Posted by: Dan Sprague | November 8, 2012

Dead Eyes and Turnbuckles

Dead Eyes and Turnbuckles

Dead Eyes were used to tighten up lines before turnbuckles. They work well and are coming back in to use. I saw an article in a sailing magazine that showed Dead Eyes being used with the new super lines that are being used in place of steel cable rigging and turn buckles.

I have always liked the looks of Dead Eye rigging on a sailboat.  From what the article said, the new synthetic lines stretch less and are not as heavy. They use a Dead Eye set up to tighten them up instead of turnbuckles. I think it is neat to see old ideas becoming new ones again.

A few years ago I had a shroud cable end get damage. The turnbuckle would not thread. We were away from home, and there was no way to get to a marine store for a new shroud or turn buckle. To be able to sail home we needed to fix it in some way.

I made two Dead Eye blocks from wood scraps, wrapped the shroud cable around one block and cable clamped it in to place. Then using a line with the two handmade blocks, tightened the shroud cable down and was able to sail home with that set up. It worked quite well. The cost was just the price of the two cable clamps.

I got more than one comment about the quick and cheap repair when we got back. I just said you sometimes have to think out of the box, and it helps to have been a kid on an old Pirate Ship. Arrg!


dead eye repair

dead eye replaced turnbuckle

I made two dead I blocks and a line to make a shroud repair.


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