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 Safety Line Anchor Points - Solo Sailing
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myersge1
Deckhand

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USA
15 Posts

Initially Posted - 07/09/2018 :  16:37:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do a lot of single-handed sailing and am always clipped into a safety line. However, that line runs from the bow cleat to one of the aft cleats. With a safety line that long, it will probably provide just enough stretch to allow me to fall over the edge and dangle upside down in the water. Not good. Therefore, I want to change to a single anchor point in the cockpit and then one or two short lines forward and then use two short tether lines so that I'm always clipped into something as I move around on deck.

Any ideas or experience on the best approach. In the cockpit, I need to be able to lean over the transom to raise, lower, and steer the outboard motor. On deck, should I have lines on each side of the sliding companionway hatch or is one good enough? How about between the mast and bow with the V-berth hatch in the way?

Peregrine
Admiral

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735 Posts

Response Posted - 07/09/2018 :  17:02:21  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You might think about where you have to get to, when and how often.
If you have roller furling you probably don't have to get to the bow that often but you might have to get to the mast more so...
Break the jack line at the mast on a stanchion base, then run another up to the bow.
Being clipped in is a good choice, it could also mean being thrown over board and "Ka-Thumping" on the side as your boat sails on.
Stay low, hang on and remember the jack line is just one safety measure.


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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Bladeswell
Captain

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USA
476 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  08:23:32  Show Profile  Visit Bladeswell's Homepage  Send Bladeswell an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi Again,

Using the bow and stern cleats for jack line anchors means that they are running at the far outside edges of the boat. Not a good idea. If you should go over, you are still attached to the boat but you are overboard. The idea is to prevent going over the side at all, so you should run your jack line (lines) as near to the center line of the boat as possible. Ocean sailors often use two tethers, one a 3 footer for moving forward and working up on deck and a 6 footer for the cockpit. The tether should never be long enough to allow you to go over the side and it should be designed specifically for the purpose. I would consider also a strong folding pad eye well backed up mounted to the cockpit sole. Just my thoughts.

Bladeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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myersge1
Deckhand

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USA
15 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  09:34:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the inputs. I like the idea of tethers of different lengths for the deck and cockpit. I was worried that a tether long enough for me to stand up in the cockpit would be too long when up on deck. Also like the idea of a folding pad eye. I would have put in a normal hard pad eye and tripped over it constantly.

Where would be the best place to anchor the safety line on deck? I figure one end anchored to the mast but where to anchor the other end due to the sliding companionway hatch? With it anchored on one side of the companionway hatch, I might not be able to reach the opposite side rail.
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5164 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  10:18:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by myersge1



Where would be the best place to anchor the safety line on deck? I figure one end anchored to the mast but where to anchor the other end due to the sliding companionway hatch?



Aye, there's the rub! Sliding hatches and pop tops aren't good anchoring points.

My suggestion is route jacklines on both sides from bow cleat to stern cleat and make a habit of always going forward on the high side. When the boat is heeling, your center of gravity will usually tend toward the low side. If you fall, the strong likelihood is that you'll fall down to the low side, rather than up to the high side. With a six foot tether on an eight foot wide boat, the tether, attached to the high side, will stop you before you go over the low side. As you move forward, you can use either the lifelines or the grab rail for support. Crouching as you move forward lowers your center of gravity and further reduces the likelihood of falling off the high side.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1714 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  13:15:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I set my jacklines up similar to Steve Milby's description. I anchor them to the bases of the bow and stern railings, routed outside everything. I clip onto the windward line with 3'&6' V-tether. When I get around to installing an anchor point in the cockpit, I plan to use a substantial stainless steel U-bolt just below the companionway opening. Could add a 2nd U-bolt at transom, or clip onto something sturdy already there.

-- Leon Sisson
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Peregrine
Admiral

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735 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  16:21:19  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"routed outside everything." ??


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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Peregrine
Admiral

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735 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  16:47:28  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote


John Gisondi
Peregrine
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Erik Cornelison
Navigator

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USA
122 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  18:21:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've thought about this very topic when I got the boat.

I have been harnessed in on my submarine in heavy weather on the deck. We had a track we slide the harness car into and could go forward and back along the deck.

Only advise I can give is I don't want to be in that kind of weather by myself with a harness on. I think the boat is too small and you would just beat yourself to death on the line.


Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5164 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  19:13:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Cornelison


Only advise I can give is I don't want to be in that kind of weather by myself with a harness on. I think the boat is too small and you would just beat yourself to death on the line.

You're right that small boats shouldn't be out at all in really severe weather, but this is about a solo sailor in moderate weather. If you set an autopilot and go to the foredeck to handle a sail, even in moderate weather, and if you trip and go over the side, the boat will sail on without you, unless you're tethered to it. If a solo sailor falls overboard, there's nobody left on board to turn the boat around to retrieve him. His only protection is to be tethered to the boat. That occurred to me one sunny day when I was sailing alone in an isolated area of the Bay, well offshore.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Peregrine
Admiral

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735 Posts

Response Posted - 07/10/2018 :  19:37:57  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After a fun, exhilarating day on the Sound in 20-25+ knots (the weather report said 30 but I think that was only in the gusts). I was reefed and the headsail was at 110 and I was still pinching like crazy in the gusts.
Got on the mooring and thought about my day. I sailed all day without a tether or PFD, and realized I was nuts.
NEW RULE!!!
When I reef the PFD gets put on and I clip in.


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7997 Posts

Response Posted - 07/11/2018 :  07:00:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How about at least a little inflatable PFD with a strobe whenever you're single-handing? You can trip on a cleat even in 5 knot wind, or you can be hit by a powerboat even when the sails aren't up. Sometimes there is no time for "following rules."

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 07/11/2018 07:03:54
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Erik Cornelison
Navigator

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USA
122 Posts

Response Posted - 07/20/2018 :  07:49:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thinking about this, I would only harness to points that are very strong: mast always as primary, stanchion as secondary, bow rail. Cleats too but some way to uncleat if needed. I would setup a system that if the boat was upside down, free hanging, you’re still strapped in and close to the boat, not strapped in and beating to death.

Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234
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Peregrine
Admiral

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735 Posts

Response Posted - 07/21/2018 :  05:55:47  Show Profile  Visit Peregrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Eric you wrote;
"but some way to uncleat if needed"
That's a given. But you don't "uncleat" you unclip your tether from the jackline. I use carabiners from my climbing days but they are subject to corrosion by the salt water.
Wichard has a line of stainless carabiners made for this application.


John Gisondi
Peregrine
#4762


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