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Swageless Rigging Terminals

| Sail & Rigging | December 28, 2014

Swageless Rigging Terminals

An alternative to Swage Rigging Terminals are swageless terminals also called mechanical terminals.

The beauty of the Swageless fitting is it does not require specialized tools. All you need is a method of cutting the wire to length and then 2 wrenches. This makes them perfect for the DIY boater. This can save costs and in some cases you can make a shroud in an emergency when no swage machine is available.


How do Swageless fittings work?

Standing rigging is normally made from 1* 19 wire which has an outer layer and inner layers of wire (19 wires in total). Swageless rigging terminals do not rely on crushing the wire into a hollow fitting like a swage fitting they have a mechanical grip.

Swageless fittings work by trapping the wires between the body of the fitting and the cone which is position in between the wires outer and inner layers. When the body is screwed into the eye the individual wires are locked in tight and when shroud tension is applied the cone is pulled tighter into the body therefore increasing the grip.


How to Install a Swageless fitting

The image shows a Noresman swageless eye

noresman instructions

Noresman swageless mechanical wire terminals fitting steps

    1. First find the end of the wire and then slide the body of the fitting over it.
    2. Prize open the outer layers of wire
    3. The Cone should sit 1 1/2 times the diameter of wire from the end of wire
    4. Insert cone over inner layers
    5. Once cone is in place carefully twist wires back together. They should look like ‘a” in the drawing.
    6. Position eye over end of wire and push terminal body to meet eye
    7. Make sure you have the correct lay of wire to match the terminal
    8. Screw down eye and tighten using 2 wrenches. Locktite is used to stop the eye unscrewing.


Swageless terminals v Swaged terminals

Advantages swageless fittings

All you need; Wrenches 2, and a hacksaw
DIY saving cost of rigger
Emergency repair

Disadvantages Swageless fittings

High cost per fitting
Heavier and bulkier

Comparison of cost of fittings


Terminal Type Wire diameter- Pin diameter Cost
Marine eye  5/16″ – 1/2″ $34
Norseman Swageless Eyes 5/16″ – 1/2″ $57
Sta lok Swageless Eyes 5/16″ – 1/2″ $64
Hayn Swageless Eyes 5/16″ – 1/2″ $89

From this you can see the cost of a swageless fitting is quite a bit more and in the case of the Hi-Mod terminals over twice the cost. However if you are willing to make a shroud yourself you will save the riggers cost. One Company I found posted the charge for a swage for wire sizes 5/16″ to 1/2 ” to be $24. Therefore the true cost of a marine eye is $34 + $24 = $58 about the same as the Noresman fitting.

So quite possibly the Swageless shroud will cost less than a Shroud made with Swaged fittings from your rigger.


Swageless Manufacturer’s

Sta-Lok Swageless Fittings Sta-Lok the reusable alternative to swage. Easy to install. Only basic hand tools required. Guaranteed stronger than wire rope. For right hand and left hand lay wire rope. Packed for 1×19 wire as standard. Different wedges are available to terminate 7 strand and compacted wire ropes.  Sta Lok



Norseman Swageless Terminals Norseman terminals provide a completely secure end fitting. The standard terminal can be used on 1×19 strand, 1×19 Dyform and 7-strand rope, using the appropriate cones. They are approved by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. Noresman Swageless eye



Hayn Hi Mod Swageless terminals Produced by Petersen Stainless Rigging and distributed by Hayn Marine in the USA. Hi-MOD terminals have a unique crown ring that assures the wires stay evenly spaced around the fitting, eliminating the need to bend the wires, assures the cone is in the proper place, and keeps the strands from dropping into the cone slot. Hayn Hi Mod



Main types of sailboat rigging terminals

As with swage terminals, swageless terminals are available with a variety of different attachment methods; eyes forks, toggles and threaded studs (for insertion in a turnbuckle barrel).

Link to Swage Rigging Terminals


Swageless Rigging Terminals

These fittings are used to connect wire rigging to mast and chainplates.

    1. Marine eye or
    2. Marine jaw and toggle jaw
    3. Stemball terminal
    4. T Ball Terminal
    5. Swage stud for use in Turnbuckles

When purchasing swageless fittings match the wire lay to the thread i.e. either right hand or left hand thread.




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