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post #1 of 18 Old 11-30-2010 Thread Starter
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West Marine/General Tether Caution

HI Everyone. We bought the WM (not made by them, of course) Tethers a while back very similar to this product:

WEST MARINE Standard Safety Tether at West Marine

Except with the Wichard clips on the Jackline side. For those who do not know (or those that do) they are not cheap (as in inexpensive). If you look closely, you will see that the lanyard for the PFD side is connected via a small ring. The point of this is that if you fall overboard, you can easily find the lanyard and pull (even when under strain) and it will release you from the boat versus drowning.

On BOTH of the tethers we have purchased, these have failed. The first, when pulling on the lanyard, the lanyard pulled off the ring and the ring stayed attached making it difficult to disconnect from the Tether. The second failed but the ring came off and the damn pin took off in the cockpit at night (but luckily we found it).

I am writing this caution because either incident could be a serious safety issue - especially the lanyard that did not come loose when pulled. I suspect that if that had happened while being dragged by the boat, a person could have drowned.

I am not dogging the product. It is heavy made and should be a part of every offshore sailors inventory. But please check and or replace the rings to something more sturdy that will take use. I am afraid that those of you that have this product or similar and do not use them much might not notice the failure until too late.

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post #2 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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Thanks Brian, this is excellent information. The tethers on my boat came with the boat, and I do not know what brand. I have looked them over for other possible issues, wear, broken stitching, corrosion, etc, but never really looked at the rings for the shackle pull. You bet I will now.

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post #3 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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lubricating the pin will help prevent problems.

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post #4 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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I believe those tethers have been recalled. I will try to find my recall notice.

I have an older tether from WM on which the rings were welded.

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Last edited by jackdale; 11-30-2010 at 01:27 PM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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Some previous postings

Product Recalls Safety Tethers

PS Letter Prompts West Marine to Recall Safety Tether

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post #6 of 18 Old 11-30-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
That's them... at least close. I never heard the recall.

However, my issue is that the rings fail because they are undersized and not really made to handle that type of load. A solid, welded ring would be the answer, as mentioned above.

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post #7 of 18 Old 11-30-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
lubricating the pin will help prevent problems.
Hey Dog -

Lubricating the pin will not fix this problem. The action is smooth and believe me, that is one piece of equipment I keep nicely protected when not in use. The problem is the rings are undersized and really not the right use for that load.

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I correct myself. The recall mentioned in the PS is EXACTLY what my problem is. It is a ring malfunction.

Thanks Jack!!!! They're going back.

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post #9 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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I worked for west marine for about five years. I'm in an out of the store from time to time now seeing as I still work in the boating industry, namely with sailboats. I know there was a mass recall of one of their particular brands of tethers. I've done a lot of single handed cruising on my boat and always use jack-lines and a tether but have been disappointed with the quality of some of the tethers out there, not to mention the price they cost. In regards to the Westmarine tether I would check with your local store, I'm almost positive it's been recalled, and if I missed that comment from someone above already stating so, I apologize for reposting it.

As for tethers though I got sick and tired of looking for a reliable one, so I made one myself using some rock climbing shackles I had and high strength double brade line. I spliced the two ends with the shackles and now have had the tether for almost 5 years, with no problems at all. I only did this because I've been splicing lines professionally, if you're not sure you can do a good job, get a local rigger to do it for you. Just some food for thought...

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post #10 of 18 Old 11-30-2010
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We have 5 of these - 4 singles and 1 double. 3 of the singles have been replaced under the recall. I have made 4 trips to WM to exchange the double and last single. They never have any doubles in stock and always promise to have them in next month. This has been going on since August.
Yesterday there were no tethers in stock at all. So may have to work this through the mail.
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