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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 03-14-2001
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Safety Harnesses

I agree with Jeff; I guess it is better to be dragged than to be left in the middle of the ocean. I would suggest both a quick release and a sharp knife. While I hate to be pedantic; the whole point of jacklines, harnesses, and tethers is to make sure that you don''t end up in the drink. If you can''t assure this will your current configuration, I would suggested using more than one tether and clipping into fixed points on the boat..
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Old 03-14-2001
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Safety Harnesses

i see wichard has a triangular gadget that attaches to your jack lines to prevent you from going too far aft and over the stern.
eric
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2001
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I think it was in the last Single Handed Farallons race out of SF bay that a sailor (a very experienced one at that) fell overboard and was drowned by dragging. Not sure why he could not detach. Probably the drowning danger is somewhat proportional to the speed of the boat, faster being worse. It is often blowing pretty hard out between the G Gate and the islands.
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Old 04-30-2001
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Safety Harnesses

I sail alone often and in less than ideal conditions.Being that the biggest danger in the water is hypothermia , even in warmer waters, a man overboard situation is always extremely dangerous.I have heard accounts of deaths of people who are right next to their boats and cannot get back aboard even with the help of (older, or female ) crew.
I have added a small rope pull-down ladder to the stern. It is in its own bag and I made sure I can reach it from the water.
I have added padeyes in the cockpit and use these to hook in with a short line.To my harness/inflatable vest I have secured a very sharp knife. My idea is to stay in the boat but if that fails, I would have to cut free to get to the stern and the ladder...hopefully after the boat rounds up.
Any advice is always welcome
JEF
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Old 05-19-2001
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Safety Harnesses

a steering pedestal isn''t strong enough to install jack lines.
eric
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Old 05-30-2001
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Safety Harnesses

One additional thought about attachment of a tether: after using a conventional jack line arrangement offshore for a while, we switched to a jackline method recommended by John Neal. For those who don''t recognize John''s name, his first book (Log of the Mahina) covered a trip from WA state down into the South Pacific and back as a young man, and he''s subsequently sailed 300,000+ miles on a series of Halberg Rasseys while instructing guest crew.

His method is to run the jackline *above* the lifelines on each side of the boat. E.g. on our Pearson ketch, we run a jackline from the upper mizzen shroud, shoulder height, forward to the upper main shroud (around once to halve the unsupported length of the line) and then further forward (and sloping downward), terminating it at the bow pulpit. While this may seem like it decreases the chance of the jackline/tether/vest keeping you aboard, in my experience it actually serves as a very effective add''l barrier to being thrown over the side in the first place. Moreover, it provides add''l support when moving fore/aft on deck. Initially skeptical about this, it''s now my favored arrangement - tho'' in fact, I can continue to use the deck-mounted jack lines, as well. It''s just that I rarely use them now, given this other alternative.

Jack
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Old 06-19-2001
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Safety Harnesses

My understanding is that you are much more likely to drown if you are dragged ''behind'' the boat than if you are dragged at the side. So make sure your jackline terminates forward enough so you don''t end up behind the boat. The other thing I''ve done is to drag a ''step'' on both sides of the boat. Basically, I just leave a 4'' length of jackline past its attachment point, put a loop into the end of that end, and drag it overboard. Now, if I fall overboard, get dragged to the aft end of the line, I have a loop to step into and pull myself back on board (or so the theory goes ;-).

...Chris
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Old 02-24-2002
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Safety Harnesses

I have tied a 1/4" poly line to the bottom of my wheel and ran the line off the quarter,infront of the stearn rail, with five stopper knots, one foot apart, near the end.This line being fifty feet long trailing
astern.If I have to unhook, this should work.I also do most of my sailing alone
in all weather. After unhooking, grabbing this line would, theoretically, turn the boat and give me time to climb aboard being my boat has a transom ladder.

Dennis L.
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Old 03-23-2002
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Safety Harnesses

Many bits of good advice. Do I assume that having your harness clipped to an aluminum toerail is a bad idea, even if the tether is a short one?

Another question. I''ve been moderately hypothermic before and barely had enough strength to get aboard even with the aid of a strong son. Would it not be wise to stay as near the boat as possible to minimize time in water?
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Old 03-23-2002
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Safety Harnesses

Has anyone ever experienced dangling from a tether/harness OUT of the water for any length of time? I did...I''d go for my chances in the water on a tether rather than out if I was hanging from the tether on the windward side. Here''s why...

While at an offshore sailing school program, we were covering rescue & COB techniques. One thing that came out was how to recover the COB, particular if it''s a large COB (like me, around 275#) and a small crew on board (like my wife, @ about 110#). So, since my wife was along for the course too we decided to give it a try with us as a real world example to see how it would work and how it could be done.

The basic technique was to use the mainsheet tackle & the boom as a crane to hoist the COB (me) out of the water. So we disconnected the main sheet attached it to my harness, and my wife started cranking away at the mainsheet.

The good news - she got me pretty high out of the water, and it''s clear should could have even gotten me up to deck out of the water under the lifelines.

The bad news - it was one of the more painful things I have had done to me. My back hurt for days. While it was happening it was painful, I could definitely feel every stress and strain applied by the harness. Wouldn''t bother me if I was unconscious I suppose, and it beats the alternative. I was only lifted about 2/3 out of the water, and hung suspended for a total of less than five minutes. Of course this effect on me could be related to my size and physical condition to.

But we were at anchor in a little lagoon in flat water. If the boat were pitching in eight foot swells, I don''t doubt for a second that if I were hanging overboard by my harness without the water supporting me I would very quickly be shaken senseless. Also very quickly someone would experience pulled muscles and some very potentially dangerous and debilitating back injuries. Never mind getting beaten against the hull.

From my reading it''s been said that you should avoid allowing jackline/tether combinations to go far enough to take you behind the boat. I''m not sure if that applies to boats with swim platforms that are reachable or not. I''m still a little fuzzy on how to set them up optimally. Since I do only coastal cruising right now I see the optimal jackline setup as nicely rolled in the bag while I''m not out sailing in situations that require jacklines.

There was a report on jacklines & harnesses release a couple of years back - can''t remember the body that did it. One thing that stood out was some discussion of the forces applied to a tether/harness/jackline combination by a falling body when it hit the end of the line. I don''t remember the numbers, but the force applied was surprising. It was a very good case for shorter lines, clipping to the windward jackline, and ensuring from that line you can''t fall past the lifelines on the leeward side.
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