Tweaked: Spin Sheet Shackles

Replacing your metal shackle, or adding a soft shackle to your spin sheets can help improve sail control and speed in any conditions.

A soft shackle is lighter and than a metal shackle and will improve light air trimming,SW

On boats with asymmetrical spinnakers I like to connect the two sides of the ‘Y’ sheet with a soft shackle that also goes to the spinnaker. This saves weight over a conventional shackle and creates an easy connection with a short distance between the sail and where the two spinnaker sheets come together. The shorter the distance between the sail and the ‘Y’, the less the clew travels past the forestay in the gybe and the sooner it fills on the new side. I sew a Velcro strip around one part of the shackle (see picture) so that the soft shackle stays with the ‘Y’ sheet when open. This is beneficial when you have to quickly disconnect or re-run a sheet, replace one sheet, or even quickly replace a soft shackle.

On most boats I will keep one spare spinnaker sheet with soft shackle down below as a spare side, changing sheet, or Code Zero sheet. While you’re at it, make sure your spinnaker sheets are as tapered as possible. Whether you have an asymmetrical or a symmetrical, light air trimming will be easier with less material weighing the clew down.