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Old 24-05-2010, 06:46   #1
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Shackles - Chinese vs Other

Since someone posted this same question about chain, I figured why not ask about shackles too.

I bought a few Sea Choice shackles from Jamestown without even knowing that they were made in China. In addition to being WAY cheaper they're also rated slightly higher than Wichard, Crosby, etc. of the same size. I also find it hard to believe that Jamestown in going to carry crap inferior shackles, that are going to break under load and send you drifting.

I did the trip up from Florida with a Chinese shackle on my main anchor. We anchored out almost every night, and there were a few nights that it was kind of windy and/or bumpy. And...it actually held.

So, what's the opinion here? Who makes the best shackles? Are the Chinese ones garbage?
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Old 24-05-2010, 06:55   #2
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I've used "unknown mfgr" chain and shackles on my sailboats with no problems, grunzster. Unfortunately, it's the weakest link that keeps me up at night, so if I were to buy "known" chain, I'd probably pay the extra and get shackles from them as well.

On commercial and private vessels that I Captain, I do it because I don't want to put the vessel, guests, or owners at risk. I value my license highly and do everything I can to make sure everything meets or exceeds the requirements set forth. On my own boat, I can be less strict.
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Old 24-05-2010, 07:09   #3
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Topic of the month isn't it.

China is irrelevent, all that matters is the quality of the product and how you can be sure of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
I bought a few Sea Choice shackles from Jamestown without even knowing that they were made in China. In addition to being WAY cheaper they're also rated slightly higher than Wichard, Crosby, etc. of the same size.
Rated how?

~

Shackles are like chain with the same arguments applying, except they're a cheap single unit item where everyone can afford not to be parsimonious. In other words there's no excuse not to purchase a top quality tested shackle.

www.rocna.com/kb/Shackles
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:46   #4
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I meant the rated working load. You have me convinced, though.

Actually after looking at the working load of Wichard's SS shackles compared to the Crosby...or any of the galvanized shackles I looked at, I'm convinced.
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:51   #5
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Right, but how is the WLL calculated? What is the breaking load, and at what load was it proof tested?
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsmith View Post
Right, but how is the WLL calculated? What is the breaking load, and at what load was it proof tested?
Craig, how on earth are you going to find that out standing in the chandlers on a saturday morning before going down the boat.

Pays ya money, take ya choice.

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Old 24-05-2010, 10:06   #7
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It's maybe the weak link on your anchoring system that could render your quality anchor and quality chain totally worthless, so you invest a bit more time than a last minute purchase at the marina chandler. Hopefully.

In any case this is my point; either the brand is reputable enough that you don't need to worry about it, or there will be literature that gives those critical specifications. If neither is the case then you have a problem. A WLL figure on its own from an unknown manufacturer is meaningless.
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Old 24-05-2010, 10:12   #8
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Craig, can't say I have ever seen anything other than the WLL on a shackle in any of chandlers I have visited.

Perhaps you should make and market shackles

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Old 24-05-2010, 10:14   #9
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Well, since you put that way Craig...I'd say Wichard is pretty darn reputable brand.

I also have a friend who's used nothing but Wichard for years, and never had a shackle fail. And that includes in a hurricane where his chain actually stretched under the load.
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Old 24-05-2010, 10:29   #10
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SeaChoice specifies “Breaking Strength” as well as WLL:
Stainless steelSEACHOICE
Galvanized steelSEACHOICE

Wichard specifies “Breaking Load”; where the user specifies the safety factor & (hence) WLL.

Crosby specifies “Working Load Limit”; where: Maximum Proof Load is 2.2 times the Working Load Limit. Minimum Ultimate Strength is 6 times the Working Load Limit.
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Old 24-05-2010, 10:40   #11
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The market is well taken care of by a number of quality manufacturers. The problem such as there is one is that many chandlers don't really care all that much and will happily stock cheap rubbish.

The WLL stamped on the shackle is there as a usage guide for the user, they cannot stamp all the applicable specifications on a small bit of steel. You will however find the break load and information pertaining to testing in the literature (catalog, brochure, price list, etc) of any reputable manufacturer. The chandler should have this info accessible if not on display, and you would do well to insist on seeing it (although getting it out of the 18 year old kid behind the desk who has trouble distinguishing between a shackle and swivel might be a different story).

WLL is worked out at a ratio to the tested break load. The international convention in anchoring systems is 4:1 (minimum) although US high-test chain contravenes this at 3:1. Top end shackles like the high-load Green Pin range from Van Beest use up to a 6:1 ratio which is very conservative.

The problem is there's no legal requirement to adhere to the 4:1 convention, or any other, so any disreputable manufacturer can play tricks and simply use a lower ratio - make up any number that suits them so long as it's below break. The WLL could be "calculated" so that it conveniently works out a little higher than that of the competition, or that of compatible chain, while the shackle is really much weaker with the break load significantly lower.

Proof testing in turn is typically done at a 2:1 ratio to WLL (or half break if the WLL is 4:1). This is another number that can be played with to the detriment of the naive customer. A manufacturer's testing certificate should be available, the manufacturer will send one to the supplier on request.

Note I'm not criticizing the brand the OP mentioned, which I know nothing about. Edit: the shackles on the page GM links to above look fine to me - drop forged not cast, and WLLs obey 4:1-to-break convention. Proof testing would still be nice to guarantee quality assurance, I don't see any reference to it.

In response to grunzster's last, Wichard is a well reputable manufacturer too.

The fact remains it's a bad decision for any boater to install a shackle from an unknown manufacturer based solely on the stated WLL. Shackles should also be tested, especially cast versions, at least for sizes matched to anchors ~ 15 kg / 30 lb or higher.
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Old 24-05-2010, 17:15   #12
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Grunzster, the problem with "made in china" is the culture. They're the Middle Kingdom and we're the Low Kingdom, aka hairy barbarian animals. Government sponsored, encouraged, or tolerated counterfeiting and cheating is considered acceptable because we're not family--we're the hairy barbarian animals.

That's not universal but it is still endemic enough to be a continual problem. I wouldn't bet my life on a number two PENCIL that said "Made in China" unless I had a dozen of them proof tested from every lot, and every one of them passed the proof test with flying colors.

Figure out a way to test your shackle, i.e. put a 5,000# shackle on a couple of yards of 8,000 chain (from a trsuted source), chain a truck to a tree with it, and see whether the shackle breaks before the chain does. Anything terribly simple like that.

Even if the chandlery trusts their source--someone's uncle's cousin's newphew in China has a cheaper source of scrap metal (from a breaker's yard in Pakistan no doubt) and even if the uncle doesn't know about it, the nephew is swapping out his cheap scrap fo rthe uncle's more expensive scrap. Too many games, too little real quality control over there.

Which is not an aspersion on China. It is, after all, the way animals and hairy barbarians are supposed to be treated by the children of the Sun Emporer. Same reason the Europeans in the New World traded smallpox infested blankets (that they couldn't give away at home) to the Indians.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:10   #13
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I think they build them on the ground then raise them.

I just love china products you can count on them being throw-aways (for one time use only and sometimes not even that).

Any one that steals your china tool/product is doing you a favor, less junk sitting around.

Here's is the result of some china craftsmanship. You wanta move in next door?


Oh here's the link to the story............ Apartment building fell down in China (12 pics) » Izismile - Pictures, videos, games and more



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Old 10-10-2010, 18:22   #14
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There's a major problem with a lot of Chinese manufacturers in that there isn't anyone to stand behind their product. A company in a "normal" country can be sued in a "normal" court if they are negligent in their manufacturing and cause harm to others.

I ran into it with motorcycle tires. All the big names like Dunlop and Bridgestone might make their tires in China (I honestly don't know), but if they produce a bad run they stand behind their products and will recall them or otherwise handle the issue. But when you buy some knock off no-name product (regardless of what's written on the sidewall) you're buying some limited run product from a factory (or several factories) that just gets carried through via some importers.

For anything critical there should be a website, phone number, and track record. If there's no company to stand behind the product (and a history of times they did), I'll pass.

So it really isn't about the Chinese manufacturing process as much as it's about the company you're buying it from.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post


I bought a few Sea Choice shackles from Jamestown without even knowing that they were made in China.
I bought two for my anchor at WM. I asked them specifically about working load and breaking strength and they said the numbers were for real.

Silly me to not make them show me the certificates.

Now I don't know what to do. I will look at them again before I put them on, but will that help me at all?
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