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Old 25-11-2013, 04:10   #16
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

The fuzz I get with Brait is because it is really easy to catch the outer strands on things -- they pull out easily and make for some fuzz. Here's another picture of both ends of the break. I like your test case with two differnt brands of rope on the bridle. I'm going to make up a new snubber with soft-shackle connections. I haven't decided on what rope to use for it. I used to be a fan of Brait
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Old 25-11-2013, 05:39   #17
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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The snubber was 25 feet before the spliced, so say 20-22 feet. The anchoring time on the snubber was mostly benign with a few days of 20+ thrown in....
Long enough.

Is the snubber removed from the attachment point on the stem each time or does it stay attached under way? This would explain the fuzzing, since otherwise it doesn't touch anything. It seems it would be hard to reach to remove. If left attached, does the break coincide with where the snubber crosses an edge when hauled up?
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Old 25-11-2013, 06:11   #18
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

It stays on the stem, except when we are offshore. I can see some bleaching on the soft-shackles. The break is certainly near the area where the line might hit the roller. When I first started using it, I let the snubber come on board and it would sometimes end up under the chain and get pinched. That pinch was near the where the break occurred. I changed my method of retrieval and don't let that happen anymore. Actually, I had forgotten about this pinching, so maybe it contributed to the failure. I'm surprised that this would have damaged the line to the point of failure, but who knows. If this was the cause, then I wonder if other line construction would have fared better than plait.
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Old 25-11-2013, 06:39   #19
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

It's pretty hard to beat 3 strand line for use in a snubber or bridal. It takes much more abuse and has good stretch.
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Old 25-11-2013, 07:46   #20
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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It stays on the stem, except when we are offshore. I can see some bleaching on the soft-shackles. The break is certainly near the area where the line might hit the roller. When I first started using it, I let the snubber come on board and it would sometimes end up under the chain and get pinched. That pinch was near the where the break occurred. I changed my method of retrieval and don't let that happen anymore. Actually, I had forgotten about this pinching, so maybe it contributed to the failure. I'm surprised that this would have damaged the line to the point of failure, but who knows. If this was the cause, then I wonder if other line construction would have fared better than plait.
I really think that is probably the root of the problem. Getting caught under the chain (with a load on the chain) just once could ruin the line. If you have changed the retrieval method, the problem is most likely solved.

This is a cautionary statement for folks that retrieve the snubber over the roller; it may be brait-specific (My gut tells me brait is more vulnerable than 3-strand or double braid because of the loose lay and the way it flattens out) or not, it may be very specific to the retrieval method. But surely grinding under a chain even once could do hidden internal damage. It is not terribly unusual amoung rock climbers for a rope to be fatally wounded by a single fall where the rope is crushed in a crack. The fall does not have to be anywhere near the limit for the line. Often there is no outside damage but there is slight indent that you can feel. Savy climbers run the rope through their hands, feeling for core damage, after every fall where crushing was possible. But there may not have been noticeable damage to your snubber even by that sort of inspection.
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Old 25-11-2013, 07:51   #21
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

Interesting thread. A friend made me a soft shackle for my jib sheets. I'm going to learn how to make them myself now as they work great and seem simple and strong.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:34   #22
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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Interesting thread. A friend made me a soft shackle for my jib sheets. I'm going to learn how to make them myself now as they work great and seem simple and strong.
Easily done. Great instructions here:
Better Soft Shackle

Paul, have you contacted Yale about this? It would be interesting to hear their take on it.

I have used Yale brait as the primary anchor rode on my Catalina 30 for years with no issues. I switched from 3 strand when I got tired of cutting hockles out of the line whenever the wind came up.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:49   #23
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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This is a cautionary statement for folks that retrieve the snubber over the roller; it may be brait-specific (My gut tells me brait is more vulnerable than 3-strand or double braid because of the loose lay and the way it flattens out) or not, it may be very specific to the retrieval method. But surely grinding under a chain even once could do hidden internal damage.
I agree that you should never let your bridal come up over your bow roller under your chain without chaff protection.

Add a short piece of hose to rectify this chaff problem.
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Old 25-11-2013, 08:58   #24
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Something that may be applicable in this situation. A year ago we were doing a lift with 100k wll line and had it part while loaded to about 1/4 of that limit. The suspected cause was running the line through an improper diameter block which created too sharp of a bight in that particular line. So point loading your line may also be the culprit. Maybe ask or look into working parameters of the line in question.
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Old 25-11-2013, 09:54   #25
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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I agree that you should never let your bridal come up over your bow roller under your chain without chaff protection.

Add a short piece of hose to rectify this chaff problem.
I doubt that chafe gear would have made any difference. The issue was the line being pinched during retrieval - it was not on the roller during use.
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Old 25-11-2013, 09:56   #26
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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Something that may be applicable in this situation. A year ago we were doing a lift with 100k wll line and had it part while loaded to about 1/4 of that limit. The suspected cause was running the line through an improper diameter block which created too sharp of a bight in that particular line. So point loading your line may also be the culprit. Maybe ask or look into working parameters of the line in question.
In this case the line was a straight shot from the thimble soft shackled to the stem fitting and then to the chain. No turns or blocks in the way.
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Old 25-11-2013, 10:47   #27
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

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In this case the line was a straight shot from the thimble soft shackled to the stem fitting and then to the chain. No turns or blocks in the way.
The up side of running snubbers from a stem fitting is avoiding sharp turns and chafe. Also very clean and the pull is down low. Impossible to foul on the anchor at a mooring or the stemhead in bouncy conditions. VERY popular on catamarans, where the anchor is often stowed well back from the bow.

The down sides are that the length cannot be changed, it would be difficult to cut away in an emergency, and it sees more UV.

Compromises.
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Old 25-11-2013, 11:07   #28
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

It also seems to sail less at anchor with the snubber down low. That's why I decided to go that way.
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:43   #29
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

On your second picture, the fuzz doesn't look abnormal, or even very noticeable, like it did in your first picture.

We have had our octoplait bridles twist around the chain and pulled on hard, pinched through the bow roller, get barnacles growing inside the strands which I remove by beating on it with a hammer until they are crushed, and all sorts of other hard-use things.

We have never had one fail. Like I said, it stays in service until it gets hard and thin and non-stretchy - which is usually 4-5 years.

Again, this has always been Buccaneer Rope. I guess we will now get a real-life, controlled side-by-side comparison with Yale.

And there is a difference in the lay, feel, weave and "tightness" between the two. The Yale has a tighter thread bundle for each of the strands, but a looser weave of those strands compared to the Buccaneer.

Compared to 3-strand, which we used to use, the octoplait is superior for shock absorbing and general handling. The 3-strand goes very stiff quickly, loses its shock absorbing and becomes a big pain to handle.

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Old 31-12-2013, 10:06   #30
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Re: So how strong are soft shackles?

This is slightly off topic and pertains to Estarzinger's load test thread, but did not want to clutter his thread with silly questions. So silly question goes here (sorry Paul)

Wouldn't it be great if we could send our soft shackle to estarzinger to load test? Boy would I love a way to confirm/validate that my splices are strong. I mean, you really don't know do ya? whether your splices are good. You follow instructions, you look for the tell tale signs of a good splice, but in the end you just don't know. I realize each splice can come out differently but the testing of one of my splices woulds sure go along way with my confidence.

Is there a local shop that could do this kind of thing?
Better yet, CF contest of who has the strongest soft shackle
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