Soft shackles come in handy all over the boat. While every stainless shackle on Uno hasn’t been replaced with dyneema, soft shackles are increasingly being used. Among other things, I use them to attach the genoa sheets and in the downhaul on the boom. They are strong and light–although shackle weight isn’t a primary concern on Uno. I even carry a few extras for emergencies.
All manner of soft shackles can be purchased at the local yacht chandler. However, I prefer to make them myself. I’ve tried a few different styles and favor the “improved soft shackle” from the video below for its ease of operation, strength, and clean look. It is more time consuming to make, but I think it’s worth it.
I change a couple things from the tutorial. First, depending on the need, I’ll change the length. 40 inches of 1/8″ amsteel will make a ~2.5 inch finished shackle using the other measurements in the video. By the way, this is probably the minimum usable size for this type of shackle. To make bigger shackles, add more line (e.g. 41″ of line will make a 3″ shackle). I also taper the ends more than he does by taking out a couple extra strands at 1/2″ from the end.