Sailing Harness on the cheep! - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 40 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
... Climbing rope stretches like a rubber band.
This sort of statement always bothers me as poorly grounded in fact. It seems silly on the face of it, since they work rather well for climbers.

A climbing rope will stretch considerably under very high loads (40% UIAA drop test, 100% slow strength test), but under typical fall and usage pressure (body weight) static elongation is limited to 10% by standard, and 6% (4" on a 6' tether) is more typical. In other words, it will stretch as though you hit some gym padding and no more. Just leaning on it, perhaps 1".

So, not at all like a rubber band, any more than a yoga mat is like a down pillow.
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post #22 of 40 Old 01-05-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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I am wondering why the question was even asked seeing as the OP's mind seems to have already been made up.
My mind is not made up.

I am just in the process of buying gear. I wanted to see what people suggest.

Just asking questions and thinking out loud!

I value all the opinions. Even the ones people think are unconventional.

I may not find a use for the advice in the current task. But some of the awesome comments have a place some where.

For example mast climbing. I am sure no one would have an issue with me rigging my own mast climbing gear with the suggestions in this forum.

I also started making my own soft shackles and made my own fid set from aluminum sewing needles.

I can make 2 fids for 6 bucks by sawing off aluminium sewing needles as a posed to 12 dollar fids at west marine.

This may seem dumb to some. but I have a budget to keep. Help me cut the right Connors.

Just brain storming.

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post #23 of 40 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Originally Posted by SOLPHIAIR View Post
My mind is not made up.

I am just in the process of buying gear. I wanted to see what people suggest.

Just asking questions and thinking out loud!

I value all the opinions. Even the ones people think are unconventional.

I may not find a use for the advice in the current task. But some of the awesome comments have a place some where.

For example mast climbing. I am sure no one would have an issue with me rigging my own mast climbing gear with the suggestions in this forum.

I also started making my own soft shackles and made my own fid set from aluminum sewing needles.

I can make 2 fids for 6 bucks by sawing off aluminium sewing needles as a posed to 12 dollar fids at west marine.

This may seem dumb to some. but I have a budget to keep. Help me cut the right Connors.

Just brain storming.
Are you using knitting needles for fids? That sounds like a good idea, you can use coat hangers as well I have seen in some videos on how to spice. I have not tried it myself, but I may just grab a few knitting needles from the X wife!

Just don't cut Dennis Connor, he may not like it...

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post #24 of 40 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Brent do you have a link to the tests. It would be an interesting read.
It was in one of the old British yachting magazines I found in the Victoria library, many years ago.Cant remember which one, wish I had kept track.
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Are you using knitting needles for fids? That sounds like a good idea, you can use coat hangers as well I have seen in some videos on how to spice. I have not tried it myself, but I may just grab a few knitting needles from the X wife!

Just don't cut Dennis Connor, he may not like it...


This type.

I found the 9mm knitting needle works well for 1/4 rope.
they come in may different sizes and can be cut to length.
I like mine to be a a bout 2.5 inches long

I saw the ends off with a hack saw and you can thread the rope in the back just like a regular fid

They cost a bout 6 to 8 dollars for 2 at Michele's

Cheap enough to offer a few to Poseidon while working on deck.



Ps. Use the other end as spit wad shooters for the kids.

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post #26 of 40 Old 01-05-2016
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Are you using knitting needles for fids? That sounds like a good idea, you can use coat hangers as well I have seen in some videos on how to spice. I have not tried it myself, but I may just grab a few knitting needles from the X wife!

Just don't cut Dennis Connor, he may not like it...
Yup, I use knitting needle fids. Just a matter if getting the right size and length. Free when the wife is throwing out mismatches. The wooed ones were made in less than 5 minutes with a drill press and scrap. I'm pretty sure the first hollow fids started as knitting needles! Who would had set-up just to make them?


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Last edited by pdqaltair; 01-05-2016 at 06:24 PM.
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post #27 of 40 Old 01-08-2016
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I have always built my own out of car seat belt. Climbing rope stretches like a rubber band.
Some stretch is good. Seat belts are safe in cars because of the pretensioners. Without them, you might break a rib. Shock loads kill.

As a raw material, seat-belt might be fine. I just don't want readers to think that because it can save you in when pretensioned in a car crash, that the material itself would be as safe as a tether without additional shock reduction measures.


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The British did tests on safety harnesses, by having a guy in one jump overboard while doing 4 knots. The taking up of the slack was gentle. With the tether attached to the centre of the chest ,he built up a bow wave, which was over his head ,and threatened to drown him. With it attached to the centre of his back ,he was towed comfortably and could breath ,but couldn`t reach the tèther to drag himself back aboard. With it attached to the top of the shoulder, he could breath`, and pull himself in.
Good summary. Here are the tests. It's made me rethink my jackline positioning (and harness design) when a friend sent me the link.

Is it safe to use a tether? - Practical Boat Owner
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

FWIW, car seat belts do not work because of "pretensioners". In fact pre-tensioners are a fairly new addition to the system, typically using a small pyrotechnic charge to fire the tensioning device. This is supposed to make them more effective--but it is not universal today, and the belts didn't use them for many years at all.
More effective with a pretensioner--or, even the original way of not being spring-loaded and simply putting it on tightly to start with. And of course, a pre-tensioner fires once and then you need to abandon the vehicle and have explosive devices replaced. Hmm.
Seat belts also can be stretched, and normally are stretched during severe impacts, and the belt itself is supposed to be replaced after severe impact because of that. Same as climbing ropes and construction harnesses, they all have known amounts of deformation, and times when they should be replaced.
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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

Yes, the Kong harness is inexpensive but excellent. Both ends of the harness have quality shackles and everything is made very well. I think i bought mine for $46. I could track down the link for the store i purchased from if interested. They did have a recall a few years back on some of the Kong harnesses but i think they are past that now.

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Re: Sailing Harness on the cheep!

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Yes, the Kong harness is inexpensive but excellent. Both ends of the harness have quality shackles and everything is made very well. I think i bought mine for $46. I could track down the link for the store i purchased from if interested. They did have a recall a few years back on some of the Kong harnesses but i think they are past that now.

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Yes please! If you can find a link that would be good!
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