Cruising

No More Cotter Pins

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Standing at the bow of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34, my heel always scrapes the turnbuckle for the cutter stay when I operate the windlass. For many years I inevitably returned to the cockpit after setting the anchor with a bloody foot where the cotter pin had gouged me. Though my husband, Dave, tried to bend the offending pin out of the way, it wasn’t until we rerigged the boat that he thought up a permanent solution.

Working on customer’s boats, Dave had seen cotter pins that were turned and twisted by turnbuckles until they broke. So when it came time to buy cotter pins when we rerigged our boat, he balked. Instead he bought a spool of seizing wire.

Typically used to mouse shackles (as on anchors), seizing wire is a great substitute for cotter pins. The wire cannot twist or bend; there are no loose ends to snag sails, lines and feet; and the rig looks “finished.” The turnbuckle can’t turn without the wire first breaking, which isn’t likely to happen. Both my foot and I appreciate the improvement.

Photo by Connie McBride

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