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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Rigging jacklines
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Thread: Rigging jacklines Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-16-2011 06:10 PM
GeorgeB I think that most racers just interlace the lifelines up to the first (and sometimes second stanchion) rather than stringing netting. It is pretty invisable from even pretty moderate distances. (see Kwaltersmi’s photo in message #11 and mine in #15). About the furthest I’ve ever been from a boat was doing bow work during a Duxbury Reef race. I was on my knees, tee’ng up a reacher for a peel at the weather mark when the boat took a lurch and I went sliding. My legs, up to about my waist went over. The lower life line and toe rail “caught” my bunched up jacket and PFD while I held on to the fore guy like grim death. The afterguard was not amused as me flopping around the forepeak like a fish was upsetting the weight trim on the boat. Such is the life of a (sometime) bow man.

My wife wants a new dodger this spring which is accelerating some re-rigging work I was planning to do. I’ll take pictures and start a new thread on Tuesday. But, to get you guys started, I’m planing on re-routing my boom vang and traveller lines and will need to calculate the potential loads on the lines, turning blocks and cleats. My mainsail is 240 square feet and I do sail in wind speeds in the mid forties on occasion.
02-16-2011 05:00 PM
sailingdog I'd point out that the lifelines on most sailboats are too low and are pretty much just a reminder that you're getting close to the edge of the boat, rather than something that will keep you aboard. On many boats, the lifelines are positioned almost perfectly to trip you into the water rather than catch you if you're a taller sailor.
02-16-2011 01:27 PM
catamount A lacing (or very coarse netting, if you will) from lifeline to toerail is often found on the first one or two segments back from the bow on race boats, in order to help contain headsails during sail changes. I suppose they might also help keep the bowman on board, too.
02-16-2011 01:02 PM
ilikerust
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC 320
Any thoughts on why netting is not generally seen or mentioned?
I think due mostly to aesthetics. People don't like the way it looks.

I rarely see it - and usually only on boats that look like they've just come in from across the ocean. For hacks like me, banging around the Bay, it just seems unnecessary. And 99.8% of the time, it probably is. Like a spare tire, a fire extinguisher, good medical insurance, or a reliable firearm, it's that fraction of a percent of the time that you actually really need it that's the kicker.
02-16-2011 07:50 AM
NCC320
Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
A friend's adult son went overboard (lee side) at the end of a tether on a passage from NYC to Bermuda (Moody 345). He was only over briefly before a wave threw him back on board with only a variety of scrapes and scratches. You do not have to climb back in many circumstances.
Good plan....

I submit again, that most of us are kidding ourselves on this issue. I'm not suggesting that jacklines and harnesses shouldn't be used. If you fall or are tossed across broad areas of the deck, the jacklines will keep you on board, but if you fall off on the same side as you are hooked on or from the bow where the boat is narrow, particularily if you go under the lifeline, you are going over the side and will be dragged along. Being dragged in rough weather at 5 knots means you are likely to die. If you go over top of the lifeline, you are in a better position as long as the lifeline or stanchions don't fail since you will be held closer to the deck. If you have a crew and they see you go over, they probably can get you back on board, possibly before you die. Singlehanding....you are not likely to make it. Each boat rigs jacklines and harness tethers a little different, but most seem to favor jacklines down either side deck, coupled with 6 ft. primary tethers. Typical boats on this list have 3-4 ft. freeboard and there will be some stretch in the jackline. Remember that the harness attachment is on the upper part of your body, so the lower part is dangling below this point. If you really want to know how secure your system is, go out on a calm, no wind day (with someone to assist you in getting back on board) and experiment in seeing how many different directions that you could go overboard. Then do it, and see if you can get yourself back on board. From several locations.

Just my opinion and I could be wrong. The test suggested above with your particular system will tell the truth, and might lead you to change or modify your arrangement.

In this discussion, I've seen only one mention of life line netting (I don't have it, but I don't go off shore in rough weather). A good rugged netting would appear to be a big assist to keeping a person on board. So would a bulwark or significicant tow rail, but your boat either has these or it doesn't. Any thoughts on why netting is not generally seen or mentioned? Also, on the tether, a 3 ft. tether around the jackline and clipped back into the harness would give only 1 1/2 ft. effective tether, which given the attachment point to the harness would keep one on board, but should allow a crouch approach in moving up or down the deck, while holding onto lifeline on one side and handrails or other hard grab points as you move along the deck on the other. In such a case, you are less likely to loose your balance and if you do, the tether is now short enough to keep you on board, in theory. Any thoughts or comments on this?
02-15-2011 10:13 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
Finally, depending on the materials your jacklines are made of, I would argue that they should NOT be permanently rigged. You should take them up whenever the boat is going to be left idle for any period of time, for example, otherwise the material will degrade with exposure to the sun's UV.
Dyneema/Spectra are far more UV-resistant than plain nylon or dacron webbing, so if you need/want to leave jacklines rigged, go with a spectra/dyneema jackline with tubular webbing over it to prevent it from rolling and protect it from chafe.
02-15-2011 09:15 PM
catamount
Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
Finally, depending on the materials your jacklines are made of, I would argue that they should NOT be permanently rigged. You should take them up whenever the boat is going to be left idle for any period of time, for example, otherwise the material will degrade with exposure to the sun's UV.
An alternative to rigging and then taking up your jacklines before and after each trip is simply to buy new ones every year. (This tip from Andrew Evans' new web book on Singlehanded Sailing, available here: http://www.sfbaysss.org/tipsbook)
02-11-2011 03:16 PM
killarney_sailor
tether can get you back aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcitea View Post
...In addition, there is no way I would be able to get back on the boat if I were dumped over on the end of a teather. (I have tried.) ... ?
A friend's adult son went overboard (lee side) at the end of a tether on a passage from NYC to Bermuda (Moody 345). He was only over briefly before a wave threw him back on board with only a variety of scrapes and scratches. You do not have to climb back in many circumstances.
02-09-2011 07:55 PM
catamount
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Lots of good info passed on here, of course. But one thing that always strikes me about these sorts of discussions, is our tendency to focus on gear, and equipment… .... But, when was the last time you saw an article dedicated to the psychology, or physiology, of moving around a boat safely? It’s incredible, how quick we seem to forget that the most important piece of gear keeping us on the boat resides right between our ears…
As usual, Jon and I are on the same page.
02-09-2011 06:35 PM
JonEisberg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcitea View Post
Great idea for the small cruiser! I have jacklines on either side of my boat but I don't think they are safe. I need one hand to keep the teather moving along the jackline. I am always getting snagged on something. Can you tell me how you attach the teathers to the mast and foredeck? I was thinking of adding padeyes like I have in the cockpit.

I have a few strong points at the base of the mast that I run the fixed tethers from… But, you could simply tie yours off around the base of the mast, lacking a dedicated mounting point. On the foredeck, I tie mine into the deck fitting for my staysail, and run the hook back to the base of the mast… You might consider using climbing rope, it has a bit more “give” than most marine ropes, and it holds knots and resists abrasion well…

Again, I highly recommend this setup for boats of moderate size… In regards to my post above, and my habit of often going forward without a harness, I will say that I find myself doing so less often since I’ve adapted this setup… Especially when singlehanding, and when being in the successive 20-minute catnap routine… I find it WAY more practical and comfortable to sleep in a harness alone, than one with a tether attached, or to have to keep removing it and putting it back on… Again, this is what works for me, it’s an inexpensive solution, and a bit easier to de-rig and stow once in port than most jackline arrangements, but your mileage may vary, of course…

One other suggestion for those using jacklines – I found slipping a couple of stainless rings onto each of mine made them much more user-friendly – easier to clip onto than a jackline laying on deck, and they run back and forth more effortlessly and with fewer hang-ups than with a tether attached directly to the jackline…
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