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Spelean Whaletails

Version A Version B
Version A Version B

Overview


Version A
(#409)

Front View Rear View Side View Front View: Open for Rigging Side View: Open for Rigging
Front View Rear View Side View Front View: Open for Rigging Side View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Spelean Whaletail, Version A from Speleoshoppe at the 1979 Kentucky Speleofest.

Version A is 275 mm. tall, 65 mm. wide, 28 mm. thick, and weighs 524 g. It is a cast aluminum whaletail with five slots forming six bars. A milled aluminum safety gate attaches by a bolt fitted through the whaletail at the second bar. A spare hole is provided at the fifth bar. Each gate is secured by a washer and wing nut. There is a 22.3 mm. diameter eye at each end.

One side has "WHALETAIL faintly appearing in the casting.

Comments

The Spelean Whaletail is the earliest commercial whaletail in my collection. It is cast from aluminum, and has a single safety gate.

The friction on a whaletail can be varied by changing the number of bars in use; however, since the bar spacing is fixed, this is not feasible at the top of a long drop where only the top bars are in use (configuration #1). In addition, the bars cannot be jammed together like they can on a rack, so that mode of stopping is not available. On the other hand, the whaletail dissipates heat better than a standard rack, is slightly faster to rig, and is much stronger.


Version B
(#1319)

Front View Rear View Side View Front View: Open for Rigging Side View: Open for Rigging
Front View Rear View Side View Front View: Open for Rigging Side View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Spelean Whaletail, Version B from Tactical & Rescue Gear in 2012.

Version B is 275 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 556 g. It is milled from aluminum whaletail with five slots forming six bars. A milled aluminum safety gate attaches by a bolt fitted through the whaletail at the second bar. A spare hole is provided at the fifth bar. Each gate is secured by a washer and wing nut. There is a 27.9 mm. diameter eye at each end.

One side is engraved with "Spelean" and the other with "WHALETAIL AUSTRALIA."

Comments

I prefer milled aluminum to cast, mainly from a strength perspective, although either whaletail on this page is strong enough.