Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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The stress indicator is to show that the tether was used under a high strain and may fail in the future, since the stitching may now be compromised. A 200 lb. person falling across a heeling boat may generate in excess of 2000 lbs of force against the tether. This is why you don't attach tethers to lifelines. Given the lever arm of the stanchion, it would most likely damage or destroy the stanchion. BTW, the breaking load on most tethers and jacklines is supposed to be abut 6000 lbs.
Yes, you need to be able to release the tether under a load. A good example is when a bowman on the boat I was on got his harness caught over a spinnaker sheet, and the boat broached... the spinnaker dropped into the water and his tether was tangled in the sheet when the boat got knocked down. If he couldn't release his tether, he might have drowned.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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