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 Lifeline Netting

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Khaine Posted - 11/04/2021 : 11:36:42

With a couple kids under 10 aboard our C250, I've been considering adding lifeline netting. Has anyone added netting to their boat? Any tips, tricks or issues to report? Unfortunately without a toe rail I think it will just be attached to the stanchion bases (and the lifeline).

Of course this won't be a replacement for PFDs and other precautions while underway (ie. staying in the cockput unless with an adult).
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csmcg Posted - 12/27/2021 : 11:46:24
I am sorry that I am unable to provide any advice regarding netting as this is something that we did not attempt.

We harnessed and tethered our two young children (and ourselves, depending upon conditions) to a centerline jack-line in the cockpit. The girls were only allowed to go forward when we were at anchor or with permission and tethered while sailing.

Regards, Chris
Stinkpotter Posted - 11/04/2021 : 21:35:28
From C-250 photos I just looked at, that's a long stretch from the stern rail to the cabin stanchion. Loose-footed netting probably won't hold an 8-year-old projectile, and I'm concerned that it could create false security. If you don't add tie-downs at maybe three or more points between, you might be better off without it, so the kids don't think the nets make them safe and behave accordingly. My kids (both starting before age 10) sailed with us on an O'Day 17' Daysailer, with a much shallower cockpit, no lifelines, and a cuddy cabin--on Long Island Sound. The rules were clear and the risks were understood--maybe helped by it being a smaller boat.

Also, keep them in the cockpit when not tied up or at anchor. I've been told "Good luck with that--it can't be done." I will debate that--anywhere, any time. (And nobody waste their time telling me kids are different now.)

Something that helped in our case was engaging the kids in the sailing of the boat--figuring out where the wind was coming from, handling the tiller, adjusting the mainsheet, filling the mainsail, tacking... (The jib on a 25-footer is a more advanced topic, for a few reasons.) It can be surprising how early they can get intrigued by being moved by the wind...

Curmudgeon out and standing by on 1-6.

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