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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Chrysler 22 and in the cockpit you can only comfortably seat two people on each side of the boat. However in a brisk wind I want to be able to seat everyone on the windward side. Last weekend I had a total of four people on the boat and we had two in the cockpit, and two sitting on top of the cabin leaning on the lifeline. This is only comfortable if you have a seat cushion resting on the lifeline but then your butt goes asleep ;) Here is a picture of my friend doing what i am talking about…


I am also going to be rebidding my stanchions this week and am afraid the constant weight on the lifeline is going to put too much stress on the stanchion bases.

Anyone get creative with toe rail seats? I am thinking of a seat that hangs over the edge with a backrest tied into the lifeline somehow?????

If you have seen something interesting please post pictures of it.

Thanks,
Zac
 

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Although the stancheons should be able to take the weight, I wouldn't want multiple guys the size of your friend putting their weight on the lifelines like that!

I would say, first of all, get over the idea of everyone lounging around with nice padded backrest! Save that for the dock, or buy a powerboat! When the boat is heeling encourage your passengers to sit on the rail with their legs hanging over the side. Not only is it surprisingly comfortable when the boat is heeling, but your boat will sail better too. In that position they can lean back against the cabin if they wish. On other points of sail they can just sit on the cabintop, either facing outboard or with their feet dangling in the companionway.
I think you will have a hard time finding any one seating position that is comfortable on all points of sail, and messing around with cushions and backrest while under way is a good way to ensure you practice your man overboard drills as you retrieve lost cushions!
 

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Make a one size fits all, closed cell cushion with velco belt and leg straps. Hand them to guests during a leisurely tack and mention numb butt prevention. Can be retrieved during overboard drills and more visible if yellow .Yelling 'thar she blows' can take on a new meaning.
 

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Water Lover
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I sure wouldn't trust the lifeline that much. Maybe install an extra, padded lifeline and have the guy turn around and sit on the side deck if there's room. Also, especially in any kind of breeze at all, I'd sure want folks who aren't below decks or in the cockpit to be wearing some sort of life preserver, such as an inflatable, or a float coat or at least a neoprene vest in cool weather. Things can get weird and out of control up on deck, very quickly.

And temperatures can get chilly enough in Jacksonville in winter to put accidental swimmers at risk. With the current 60-degree F surface water temps, a crew overboard could lose the ability to swim in perhaps as little as 15 minutes or less and become dead weight and of little help in his or her own rescue perhaps sooner (depending on health, fat tissue, and what happens when he or she goes in the water).

Without a life preserver, crew that isn't recovered fairly soon risks becoming a body to be recovered (if not found quickly, then eventually, after gradual decomposition and build-up of gases in the chest cavity and body causes the body to resurface). When the muscles quit working, even a skilled swimmer is soon finished, kaput, done for, drowned. And it's a real pain in the ass to go to a memorial service when the body is still missing, especially for the family of the victim. (Yes, I was not far away when a friend fell off another boat and drowned; his body popped up three weeks later, interestingly still with his hat and sunglasses on. He had a very nice, almost new, $200 auto-inflatable -- in his sailing gear bag.)

Yet with a life preserver, survival can easily be several hours in these conditions, allowing much more opportunity to find crew overboard, get help from other boats or rescuers, and maybe hoist the crew aboard.

If a crew overboard has been exposed to chilly water for very long, even if they are brought aboard conscious, that crew needs to be monitored, treated, and brought to medical aid because there is still a risk of post-rescue collapse as the loss of hydrostatic pressure from the water immersion can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure and ensuing shock, among other bad to very-bad effects (heart having to work extra hard, possible water in the lungs causing big problems, etc.).

See "Cold Water Boot Camp". It may be an eye-opener.
 

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Fortuitous
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If I have four people on my 22, we sit three to windward in the cockpit and one to leeward, and I'm just way more conservative with how much sail I'll put up. I'm never heeled that far with guests unless they're also sailors and want to sit on the rail (which is always shortlived on small cruising boats.)
 

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Colder up here in the Salish Sea. Usually takes 5 or 6 weeks for the body to bob up. Used to catch them in the gill net.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Sorry I don't have better pics of the seat setup but I made this little beauty to fit over the companionway hatch sliders and as long as you are sitting on the windward side of the boat it is really comfortable. If you are on the leeward side you have way too much lean and it is too much stress on the neck.




With this extra seat you can easily get three people on the windward side in the cockpit and the forth can sit in the seat so everyone is on the high side.

EDIT: I know it looks like the seat is leaning on the lifeline, but it isn't. So no stress on the stanchions!
 

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imo this is one very comfortable position... get your body under the rail and relax... ;)


why are you calling that thing lifeline?
to me a lifeline is a line layed out on deck to pick yourself into when the going gets tough and you have to move along the boat...
you do not pick yourself into anything from the rails apart from the push- or pullpit.
 

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Captain Obvious
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The guy in the red shirt just turns around and puts his feet on the deck under the lifelines. Its comfy and safe and helps balance the boat. Simple.
 

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why are you calling that thing lifeline?
to me a lifeline is a line layed out on deck to pick yourself into when the going gets tough and you have to move along the boat...
The lines laid along the deck are 'jacklines'.
 

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I wouldn't want that guy leaning against the lifelines either. Just have him turn around and sit on the cabin top. The folding cushions can probably be used there also. Or he can sit on the rail.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You guys are a ray of sunshine this morning ;) I appreciate that you are concerned for everyone's safety but sometimes you can be a little bit over the top. I have been trying to come up with ways to easily seat four people on the high side without them having to tangle their legs over the side with a 2" tall metal toe rail digging into the hamstrings.
 

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You guys are a ray of sunshine this morning ;) I appreciate that you are concerned for everyone's safety but sometimes you can be a little bit over the top. I have been trying to come up with ways to easily seat four people on the high side without them having to tangle their legs over the side with a 2" tall metal toe rail digging into the hamstrings.
The first boat that I crewed on in races was a Chrysler 22, about 40 years ago, and, on that boat, I sat in the manner that Sal described.

The reality is that a sailboat is not an easy chair. Comfort is a relatively low priority. Some people install pads to prevent the toe rail from digging into the legs, but they aren't foolproof. Some people put pads on the lifelines to prevent them from digging into your arms when you lean on them. It runs in my mind that I have seen sailing shorts with built-in pads to protect the backs of the legs when hiking. In any case, after awhile, your butt is sure to go numb, and, if it gets wet, it's bound to itch like crazy. The remedy is to change your position frequently. It's not so bad in a short, around-the-buoys race. It's tougher in an overnight race, in a cold rain. Asking how you can get comfortable on a sailboat is kinda like asking how you can avoid getting bumped up and down on horseback. A little discomfort is inherent in the sport. :)
 

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why are you calling that thing lifeline?
to me a lifeline is a line layed out on deck to pick yourself into when the going gets tough and you have to move along the boat...
you do not pick yourself into anything from the rails apart from the push- or pullpit.
CV..the 'railings' around the deck are generally referred to as lifelines by most ("death lines" by others due to their being rather low and more of a trip line perhaps ;))

The line/strap along deck that you mention is most often referred to as a jackline (that you'd hook a harness tether to while moving forward)

EDIT - Oops.. sorry, Welsh, didn't see you'd beat me to it!
 

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You guys are a ray of sunshine this morning ;) I appreciate that you are concerned for everyone's safety but sometimes you can be a little bit over the top. I have been trying to come up with ways to easily seat four people on the high side without them having to tangle their legs over the side with a 2" tall metal toe rail digging into the hamstrings.
Your seat is a clever idea and if it works for you and your crew, that's great.

I'd prefer to keep the crew weight lower and completely out of the way of an accidental jibe or unexpected tack (they do happen) and to me that position is rather vulnerable. It's also yet another thing to deal with during a tack, and to store when you don't want it - on a smallish boat.
 

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I had a Chrysler 22 and could take 5 out. Two on the high side rail (feet overboard facing out) two on the high side cockpit (helming and trimming) and one low side cockpit (manning and tacking the Coleman grill). Having anyone pushing, pulling or leaning on the lifelines is a bad idea, unless you want to re-bed stanchions annually or have them fail when you really need them.

It is not all misery but sailing a small boat (25' and under) is no luxury cruise. There is no way to be very comfortable on a 22 foot boat with 4+ people, especially if it is blowing. Even with just two people sitting high side for more than a few hours is some work.

My friends would show up first time to sail on my C22 with wine, cheese, crackers, strawberries and other luxury items. On second sail they knew sandwiches and beer were more appropriate.
 
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