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Old 26-03-2022, 17:39   #106
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
Thanks for all the great notes on this. I made my first and have a suggestion for other first timers. Definitely do try the button a couple of times with different colored lines. You don’t have to set it, just tighten enough that you get a sense of the dressing process and that it looks correct. Then, when you are ready to do your first with on piece of dyneema, run a bit of light whipping twine or thread of contrasting color in and out of one leg. For me I did the “blue” leg. Each of my stitches were about an inch apart. No knots on either end of the thread, just long tails. Before you dress it down too far, pull the thread out. I also used different colored tape on the ends and marked the blue leg at the tape with marker.

Harry
S/V Juno
Good tip. I purposefully used 2 different colours on the instructional photos, as it makes it so much easier while learning to tie the button. By far the best method is to become adept at tying the button in thin double braid poly. Just keep some cord on hand or in your pocket and practice whenever you have some spare minutes (or while watching a movie). Then graduate to practicing with a length of slippery UHMWPE before actually tying the button in a soft shackle. It does not actually take that long to even learn to tie it by feel alone. Soft shackle making then becomes a breeze.


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Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
PS. Don’t skimp on the amount you leave for the button. 10” seems like a good amount minimum. It is really just an issue on the smaller line such as 5/32 where the multiplier leaves a tail that is tricky for the novice to manage.
10” is only 250 mm, a bare minimum if working with 5 mm line (roughly 50 x line diameter is needed). I suggest you leave a generous amount more initially. To save wasting line before cutting the length of UHMWPE, just tie the button and measure what amount you needed. When the button is tightened there is generally more than enough left for the bury regardless of how little you can get away with while tying the button itself.

SWL
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Old 16-04-2022, 18:08   #107
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

I have had pretty good success but encountered two things. The first is that I find, despite being careful to keep the tails even, the loop is never as small as I try to make it. That is if I put 6 segments to form the initial loop when I use the shackle it is notably larger. Not so much that I am concerned of the button coming through but it leaves me a little uneasy. Does it matter which leg the Brummell is made on?

The other is after using one shackle to attach my anchor bridle, the entry point for the bury is now 4 picks or so below the button. I reburied after setting on the winch so I know it was closer to the button. I suspect I can rebury closer to the button but is this natural as the shackle is used for a while.

Thanks,
Harry
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Old 16-04-2022, 23:25   #108
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
I have had pretty good success but encountered two things. The first is that I find, despite being careful to keep the tails even, the loop is never as small as I try to make it. That is if I put 6 segments to form the initial loop when I use the shackle it is notably larger. Not so much that I am concerned of the button coming through but it leaves me a little uneasy. Does it matter which leg the Brummell is made on?
Hi Harry

There is no actual Brummel lock in these soft shackles. To keep the legs from flapping about when not under load, I usually put a second crossing about 20 line diameters from the first one that creates the base of the eye, and I form this so that a lock would occur if the eye was massively opened, but this is not important. It does not matter how these two passes are made.

To keep the eye from shifting in size I tape the legs tightly at the base of the eye, then again at the next crossing if I am putting one in, then again at the base of the button. I then trim one leg to exactly match the other in length. Once the button is tied I ensure the legs are still the same length before and after tightening up the button. The eye then won’t shift in size significantly.


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Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
The other is after using one shackle to attach my anchor bridle, the entry point for the bury is now 4 picks or so below the button. I reburied after setting on the winch so I know it was closer to the button. I suspect I can rebury closer to the button but is this natural as the shackle is used for a while.

Thanks,
Harry
If you find the button shifts 4 picks during use I think the pretensioning was not sufficient. I start by tightening it up by hand using a marlin spike (I start at the base and follow each portion around to the tail). I then feed the legs and tails through a large washer so it sits snuggly at the base and place the legs and tails loosely between the jaws of a vice so the washer sits under the jaws and pull on the tails then legs a couple of times. The button will feel rock hard at the stage. I then bury the legs using a needle fid not a Selma type one (the insert can be made much closer to the base of the button this way), close the shackle and apply tension using a large winch (Anderson size 62). I let the shackle sit under tension for 20-30 minutes.

If I have tensioned carefully by hand initially there is very little movement of the button under load (no more than 1 pick) so the tails still insert close to the base and remain like this with use.

SWL
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Old 23-04-2022, 07:41   #109
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Seaworthy Lass,

I want to thank you for these amazingly clear instructions on how to build these knots, etc. I know you are running several threads on similar subjects, but I noted a number of folks talking about attaching a snubber to the chain in this thread, so I thought I'd run something past you.
I was concerned about using a simple soft shackle to do this job, since the loose shackle could come adrift from the snubber, and I could see the loose shackle disappearing over the side. So I made an extra-long one, and cow-hitched it to the thimbled end of our nylon snubber (1/2" 12-strand). I found that 1/4" (6mm) dyneema would pass through our 3/8" chain OK so I used that. This arrangement worked very well last season for us, though I don't think we stressed it all that much.
So this winter I got thinking about improving the setup - since the weak point is the base of the knot, I looked into the button knot (and thus this thread) but my ancient and enfeebled brain had a hard time making them happen.
So I got to thinking - why not make the setup with two pieces - a loop/noose section with the tails spliced into loops to connect the end of the snubber, made out of the original 1/4" - and then a separate piece of larger line (I have some 5/16" (8mm) so I used that) with a diamond knot - sort of a large version of the cute little zipper pulls we all make ) which can then be cow-hitched to the thimble. The loop side can easily be made large enough to fit - and this also allows two different colors, making assembly/disassembly easier.

I'd be very interested in your (or anyone's!) opinion on this way of accomplishing this task.

Hartley
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Old 23-04-2022, 12:01   #110
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
Seaworthy Lass,

I want to thank you for these amazingly clear instructions on how to build these knots, etc. I know you are running several threads on similar subjects, but I noted a number of folks talking about attaching a snubber to the chain in this thread, so I thought I'd run something past you.
I was concerned about using a simple soft shackle to do this job, since the loose shackle could come adrift from the snubber, and I could see the loose shackle disappearing over the side. So I made an extra-long one, and cow-hitched it to the thimbled end of our nylon snubber (1/2" 12-strand). I found that 1/4" (6mm) dyneema would pass through our 3/8" chain OK so I used that. This arrangement worked very well last season for us, though I don't think we stressed it all that much.
So this winter I got thinking about improving the setup - since the weak point is the base of the knot, I looked into the button knot (and thus this thread) but my ancient and enfeebled brain had a hard time making them happen.
So I got to thinking - why not make the setup with two pieces - a loop/noose section with the tails spliced into loops to connect the end of the snubber, made out of the original 1/4" - and then a separate piece of larger line (I have some 5/16" (8mm) so I used that) with a diamond knot - sort of a large version of the cute little zipper pulls we all make ) which can then be cow-hitched to the thimble. The loop side can easily be made large enough to fit - and this also allows two different colors, making assembly/disassembly easier.

I'd be very interested in your (or anyone's!) opinion on this way of accomplishing this task.

Hartley
S/V Atsa
Hi Hartley
I am not sure I understand your setup (a diagram would help), but If you wish to use a soft shackle of a larger diameter than will fit through the chain then feeding a loop through the chain will enable you to attach any size shackle between the the snubber and two ends of the loop.

Are you concerned about the soft shackle going overboard during handling? When forming the eye at the end of the “Dyneema” strop that goes over the bow for chafe resistance, I incorporate a captive soft shackle. This is preferable to cow hitching, which will reduce the strength. When I replace the soft shackle routinely the old one needs to be cut off so for the rest of the life of the strop the shackle is loose.

We have been using a soft shackle to connect our snubber to the chain for about 8 years now, anchoring out in all conditions (81 knots has been the worst so far) for 300+ nights each year. The soft shackle has always held securely and exhibited no tendency to loosen when in use.

SWL
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Old 23-04-2022, 12:47   #111
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

SWL,

Sorry about the lack of clarity - and If I hadn't left my trial pieces on the boat last week, I'd post pictures .

We use a 25' length of 1/2" nylon 12-strand for our snubber - a nice big loop at the boat end goes over the cleat, we have a piece of 1" tubular nylon on it where it goes through the fairlead. At the anchor end I've spliced a loop with a thimble in it. (FWIW, I also have a 3' long piece of tubular nylon on the anchor end, as I've found this is the spot most likely to chafe on the chain if we're going 'round and 'round)

I've now constructed two separate pieces to handle attaching to the chain: one is made of 1/4" dyneema, and is exactly what you would expect for a soft shackle except there is no diamond/button knot - the ends that would normally be knotted are spliced into loops that go through the thimbled eye in the snubber.
The second piece is a short-ish piece of 5/16" dyneema, bent to a bight, and the two free ends knotted (I've used a diamond knot, but a button would be better if I can ever learn to tie it!). This piece is cow-hitched onto the same thimble.

The only advantage is that the diamond/button knot piece can be bigger material than will go thru the chain. The resulting larger knot also seems to be easier to handle when fastening it onto the chain (and the afore-mentioned different color). A potential problem might be a rather large bundle of dyneema at the thimble, though it seems to me that the first time under tension seems to straighten the pile up nicely.

It could also be this is all lily-guilding, since the breaking strength of the 1/2" nylon isn't anywhere near as high as a 1/4" dyneema soft shackle - but the shackle is where most of the chafe will occur.

Hartley
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Old 23-04-2022, 13:33   #112
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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….. It could also be this is all lily-guilding, since the breaking strength of the 1/2" nylon isn't anywhere near as high as a 1/4" dyneema soft shackle - but the shackle is where most of the chafe will occur.

Hartley
S/V Atsa
“Dyneema” (I am currently using coated Stealth-12) is slippery and reasonably chafe resistant unless contacting anything sharp. After a year of use the soft shackle that is fed through a chain link tends to get a bit fluffy and I replace it just as a matter of routine.

I no longer bother with a thimble in the eye of the nylon snubber. That shows negligible sign of chafe. I have just replaced the snubber after 2+ years of use and I will photograph the eye of the old snubber for you tomorrow.

This is how it looked when new. Our snubber runs along the deck and is connected to a rear bollard. A soft shackle connects the UHMWPE strop (oversized for chafe resistance) that goes over the bow instead of nylon. This shackle wasn’t replaced for 2+ years. Another soft shackle that is replaced yearly connects the strop to the chain:
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Old 23-04-2022, 15:19   #113
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

SWL,

Thank You! I see how you've inserted this shackle into the nylon (I'm assuming the RH side is the nylon?). I assume this shackle is normally not opened in the course of anchoring and un-anchoring
The Dyneema I'm using is supposed to be SK-75, but I have no way of knowing for sure, as I'm buying from an outfit that sells ends and pieces.

My concern (with losing the shackle) is the one used to connect the chain - which, of course, is opened and closed quite often. You've described this shackle as "captured" - how do you secure this shackle into the end of your strop?

You have me re-thinking my snubber being "off the bow" - having the chain/snubber join only a few feet outboard would solve some other problems we've envisioned (like running out more chain in a blow). Does the potential for snap-back of the nylon in the event of a snubber failure concern you?

Thanks!

Hartley
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Old 23-04-2022, 22:51   #114
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
SWL,
Thank You! I see how you've inserted this shackle into the nylon (I'm assuming the RH side is the nylon?). I assume this shackle is normally not opened in the course of anchoring and un-anchoring
Yes, that’s correct. This section is never touched when operating the snubber and it simply floats off the deck when in use.


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Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
My concern (with losing the shackle) is the one used to connect the chain - which, of course, is opened and closed quite often. You've described this shackle as "captured" - how do you secure this shackle into the end of your strop?
I discovered the simplest way of doing this is by flipping one leg of the soft shackle when inserting it in the eye during construction of the strop. I have attached an image below. The soft shackle could also be woven around the finished eye in this manner, but the strop would then be out of action while the soft shackle is being made, so I have never bothered when replacing one. Also the skipper is getting better at not losing them and I am getting quicker at making them so potential loss is less of a concern .


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Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
You have me re-thinking my snubber being "off the bow" - having the chain/snubber join only a few feet outboard would solve some other problems we've envisioned (like running out more chain in a blow). Does the potential for snap-back of the nylon in the event of a snubber failure concern you?
We are not often at the bow during a blow (only occasionally to check for chafe during wilder conditions) and we have only had one snubber break in 15 years of full time cruising (a few dozen storms during this time, a chunk of these in the Hebrides during winter for a couple of seasons and conditions don’t often get much wilder than this) so I consider the risk low if the snubber is regularly replaced.

Having the snubber run along the deck has huge advantages, including the ease of running out extra chain, as you have mentioned. Also we found the snubber tended to tangle around the chain, often leaving the effective amount of snubber very short. It also then took ages to untangle it when hauling up. The nylon also stays in much better condition avoiding this.

SWL
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Old 24-04-2022, 03:34   #115
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

Seaworthy, I would love to see pictures of your snubber while deployed. We experience all the negatives you list when deploying overboard.

Do you belay it on a cleat, or use a spliced loop around something? We would need to go rather far aft to a midships cleat but we really want it to be possible to remove it while under tension so need a cleat.
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Old 24-04-2022, 21:45   #116
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Seaworthy, I would love to see pictures of your snubber while deployed. We experience all the negatives you list when deploying overboard.

Do you belay it on a cleat, or use a spliced loop around something? We would need to go rather far aft to a midships cleat but we really want it to be possible to remove it while under tension so need a cleat.
Hi Jedi
I have attached a couple of photos showing our snubber deployed and a plan.

The system is made up of two portions with eye splices on each end that are connected with a soft shackle:

- The red portion in the plan is nylon. It is connected to the base of the rear bollard with a soft shackle, leaving the bollard free for use. At the 2 points where it kinks around the deck it passes through low friction rings secured in Bullseye soft shackles that are attached to the cross pieces of bollards. This ends well aft of the turn point at the furler to allow room for it to stretch under high load without the join reaching the forward LF ring.

- The green portion is 14mm Stealth-12 (the previous strop was 12mm Acera leftover from our series drogue) that extends about a metre past the bow (it does not reach the water). I have made this UHMWPE to reduce chafe as it goes over the bow roller. This portion has done much better than expected. I have just replaced it routinely at the 3 year mark (it was reversed 1.5 years ago). It passes through one LF ring in a Bullseye soft shackle connected to the base of the staysail furler, then over the bow roller.

I have put loose Stealth-12 chafe sleeves on the 3 Bullseye soft shackles for longevity. I intended to do the same with the next UHMWPE strop, but I have not bothered. Chafe has been minimal.

SWL
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Old 25-04-2022, 04:38   #117
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Hi Jedi
I have attached a couple of photos showing our snubber deployed and a plan.

The system is made up of two portions with eye splices on each end that are connected with a soft shackle:

- The red portion in the plan is nylon. It is connected to the base of the rear bollard with a soft shackle, leaving the bollard free for use. At the 2 points where it kinks around the deck it passes through low friction rings secured in Bullseye soft shackles that are attached to the cross pieces of bollards. This ends well aft of the turn point at the furler to allow room for it to stretch under high load without the join reaching the forward LF ring.

- The green portion is 14mm Stealth-12 (the previous strop was 12mm Acera leftover from our series drogue) that extends about a metre past the bow (it does not reach the water). I have made this UHMWPE to reduce chafe as it goes over the bow roller. This portion has done much better than expected. I have just replaced it routinely at the 3 year mark (it was reversed 1.5 years ago). It passes through one LF ring in a Bullseye soft shackle connected to the base of the staysail furler, then over the bow roller.

I have put loose Stealth-12 chafe sleeves on the 3 Bullseye soft shackles for longevity. I intended to do the same with the next UHMWPE strop, but I have not bothered. Chafe has been minimal.

SWL
Thank you, I will devise a similar setup for Jedi. How does the “turn point at the furler” work? Is that a low friction ring attached to the furler base?
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Old 25-04-2022, 07:11   #118
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Thank you, I will devise a similar setup for Jedi. How does the “turn point at the furler” work? Is that a low friction ring attached to the furler base?
Yes, it is. That is the only serious chafe point in the system. The edge of the SS is a sharp bend. I inspect the chafe cover and replace that about every 6/12 as it starts to chew through.

This is how it looks. The Bullseye was made using 5mm Stealth-12 with a Stealth-12 chafe cover and this just fits in the gap of our 404 Furlex furler. We are on the hard at the moment so the system is not under load. The strop sits above the deck when in use. The other soft shackle belongs to our claw:
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Old 26-04-2022, 09:00   #119
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

SWL,

Thank you again! I clicked on the link in your signature (about the bullseye strops) and read the whole thread (I'm sitting 1000 miles away from Atsa, so time to kill for a couple weeks) - and realized you have already answered at least some of my/our questions..

I talked to the Admiral (and chief anchor-setter) and she liked the idea of having the snubber on deck vs. the ocean - though I think I will go up a size to make the likelihood of a nasty nylon failure much lower. In my former life on a mountain rescue team I witnessed a very ugly nylon line failure (involving a fire truck trying to recover a vehicle - I was just an observer) and we don't want to be in the middle of one of those!

Thank you for the help and pictures!

Hartley
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Old 27-04-2022, 07:04   #120
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Re: Instructions for Tying the Brion Toss Button Knot & High Strength Soft Shackle

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Yes, it is. That is the only serious chafe point in the system. The edge of the SS is a sharp bend. I inspect the chafe cover and replace that about every 6/12 as it starts to chew through.

This is how it looks. The Bullseye was made using 5mm Stealth-12 with a Stealth-12 chafe cover and this just fits in the gap of our 404 Furlex furler. We are on the hard at the moment so the system is not under load. The strop sits above the deck when in use. The other soft shackle belongs to our claw:
Nice one.

Another big advantage of having the snubber on deck is won’t get marine growth on it. I cut my fingers on mine a few days ago. It’s a pain to clean it too. I’ll see if I can find a way to route the line centrally along the roller.
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