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  #31  
Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

pdqaltair

Thanks - food for thought.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

It seems that a good fall against a u-bolt without a shock-absorbing tether has caused failure. They simply cannot handle the impact and neither can the human body. The "impact flags" are a rather stupid adaptation when real impact absorption could be provided.

Agree with Delmarva
As stated earlier have four d rings in cockpit with jackline between them. Jackline absorbs force. Also allows you to wander forward in cockpit on the 3' and be attached at all times when leaving cockpit to go forward on jackline. Only place I tether to a hard point is at mast pulpit on rare occasion you have to climb up the mast a bit to mess with mainsail. Very good post- Tx.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Good reading material, and it seems to really question the wisdom of clipping onto a fixed point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
...As stated earlier have four d rings in cockpit with jackline between them. Jackline absorbs force...
Not sure this is a full or appropriate solution to the problem. You need a certain length of jackline to get enough stretch for shock absorption. They seemed to suggest that a 30' length was optimal. Maybe if you ran a single jackline around all four D-rings. Otherwise, you need to take care to get a stretchy material. That's how I read it, but others have far more experience than I do with this.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

OK, one more quick question for your owners of the Mustang MD3184.

When I look at the pictures, it seems to me like the D-rings are awfully low on your abdomen. From trying on harnesses, I always thought that the best place for the D-rings would be right under your rib cage, roughly equal height with your armpits. If I try to imagine myself getting dragged along by the boat (something that I hope stays in my imagination!) I would think this attachment point would be much better than the lower point where the Mustang's D-rings appear to be.

Are the pictures just an optical illusion, and the rings are actually higher? Or is there some reason why it is better for the D-rings to be lower.

Pardon the noob question, but this is the kind of stuff that has to be asked for a first harness purchase, and something that I don't trust a store clerk to answer for me.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

I'm 5'9" and my MD3184 D-rings are at the bottom of my rib cage. Overall, this harness is as comfortable as I could expect: not restrictive of arm motion and it does not crowd teh back of my neck.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

I only use one all the time when sailing at night or with demanding weather.

I rarely use a PFD, normally when I think conditions demands it I use an harness.

I would point out that if you go out of the boat and stay clipped to it, the PDF is not going to help you (it has been cases where it is the opposite) and unless you have luck and a very strong crew you are done (or at least it is what has been happening).

Regarding the options, the right one is to have the jack line well inside the boat (and not normally were they are used, between cleats) and having a short double tether. On the last years, after several accidents with people dying going overboard connected to tethers, their length diminished drastically on the European market. From 1.5m average they have now about 1m, maybe just a little bit more. More difficult to use but certainly safer.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

If some one goes overboard when tethered. Stop the boat: heave-to (if they go off to leeward), go into irons, luff the sails.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Jack lines at base of house inside the shrouds. Top of pulpits/safety lines 30" up from deck .Combining up and down safety lines and distant from jacklines more then the 3' of short arm of tender even with stretch of jackline. . If go over head and shoulders would be well above toe rail. Try to always go forward on windward side. If go over in front of shrouds use spin halyard to lift crew back on board. If go over behind shrouds climb back on through sugar scoop or use outboard hoist on starboard or topping lift/secondary main halyard on port side. Also carry a spare block and tackle as well as a Life Sling . Admiral only weighs 100lbs. so we both have thought about this drill. For her - fear is a wonderful thing. Figure I'll just bend down and pick her up. It's me that's the problem as usual.
Use nylon for jackline in cockpit.
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Last edited by outbound; 03-21-2013 at 08:18 PM.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
...Regarding the options, the right one is to have the jack line well inside the boat (and not normally were they are used, between cleats) and having a short double tether. On the last years, after several accidents with people dying going overboard connected to tethers, their length diminished drastically on the European market. From 1.5m average they have now about 1m, maybe just a little bit more. More difficult to use but certainly safer.
Let's talk about my specific boat for a few seconds:
There are a few challenges:
  1. The beam of the whole boat is only 8.5'. Your argument about 6' tether being too long almost certainly applies to my boat, and I raised this issue on the Catalina 250 website.
  2. There are no side decks.
  3. The anchor locker is easily obstructed by jacklines at the bow.
  4. It's a small boat, so not a lot of good spaces to put D-rings. And based on the Sail Delmarva links, I don't want to clamp directly to D-rings - I just want places to attach jacklines.
  5. The contour of the front cabin is not a gradual slope - more of a "windshield" type front window - so a jackline will not lie flat and will be a trip hazard.
Because of the fact that I will not take this boat offshore, and will singlehand maybe 5% of the time, I am not going to install permanent jacklines. If I did, item #5 above would make them hazardous. You must realize that everything is a compromise, and on this boat jacklines can create more hazards than they solve if you are sailing in a situation where you don't need them. So I will install temporary jacklines only if I am singlehanding.

Per the advice of people on the Catalina website, I will install the temporary jacklines from the bow cleats to the stern cleats (which you can see in the above pic). I will do one on each side. I briefly thought about wrapping each one around the mast to keep them near the centerline on the bow (and gradually sloping to the corner stern cleats), so I'd invite your suggestions about that, but that would definitely interfere with the anchor locker and the companionway. It may be better to run one down each side, where they will avoid the anchor locker and stay above the coamings in the cockpit.

I am very concerned about a 6' tether being too long, so I am faced with the dilemma of making a custom tether or buying a double 3'-6' one and using the short end wherever possible. I could also hedge my bets by clamping onto the windward jackline whenever possible, under the hypothesis that the most likely scenario of me going overboard is a wave carrying me over the leeward edge. That way I will probably be clamped to the most distant jackline before I go over. If I'm lucky I get stopped on the leeward side of the deck before I even make it over the side. In a strange way, this actually makes my boat's narrow beam and lack of side decks into an advantage, since it enables me to clamp onto the far side with an ordinary 6' jackline. I can even try clamping both the 3' and 6' ends on the high side of the boat, and only release the short one if I need the full 6' length to reach something further away.

As for the actual jackline, someone at the Catalina site suggested the below webbing (click the pic for a link), that matches the specs of West Marine's $75 jacklines. It does not have a sewn loop on one end like the WM lines, but I really don't understand the benefit of having one loop. If you need to tie the other end (which causes some loss of strength), you might as well tie both ends. And since I will cleat both off, the strength loss will only be about 15% (according to one of the Sail Delmarva links posted above). I'll also have 300' of webbing, so I can avoid UV damage by replacing it every time I sail if I want to.


By the way, if I go for this webbing, I will be selling off the excess to anyone who wants it. I really don't need to replace it every time I go sailing.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 03-21-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
If some one goes overboard when tethered. Stop the boat: heave-to (if they go off to leeward), go into irons, luff the sails.
Sure, that seems easy. But the fact is that several people have died that way, with the PFD inflating and preventing them to bread and some in boats with large race crews with lots of experienced guys on board.

At the light of the information of what has been happening, besides stooping the boat (and that is not easy going downwind with some wind), I will cut the tether off and send the guy away attached to a long line. Later I will recover him on the transom by the stair. Everybody is informed that this will be the procedure for not panic trying to old on to the boat.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 03-21-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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