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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #111  
Old 04-27-2010
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Up grade your life line stanchions and through bolt them to backing plates, then use three life lines instead of two; they would be the foot rope (bottom), house line (middle) and life line (top). Finally install netting (snaking to us Naval types). Many times when someone goes over the side they slip between the foot rope and the deck. The snaking has saved me twice in the first half of my Navy career.
Then add in your jack lines and short monkey tail and you should be safe under most conditions... except maybe a rollover.
Note: the standard stanchions on production boats really scare me. They seem under sized, to far apart and the life lines are too thin to really hang onto if you do grab one as you are slipping over the side. But then that is my opinion... Yours may be different.
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Last edited by Boasun; 04-27-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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  #112  
Old 04-27-2010
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Good points Boasun. Plus the fact that most production lifelines catch the crease behind your knee if you fall back against them. That helps propel you over the side. Scary indeed!

The Pardeys and others are big proponents of high bulwarks to support the sides of stanchion bases, along with thru-bolting. Plus the bulwarks provide better bracing for the foredeck crew.

I always trained my crews to grab on and bend low like a linebacker when moving fore and aft. In the really bad stuff, you should be crawling. Unless you're down low, the lifelines don't do you a lot of good.

Captain John

Last edited by skippertips; 04-28-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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  #113  
Old 04-28-2010
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Just an observation: On commercial vessels the bulwarks, rails and life lines have to be 39.5 inches high.
Now what is the height of the life line on your production boat??
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  #114  
Old 04-28-2010
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Most are much shorter than commercial lifelines. Two feet or so at the most. I'm retired Coast Guard and we saw these dinky things all the time. So, I know what you are talking about as far as the commercial industry having much higher standards.

IMHO, many sailboat mfgs just try to cut costs in areas like lifelines. That's the very area they should ramp up to commercial standards.

Last edited by skippertips; 04-28-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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  #115  
Old 04-29-2010
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Smile Rag dolls and human weaklings

I can only speak for myself, but all these “pull-yourself-back-on-board” schemes don’t appeal to me. You know the effort in climbing aboard your bathing ladder in calm conditions? As someone said early in the thread, you’d better work on your pecs. Biology is being underestimated here: the chilling effect of water will radically weaken your muscles when you’re pulled along at speed, and it doesn’t take minutes. Even if you reach the side of the boat, that might be your end stop.

The halyard idea isn’t too inviting either. Most of you will have climbed the mast tethered to a halyard, perhaps with someone on the winch assisting you. I also do it single-handed using one of those Swisstech devices, essentially a block and tackle. All is well until you (foolishly) lose grip of the mast or stays and swing loose. Imagine now your starting point if this were your rescue method: presumably not in calm seas, and initially swept off your feet while already at an angle a distance from the mast? I have visions of my first reunion with the boat being a broken arm, shoulder or worse, and the rest is just a blur. I’d be a rag doll.

I’d stick with a taut set of jack lines and the shortest possible tether, ideally in a crawling position if the work at hand permits. I don’t want to go overboard, I just don’t
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  #116  
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I totally agree with the absolute difficulty of trying to pull yourself back aboard. Even if you are able to get alongside, then you must negotiate 2 feet or more of freeboard. You are already fatigued and hypothermic.

Boarding a small craft at an aft swim ladder could be fatal because of the sledgehammer effect of the stern. And that's when the vessel is hove-to or lying ahull. Most people who go overboard are never found. Or, if they are, they drown alongside, because of the horrendous difficulty of pulling a person back aboard.

I worked a search and rescue desk in the Coast Guard for 5 years and ran small craft as a SAR coxswain. We rarely recovered overboard victims. That's after weeks of searching, thousands of flight and sea hours, and dozens of resources searching day and night in tough weather.

Don't become a "Case Suspended Pending Further Developments" statistic. Stay aboard.

Captain John

Last edited by skippertips; 05-10-2010 at 09:43 AM.
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  #117  
Old 04-29-2010
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Hey Os - how ya doin' mate? Good to see you back around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OsmundL View Post
I can only speak for myself, but all these “pull-yourself-back-on-board” schemes don’t appeal to me. You know the effort in climbing aboard your bathing ladder in calm conditions? As someone said early in the thread, you’d better work on your pecs. Biology is being underestimated here: the chilling effect of water will radically weaken your muscles when you’re pulled along at speed, and it doesn’t take minutes. Even if you reach the side of the boat, that might be your end stop.

The halyard idea isn’t too inviting either. Most of you will have climbed the mast tethered to a halyard, perhaps with someone on the winch assisting you. I also do it single-handed using one of those Swisstech devices, essentially a block and tackle. All is well until you (foolishly) lose grip of the mast or stays and swing loose. Imagine now your starting point if this were your rescue method: presumably not in calm seas, and initially swept off your feet while already at an angle a distance from the mast? I have visions of my first reunion with the boat being a broken arm, shoulder or worse, and the rest is just a blur. I’d be a rag doll.

I’d stick with a taut set of jack lines and the shortest possible tether, ideally in a crawling position if the work at hand permits. I don’t want to go overboard, I just don’t
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  #118  
Old 04-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippertips View Post
Good points Boasun. Plus the fact that most production lifelines catch the crease behind your knee if you fall back against them. That helps propel you over the side. Scary indeed!

The Pardeys and others are big proponents of high bulwarks to support the sides of stanchion bases, along with thru-bolting. Plus the bulwarks provide better bracing for the foredeck crew.

I always trained my crews to grab on and bend low like a linebacker when moving fore and aft. In the really bad stuff, you should be crawling. Unless you're down low, the lifelines don't do you a lot of good.

Captain John
With due respect to you and Boasun, I don't know that I've ever seen any pleasure boat other than those that are certified to carry more than 6 paying passengers with 39.5" stantions and triple life lines. And while the Pardeys and others are big proponents of high bulkwarks, there are relatively few boats on the market in terms of total percentage that could be classified by modern standards as blue water vessels that have these. All the S&S Swans would be eliminated as the only have a very heavy 2" aluminum toe rail and double life lines, yet they'd be near the top of many lists as very strong and seaworthy boats. A current design that is particularly well thought out for safety/lifelines/ etc... is the Outbound 44/46. High double life lines and solid pushpit that continues around the cockpit area. If one's concerned with going over the side, good jack lines, an appropriate length tether, and maybe netting. But If I remember, the OP was only talking about single handed day sailing on Puget Sound. Somehow we got from that to commercial standards being applied to pleasure craft. I for one have no intention of having triple line lines, 39" stantions, etc... but I do single hand a 34' boat fairly regularly with lifejacket on, sometimes tethered, sometimes not, and jacklines rigged if the conditions warrant. Again, I'm also a huge proponent of investing time and effort into general physical fitness, balance, and flexibility (yes, staying low, one hand for the boat at all times as mentioned are part of this...), things that are critical to keeping you on a boat before you need all the gadgets, lines, and gizmos if you fall off.

Cheers,
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  #119  
Old 04-30-2010
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I know I'd have a tough time getting up onto our sugar-scoop stern in the kind of seas that would knock me off. (And yes I wear a tether when single-handing.) Has anyone come across a method of pulling down the swim ladder from the water? This is on my list of things to develop this spring.

I'm thinking about using a snap shackle with a long release line. The other end of the release line would be tied near the water line. Has this worked for anyone? Any other ideas?
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Last edited by Bene505; 04-30-2010 at 01:01 AM.
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  #120  
Old 04-30-2010
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Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
... Has anyone come across a method of pulling down the swim ladder from the water? This is on my list of things to develop this spring.

I'm thinking about using a snap shackle with a long release line. The other end of the release line would be tied near the water line. Has this worked for anyone? Any other ideas?
Yes, I have a 3 foot lenght of yellow line that just about touches the water. It is rigged so that the ladder drops when pulled [pelican hook?] You do have to watch out when it drops down . We had a drowning in our area just last year because a fellow could not get aboard when the boat slipped anchor and a group was swimming.

If you don't at least have a ladder, you are done.
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