Join Date: Aug 2002
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Westhaven posted:<blockquote><font color="red">Also I always sail with a "Wichard" knife hung around my neck as a precaution.</font color></blockquote>Reading this made me shiver. I think it''s better to have a knife on your person instead of lashed to the mast. But one sure way to avoid dying of hypothermia in the water is to strangle yourself from a stanchion, cleat, or any deck hardware that your lanyard-cum-noose will catch on as your body goes over the side. There you''ll be, against the hull, like Captain Ahab strapped to the side of his great white quarry.
Please, either use a small cotton string that will snap quickly and just leave a welt on your neck, or attach the knife to your harness.<hr>There are actually two discussions going on here: arranging jacklines and harnesses to keep you from leaving the deck in the first place; and what back-up system to put in place in case they fail to do so.<P>To the former, I''d suggest that one cause of the jackline failing to keep you on-deck is the <u>deflection</u> of the line when pulled outboard. It figures that dividing that long jackline into two shorter lines (one from the cockpit to somewhere around the mast, then a second picking up there and running all the way forward) will allow less outboard deflection, and so better keep your body within the confines of the lifelines. The price? The inconvenience of clipping from one to the other on your way forward. (I wonder how much outboard deflectin JeffH gets with his SS cable as opposed to webbing?).
I do think Jack''s shroud jackline is interesting, and seems to involve the same clipping routine.<hr>To the latter discussion, once you''re over, you''re stuck in a bad situation unless you''ve planned ahead. Whether weather or lee hull, getting back on board is the primary goal. I''m in my mid-forties, but I don''t pretend to think I could heave myself up over the weather deck on a boat with much freeboard sailing to weather: a couple of steps of rope ladder, or a large loop to stand in, sounds invaluable. If using a split jackline, one at the quarter and one mid-ships would be required.<P>I always wear my SoSpenders harness, but usually don''t clip in while in the cockpit; but when single handing (or when I''m the only one on board who knows how to stop the boat) on my tiller-steered boat, I trail a nylon line inboard from the quarter cleat the pilot is on (starboard for me), tie in a loop and slip it around the telescoping arm of my autopilot (this loop must not close under strain, or you could yank the pilot into the drink), then run it over the stern railing to trail about 25'' behind the boat, ending in a loop run through an 8" length of garden hose to keep it open. (At 5kts, the drag isn''t enough to pull my autopilot pin out of the tller, but you might need a shock cord snubber @ the rail).<P>If I somehow tumble out, I have a "last chance" line that I would immediately swim for. As soon as I grab it, the loop @ the autopilot pulls it offf the tiller, and the boat rounds up. I''ll admit I''ve never tested it while under way, but this is just for the unlikely tumble directly from the cockpit into the drink. I''m sure this could be adapted for wheels.<P>I tried clipping the line into my harness, but that was problematic: if short, I would pop the pilot inadvertently when I moved around; if long, it tangled on everything in sight. so I threw it over the stern and tow it.<P>If I''m singlehanding in sheltered waters, doesn''t the rule of basic seamanship demand that I keep my boat from becoming a nuisance, or endangering others? And is falling out a legitimate excuse for the resultant damage to other people and property?