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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcaudle View Post
Preparing for offshore sailing. After some experience and a lot of reading, I am curious about what experienced offshore sailors actually do. The more I read, the more problems seem to come up. Even using tethers there have been drownings after being dragged beside or behind boat, equipment failures, etc.

Question for the experienced?

1. Do you use jack lines and when?

2. How are they rigged to provide true safety?

NC Newbie heading for Bermuda in Spring
I don't really sail "offshore". My boat has (well, just sold her, now shopping) a 10 ft beam.

If in rough weather, low visibility or alone I run a single jackline from a cleat mid bow down the center line of my boat.

My tether has a three foot and six foot attachment.

I always use the three foot attachment unless I need to stand up and reach something. Then I clip on the six foot lead before un-clipping and visa versa.

The key is:
Use handholds and keep your center of gravity as low as possible.
Make the fall as short as possible to avoid injury.
To keep yourself inside the lifelines if you fall.
In other words, work as though you where not clipped on, even when you are.

I see jacklines run down the port and starboard outside the stays all the time. for the life of me, I can't imagine why.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2011
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Tether attachment clips.

My bias

Gibb, Wichard or similar dual action attachments for jacklines, U bolts. I will not use simple gate clips.

Quick release snap shackles at the harness.
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Tether attachment clips.

My bias

Gibb, Wichard or similar dual action attachments for jacklines, U bolts. I will not use simple gate clips.

Yes, locking biners are a must at the jackline or u-bolt end. The CE standard includes a test procedure where the biner is rotated through certain arcs on 2 different sized u-bolts. It is very sobering to see just how easily a plain wire gate biner will unclip from a u-bolt; plain biners generally fail on the first rotation.
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Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
It is very sobering to see just how easily a plain wire gate biner will unclip from a u-bolt; plain biners generally fail on the first rotation.
I've had this happen to me more than once with my current tether, which has a wire gate on both ends. A new tether is definitely on the shopping list even though I don't sail offshore.
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Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Yes, locking biners are a must at the jackline or u-bolt end. The CE standard includes a test procedure where the biner is rotated through certain arcs on 2 different sized u-bolts. It is very sobering to see just how easily a plain wire gate biner will unclip from a u-bolt; plain biners generally fail on the first rotation.
I had one come off a jackline in 2000 on a delivery from Honolulu. In the middle of the night I was going forward when it caught on something and came loose. Fortunately it attached it self to a genoa sheet. Never again.
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Old 11-24-2011
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Jack lines

As to position of jack lines, I am going to try the recommendation of adding an Alladin clamp on the shroud on each side which allows the jack line to be suspended up 5 ft or so. That means when u fall u stay on board. Cost is only about $20 a piece and regular line can be used.
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Old 12-02-2011
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A racing friend pointed out some time ago that if at all possible it is best to attach the aft end of each jackline to a point further forward of the stern than the aft cleat. The idea is to prevent dragging behind the boat - apparently some poor bloke lost his life during an offshore race to the Faralones a few years back because his inflatable PFD deployed yet he was being dragged by the teather and the crew wasn't able to get him back on board in time. I think the idea is to account for the length of the teather so if you're overboard you aren't 3' to 6' behind the transom. On my boat I just loop around one of the foreward stanchions of the stern pulpit before making fast at the stern cleat.
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Old 12-02-2011
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Originally Posted by sfchallenger View Post
A racing friend pointed out some time ago that if at all possible it is best to attach the aft end of each jackline to a point further forward of the stern than the aft cleat. The idea is to prevent dragging behind the boat....
Also, on boats with transom mounted outboards, the thought of being suspended in the prop zone is just plain horible.
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  #19  
Old 12-02-2011
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Bavaria are the only mass production boat that I know that has as an option a full comprehensive safety system that includes discrete but very effective jack lines (mounted permanently) and several hook points on the cockpit with two on the back that permits a double tethered harness to maintain the wheelman stable in bad weather.

If you can find one with them mounted have a look it is worth it.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 12-02-2011
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1. Yes, on rare occasions when offshore and/or night sailing. Do not wear a lifejacket with a harness.

When we were teenagers, my siblings and friends would intentionally fall off the boat to be dragged behind the boat in a chest harness for fun. We discovered how to use the forces of being pulled behind the boat to manuever yourself to the transom - sort of like flying while skydiving. If you arch your back, keep your head up, and try to spread your arms away from your sides, you will remain on the top of the water and you can use the force to steer your body to the transom ladder.

I think this is a great idea for anyone: practice falling overboard while you are sailing with your harness on to understand the forces involved and how you can maneuver yourself back to a place where you can board the boat and not drown. (Make sure someone else is with you so you can be saved if necessary.) I can now understand how someone can drown while being dragged if one allows oneself to be pulled like a log with one's head down - you feel incredible force if you do not take actions to rise up out of the water.

2. Ordinary high stretch climbing rope run through the bow cleat outside the shrouds to the stern cleats with figure 8 knots, chest harness with standard 8-10 foot tether with nonlocking caribiner. I do not like the idea of clipping and unclipping everytime you must move forward. (I would rather drag behind the boat so I can more easily re-board, then on one side or another where I would have to climb back up the side.)

Last edited by jameswilson29; 12-02-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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