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  #1  
Old 02-07-2011
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Rigging jacklines

So I'm doing lots of projects on my boat in preparation for a relaunch (hopefully) in April, because I'm scheduled to do a four-day sail in late April.

I likely will single-hand the four-day trip, so I want to rig jacklines - the boat has none right now.

I've read the several threads that I can find here on SailNet and also have done some Googling, so I've done a bunch of research and I think I'm arriving at an answer, but I figure what the heck? Why not start another thread on jacklines?

But seriously, one thing I noted in my research is a whole discussion between running a jackline down the center of the deck versus two jacklines, one on each side deck.

I like the looks of the Wichard LyfSafe jackline kit, mostly because it's completely adjustable for length and looks to be very quick and easy to install.

So I'm leaning towards one jackline on each side deck, and when going forward, always go on the high (windward) side.

The other thing I have found very little discussion of is rigging a lifeline in the cockpit. I plan on putting a folding D ring in each end of the cockpit, at the centerline, and then rigging some kind of jackline between them. I might have to get something custom made to fit the length - either that or just tie a good knot or get some good hardware, of the sort used on the LyfSafe line.

I'd love to see pictures of what you've rigged as far as jacklines.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2011
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I wrote a post about this very topic on my blog... you can read it HERE.

As for one or two, I would say rig one down each side of the boat. That way you can clip into the high side of the boat and don't have to unclip to make your way forward, the way you sometimes do with a single jackline run down the centerline.

I'm not a big fan of plastic hardware for jacklines, since the stuff generally degrades with UV exposure and there's little way to check it for damage short of testing it under load, and if it fails, you will probably be very unhappy then. My favorite jackline setup is one that uses 1/4" or 5/16" dyneema or spectra single braid line inside 1" tubular webbing. The webbing prevents the jacklines from rolling underfoot, helps protect the line from chafe and UV, and makes the jacklines readily and easily identifiable at night.

The idea of adding folding padeyes to the cockpit as anchor points for a short cockpit jackline is a good one, but use the large folding padeyes, as the loads on a jackline can be quite high and the medium and small padeyes don't have a high enough BL generally.
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Originally Posted by ilikerust View Post
So I'm doing lots of projects on my boat in preparation for a relaunch (hopefully) in April, because I'm scheduled to do a four-day sail in late April.

I likely will single-hand the four-day trip, so I want to rig jacklines - the boat has none right now.

I've read the several threads that I can find here on SailNet and also have done some Googling, so I've done a bunch of research and I think I'm arriving at an answer, but I figure what the heck? Why not start another thread on jacklines?

But seriously, one thing I noted in my research is a whole discussion between running a jackline down the center of the deck versus two jacklines, one on each side deck.

I like the looks of the Wichard LyfSafe jackline kit, mostly because it's completely adjustable for length and looks to be very quick and easy to install.

So I'm leaning towards one jackline on each side deck, and when going forward, always go on the high (windward) side.

The other thing I have found very little discussion of is rigging a lifeline in the cockpit. I plan on putting a folding D ring in each end of the cockpit, at the centerline, and then rigging some kind of jackline between them. I might have to get something custom made to fit the length - either that or just tie a good knot or get some good hardware, of the sort used on the LyfSafe line.

I'd love to see pictures of what you've rigged as far as jacklines.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Ditto what SD wrote.

My preference, following Brion Toss' opinion, is always to use knots, rather than fittings where ever practical. I see no need to splice a shackle on the end of a line so as to attach it to a fitting when a buntline hitch or a round turn and two half hitches will suffice. I also do not like to buy things that I can make myself.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Best quote on the subject, which I found in a thread over at the Cruiser's Forum:

Quote:
Our rule of thumb is to only wear harnesses and clip on when we don't want to die, which is most of the time.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikerust View Post
Best quote on the subject, which I found in a thread over at the Cruiser's Forum:
Which is why they should be permanently installed (our are) and factory installed, like seat belts. Actually, I do understand; they weren't always factory on cars.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Which is why they should be permanently installed (our are) and factory installed, like seat belts. Actually, I do understand; they weren't always factory on cars.
I don’t know, given the the horrendous deck ergonomics I see on many of today’s boats, the builder is the LAST one I’d trust to devise a system configured to best keep me aboard… To carry on with your seat belt analogy, should we be expected to believe a manufacturer whose product performs miserably in crash tests, compensates for poor engineering and design by installing really good seatbelts? (grin)

On a boat the size of the original poster, I’ve really come to favor the use fixed tethers at the base of the mast, just long enough to clip onto before leaving the cockpit… I have 4 fixed tethers on my boat, 2 at the mast coming aft P & S, one on the foredeck, and one in the cockpit…

I have wire jacklines covered with webbing, as well… but since I’ve added the fixed tethers, I find myself rarely using them, the fixed tethers are so much more user friendly for me… Most importantly, once you get to the mast, you can easily shorten them by cleating them off at chest height, leaving both hands free. If I go forward, I can easily be double-tethered, and the one in the cockpit allows me to just reach the windvane, nothing more…

Of course, such a system becomes a bit more problematic on a larger boat, but on most boats under 40’ or so, it should be pretty workable… The big advantage is that your point of attachment is always on the centerline of the boat as opposed to the side decks, and I find myself much more likely to use it in those marginal conditions when I wonder, “do I really need to clip on this time?” (grin)
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Old 02-07-2011
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Although a noob, I normally rig two jacklines, one on either side; but I often wonder/consider, why not also have an additional loop around the mast? My lines mainly end at the mast (not led back to the cockpit), so it would seem logical to have a "jack loop" around the mast, as I often spend time up there.

Yeah, I can reach the mast from the normal jack lines, but keeping close to the mast without wrapping my arms around it would also seem useful...
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Old 02-07-2011
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Sailrite has free instructions on their website for building your own jacklines:
Making your own Jackline Instructions

And of course, they sell the stuff to build it yourself.

Most recently the skipper I crewed for rigged one long line--cleated to the port side stern cleat. It laid on the side deck all the way up to the bow. You could clip in at the cockpit and walk clear to the bow without unclipping. At the bow, it somehow turned and then repeated the port side thing along the starboard side. You adjusted tension at the starboard side stern cleat.

He used a round cross-section line. However, I've also crewed on a boat that used webbing--which as already mentioned doesn't roll underfoot.

For the safety these lines afford, the inconvenience is minimal.

I've also simply run my tether around the mast and clipped both sides of my tether to my harness. Additionally, we've also clipped to a small line tied around the steering pedestal.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorten View Post
Additionally, we've also clipped to a small line tied around the steering pedestal.

I'm far from an expert, but in researching this for some time today, I found at least three different places that said not to use the steering pedestal as a hard point for a jackline or to tether to, because it's not designed to take the kind of strain involved in keeping a person from falling off the boat. They said that if you did fall, you could actually tear the pedestal out or damage it.

Just an observation and something to consider.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Murphy's Law will always make one line up the middle be on the wrong side of the mast for what you want to do. With two lines, you go to a 50% chance: much better odds. I would worry about using knots to attach them to the (very solid) hardware unless the ends were sewed as well. Pants held up with belts AND suspenders tend to stay up. We use wire, P&S, shackled to a D-ring in the deck forward and back to the toerails by the cockpit, aft.
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