I just came over from the dark side and need some advice. I wave a 27 Ericson and want to put safty lines at the helm and up front. I have hird to use flat line so not to role and slip. Any and all feedback would be appreciated.
I would use a 1/4" spectra line with a dacron or nylon webbing as a cover. The cover will both protect the spectra line from chafe and UV damage, and it will help keep the line flat and make it easily identifiable, even in the dark. Dacron and nylon webbing has enough strength to make a good jack line, but is a bit stretchy to be really safe.
if you are going to use webbing alone, make sure to put about a dozen twists in it. This will keep the line from flapping in high winds and making noise and driving you crazy.
Generally, you will need to install padeyes for the jacklines specifically. The bow ones should be a bit short of the very bow, so as to prevent you from falling off the bow, and the aft point should stop about a tether length before the stern to prevent you from being dragged behind the boat.
You should also have padeyes in the cockpit to clip into, when you come up the companionway. A good idea is to have a double tether, with three-foot and six-foot legs, with elastic in the tether, to keep the unused leg out of the way.
Last recommendation. The tether should have stress-indicating stitching, a standard snap shackle for the body side of the tether—which can be released under load, and safety-type snap hooks—either Wichard or Gibbs—which require positive action to open.
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