Gear Review: Shockles

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

Traditional bungee cords and shock cords are about as simple as it gets. Given Einstein's words above, in some ways they're too simple for use on a boat. Whether I use the thick type that is made from cheap rubber or those that have braided elastic rubber sheathed with a thin layer of synthetic fiber, they always seem to suffer from UV rot fairly quickly.  Both of these types are also not up to jobs requiring more strength and stretching power, such as snubbing an anchor line.

But fear not, the same innovative company that makes a boat-specific solar light has taken on the challenge of making a shock absorbing product that can withstand the rigors of the marine environment on a cruising boat. Shockles come in a variety of lengths and sizes, some of which have a tested breaking strength of over 2,500 pounds. They also feature very high quality stainless steel captive carabiner clips on each end, which is a huge upgrade from the metal "S" hooks on most bungee cords. I used a couple of Mini Shockles this past summer on the sailboat and found them useful for a variety of tasks that were once the duty of wimpy Walmart bungee cords that I'd replace several times throughout the season.

Mini Shockle lashing the tiller on Island Bound while hove to
Where I found the Mini Shockles most useful was for lashing the tiller to leeward when heaving to (I'll soon be writing a post about our technique for heaving to). The shockles provide the perfect balance of stretch and pull to keep the tiller safely where it needs to be. The Mini Shockles were also useful for securing our big 33lbs claw anchor to the bow when not in use, and for holding the boom to the side of the boat when at anchor or the dock to clear room in the cockpit.  I also used them as an anchor snubber in calm conditions, though if you plan to do the same you should really invest in the heavier duty purpose built "Anchor Snubber Shockle".  

The uses for these stretchy little friends are only bounded by your ingenuity...

...use them as an anchor snubber.
...or for absorbing shock from the dinghy painter.
...or quieting noisy halyards.


Ready to get your own Shockles? Get them here:


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