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  #141  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Appreciate Jon's post. He's right it's your brain that keep you alive ( not strength nor gadgets). Speaks to need to tether before entering cockpit while still in companionway and staying teathered in cockpit. Still, others have made great posts as well:
benefits of short tenders
risks of direct injury from harnes/tether durng fall
risks of drowning if off the side of the boat and how to mitigate.
backwardness of marine tech c/w rockclimbing tech in dealing with falls.
Merits of attitude the commercial fisherme have in not teaching their children to swim.
Still watching that guy slide under the safety lines reminds me of running netting on the boat when I had small kids or the clothes around the stern pushpulpit. (Honestly had them to keep seas out more then me in). If I did that now porbably would clip lower part rather than lace through toe rail. That way could easily raise then when need arose.
?any thoughts?
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  #142  
Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Finally, after 120+ posts, somebody finally gets around to alluding to the most important bit of safety gear aboard any boat...

Namely, that little bit of grey matter between the sailor's ears... (grin)

A discussion such as this is certainly valuable, of course... However, the focus on "gear" and gadgets never ceases to amuse, when was the last time you saw an article in one of the glossy sailing rags about how to move safely and deftly about the deck at sea? An increasingly vestigial skill among sailors, thanks to things that eliminate the need to do so (lines led aft, for example), or features that diminish one's Situational Awareness (full cockpit enclosures, to name another)...

...You want to keep yourself from falling off the boat? Never, EVER make a move that places you at risk without reminding yourself that if you go over the side, you're a dead man... ALWAYS visualize that you're sailing alone, that the edge of the deck represents the edge of a 1,000 foot cliff, and that the lifelines are charged with 600 volts of alternating current... NEVER, if at all possible, go out on deck in a hurry, especially at night... Be patient, observe the wave patterns and motion of the boat, in much the same fashion you might sit outside an inlet in dicey conditions for awhile, before beginning your approach...

I know I'm a broken record about the poor deck ergonomics of many modern boats, and the necessity of keeping decks clear - but IMHO those factors represent the greatest danger in contributing to a potential MOB situation... I just have to shake my head in wonder, at the incongruence of running jacklines along side decks lined with jerry jugs of diesel fuel, and all manner of other Kroozing Krap I see boats burdened with...

But, perhaps most importantly, Have No Fear of venturing out of the cockpit, embrace whatever opportunity arises to do do... In other words, Practice moving about your boat in boisterous conditions... How ironic, that many seem somewhat desperate to reduce the need to ever venture forward, when we all know that at some point - usually in the most difficult of conditions - one will be compelled to do so... Seems akin to expecting someone who never, ever drives in anything but a blizzard, to be really competent at doing so... (grin)

Get over the obsession with the gear and gadgets, staying on the boat is all in your head...
Yes Yes YES!
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The SINGLE BIGGEST CONSIDERATION we had when looking for a new boat was safetly on deck. We wanted clear side decks. If the shrounds went to the middle of the side deck that boat was off the list. We wanted high bulwarks, and not to have to climb on top of a sloped cabin top to reach the mast.

Fairhaven is missing many things from our original wish list (like a center cockpit and aft cabin) but these were sacrificed when we saw a boat with wide, clear side decks, handholds ever where you would want them, treadmaster non-skid, high bulwarks and mast winches that can be reached from the deck, not cabin top.

I used to single hand f(for years) without a tether, but I moved about the boat like I do at the edge of a cliff. I have only ONCE used my lifelines to stop me going overboard and it is still my biggest bonehead move ever. Still gives me chills.

While I enjoy engineering tether concepts on my non-sailing days, I rarely feel I need on aboard, racing or cruising. Once, in a storm (not gale, storm) in the straits of Juan de Fuca, I didn't have a tether or attachment points, but felt I needed them. I went below, got a drill and a U-bolt and drilled an attachment point into my cabin top. I then used some rope and 2 carabiners to make a tether.

For those who fear leaving their cockpit, I would say that they have poorly designed boats, or not enough skill moving about a boat. Join a racing crew that races in the off-season (winter) to build you skills moving about a boat at extreme angles of heel without a tether. It's a very VERY good skill to have.

Photo of Fairhaven's deck. Notice the bulwarks on the sides. Notice the wide, clear decks with treadmaster. Notice that the mast winches can be reached from the deck. Also notice the handles, exactly at hand height, on the cabin top for use while moving forward. Also notice the pretty girl who was my girlfriend when this photo was taken (now my wife) as we delivered the boat down from Bellingham after we bought her.

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  #143  
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg
... However, the focus on "gear" and gadgets never ceases to amuse...
As the OP for this thread, I think getting advice on harnesses and tethers is an appropriate topic for SailNet, and does not fall into the category of focusing on "gadgets." A harness is a pretty basic requirement for offshore, and a prudent thing for singlehanding.

The other skills of moving around the boat are also beneficial, and should be discussed and practiced too.

But I don't think my question was frivolous or inappropriate. Safe practices are critically important, but they are not a substitute for clipping in.
My apologies, I didn't intend to imply that it was... My point was more to the fact that such focus on equipment is repeated annually in all of the respective "Safety at Sea" issues of the various sailing mags, and yet discussions of the mental and physical/athletic aspects of moving about boats at sea remain essentially ignored...
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

they are trying to sell things. you are trying to stay alive.
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  #145  
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Jon E -
When you clip on to one of your 4 fixed tethers, do you do so with a "screamer" to decelerate momentum at the end of the tether, as discussed earlier in this thread, or not? In either case, why?

Agreed that gray matter, honed by sailing experience, is the most useful gadget a sailor brings aboard. Just trying to glean some benefit from those saltier than I.
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  #146  
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Well, soloing I tend to use every trick I can to stay on board. However, like some here, I'm not entirely sold on running everything aft to the cockpit. I will be up front when things go wrong anyway, so might as well get the practice all along. I do use my mind when I'm sailing, I have never had a tether arrest a fall of mine, yet I sail in bad weather.

Besides, this is not "the mags". This is Sailnet. In a thread asking about tethers and which spawned quite a lot of varying solutions to a specific problem. Rather than continuing to think of workable solutions, the mere thought of harnesses and tethers was belittled, and regardless of what you, JonE, (now) say, it had the result of belittling even thinking about simple safety and direct focus to how you move about instead. Not as something to complement actually being tied to the thing you want to stay on, but removing focus from that to that of "mind over matter".

Of course, your post wouldn't have seemed so bad in a vacuum, but after the "Pfft, safety" brigade coming out, and you using several of the same terms, it seemed like yet another comment to dissuade the OP and people in general to do what they can to keep alive.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Case in point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
they are trying to sell things. you are trying to stay alive.
If you're so afraid to pay anyone a little money, you can make your own tethers and harness from scraps of rope and webbing you have lying around.


---
People, we're not talking about equipment costing thousands of dollars here. We're not talking electronics of any kind. We're talking about how best to set up soft, freaking lines of one kind of another to keep you on board and preferably to keep your from breaking ribs or similar in the event of a fall.

If pieces of line and where to place them can get you guys to argue "huge marketing plot", there's something wrong.
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  #148  
Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

In the Safety at Sea seminar for the Bermuda race, you are taught to use both your head and your gear. There is thorough discussion of both. Try to criticize those instructors, which to a person have multiple pond crossings, Bermuda races, FastNet, etc on their résumé. You don't just buy the gear and stuff it in a locker, you practice with it.

The answer is both.
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  #149  
Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

One thing not mentioned enough is non-skid surfaces. Deck surfaces are designed for "pretty" not for best skid resistance. Almost every boat you see has rounded corners that have NO non-skid or "patches" of non-skid with plenty of slick in between to hit and slide. I Kiwi-gripped my decks completely, including the rounded corners which originally were slick and shiny. I don't need to play hopscotch trying to aim my feet at grip surfaces. Kiwi can be put on with a VERY aggressive surface that keeps footing solid. I think function has to trump appearance when it comes to deck surfaces.
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  #150  
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebeach View Post
Jon E -
When you clip on to one of your 4 fixed tethers, do you do so with a "screamer" to decelerate momentum at the end of the tether, as discussed earlier in this thread, or not? In either case, why?
No, I don't... No particular reason why, just haven't given it that much thought, I suppose (grin)... That probably comes largely from the fact that I have never, ever, come remotely close to being snatched up short on a tether...

pdqaltair and others are certainly the ones to pay attention to, regarding your question, they make a very strong case for the importance of shock limiting devices, and have got me thinking... I might be inclined to configure an attachment point at my mast that employs a mooring snubber that could be put to other uses in a pinch, as well... In addition, they would be re-usable...



The key to my setup for working at the mast is the sliding Schaefer T-track cleat affixed to my spinnaker pole track...



Usually positioned at chest height, my tether gets immediately shortened to 18-24 inches or so as soon as I arrive at the mast, allowing me good bracing, and both hands free for reefing, or whatever... This is the big drawback of conventional jacklines running on deck, they're not positioned to afford any real security at the mast, and a fall would permit one to achieve tremendous momentum by the time they came into play... Once I'm tethered at the mast, the most I can possibly fall is a matter of inches...

I think you still have to think in terms of being snatched up by a tether as a major failure on one's part equivalent to falling overboard... You can simply not allow it to happen...
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