lbf. The leg snapped at the taper at 10,900 lbf.

So rather than needing to taper better, as the presenters of this video concluded, I think care needs to be taken regarding eye size for these high strength soft shackles.

Any comments from anyone about this? Any flaws in my logic? It is a little discussed (and little considered) topic.

SWL
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