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October 25, 2001

Safe and Easy

Cotter rings are an easy way to secure shackle pins.

Good seamanship and common sense dictate that threaded shackle pins be safety-wired to prevent them from loosening and falling out. But by its very nature, properly applied safety wire is very difficult to remove, so it's not the best solution for securing a shackle that you will be making occasional changes on. One case in point would be a rode shackle, where the ability to change anchors to match holding conditions would be advantageous.
My solution to the problem involved replacing the safety wire with a stainless-steel cotter ring like the ones found on key chains. Threading it through the shackle and the eye of the pin results in a lock that is easily removed, yet is secure under all but the most severe conditions.

David Yetman
Newburyport, Massachusetts