The use of soft shackles in 4×4 recovery,sailing,rigging has gotten much attention recently. A soft shackle is a device made from 12-strand synthetic UHMWPE rope that forms a closed loop that can be opened via the use of a noose and a big stopper knot. A soft shackle can handle just about every function performed by a steel shackle, Since the hardness of metal shackles may cause damage to other places (such as wooden surface of sailboats/yachts and front part of 4×4 vehicles), this lightweight and safe soft ones are used for the replacement of metal shackles in more and more cases now.

soft shackle 1

Advantages of Soft Shackle

• Extremely high strength

• Light weight (1/7 weight of steel)

• Abrasion resistant

• Low stretch

• Floats in water

• Flexible

UHMWPE is known as the strongest and lightest fiber in the world. In terms of weight, its strength is 15 times that of steel wire cable. It also has other excellent characteristics like waterproof, floatable, chemical resistance, UV resistance, etc.

soft shackle2 At present, there are many uses of soft shackles on boats, and it is almost possible to use soft shackles instead of metal shackles. Soft shackle is lightweight and less wear on other parts of the boat and is also easier to be removed and tightened.

For example, if you use a metal shackle, you need to use sailor pliers when you install and remove it. Finally, you need to use a “pin” to catch the rotating pin. Even if you use a pin, there is a risk that the pin will fall off. If it is replaced with a soft shackle, it will be hardly or impossible to loosen under force, and it can be easily unlocked without the help of tools when disassembling.

There are other more important advantages: when there is no load, it will not collide with metal parts or other places to make noise, it will not violently hit the deck and mast under the influence of wind, and it will not hit the head and cause serious damage.

Some advantages of soft shackles are also its disadvantages. Because it is not suitable for tightly binding two objects together under load, it is also difficult to loosen the soft shackle under stress.

There are many ways to make a soft shackle, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages. from the previous article we have  introduced the first method of shackle. This article introduces the second method of making soft shackle. The advantages and disadvantages of this type of shackle are described below.

Advantages of this method:

1. Since the body of the shackle is in two ropes, it is easier to open the lasso under the diamond knot.
2. This method requires very little rope length.

Disadvantages:

1. This kind of rope head “diamond knot” making method will leave the rope tail on the top, if you regularly install and remove the shackle, it may be troublesome. So you need to use electrical tape to entangle the tail.
2. Because its top is an ordinary diamond knot, it has less strength than double-stranded diamond knots and button knots.
3. There are two ropes in the main body, so you need to pay attention to avoid confusion when installing or combining with other ropes.

Applications:

4×4 recovery

Sailing

Rigging

soft shackle application

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