Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

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pugwash
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Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by pugwash » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:58 pm

Got bored so decided to check some kit, and a carabineer on one of my tow ropes has given yup the ghost. On checking two other ropes, I found that all three ropes use a bent gate carabineer rather than a straight gate, even my contact tows uses a pair of bent gates, anyone know why?

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by Owen » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:15 pm

Karabiners come from rock climbing, having a bent gate makes it easier to clip onto your rope. Doesn't make any difference on tow ropes as you're normally clipping onto fixed deck lines.

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Jim
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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:39 pm

Owen wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:15 pm
Karabiners come from rock climbing, having a bent gate makes it easier to clip onto your rope. Doesn't make any difference on tow ropes as you're normally clipping onto fixed deck lines.
I would think attempting to clip a fixed line with one hand and 2 boats moving independantly in a swell would be a good enough reason to want the slightly extra ease of clipping you get from a bent gate.
Towing is not something I have practised for many years, so don't assume I speak from experience :)

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by ron-t » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:38 pm

Hi

DMM in Llanberis in North Wales make some very nice wire-gate crabs which I use - the gate is made of stainless steel wire instead of the aluminium bar normally used, and the wire is also the spring, so there is no little metal spring to corrode. So they last a lot longer in the sea environment. A drop or two of oil every now and then keeps them working nicely.

I haven`t ever seen DMM stuff in kayaking retailers, but most of the climbing shops in Llanberis sell them, and most of them do on-line sales.

Palm do big wire-gate crabs that go over paddle shafts.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by pugwash » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:02 pm

Thanks for the replies, funnily enough the carabiner that has given up the ghost is a DMM bent gate shadow, and it is indeed the little sprin that has failed so it no longer closes, the bent gate wire version is pretty freely available, it was just the bent gate shadow I was having problems finding so I’ll probably give one of those a go.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:31 pm

I'm using Black Diamond Hoodwire crabs; wiregate with a cunning wire loop over the notch the end of the gate sits in so that it doesn't snag when you unhook it. A dab of silicone grease on the pivot points for the wiregate has lasted well; I rinse them in fresh water but haven't had to re-lube them yet.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by seawolf856 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:41 pm

Also have a look at the Petzl Ange L. This has the wire gate and absolutely does not snag when clipping in or out. These are perfect for sea kayaking use.
On my tow line however I use a plastic sea dog.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by MikeB » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:04 pm

Judicious use of a hacksaw and file will remove the hooky bit - and yes, it's a pita if it's not removed and will catch when it shouldn't. For lube, I use Waxoyle spray on the hinge pins and spring to good effect.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by RickC » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:22 pm

Jim wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:39 pm
I would think attempting to clip a fixed line with one hand and 2 boats moving independantly in a swell would be a good enough reason to want the slightly extra ease of clipping you get from a bent gate.
I agree. Make life easier for yourself. There's usually plenty of action going on when towlines are genuinely needed. Messing about with less than perfect clips that are small and difficult to use isn't my idea of fun. I want things easy and 100% reliable. The Whetman Equipment contact lines and Sea Guide tow lines I use were supplied with Argon bent gate carabiners. Big enough to use with cold hands. Light and strong. Best carabiners I've used and no signs of problems yet. I haven't found anything better and have been using them weekly (coaching environment) for the last two years. They get rinsed along with the rest of the kit and I give them a light spray of silicone when I remember.

Cheers, Rick

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by pugwash » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:53 pm

Interesting comment about the Whetman contact tow, i’ve got one of these as well, and the carabiners look identical to the DMM bent gate Shadows that I’ve got on my other tow lines. I might have a Google around for the Argon version, they have done sterling service on the contact tow, in fact they still look and feel like new, I just couldn’t make out the manufacturers name.

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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by spynappels » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:40 pm

Argon carabiners are made by Kong in Italy If I remember correctly.

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Steve Whetman
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Re: Why bent gate carabineers on tow ropes?

Post by Steve Whetman » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:23 am

Whetman Equipment use DMM carabiners on all the current Sea Contact Lines & Sea Guide Towlines. These DMM carabiners are named "Argon" & are bent gate with snag free "keyhole" gates. Full info on maintenance can be found on the website pages of the above products. They will last a long time if maintained and it is a trade off between the inconvenience of doing maintenance & having a large positive snapgate crab versus a smaller maintenance free stainless crab.

A bent gate does make connecting to a moving boat deck line in rough water easier to achieve as it guides the rope onto the gate - its a very subtle & useful advantage. Also the DMM carabiner we use is big enough to grab with cold wet hands and deploy positively in demanding situations.

Steve Whetman
Whetman Equipment

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