For this evaluation, each shackle was visually inspected, component parts were measured, and stainless-steel alloys were noted. During this initial inspection, we tested how easy each snap shackle could be closed with one hand; we also repeatedly measured how easily the un-clipping process could be executed using a simple tension spring-test on the piston-pin versions and by using a height scale on the Tylaska push-to-release latching model. We recognize the importance of pin security under load and felt that the reluctance of a shackle pin to be easily pulled under load was, in many cases, an attribute.
Following the publication of Part 1 of this report, we heard from several readers about their experiences with top-down furlers. Here are a few of their comments.
Among off-the-shelf options for taming spinnakers, we favor North's SnufferPlus for its refined design, lighter weight, and moderate price.
Replacement guidelines for sheets, halyards, and topping lifts.
There's not much new about in-mast furling, except for those spars that now accommodate sails with full-length vertical battens.
Practical Sailor recently took a look at nine different bosun chairs and bosun chair alternatives to determine which ones are worth recommending to the sailor facing a repair project high above the deck and which ones wed drop into the nearest dumpster. Included in this test were products from ATN, renowned-rigger Brion Toss, Black Diamond outdoors sports company, sailing hardware-maker Harken, French yacht-equipment manufacturer Plastimo, and Spinlock, a company that specializes in deck hardware and personal safety gear. While none of the products, which were bench tested and evaluated in the field, would ever be considered comfortable, several fit the bill for getting crew to the masthead (and down) safely and offer the features necessary for working aloft. In the review, we also give a rundown on tips and the essential techniques for going aloft safely.