Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?
The suggestions here are very helpful for general use. But some of them cannot be implemented on my current boat (but I'll remember them for my next boat). For instance, putting anchor points on the centerline behind the anchor locker will be impossible since the V-berth hatch is directly behind with no solid deck in between (refer to my pic above to see for yourself). Similarly, directly behind the mast is a hinged pop-top (could never endure the stress of a D-ring) and a sliding companionway hatch directly behind that. Even placing D-rings at the centerline in the cockpit is fraught with problems. For instance, the fuel locker in the stern, where I might be tempted to put a D-ring just above the cockpit sole, is made of pretty thin fiberglass, so not sure it would withstand the stress. And I forgot about the steering pedestal, which would interfere too.
Elevating the jacklines above the cabin top is probably not feasible for this boat. The boom is a little over 5' above the cockpit sole, and cockpit lifelines are about 4' above cockpit sole, rising to about 5' at the cabin top (refer to pic above and other Catalina 250 pics to see why). Yes, the boom barely passes above the lifeline when mainsheet is let out for running.
One thing that does help me is the narrow beam of this relatively small boat, and the fact that there are no side decks. I need to go do final measurements, but if I run a jackline on each side from front cleats to stern, inside the rigging and on the cabin top, they will be about 5-6' apart amidships. This means that I could clip onto the jacklines on both sides and be assured of not going overboard. The jacklines would be more like 7' apart in the cockpit, so in certain parts of the cockpit I could clip both sides as well. Obviously clipping on both sides complicates moving forward past the mainsheet, vang, mast, etc., but it is possible and with a double tether I would always be clipped with one momentarily while moving the second one.
I will have a lot of time to experiment before I consider singlehanding, and do remember that I sail in well protected waters, so this is truly worst case scenario planning. Right now I'm focused on painting my bottom, but as soon as I am able to step my mast and clear the deck I will be able to start running some temporary jacklines as a test and doing some measurements. I am confident that I will come up with an arrangement that minimizes the risk of ever going overboard.
Thanks for all of your help.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)