The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Turnbuckle Securing Hack

Here’s a quick way to secure turnbuckles with no need for taping and that is quick to take off when we need to adjust the rig.

The secret is selecting a ring-ding (a technical term that shows the user is a real professional rigger) that is just too big in diameter to allow the barrel to turn.

Here’s a bunch more rigging tips, including another way to secure turnbuckles that’s more suitable for offshore boats.

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Taras Kalapun

I use piece of welding rod that you can bent easy and insert in both ends.

Dick Stevenson

Hi John,
Decades ago I realized that my wrists were not strong enough (and patience too thin) to wrestle out of turnbuckles stainless steel cotter pins, especially if they had a bit of twist in them. (and it worried me that releasing/removing them quickly in the event of an emergency was problematic.)
I used ring dings for a period, but once or twice, a line would slap the turnbuckle and a bit of strand would catch on the ring ding and pull it open. This was rare and may have had to do with my leaving the RD too exposed, but it provoked me to look for alternatives. My choice, now decades used, were bronze cotter pins bought from Brion Toss Rigging. They do the job while being easily installed, easy to remove, and are actually re-usable.
I work with long enough bronze cotter pins so the ends are turned/tucked into the turnbuckle making tape unnecessary. A pet peeve of mine is looking at taped turnbuckles done in such a way that a “cup” is made that catches salt water which then provides a long-term bath for the turnbuckle end.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Terence Thatcher

I started using Johnson “wrap pins” after the company changed the design. Their first design was flawed, because the pin was just glued to the velcro strip. But now the pin is attached to the velcro mechanically, by piercing the velcro and having a rivet kind of circle to hold it in place. Once they made that change, I decided to use them. I don’t like ring-dings, altho they are now easier to use since I found ring-ding pliers. I would be happy to hear from others if I have made a mistake.

Eric Ploumis

Do you need a ring ding on both threaded parts of the turnbuckle or is just one enough?