jackolantern

Faster Turnbuckle Adjustment

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So we do a fair bit of rigging adjustment on the forestay of a 45' Racer/Cruiser, up and down through a range of 25 turns for different conditions. It's a highly loaded boat that needs to be let off the jack slightly to get the buckle to turn, and the forestay turnbuckle is set belowdecks in a (wide open) furler recess, meaning that we need to be inside the anchor locker to adjust it and can only get 1/3rd of a turn on the buckle before needing to reset the screwdriver. Needless to say this makes adjustments in the prestart slightly fraught.

I'm trying to make it a faster process so that we can feel comfortable making an adjustment quickly based on shifting conditions. In this amazing world that we live in these days, with a product for everything, it's difficult to believe that there is nothing out there that's better than the old "crescent wrench and screwdriver" system for adjusting turnbuckles. I've looked into existing ratcheting crescent wrenches, but they're built for hexagonal nuts, rather than a turnbuckle. And the ratcheting turnbuckle solution for tiedowns on, say, 18-wheelers is built only for closed body turnbuckles only so not seemingly transferrable.

Is there something that people are using out there for this? a horizontally ratcheting breaker bar? Are there ratchets out there which can be passed over the middle body of the turnbuckle before the forestay is attached and reacts well enough in saltwater to sit belowdecks in the anchor locker and just live around the turnbuckle until it needs to be grabbed and turned?

Going hydraulic is not an option for rating and complexity reasons.

Picture for reference: 

Open-body turnbuckle - Sparcraft R.D.M. - articulated toggle ...

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It sounds like there isn’t a furler on the headstay now. If so you could put some sort of fitting on to the turnbuckle to better accommodate a ratchet of some sort. 
 

Or you could let the jacks off a bit more and do it by hand.

You shouldn’t be using a screwdriver anyway. 

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Use what instead of a screwdriver?

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A flat bar of aluminum is friendlier to the turnbuckle finish. They should be lubed enough, perhaps each time, to spin by hand. Wipe off after each session.

Could make some plastic wheel thing that quickly clamshells over the body...or a bike handlebar grip like thing. Square on the inside, round and grippy on the outside. Or has a slot for the wire and slides down over the body. Or a Velcro wrap like a wide mainsail clew strop with some kind of nub on the inside...or something.

Those pictured turnbuckles don't look like a forestay in a recess...

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2 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

A flat bar of aluminum is friendlier to the turnbuckle finish. They should be lubed enough, perhaps each time, to spin by hand. Wipe off after each session.

Could make some plastic wheel thing that quickly clamshells over the body...or a bike handlebar grip like thing. Square on the inside, round and grippy on the outside. Or has a slot for the wire and slides down over the body. Or a Velcro wrap like a wide mainsail clew strop with some kind of nub on the inside...or something.

Those pictured turnbuckles don't look like a forestay in a recess...

I made a 3D printed 6" "wheel" had a cut out so it would would slide over the body and then I could hold the stud with an adjustable and then turn the TB body. It was about 6 inches in diameter and had "teeth" on the outside so I could get a good grip on it. I made a receptacle of sorts that would center it and hold it on the TB body and that lived there. 

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35 minutes ago, b393capt said:

Use what instead of a screwdriver?

I’ve seen turnbuckle bodies distorted by screwdrivers. I like to use a metric adjustable wrench over the center crossbar of the turnbuckle 

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18 hours ago, jackolantern said:

So we do a fair bit of rigging adjustment on the forestay of a 45' Racer/Cruiser, up and down through a range of 25 turns for different conditions. It's a highly loaded boat that needs to be let off the jack slightly to get the buckle to turn, and the forestay turnbuckle is set belowdecks in a (wide open) furler recess, meaning that we need to be inside the anchor locker to adjust it and can only get 1/3rd of a turn on the buckle before needing to reset the screwdriver. Needless to say this makes adjustments in the prestart slightly fraught.

I'm trying to make it a faster process so that we can feel comfortable making an adjustment quickly based on shifting conditions. In this amazing world that we live in these days, with a product for everything, it's difficult to believe that there is nothing out there that's better than the old "crescent wrench and screwdriver" system for adjusting turnbuckles. I've looked into existing ratcheting crescent wrenches, but they're built for hexagonal nuts, rather than a turnbuckle. And the ratcheting turnbuckle solution for tiedowns on, say, 18-wheelers is built only for closed body turnbuckles only so not seemingly transferrable.

Is there something that people are using out there for this? a horizontally ratcheting breaker bar? Are there ratchets out there which can be passed over the middle body of the turnbuckle before the forestay is attached and reacts well enough in saltwater to sit belowdecks in the anchor locker and just live around the turnbuckle until it needs to be grabbed and turned?

Going hydraulic is not an option for rating and complexity reasons.

Picture for reference: 

Open-body turnbuckle - Sparcraft R.D.M. - articulated toggle ...

Would something like this work?

 

71BE4F76-6750-4EA3-927F-E938B2EBBE3A.jpeg

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29 minutes ago, samsonite said:

Would something like this work?

 

71BE4F76-6750-4EA3-927F-E938B2EBBE3A.jpeg

I tried something similar on a Ronstan calibrated TB once. I too used the Craftsman ratcheting wrenches cut of and polished the end so it was nice and smooth. Thankfully the distance between the lowers and uppers allowed the stubby's to cross over each other and I would velcro the ends so they couldn't ensure a caught sheet. I never had a problem with them catching a sheet however they would rust up just by looking at them and I would only get one season out of them so I went with the wheel route.  

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36 minutes ago, RImike said:

I made a 3D printed 6" "wheel" had a cut out so it would would slide over the body and then I could hold the stud with an adjustable and then turn the TB body. It was about 6 inches in diameter and had "teeth" on the outside so I could get a good grip on it. I made a receptacle of sorts that would center it and hold it on the TB body and that lived there. 

Sweet, any pics of the install? That would certainly help with concerns about corrosion. Is the 3D printed material strong enough for the application?

32 minutes ago, samsonite said:

Would something like this work?

 

71BE4F76-6750-4EA3-927F-E938B2EBBE3A.jpeg

That looks nifty, I would probably want to make sure to use high enough quality tools that won't rust into a solid unmovable piece of metal over the course of a season. Etchells use a similar system for a mast butt worm drive. 

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16 hours ago, mgs said:

It sounds like there isn’t a furler on the headstay now. If so you could put some sort of fitting on to the turnbuckle to better accommodate a ratchet of some sort. 
  

Or you could let the jacks off a bit more and do it by hand.

You shouldn’t be using a screwdriver anyway. 

The hardest change to make is getting the F/S to the heaviest wind setting. Bringing the jack down enough to spin it easily by hand is not something I'm comfortable doing to the rig with the main up in "max F/S" wind conditions. 

36 minutes ago, mgs said:

I’ve seen turnbuckle bodies distorted by screwdrivers. I like to use a metric adjustable wrench over the center crossbar of the turnbuckle 

Point well taken, but this particular turnbuckle is so beefy that I'd need an excalibur-like screwdriver to distort the body.

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@jackolantern With the ability to control the infill percentage, you can make 3D prints really strong as well as control the shape of the infill, such as hexagon, squares, and such. For the 2 part piece that calmped onto the TB body, I did 100% infill as it was so small and had a (2) fasteners to secure the halves together. The "wheel" was a trial and error. I first used 20% infill and the "teeth" area around the perimeter would break off. I did a custom infill which came out to being 100% infill in the teeth area and then transition to a 50% infill on the body area and then thick "wall" in the area where it grabbed the adapter. I'll have to dig to see if I can find the STL file. I wanna say I made it on FreeCad but have since transitioned to Fusion360. I have long since sold the boat and I didn't take many pictures of it. This was back when 3D printing was very expensive however I had access to an idle machine used for "education" (used loosely with air quotes because it never was). 

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1 minute ago, RImike said:

@jackolantern With the ability to control the infill percentage, you can make 3D prints really strong as well as control the shape of the infill, such as hexagon, squares, and such. For the 2 part piece that calmped onto the TB body, I did 100% infill as it was so small and had a (2) fasteners to secure the halves together. The "wheel" was a trial and error. I first used 20% infill and the "teeth" area around the perimeter would break off. I did a custom infill which came out to being 100% infill in the teeth area and then transition to a 50% infill on the body area and then thick "wall" in the area where it grabbed the adapter. I'll have to dig to see if I can find the STL file. I wanna say I made it on FreeCad but have since transitioned to Fusion360. I have long since sold the boat and I didn't take many pictures of it. This was back when 3D printing was very expensive however I had access to an idle machine used for "education" (used loosely with air quotes because it never was). 

Mike, are you still with EMT? I have a question for you offline relevant to this boat. Maybe PM me some pics of the wheel and we can talk about the other stuff. 

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20 hours ago, jackolantern said:

Mike, are you still with EMT? I have a question for you offline relevant to this boat. Maybe PM me some pics of the wheel and we can talk about the other stuff. 

I would like some pics as well, pls message me as well or share here

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21 hours ago, jackolantern said:

Point well taken, but this particular turnbuckle is so beefy that I'd need an excalibur-like screwdriver to distort the body.

Let me know when you find that screwdriver. I’ll take two 

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Would it mess with the rating by going to a deadeye setup with the tail to a small winch below or back on deck? Not sure what purchase they go up to or if it would give you the tension you need but seems like it may be a better way to go.

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Jackolantern,

I moved these pics so I can post.

This wrench is for the turnbuckles (Ronstan calibrated) on our J24.

  I think something similar but larger to fit the open body turnbuckle would work.

The ratcheting is done with winch pawls and springs.  The rotating part is held in place by a c-clip.

I have a couple available if anyone is interested.  I am making a new rotating piece to fit the new Ronstan turnbuckles.

 

Quattro

20200731_092933.jpg

20200731_092945.jpg

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Those are awesome and I loved the pics you sent. How big of a turnbuckle do you think you could fit in there? 

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These were built for the 5/16" ronstan turnbuckles.  So I don't think anything much larger would fit. 

I have been thinking about building larger ones that would work on open body turnbuckles.  A larger fixed piece would allow for a rotating part that would accept a turnbuckle like you have.

Here is another pic.

 

20200803_081629.jpg

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I suppose a better situational context is necessary here. Haven't had a chance to put a caliper around the turnbuckle: 

YEtth7L.jpgvQzT9az.jpg

VCEJwQd.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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