Gear Wrangler: Davis MiniShockles



When it comes to boats, theres never a shortage of stuff to secure, coil, or hang up. Bungee cords are the default go-to in many cases, but they gradually lose strength and degrade over time due to UV damage; also, the hooks rust and can scratch finishes. We recently looked at a product thats advertised as being a bungee cord on steroids: the Davis Instruments MiniShockles.

MiniShockles are designed to be safer, stronger, and more secure than a typical bungee cord. Theyre constructed of UV-resistant, black nylon webbing sewn over a marine-grade elastomer. The maker claims that the outer sleeve provides the strength needed to absorb heavy jolts and that the elasticity holds gear securely in place. Each end of the MiniShockle sports a rust-resistant 316 stainless-steel wire gate snap, which has a rated safe working load of 300 pounds.

We found the MiniShockles to be both well-constructed and strong. The stainless-steel snaps are of good quality with a smooth finish, rounded edges, and easy one-handed operation.

However, the MiniShockles are not particularly cheap, especially when compared to the bag of bungee cords you can pick up most anywhere. But, the quality and longevity of the MiniShockles should mitigate the price somewhat over the longhaul.

MiniShockles are available in three lengths, from 12 to 24 inches, and retail for $14 to $16. They come in any color you want, as long as that color is black, and they have a one-year limited warranty.

Bottom line: Its a given that youll find numerous uses for MiniShockles once theyre aboard, from securing light objects to strapping down heavier gear. As weve just started long-term testing, we cannot yet support their claims of longevity, but based on their construction quality, our initial impression is that the MiniShockles will give years of trouble-free service, far more than bungee cords can.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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