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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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  #1  
Old 11-24-2011
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Cool Jack lines and tethers

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
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Old 11-24-2011
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Our tethers have a quick release that can easily be located and released in case the boat goes down or getting dragged under.
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Old 11-24-2011
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We use jack lines and tethers when off shore any time someone leaves the cockpit. will even tether in in rough conditions at night in the cockpit itself.
Jack lines should be rigged to reduce your chances of going over the rail. we run ours inside the standing rigging from bow to stern and as tight as possible. Flat webbing is preferred. tethers are ISAF standards, double with a short and long atachment with a quick release at the connection to your harness.
Have a great trip and post pics
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Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justified View Post
We use jack lines and tethers when off shore any time someone leaves the cockpit. will even tether in in rough conditions at night in the cockpit itself.
Jack lines should be rigged to reduce your chances of going over the rail. we run ours inside the standing rigging from bow to stern and as tight as possible. Flat webbing is preferred. tethers are ISAF standards, double with a short and long atachment with a quick release at the connection to your harness.
Have a great trip and post pics
Same as Justified except my jacklines run outside my standing rigging. Likely our boats standing rigs are anchored in different locations. You'll need to decide what's right for your boat.

Be safe and have fun...MGM
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Old 11-24-2011
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After thought...if your jacklines came with your boat, as mine did, and you really don't know there history...replace them.
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Old 11-24-2011
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I use the jacklines when offshore, especially at night, and in any kind of heavy weather. Inshore and in calm weather I usually don't bother, though the safety police would disapprove. The jacklines are connected to forward cleats and to a pair heavy duty U bolts aft designed for running backstays (that I don't use).

I also installed two U bolts in the forward end of the cockpit that can be reached from the companionway so someone can clip in while still mostly below. That is one of the most vulnerable times, as you are sleepily coming on deck, no night vision, no feel for the weather, no sea legs yet. A number of years ago someone was lost on the Bermuda race while still in the companionway.

Sitting in a locker, waiting for spring work are two more big U bolts I intend to install this coming spring for the helmsman to clip into. I think that will be safer and better than hooking into the pushpin as I have been doing. Four dedicated U bolts in the cockpit should handle the on watch.

I also have quick releases on the tethers as pointed above in a previous post.
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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

1. Frequently. At night, rough weather, generally if the chute is up (hard to return) or if alone on-deck. Not in the cockpit, but our cockpit is unusually well sheltered.

2. On the high side. However, the correct answer is going to vary with the size and shape of the boat. See the second link below.

Stay low and keep the tethers reasonably short. If you need a tether you probably should be holding on with both hands and staying low.

Sail Delmarva: Climbing Gear for Sailors--Jacklines and Harnesses for the Unemployed
Sail Delmarva: Sample Calculations for Jackline Stress and Energy Absorption

_____

Quick releases present a dilemma. Cataloges all sell them, as they are more money and some sailors want them. They are not required in the racing rules, because there is controversy. I've used them and do not like them (I do use a locking biner on the jackline end).

Has anyone ever seen a spinnaker shackle open unexpectedly? Raise your hands, I know most of the experienced sailors have seen it more than once.

Yes, I've capsized boats while clipped in. I think I can more easily unclip a wire gate carabiner in the dark than any of the new versions. I'm quite sure of that.

Yes, I've heard the horror stories of being dragged. I've even gone over as a test, while sailing to see what it was like; it was not easy, but it was possible for me. My personal choice is based upon the odds; I think it is more likely that a quick release will fail (open at the wrong time or not open easily when I need it) than a simple wire gate will trap me (inability to release a wire gate under load is rare occurrence--it takes a lot of load).
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Old 11-24-2011
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From some one whose been thrown over the life lines. I clip onto the weather side of the boat, and it can stop you from reaching the life lines on the leeward side. Most likely you willl fall downhill.......i2f
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Old 11-24-2011
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clip in and stay alive,i use a double tether and have yet to be trown over,clip in to the high side the north atlantic has been a little wild these last few weeks...
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Old 11-24-2011
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Jacklines and tethers are used anytime you leave the companionway.

I like U bolts in the cockpit corners.

I do not have individual tethers; rather they are attached to the jacklines and U bolts. As you move around you attach the new one BEFORE releasing the old one.
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