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Drop Nose Pins - What are they and why use them?

by Daniel Henderson, Sea Sure 14 Apr 2021 15:43 BST
Sea Sure Drop Nose Pins © Sea Sure

A drop nose pin is a pin that can be used for securing or attaching components. They can be used in a number of places around a boat such as on a bow roller, chain plates, vang arms, mast foots, the list goes on, but why would you use a drop nose pin instead on a clevis pin or bolt?

If you own a boat or have ever sailed on a boat and someone has asked you to remove a clevis pin, it can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when you have cold hands. And then when you finally manage to get the ring off to remove the clevis pin, you drop the ring and watch as it drops on deck or over the side. The same goes for a bolt but even worse, you need tools to be able to remove it.

A drop nose pin has an end section which we call the "nose" that can be turned from horizontal to vertical so that it can be quickly inserted and then secured by turning the nose back to horizontal. There are no small rings or nuts that can be dropped over the side and if you wanted to be really safe you can attach a lanyard to the head of the drop nose pin so that the whole pin is kept safely on the boat.

Why a Sea Sure Drop Nose Pin?

There are a number of different drop nose pins on the market, and although they may look very similar, there are some key differences that are worth looking into before you make your purchase.

The first thing to check is the material. All of our drop nose pins are manufactured from 316 stainless steel. We use 316 as this is one of the best variations of steel to be used in a marine environment. You may find other drop nose pins that are manufactured from either "stainless steel" or "304" stainless steel. If a grade of stainless isn't mentioned or if it states 304 then these will show signs of rust much faster than 316 does and leave horrible orangey brown stains on your pride of joy. You may also find that an inferior grade of stainless steel will start to loose its integrity and load capacity as it rusts and corrodes.

The second thing to check is the nose mechanism. Although our drop nose pins look simple enough on the outside there is something going on within our pins that is crucial to its securing ability. Our drop nose pins have a bore drilled down the middle that houses a 316 stainless steel ball and spring. This spring and ball mechanism locks the head of the pin in place. The nose has 2 small half round grooves that the ball sits within so that it locks the head securely whether it is in the open or closed position. Some of the other drop nosed pins on the market don't have this mechanism which means that they can fall out or work their way loose.

The above 2 factors do have an impact on the price of the product. A Sea Sure drop nose pin with life time warranty that is made from 316 stainless steel and has a locking mechanism is anywhere between £10-20 depending on size. A 304 Steel drop nose pin with no warranty and without a locking mechanism is anywhere from £5-10. Do you want to save £5 on something that could lead to a very bad day on the water? When your next buying fixings or hardware for your boat do your research, ask the chandleries or manufacturers about the materials, function and load capabilities so that you don't let £5 ruin your days sailing.

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