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mwrohde 06-18-2008 08:59 AM

Silly question . . .
When there's no wind or the kids get to bored we play silly sailboat games. One that the kids like the most is hooking a ski tow handle with a short rope to the spinnaker halyard and swinging the kids off the deck into the lake.

Is this a level of stress that the rig can reliably handle without harm? What about if the weight swung off is an adult?


JohnRPollard 06-18-2008 09:20 AM

It depends on the size of your boat and rigging.

We do it all the time on out 31 footer, stoutly rigged.

BlowinSouth 06-18-2008 09:23 AM

I could be wrong but I believe the stresses on the rig under sail are far greater than the weight of even a large adult swinging on the rig. I don't think it's going to hurt a thing.

I've hoisted an engine with the main boom and swung it out to set it on the dock.

Faster 06-18-2008 10:00 AM

Most kids' weights should pose no problem unless you're on a really lightly rigged small boat. On a moderate sized boat a large adult will impose some shock loads that you'll feel - but again, a well rigged boat can handle all that even though the rig will rattle and shudder a bit.

A variation on the theme: We used to rig the Spinnaker pole up as high as it would go on the mast track and run the halyard through the outboard end. It makes for a better "rope swing" by getting things away from the boat, and reduces the risk of someone who forgot (or was afraid) to let go slamming into the boat on the backswing.

scottbr 06-18-2008 11:11 AM

The stresses of the sails far outweigh swinging by the halyard.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>]

and this is what happens when you release the halyard at the right time

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

djodenda 06-18-2008 11:39 AM

On drifter days, we used to drag them behind the boat on a ski rope.

This was on Lake Keystone in Oklahoma. The kids enjoyed this, but were concerned about the risk of shark attack.

Now, in Puget Sound, they are less interested. A bit cold too.

Boasun 06-18-2008 11:43 AM

Some people anchor by the stern and use the spinnaker itself, by connecting the clew lines together on a soft bos'un chair and allowing the wind to lift you up off the boat and over the water.
Have a retrieving line to one of the clews in order to bring that person back aboard the boat.

speciald 06-18-2008 11:46 AM

I used to tow my wife around behind the boat when there was little wind on inland Florida lakes. Called it trollig for aligators!

sailingdog 06-18-2008 12:58 PM

Did she kill you for doing that???

Originally Posted by scottbr (Post 330572)
The stresses of the sails far outweigh swinging by the halyard.]

and this is what happens when you release the halyard at the right time

mwrohde 06-18-2008 01:31 PM

Thanks for the replies. I figured I was ok, but would sure feel dumb if I lost the rig swinging a kid and hadn't asked here first.

We've been towing the kids on a tube lately, too. They really slow the boat down, but they are having fun and fun is what it's about. Before they get in the tube I always make them review the hand signals - thumbs up for faster, etc. They roll their eyes and say, "Yea, right Dad".

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