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What is a sailing dogbone?

by Phil Anniss 21 Jan 09:00 UTC
A dogbone is a small, lightweight, dual tapered rod, which can simply and efficiently connect two lines together © Loop Products

What is a Dogbone?

A dogbone is a small, lightweight, dual tapered rod, which can simply and efficiently connect two lines together. As the name suggests, its shape is comparable to that of a 'dog bone', where the middle section is tapered, and the two ends are proportionally wider.

Dogbones are not new, they have been around for centuries, and date back to the days of tall ships. In those days, a solid wooden peg was used and it worked extremely well. But, as time passed, and with the introduction of wire and metal fittings, it became almost non-existent. However, with modern materials and the increasing acceptance of soft connectors, strops, and loops throughout all areas of the sport, it has been re-engineered and becoming an increasingly vital part of any sailor's kit.

The dogbone is a very flexible connection device and can be used in conjunction with a soft loop/strop to replace almost any shackle. For example:

  • Main halyard - to maximise sail height
  • Outhaul attachments
  • Tack lines
  • Spinnaker sheets
  • Soft block attachment

And it has many benefits:

  • Lightweight
  • Quick / simple
  • Low profile
  • Never gets stuck / bound up even after overloading
  • No pin to drop over the side!

There are a broad range of styles available on the market and upffront.com offers a good cross-section with LOOP®, Armare and Tylaska.

Kohlhoff LOOP® Dogbone

There are two types of Loop® dogbones available, which are manufactured in Germany to the highest standards. They have been created for use with many different diameters of line. One is made from relatively conventional high-strength stainless steel and can take lines of between 6mm 10mm diameter.

The other is made from top-grade adonised aluminium. This style has been designed to allow the line to be spliced quickly into the dogbone ensuring it is secured in place and cannot be lost. They come in a range of SWL's (safe working load) from 300g3500kg and can be used with lines of 3mm to 12mm diameter.

Armare T-Bone

The T-bone, is offered in 5 sizes, and is a variation on the stainless-steel Loop® style dogbone. It is equally well made in corrosive-resistant, high strength 17-4PH stainless steel, and can endure substantial loads. The range comes in SWL's from 600g to 3000kg and provides very reliable performance.

Tylaska Dogbone

With its unique patent, the Tylaska stands out from the crowd. Although the same tapered shape as other brands in aluminium and 17-4PH stainless steel, its grooved surface enables a better grip on lines and decreases slipping. Each end of the Tylaska has a cross hole so that lashings and leashes can be attached easily to secure the dogbone in place. There are a diverse number of sizes available with exceptional SWL's ranging from 300g up to 6800kg.

With such diverse benefits for so many applications, it is a wonder how this compact device could ever have disappeared. However, we think you will agree when we say that we welcome it back with open arms!

Click here to view the uppfront.com range of dogbones.

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