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With yesterday’s post being, in my mind, a tad technical, I decided to write today about something significantly less so. Rebecca and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday doing nothing but driving from place to place, measuring bolts and trying to find suitably-sized bolts. This is where the Tool-of-the-Day came in:


I know there are plenty of people who can just look at a nut or bolt and go “that’s 7/16” or that’s “5 mm.” Quite likely some of the people reading this post have that skill. I am not one of them. My little ruler shown in the above pic definitely helps me out. For example, after measuring the wire runs for our windlass install I needed to figure out what size lugs to have crimped onto the ends of the wire. As it turns out, 2 are 3/8″, 2 are 5/16″ and 2 are 1/4″. My little tool told me that quickly and easily.

That job was the simple one though. Moving to the lifeline project, I was trying to figure out how I could reuse some of the fittings from our old lifelines to create a gate in our yet-to-be-spliced Amsteel ones. If I could find an eye bolt that would fit into the old pelican hooks it would be easy. My little ruler told me that I needed 5/16″ bolts. What it didn’t tell me was that it needed to have “fine” threads. Nor did it tell me that the other fittings I was trying to use had “left handed” threads. So, after two hours or so of driving from Pride Marine to West Marine to Brofasco (fastener place) to Canadian Tire… we have given up on the idea of a gate, for now. Pride did find what we need in their catalogue but I have decided to cheap out a bit, and also simplify the project. I can always add the gate in later by re-splicing the line, which is another benefit to going the Amsteel route!

A Pelican Hook


  1. You could always use carabiners for the bow gates, since the line is not tight when the side gate is open. You don’t need the open-under-tension function of a pelican hook. Very simple.

    I would put the gate inwards; other wise it could clip onto a spinnaker sheet during a jibe!

    • Not exactly sure what you mean, Drew. My thoughts were to rig it so that even when the bow gate was open the remainder of the lifelines along that side would remain taut. How would you do it?

      • Yes, that would be nicer, with a stopper knots (or something equivalent – a fat whipping) in the right places to hold the tension. But on my current set-up (factory) when the side gate is open, the side goes a little slack. Not a lot, but enough that getting a carabiner on and off would be reasonable. This would be easy to achieve by simply leaving the whippings 1/4-inch loose.

        Just an idea.

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