Testers Compare Swivels, Look for Pin Creep

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.

Reader Experiences with Top-down Furlers

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.

Snuffer Test

Among off-the-shelf options for taming spinnakers, we favor North's SnufferPlus for its refined design, lighter weight, and moderate price.

Market Scan: Running Rigging

Replacement guidelines for sheets, halyards, and topping lifts.

Seldén’s In-Mast Furling System

There's not much new about in-mast furling, except for those spars that now accommodate sails with full-length vertical battens.

Practical Sailor Tests Bosun Chairs and Harnesses

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.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.