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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 02-26-2001
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Safety Harnesses

Does anyone have any experience with someone falling overboard and being dragged alongside the boat by his or her tether? Would this be life threatening if alone?
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Old 02-27-2001
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Safety Harnesses

Being dragged along side one''s boat on a tether can lead to drowning wether you are lone or with a crew. As such, one must place jacklines such that this situation is not possible. For example, I run my jack lines from my mooring cleats which are about 4 feet from the bow, down the centerline of the boat to my steering pedestal. (I don''t have a dodger to contend with.) This arrangement, coupled with a relatively short tether (about 4 feet), should prevent an overboard situation.
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Old 02-27-2001
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Safety Harnesses

Big,
Okay, but what if you have a small 21 foot boat and even with jacklines and a 4'' tether you will probably end up in the water. Do you think I would be able to get back in the boat while being dragged? Maybe I shouldn''t wear a harness when going forward?
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Old 02-27-2001
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Safety Harnesses

When I was in Australia in 79 a Jappenese single hander fell overboard while wearing a 6'' long tether/harness. The boat was sailing along at around 5 knots. He was able to pull himself up to the transom but could not lift himself clear of the water enough to get onboard. There is some irony here since he normally used a wind vane and would have had no trouble kicking the paddle and stopping the boat, That day he was trying out his first auto pilot. He was dragged for over an hour before hitting the rocks where he was rescued but the boat was a total loss. If he had a set of rungs/stepts on the stern Kuni thought he probally could have pulled himself out. He said he quickly became tired and was only able to keep his head up after a few minutes. The water flow was just too powerful.. He did get another boat and contiune on at a later date.
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Old 03-01-2001
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Safety Harnesses

I would suggest that you do several things. 1. Keep the jackline as near the centerline of the boat as possible 2. Find the shortest tether that you can. 3. Get a 2nd tether and find an attachment point such that the two tethers prevent you from going ob. If this doesn''t work, I would do things like drag a line in the water behind the boat to grab onto. This line could be attached to the transom ladder such that when you grab it, it pulls the ladder down for you. On a tiller steered boat, you could also rig a line that trips whatever you use to center the tiller when you leave it unattended. This way, the boat will round up into the wind and slow way down. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-2001
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Safety Harnesses

Fran judging from your bio on the members directory you are an experienced sailor. Let common sense rule a 21 '' boat is definitely a cork in those 11'' seas you have already experienced. you do need a tether in that type of weather. Keep it short and If you are not physically able to lift youself back on board sail with some one. Safety is #1.
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Old 03-02-2001
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Safety Harnesses

I have experienced 8'' waves in my Freedom 21. I was new at big water sailing back in the early 60''s and we did not understand the Mafor of 35 knot WNW winds and waves of 1.5 meters ( we found out a week later that 1.5 meter waves meant 11.5''). Anyway we ended up on an 88 mile crossing which we did in 11 hours. I no longer sail when the winds get that strong.
Please, more input. So far it sounds like being dragged by your harness could be life threatening. I like the idea of being able to release the tiller from the auto pilot if I can figure a way to get it done.
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Old 03-02-2001
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Safety Harnesses

The autopilot trip line idea is not my own; it was from one of Sail magazine''s Things That Work books. If you write them, I''m sure they could hook you up with the article and the illustration.
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Old 03-05-2001
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Safety Harnesses

I was flipping thru my Defender Catalog over the weekend are see that Wichard has a couple of products that may be of interest to you. One is a 3 foot long tether which is the shortest tether that I have seen. The second product is, for lack of a better term, a stopper for jacklines. Its a pastic device that prevents the tether attachment from sliding all the way to the end of the jackline. You might want to check these out on either the defender or the wichard sites. Good Luck.

HAM
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Old 03-13-2001
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Safety Harnesses

No matter how life threatening being towed behind your boat on a teather may seem the alternative of not being twoed is far worse. I have tried to climb aboard from the water with only my teather while the boat was on the hook. The teather actually gave me something to use to help climb back aboard. I was also able to pull the jackline close enough to the rail to grab it and hold on. All that said, I was not able to pull myself aboard. After that experiment, I keep a loop of line hanging over the side at the aft quarter cleat that greatly increased my chnace of getting aboard.

The main reason that I wear a harness when single-handing is the many times that it has kept me from going over the side in the first place. I have jacklines rigged on each side of the boat and always use the weather jackline. It is rigged so I can''t reach the leeward rail of my boat.

If you really think that being towed could kill you, then you might want one of the new teathers with the quick release snap shackle at the chest.

Jeff
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