What is a Shackle Key? A shackle key (sometimes spelled as shack-ah-key but commonly shortened to simply “shack”) is an antique British security device used to secure doors and windows in buildings. The device consisted of a heavy, cast iron rod with a loop on the other end. A key was inserted into the loop and turned counter-clockwise to open the door or window. Shakers originally made these keys from lead-colored metals, but through the years many have switched to more durable modern materials, including titanium.
How do I find a Shack? In modern times you can find a British shackled key at a local antique shop, where it will be sold in its original condition, unassembled. If you are looking for an antique or historical piece, try an online retailer that specializes in period decorations. Most modern manufacturers supply the original manufacturer’s parts and require members to register their products at their website before shipping. At eBay, you can browse member’s-only auctions where you can search for “shackled” and “dead” auctions and post a bid to win the item.
When can I put a Shackle Key on a Boat? According to Marlin fishermen, the best time for placing a shingle key on a boat is during the winter months when the water is cold and ice-coated. During this time, a Marlin should not bite on bait laid in front of the boat since it will disrupt the circulation around the boat, which could cause damage to the wiring system.