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Friday, 13 May 2016

Wire Rope Grips

Part of our spares kit contains cable and wire rope grips to jury rig standing rig cables or replace our steering cable.  To jury rig, the theory is to use the clamps to put eyes in the broken wire rope then use bottle screws, lashings, a short length of chain or D-shackles to connect the two ends of the wire. While we may have all seen wire rope grips in use, there is only one correct way of assembly. This way is to have the clips (u bolts) on the dead end side of the rope. Using the clamps this way ensures strength of 85-90% of the wire rope is maintained. If the clamps are around the other way, clamp block on the dead end (wrong way) strength is reduced to about 75 % of the wire rope.

The wire rope grips are used in groups of three with the first being placed close to the eye the others are evenly spaced 5-8 centimeters from each other clamp. Previously I didn’t have any idea of the correct way of using these wire rope clips and remember having seen them incorrectly illustrated in books.  Now days I pay more attention when looking around others boats and have seen a few ends terminated incorrectly, and sometimes these had been done by people who should have known the correct way.

Facts I found along the way are to make sure you match the wire rope clip to the rope diameter for example, use a 9 mm wire rope clip with a 9 mm wire rope. Never connect two ends of wire rope with wire rope clips and never shock or impact load the rope. That’s right wire rope clips are not made for joining wire rope together but are used for forming an eye, eyes can then be joined as mentioned earlier.


When working with coated cable you need to match wire rope clip size to uncoated cable diameter and strip the coating off the cable where wire rope clips will be attached. Install wire rope clips correctly, wire rope clips are made for use with wire rope only so never use wire rope clips on pipe, rod, chain, fiber rope, etc.  Inspect and maintain wire rope clips regularly and replace any that are worn, distorted, or damaged, and depending on the use inspect wire rope clip nuts regularly and re-torque as needed. 


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