Join Date: Jul 2002
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While you carabiners are not meant for side load, if you're not out in a hurricane, where the boat gets picked up, and you get dropped from one end of the boat to the other, you're not going to be doing anything vaguely approaching fall factor two. While some climbing equipment (eg, dynamic ropes) will fail before, say, the human pelvis is powdered, most carabiners, even the nice wire gate ones which don't freeze up on ice climbs, are going be able to hold a human in any conceivable situation on a boat.
My bigger question would be making sure you had locking carabiners instead, nothing would suck more than going back and forth, dragging the carabiner enough to open the gate, and then falling, to have it fall off.
Of course, if load was an issue, and if you didn't want to be scraping a biner back and forth along your nice cabin top/deck you could make some webbing loops and just clip into those. You'd want to replace them pretty often, but they'd bend so that the load would always be from the correct direction, and they'd be a lot nicer to your decks finish.
Once again, armchair physics/math here, so please don't bet your life on anything I'm saying. Thanks.