Dexa Swaben

Taping rigging to prevent snags on cotter pins

Recommended Posts

I have been told that I should wrap tape around my turnbuckles to prevent clothing from snagging on the cotter pins. Already understand that electrical and duct tapes are not the tools for the job. I have been told either rigging tape or self-annealing tape are. All fittings are stainless steel. Boat is 1 year old.

Looking for advice regarding:

  1. Tape or no tape?
  2. What type of tape to use? Annual replacement will happen as I will inspect those cotter pins.
  3. What is the best method (e.g., tape bottom up or top down; use non-adhesive side for first wrap and adhesive side on second wrap so adhesive is not on turnbuckle)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you want 'self amalgamating' tape - but I reckon that'd be the wrong thing to use, as it'll leave bits in the threads and tight corners.

It isn't adhesive, as such.

 

Rigging tape would be the go - isn't that what its for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not white electrical tape again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salvage some boat shrink wrap; cut into strips of suitable width; wrap around turnbuckles; secure with duct tape.

Trick is to not let the tape touch anything but the shrink wrap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some "rig tape" that looks identical to electrical tape and feels the same. It doesn't dry out and fall off the rig a month into the season though, which regular electrical tape will do.The stuff that works for me costs about $8.00 a roll at my local marine store. I think its made by 3M. The self-amalgating stuff is really good too.

 

Also don't be one of those people who wraps the entire turnbuckle in tape. Just do where the cotter pin(s) is/are. I've seen many rigs where people have gotten enthusiastic about their application of tape and have wrapped up over the swage fittings and onto the actual wire stay. Every time thats happened it's been wet under the tape at the swage fitting and rust streaks everywhere. Easy way to ruin rigging. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fucket said:

Why not white electrical tape again?

yeh - it does work.   Any gooey residue tends to disintegrate in the sun by the time is needs replacement (which is fairly often).

and as captain jack says -- just cover the sharp pointy bits.

 

Even better - use turnbuckles where the cotter pin is not exposed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really want to over think it:

self-amalgamating tape over the cotter pins and then rigging tape over the s-a tape. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use rings instead of pins.

They don't need tape - or tools to remove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or tap the holes for the cotter pins and run some pan hean machine screw in to them. This is what I do no boats where we don’t adjust the rig a lot. Otherwise it’s the Velcro pins, just have to replace them every season or two. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dexa Swaben said:

I have been told that I should wrap tape around my turnbuckles to prevent clothing from snagging on the cotter pins. Already understand that electrical and duct tapes are not the tools for the job. I have been told either rigging tape or self-annealing tape are. All fittings are stainless steel. Boat is 1 year old.

Looking for advice regarding:

  1. Tape or no tape?
  2. What type of tape to use? Annual replacement will happen as I will inspect those cotter pins.
  3. What is the best method (e.g., tape bottom up or top down; use non-adhesive side for first wrap and adhesive side on second wrap so adhesive is not on turnbuckle)?

The tape on cotter pins is necessary to prevent snags on sails and spinnakers.  As for turnbuckles, only the base where the cotter  pin is located needs to be taped - not the entire turnbuckle.

This white electrical tape works great:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Scotch-0-75-in-x-66-ft-x-7-mil-35-Electrical-Tape-White-10828-DL-2W/100555712

You can buy the exact same tape at a marine store but instead of $4 a roll it is $8 a roll. 

White electrical tape works great.  It lasts years and I usually end up removing it to unstep the mast long before the tape goes bad.  

Also, look around the boat for other cotter pins, besides the turnbuckles, and wrap those too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the comments, advice, and insight. And the snarky comment, which made me laugh my ass off! Overthought? For sure!

Not too many locations identified (so far), so will invest the extra and use self-amalgamating tape. I'm already $500K deep for the boat, why not invest less than $20 to use the good stuff? Also, I need it for the tool kit.

As mentioned by Captain Jack Sparrow and Team Subterfuge, I will cover only what is needed to prevent snagging on the cotter pin. Top down to reduce ponding of water (West Coast BC = rain). I don't think Velcro pins are appropriate for my application. I will add rings to the tool kit, along with a stock of cotter pins, for future use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So is Snaggletooth going to chime in on what to use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cotter rings are not so good. I thought stories of them being ripped out by errant sheets were urban legend - until I saw it happen to me. Back to cotter pins.

Assuming open body type turnbuckles - just tape the area around the cotter pins. A roll of self amalgamating tape will last years. Electrical tape? No, it gets gummy and falls off in salt water environments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find cheap-shit electrical tape (non stretchy, chinese junk) is actually better. IThey seem to over-economise on the adhesive and so there's very little there to start with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Zonker said:

self amalgamating tape

yep .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never use rings, they get caught on things and pull out.

Forget tape, self amalgamating tape and anything similar

Either slide some heat shrink above the fitting, install the pin, slide down the heat shrink and shrink it down or put a dab of of silicone or SikaFlex over the sharp ends of the cotter pin.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two types of self amalgamating tape. 

The rubber one is better on hoses and tool handles, the silicone on stuff like you're asking about.

Buy it in teeny rolls at the marine store in only one width for a high price.  Or go on eBay/amazon/local electrical supplier and look for 'silicone dielectric tape'.  Comes on big rolls and lots of widths(wide is good, it gets narrower by about half as you stretch it. )  wonderful stuff.  

Wrap first layer over the pointy bit only and don't stretch it(it'll protect the later wraps). Then a couple wraps under tension and done. 

I've got some holding the heatwrap together on a motorcycle exhaust.  Put it on over 10 years ago after a crash. Meant to replace it when it failed. Probably outlast the bike. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why bother? It's expensive and prone to failure if over stretched and it tends to hold water that starts corrosion - a dab of sikaflex is a much, much better approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Zonker said:

Cotter rings are not so good. I thought stories of them being ripped out by errant sheets were urban legend - until I saw it happen to me. Back to cotter pins.

Assuming open body type turnbuckles - just tape the area around the cotter pins. A roll of self amalgamating tape will last years. Electrical tape? No, it gets gummy and falls off in salt water environments.

I've heard stories and negative advice about rings for years. For those same years I've been using them with nary a failure.

Nary a torn sail either.

If you are using pins, follow Rod Stephens advice - clip them short, round the ends with a file and spread them only enough to retain them, don't bend them back on themselves..

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with IMR if you're going to make adjustments (fractional rig with swept back spreaders, for example) in differing conditions, velcro is by far the smarter way to go. Otherwise, you're on the right track with the self sticking, stretchy stuff. You'll use it all over the boat and it's cheap compared to some of the other stuff you can waste money on. Duct tape is only good for making emergency sail repairs or temporarily sealing a leaky hatch. Leaving it on for more one week will leave dried adhesive all over whatever it is you're sealing. And something about the moisture or salt air or whatever makes the adhesive on electrical tape turn to syrup, although it usually takes a bit longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are rigged with cotter pins and adjust the forestay every race and often adjust the shrouds so I use cheap white 3M electrical tape from Home Depot, about $2.59 a roll, and we go through many rolls each season. It's tougher than rigging tape and doesn't seem to leave much residue behind, if any.   I use rigging tape on the fittings that will be in place for months or years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 thoughts - 

File off the sharp points on the cotter pins. 

Use stainless welding rod - 

sailboats-03.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the turnbuckles are close together I actually prefer to lash the bodies (assuming open turnbuckles) together, even if they aren't being adjusted every week. Then all that needs to be taped is at the base where there is a rigging pin and cotter pin/rig to make the connection to the chainplates. Less tape is definitely better.  

I have found that untaped rings are a risk, but if they are taped over than not a problem. As either rings or pins would need to be taped, I prefer the rings that don't (usually) require any tools to deal with them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Slim said:

Use stainless welding rod - 

sailboats-03.jpg

Very cool idea,

Should have polished it before installing though. :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you guys will laugh your asses off, but I'm almost a season into it using zap straps through the pin holes and around one side of the body of the turnbuckle... initially i was adjusting my rig tension frequently and didn't want to bother with bending/unbending taping/untaping cotter pins and the clearance between the studs and the inside of the turnbuckle body made the rings a pain to feed in and out so i tried the zap straps... SUPER easy to install and when you need to adjust just clip them off...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For cable ties, use the UV stabilized black ones at least - and even then they are only good for 1-2 years max in the sun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one that uses seizing wire to secure their turnbuckles?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Zonker said:

For cable ties, use the UV stabilized black ones at least - and even then they are only good for 1-2 years max in the sun.

ya, i actually put brightly coloured ones on to test so i could see immediately if they had failed, but so far they haven’t so i got a bag of the black ones because these will get clipped off shortly. i don’t expect them to be a long lasting solution but for a small race boat where the rig gets tuned and pulled relatively frequently the lack of longevity is more than made up for by easy installation and no requirement for taping

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, overdraft said:

ya, i actually put brightly coloured ones on to test so i could see immediately if they had failed, but so far they haven’t so i got a bag of the black ones because these will get clipped off shortly. i don’t expect them to be a long lasting solution but for a small race boat where the rig gets tuned and pulled relatively frequently the lack of longevity is more than made up for by easy installation and no requirement for taping

Couple of reasons I personally DONT like zip ties:  They fail without warning and even worse: they can have sharp points when the tail is cut off and can easily shread a kite

 

On small boats I like using some of the rubber coated twisties that are available at any hardware store - very quick to open/twist and cheap.  Buy extras as they do break (but the breaking wire is contained inside the rubber sleeve so they don't attack the sails, legs, arms, etc.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not just carter keys on turnbuckles that need to be wrapped. My boat uses clevis pins to attach the spreaders to the mast. I have had the spinnaker ripped when it blew back into the mast while taking it down. These carter keys are not easily wrapped. I make sure the ends of the key are well turned in and use a glob of silicon calk on the carter keys to protect the sails. Also, I was sailing on an E scow when the spinnaker ripped on a meat hook on he wire to rope connection of the jib halyard. Another place to use of silicon/rigging tape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cotter Pins.

There is no such thing as a Carter Key.

Probably the reason you ripped your chute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2018 at 12:33 PM, Slim said:

2 thoughts - 

File off the sharp points on the cotter pins. 

Use stainless welding rod - 

sailboats-03.jpg

The SS Welding rod is great. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2018 at 8:46 AM, Moonduster said:

Why bother? It's expensive and prone to failure if over stretched and it tends to hold water that starts corrosion - a dab of sikaflex is a much, much better approach.

Interesting point about the corrosion, I could see that being an issue with stainless, but if you're just making a single band to hold the cotter pin in place, I can't see it holding much water instead of draining, as it bonds and conforms to the surface very well but will have a gap for water down the middle.  With 300% stretch still within spec you'd have to be be pretty dumb and be working hard to be so to stretch it enough to cause grief.   First link I found on amazon, 6$.  Bet you can get it with free shipping and maybe even cheaper too.

 

https://www.amazon.com/X-Treme-Tape-TPE-XZLCLR-Silicone-Triangular/dp/B00HWROKAK/ref=pd_sim_328_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HWROKAK&pd_rd_r=X4VY1M6WWB7E2S7C4TMY&pd_rd_w=Yo64i&pd_rd_wg=5ihDc&psc=1&refRID=X4VY1M6WWB7E2S7C4TMY&dpID=41KHrqpYKWL&preST=_SX342_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018-04-05 at 5:46 PM, Moonduster said:

Why bother? It's expensive and prone to failure if over stretched and it tends to hold water that starts corrosion - a dab of sikaflex is a much, much better approach.

 

46 minutes ago, jgbrown said:

Interesting point about the corrosion, I could see that being an issue with stainless, but if you're just making a single band to hold the cotter pin in place, I can't see it holding much water instead of draining, as it bonds and conforms to the surface very well but will have a gap for water down the middle.  With 300% stretch still within spec you'd have to be be pretty dumb and be working hard to be so to stretch it enough to cause grief.   First link I found on amazon, 6$.  Bet you can get it with free shipping and maybe even cheaper too.

 

https://www.amazon.com/X-Treme-Tape-TPE-XZLCLR-Silicone-Triangular/dp/B00HWROKAK/ref=pd_sim_328_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HWROKAK&pd_rd_r=X4VY1M6WWB7E2S7C4TMY&pd_rd_w=Yo64i&pd_rd_wg=5ihDc&psc=1&refRID=X4VY1M6WWB7E2S7C4TMY&dpID=41KHrqpYKWL&preST=_SX342_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

Well, Sikaflex on SS is a way to create corrosion: one of the few possibilities for stainless to corrode is to keep out air and humitidy. But then, isn't most tunrbuckles made in bronze these days?

A hole thread on how to handle the turnbuckles and not having the possible cotter pins to destroy things. There are many possibilities, it is possible to buy covers in Alu ($100), cloth ($15) or plastic ($10 or less).

Instead of cotter pins one can use so called sure-clip (similar has been mentioned above).

sure-clip-alt_1.thumb.jpg.63edd9c0709310008b46977902e700a0.jpg 

Also these can be secured with same tape. As the turnbuckles are adjusted quite often (thats why they are like they are) the tape doesn't have to last very long. A good electrical tape works fine. If one do want to use some higher grade tape - OK, enjoy it.

 

//J

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2018 at 12:14 PM, SloopJonB said:

I've heard stories and negative advice about rings for years. For those same years I've been using them with nary a failure.

Nary a torn sail either.

If you are using pins, follow Rod Stephens advice - clip them short, round the ends with a file and spread them only enough to retain them, don't bend them back on themselves..

 

This. The SloopJonB doth not tell untruths. I know this to be true.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the suggestion of a rigger friend, I switched from cotter pins to small machine screws with Nyloc nuts on the ends.  Easy to remove and replace and nice rounded ends, so no tape needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did that to secure lifeline stanchion tubes to their bases and it worked very well. Never tried it on turnbuckles though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2018 at 12:14 PM, SloopJonB said:

If you are using pins, follow Rod Stephens advice - clip them short, round the ends with a file and spread them only enough to retain them, don't bend them back on themselves..

 

This is the advice I always got with pins too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On April 6, 2018 at 11:33 AM, Slim said:

2 thoughts - 

File off the sharp points on the cotter pins. 

Use stainless welding rod - 

sailboats-03.jpg

 I wouldn't trust this personally. The stress on the shroud initiates a turn on the turnbuckle. Preventing this turn is the primary line of defence that the cotter pin performs..and will come to rest against the buckle preventing a further turn. Even a quarter turn of the buckle  could begin to compromise this arrangement.

Racing boats generally use unbent cotter pins w Velcro or tape so they can be knocked out in a hurry for adjustment. On a cruiser, if it's taped or covered w a shroud cover, slightly  bent cotterpins or rings r ok. 

I generally use the cheaper white rigging tape for all pins or rings. If it peels after a month or two it's a 5 minute touch up.

Any little pins or rings here could use a quick wrap but going to self amalgamating tape for this might be overkill and is best for applications like waterproofing the mast boot. 

image.thumb.jpeg.10c92b00b4a8311ca0027a59670c286d.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welding Rod, SS Wire, Machine screws, and the Rod Stephens “cut cotter pins to one-and-a-half times the diameter of the clevis pin. Each leg is only spread 10 degrees. A small dab of silicone over the short, spread cotter pin legs prevents ripping sails, gashing toes, etc.” Apply the silicone after rounding over the ends of the pins with a file or table mounted grinder. I might cut the cotter pins a bit shorter than the 1.5 diameter of the clevis pin.  All great suggestions, better than sharp ended cotter pins and tape, at least on a cruising sailboat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White 3M pvc electrical tape is all I use, replace after adjusting or every season or two, no big deal. Some of the methods suggested here seem good but I'm just lazy I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seizing wire.  No need for tape. Quick n' easy to apply or remove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shit, y’all are fancy. I use decent quality duct tape and it lasts about a year. Half width to just cover the ring or pin yet allow air and water to get to the fitting to reduce corrosive action 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod Stephens' advice is correct. Re: electrical tape, red 3M leaves less or no residue compared to other "colors." Red fades, so red, then white if you are queer for white tape. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2018 at 1:41 AM, Zonker said:

Cotter rings are not so good. I thought stories of them being ripped out by errant sheets were urban legend - until I saw it happen to me. Back to cotter pins.

Assuming open body type turnbuckles - just tape the area around the cotter pins. A roll of self amalgamating tape will last years. Electrical tape? No, it gets gummy and falls off in salt water environments.

I too have seen this happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now