I've had number of stainless and "waterproof" items that have had internal springs, parts and mechanisms seize/fail in saltwater, despite regular care.
Clips, biners, knifes, shrouds, shackles, VHF radios,..
I've used quality snap shackles for over 40 years now - they are great
my point is cheap ones will fail a lot faster than high quality ones - and i don't know about you but I'm not willing to sacrifice my steering/throttle connection with questionable gear that is known to be inferior ... just to save $40
cheap ones should work under normal conditions without problem
the real issue it's when your caught in a pop up storm and getting slammed with a big gust and they fail
i would also expect the cheaper steel to rust and/or seize the pin inside it much faster and needing replacement much more frequently - my last harken lasted over a decade with lots of hard use
Edited by MN3 on Aug 02, 2018 - 11:25 AM. [/quote]
Here's a coincidence....
I was reading this thread yesterday. For my main blocks, I've got one of these snap shackles at the boom and a conventional shackle to the traveler. After reading your post I start thinking I should be running two conventional shackles.
Leaving them as is for now, yesterday evening I took the P19 out solo in some fairly rough stuff. Buoy reporting 15 gusting to 19. At the harbor entrance I decided to run uni rigged with the jib furled. Less power, and just less to deal with solo. Blasting through some really steep waves, I get out about 3 miles and wind just keeps coming up. Decide to not push my luck, so I go to tack, and blow the tack. I look to make sure I am fully sheeted and see the boom with main blocks hanging loose off the side of the boat. I figure the shackle is gone, but see it hanging below the blocks, seemingly intact with the bolt still in place. Look to the traveller and it looks fine too. While my mind is racing on this, the bows are being blown and pushed by the waves downwind. I lash the tiller with rudders to windward with a bungee, then move foward and pull the boom back over the deck, finding that the conventional shackle has broken. (A first for me.)
Got my spare parts bottle out of the deck port and grabbed a couple shackles, one the same size as the failed one, and one with a very large crown and captive bolt that I figured would be temporary but easier to hold onto in the conditions I was in. (I took the photos later at the dock to recounting the event here).
With the blocks flying all over the place, I took a dock line and went through the becket on the cam cleat and tied it to the crossbar:
I fumbled with the small shackle, and with stuff moving around so much I just was not making progress. So I pulled out the larger crown shackle and with multiple attempts and some patience was able to get it in place:
Obviously not the right tool for the job, but I took it as easy as I could to get back to the harbor.
The break in the shackle was not clean. It was corroded save for a small shiny spot. Apparently there was a hairline crack that I had probably been running with for quite some time. I've never inspected shackles as they have never failed in my 40+ years of sailing. I trusted them like I do bolts. No more. Going to inspect all for this issue. Also, after discussing the incident with a fellow sailor, I am going to go with this type of shackle which should better distribute the load:
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
WOw that sucks but seems to have ended ok - glad for that
I have lost a few shackles over time to that type of failure - pretty rare but can have serious consequences (i had a failure in my forestay shackle aloft - that one would have dropped my mast on something had i not caught it)
looks like a lot of discoloration on that pic. that is a sign of impending doom and need for replacement
In my research on this topic there are lots of articles on SS failure
interestingly i learned that SS in a poor choice for salt water and only in use due to the fact that the better material (silicone bronze) is too expensive
Check out this article and look at the links on the bottom - great info
Wish there was a good way to backup the Jesus Shackle. Chance of failure low... consequences of failure potentially very high!
Regular inspection is critical, which ain't too bad if you regularly raise/lower to transport... one of my boats lives at the lake now and I haven't had the mast down in 60 days.
So I have collected like 100 + shackles of different sizes and shapes over the years... Looks like my magnifying light is going to get a workout this week....
As noted, in my 50 plus years of sailing, I have never had one of these things fail... and I am not looking for a first time.