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Discussion Starter #1
I want to add jacklines to my boat and am thinking about 2 that run fore-aft, from the bow to the jib winch areas, and the some points in the cockpit.

I've seen two schools of thought :

Run the jacklines along the outside of the boat

Run them along the centreline of the boat

Has anyone any experience of the pros and cons of each arrangement?
 

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first sailed january 2008
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From what little I know I think if you are only having one you run along the center. Or if your boat is so big that you can't you can't reach the outside to clip in from the cockpit. Otherwise laid tightly alongside the toe rail on both side to about six feet from the back is how I've done mine. Then you shouldn't drag behind the boat. Also clip into the high side since it's most likely to fall overboard heeling on the low side. Make sure your tether is shorter than the beam.

Make sure whatever they are attached to has enormous backing plates. Either specially installed pad eyes or your big cleats. I think that's it really.
 

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Right or wrong I run a center jackline on my 30 fter. To close to overboard otherwise.
Also, when sea is unhappy, I will double back my 6 ft. tether making 3Ft. (PITA sometimes) not a lot of room to work but have always come back home with boat.
Went to double back tether on friends boat, mid winter, brisk wind...when he looked at me funny...forgot was on a boat with 15' beam!
 

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Don't call me a "senior"!
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The problem I've always had with running jacklines close to the centerline on my boat is that they would make it difficult, if not impossible, to open the forward hatch from the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm yes, I was just thinking that. Otherwise, I like the idea.
 

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I run mine just inboard of the handrails on the cabintop, one on each side. they do not interfere with the companionway there and I like that they are closer to the centerline than along the decks of my small boat.

They come down over the cabintop and connect to strong padeyes in the cockpit. In the cockpit I remain either clipped to those lines, or directly to a padeye. If going forward its a simple matter to clip in to the jackline and go.

The downside is that they can damage the gelcoat on the edge of the cabintop where they angle down into the cockpit. I use a small pad there to take the wear but its still a (cosmetic) concern.

I also use shorter tethers installed at the mast (chest height) and at the bow. When I get to where I'm going I clip that "workstation" tether into my harness and can work there very securely.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I don't like jacklines that required unclipping and reclipping while moving forward. How do you go forward? Over the cabin top? Sidedecks inside or outside the shrouds? Would you go the same way if you're crawling? That's how the jackline(s) should run.

On my boat that means padeyes just inboard of the bow cleats, jacklines outside the shrouds, and back to padeyes three feet forward of the transom. The jackline eyes go forward so adjustment can be done at the stern.

I have a couple of pairs of double tethers, one 1m and one elastic 2m. The latter usually only gets used at the mast, wrapped around and clipped back to me. My spare tethers are all single 1m ones.

I have two heavy padeyes in the cockpit, one under the dodger and one just forward of the wheel. Each can take two tethers. The aft one can reach to someone under the dodger or behind the wheel.

I like separate padeyes for jacklines to avoid any last minute juggling with docklines.
 

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Tartan 37
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A jack line should be twisted a few times correct? Not laying flat... and once through the pad eye on the stern, what knot do you find is easy to get tension and tie?
 

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another reason I love boats with aluminum toerails, makes finding a place to clip them easy..plus its strong and requires no mods or hardware installation... usually allowing for straight line uninterrupted

not always though
 

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I don't like jacklines that required unclipping and reclipping while moving forward. How do you go forward? Over the cabin top? Sidedecks inside or outside the shrouds? Would you go the same way if you're crawling? That's how the jackline(s) should run.
I didn't explain very well, but I am definitely open to better ideas. I've gone back and forth a few times on my boat; this is my current iteration.

One thing I left out is that I don't have a dodger. I dont think that my arrangement would work with a dodger.

So, siting in the cockpit I'm usually clipped to a hard point. To go forward I transfer to the jackline, then unclip from the hardpoint. Then I step onto the side deck, hold on to the handrails and make my way forward. I can go all the way, cockpit to the bow without unclipping. The clip (a dual action) rides along the jackline, basically where my hands are (vs where my feet are).

On my boat, the sidedeck is fully inside of the shrouds.
 

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If using a single, you must have to unclip when going past the mast unless you always choose to go forward on one particular side of the boat. And as mentioned the presence of a dodger would preclude using a single line.

I run mine from the aft end of the cockpit up both sides outside the standing rigging (inboard chainplates) to cleats or toerail at the bow. I use webbing with a twist to make it easier to snag the line prior to leaving the cockpit, and use a fixed attachment point inside the cockpit.
 

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Is it just me ? Am I the only one to whom it seems we have a new thread on either jacklines, or tethers, practically every freakin' week around here ?

:))

It's a shame the search function is apparently so worthless, or that no 'Similar Thread' List ever seems to show threads any more recent than several years ago... Because, I'm pretty sure there is Nothing New Under the Sun that can possibly be possibly said regarding jacklines, that hasn't already been posted here at some point previously... :)

Mark, please don't think I'm picking on you, I'm simply amazed & amused by how routinely this subject appears to arise :) But for a boat the size of your Bristol, I think fixed tethers at various stations about the boat are a far better way to go... For whatever they're worth, my most recent thoughts on the matter...

Perhaps now somewhat outdated, as they were posted over a week ago :)

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/1930914-post41.html
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Really? I surprised that you're not thrilled about the repeated discussion of something so seaman-like as "staying on-board the boat."

I notice you don't start many topics around here. Why not? What would you like to discuss?

MedSailor
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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A jack line should be twisted a few times correct? Not laying flat... and once through the pad eye on the stern, what knot do you find is easy to get tension and tie?
The idea of twisting the jackline is to make it easier to pick up the jackline to clip on. I lay mine flat and have never had a problem picking up the line. I prefer the jackline flat for no particular reason I can put my finger on.

You might also read what Evans Starzinger has to say on the subject: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/jackline.pdf . What isn't apparent from the article is that Evans very often doesn't clip in going forward. I agree with him. Sometimes all the extra gear flapping around just gets in the way and presents a tripping hazard.

The rule on my boat is that I expect people to be adults and to take responsibility for their own decision. Clip in or not, unless things get so bad (pretty bad) that I say "everyone clips in." The only hard and fast rule I have is no one goes forward without someone else on deck. Oh - and everyone sits in the head -- that too. *grin*

If using a single, you must have to unclip when going past the mast unless you always choose to go forward on one particular side of the boat. And as mentioned the presence of a dodger would preclude using a single line.
Agree. Even with a double tether reclipping once (or twice with an elastic leg) at each interference is a major time consumer, adds risk, and distracts from the task at hand.
 

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The main purpose of jacklines is to keep you onboard. You cannot return to boat if you fall and attached even there are more than one helper on board. Therefore keep them very close to center and make sure you are still on board even if you fall.
 

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Old soul
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I appreciate these discussions. While there's nothing new under the sun, working things through again (and again, and again...) is a good way to process the information. That's the function of a forum. Otherwise just post an article on a website.

On our boat we run jacklines along both side decks AND use a couple of centrelines. We use the dual tethers. Before stepping out of the cockpit we can clip the long teacher into the side lines. This stays on all the time. Then, once we get past the dodger we can clip into the handrail or the centrelines. At the mast I clip into a cleat or a secure line.

I don't like using just the side deck jacklines, but for our boat I can't figure out a way to leave the cockpit clipped into a centreline right away. The sideline remains connected all the time. I view it as a last resort. If I were to slip while switching the short centre teacher, at least the sideline would keep me with the boat.


Why go fast, when you can go slow
 

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You might also read what Evans Starzinger has to say on the subject: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/jackline.pdf . What isn't apparent from the article is that Evans very often doesn't clip in going forward. I agree with him. Sometimes all the extra gear flapping around just gets in the way and presents a tripping hazard.
Yeah, but that's because Evans is an experienced voyager more inclined to focus on Prevention, rather than a Cure that can be purchased at West Marine... :)

It's been a week since I linked to this one, so I guess it's time to do so again :)

Over the past few months we have had the pleasure of rendezvous with some highly experienced cruising sailors, folks who have each circumnavigated twice and sailed far beyond the normal routes including Noel and Litara Barrett winners of the Blue Water Medal, Alvah and Diana Simons, Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger...

If you had a look at the boats each of these remarkable people sail you’d be surprised at how Spartan their “safety gear” list appears. Each of their boats is highly geared towards efficient sailing, each has very clear deck areas and an extensive system of handholds throughout the cabin, in the cockpit and on deck, and each has all essential systems independent of electricity.

You Can?t Buy Safety | Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips
I suspect my attitude about this sort of stuff is largely 'generational', deep down... It's amazing in the context of the climate today, that when I grew up sailing as a kid on Barnegat Bay, we virtually NEVER wore PFDs... Even when racing on the bay under the auspices of the BBYRA, life jacket use was only mandated by the race committee when conditions at the start were in excess of 20-25 knots... Hard to imagine today, and I'm certainly not suggesting things were better that way, but I do believe it might have informed the perspective of sailors who grew up as I did, that it was your own hands, feet, and wits alone that were gonna keep you on the boat, and not some extraneous item of gear...

I think what we're seeing today, is an increasing percentage of sailors who have become, literally, AFRAID to leave the cockpit, or move about their boats... With the increasing popularity of halyards and other lines being led aft, many sailors are certainly have less PRACTICE moving about their decks than in 'yesteryear' :) And some seem to have convinced themselves that there is unlikely to ever be a reason to do so...

Wish I had a buck for every guy who invested tens of thousands in a Leisure-Furl system, in the mistaken belief he still wouldn't have to go forward to the mast to set the locking pin... :)
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think I am with Jon on this one, but perhaps we are just old farts happy to talk about the good old days. You do what makes sense for you and for the layout of your boat. I think there is a tendency for people to think if they do A) or B) they will be safe, end of discussion. It just is not like that in my view. Doing the kind of sailing where the use of jacklines and tethers really matters is inherently dangerous. You need to be able to assess the danger on a case-by-case basis (this is where reading all the books and forum posts makes little difference) and then respond accordingly.

Someone asked about having a jackline flat or with a turn or two. If it is flat and the wind is really honking from a certain direction we have found that webbing can resonate in the wind and really pound. This is with the jackline on deck and very high coamings.
 
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Yeah, but that's because Evans is an experienced voyager more inclined to focus on Prevention, rather than a Cure that can be purchased at West Marine... :)

It's been a week since I linked to this one, so I guess it's time to do so again :)



I suspect my attitude about this sort of stuff is largely 'generational', deep down... It's amazing in the context of the climate today, that when I grew up sailing as a kid on Barnegat Bay, we virtually NEVER wore PFDs... Even when racing on the bay under the auspices of the BBYRA, life jacket use was only mandated by the race committee when conditions at the start were in excess of 20-25 knots... Hard to imagine today, and I'm certainly not suggesting things were better that way, but I do believe it might have informed the perspective of sailors who grew up as I did, that it was your own hands, feet, and wits alone that were gonna keep you on the boat, and not some extraneous item of gear...

I think what we're seeing today, is an increasing percentage of sailors who have become, literally, AFRAID to leave the cockpit, or move about their boats... With the increasing popularity of halyards and other lines being led aft, many sailors are certainly have less PRACTICE moving about their decks than in 'yesteryear' :) And some seem to have convinced themselves that there is unlikely to ever be a reason to do so...

Wish I had a buck for every guy who invested tens of thousands in a Leisure-Furl system, in the mistaken belief he still wouldn't have to go forward to the mast to set the locking pin... :)
thats exactly the reason I should also stress that its just not generational...your age might be mostly to do with it but I can stress that I at least learned the old school way...and still think that way.

For example Im anti-tether all the time
Im anti lines led aft in MOST boats not all.
Im a firm beleiver in reducing friction, so that means less hardware, blocks, less lines led aft, less furlers, less stuff to break, keep it simple and REDUNDANT.

I know plenty of cruisers who NEVER leave the cockpit till they drop the anchor and even then they can do most of it from the cockpit...

not just a generational thing its mostly a how you were taught and how you decided to keep learning thing.

I remember getting chewed at quite effusively on another thread by some pro here who said I was a fool for sailing an old wooden boat with no lifelines...when I was younger. Despite the boat being a renowned offshore design.

lifelines werent even popular till the late 50s and early 60s...and many boats were still made sans lifelines...

in any case

I agree big time with this...

I also have a thing or issue with the westmarine catalog marina queens but thats a whole nother issue...
 
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