Stainless steel is the king of deck fitting materials, but soft fabric shackles and blocks including textile components are vying for the crown
Still expensive and found mostly on professional racing boats, they feature greater strength and lower weight. They also offer multiple attachment options, rapid handling and added safety. For example, if a block breaks, the line is still held by the fabric loop through which it passes. Lack of sharp edges extends gear life and regular inspection should identify any weakness before it becomes critical. Observers agree that prices will fall as boat manufacturers adopt fabric fittings as standard issue.