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2/23/2018

Wiring shackles with seizing wire

      I have always read just like everyone else that shackle pins need to be wired so they wont work loose.
      Well when I anchored my day sailor for the summer, I threw together a folding anchor, six feet of chain, some twenty feet of old trucker floating line, an old fender for a float and set the whole thing in about eight feet of water.  But first I hooked the chain and rode together with a galvanized shackle.  I tightened the shackle pin with a wrench.
       My only worry was too much rode and she might swing onto shore at low tide.   My little cove is subject to about two feet of tide, no rogue wakes, no current and very little wind.

       After about two weeks of coming and going by dinghy, and sailing on and off my poor mans mooring, I was pretty used to and confident my set up was there to stay.  Then one afternoon when I showed up I noticed my anchor line was changed.  Suspicious, I leaned over the side of the dinghy and yanked to the surface my anchor except it wasn't my folding anchor, it was some cast iron thing I have never seen.  I put it back, left my dinghy at the fender float and went sailing, all the time pondering what was going on.

      At dusk I came in and switched back to the dinghy, on my way out of the cove I swung by a young chap working on his boat and inquired if he knew anything about my missing anchor and rode.

     He said he noticed my boat was floating free one day and using a spare anchor he put it back where it belonged.  I thanked him profusely and brought him a bottle of rum the next day.

    The lesson I learned that day was to use seizing wire even for temporary things if  failure is unacceptable.  I also learned how smart my choice of the quiet cove was for my anchor buoy and that I still had some paying forward credits after all.

     FYI - A few days later from the dinghy, I probed the muddy bottom for two hours with my 12 foot boat hook and snagged my gear getting it all back including the shackle and loose pin. I replaced the borrowed anchor and this time I wired the pin, and that's my story.

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