Islander Jack

Tether to masthead?

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Yesterday in the slip I tethered myself to my jib halyard and cleated the halyard off with just enough length so that I could grab the bow roller pin with both hands.  Then I went abeam on the dock and checked my height with taught halyard.  My shoulders would be a couple inches above the rail -- pretty nice! -- and I could still get to the companionway. Yes, the walk for and aft would be outside all shrouds, but I do that, anyway.  To implement this tether I could run a long tether line through my unused spare jib halyard sheaves, maybe even use dynamic climbing rope

For tethering in the cockpit I would attach another tether to the joint of my split backstay, also high above the waterline.  When switching I could clip into the new one before releasing the old one.

I can't think of anything wrong this tether system, but I'm sure you guys can.  Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Rushman said:

Falling off the leeward side would be fun.... NOT

Well, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

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19 minutes ago, Islander Jack said:

Falling to leeward on a jackline is no fun, either.

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At least with a jack line you might be able to reach the side of the boat.  If tethering from the mast head with any heel on you could be hanging around for awhile with no way to pull yourself back to the boat.

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4 hours ago, Rushman said:

At least with a jack line you might be able to reach the side of the boat.  If tethering from the mast head with any heel on you could be hanging around for awhile with no way to pull yourself back to the boat.

Piñata?

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Don't know how big your boat is ... on little ones, that's how we careen them ...

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Run a grippy line from bow to stern tie in a double prussik, clip your harness in with carabiners and you will not fall out.  It has worked for me for 50 years.  If you imagine falling out, and visualize being held in by your harness you will prevent any tangles between your safety hookup and rigging.  Think then act.

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2 hours ago, Feisty! said:

Don't know how big your boat is ... on little ones, that's how we careen them ...

Boat is 30 ft LOA, 10 ft beam, 8600 pounds, not a tender boat, and I weigh only 152 pounds.  Still, this may be a borderline case.  Before implementing this system I should go out with a friend and jump overboard while on a beam reach in a fresh breeze.

A masthead tether would be superior in the admittedly rare case of falling overboard to weather.  Actually, on my boat I feel that weather MOB is just as likely as lee MOB.  Can't explain why, though. And I guess weather MOB is my primary motivation for a masthead tether.

Well, guess I'll stay with the standard jacklines until (and if ever) I can fully test the masthead tether.

 

1 hour ago, guerdon said:

Run a grippy line from bow to stern tie in a double prussik, clip your harness in with carabiners and you will not fall out.  It has worked for me for 50 years.  If you imagine falling out, and visualize being held in by your harness you will prevent any tangles between your safety hookup and rigging.  Think then act.

Your grippy line is a standard jackline, no?  Why grippy?  Where's the prusik?

 

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On dinghies this is called a trapeze.  It's pretty exciting when you swing out too far, but at least with a dinghy that puts you in the water and knocks the boat over, and you probably have a sheet in your hand.  On a keelboat it would suck to be drug along with no way of getting back onboard.  Even worse you'd be pulling the boat downwind, making it heel even further (until it broaches and snaps into irons, which is a new level of fun).

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On 12/11/2017 at 7:24 PM, Islander Jack said:

Yesterday in the slip I tethered myself to my jib halyard and cleated the halyard off with just enough length so that I could grab the bow roller pin with both hands.  Then I went abeam on the dock and checked my height with taught halyard.  My shoulders would be a couple inches above the rail -- pretty nice! -- and I could still get to the companionway. Yes, the walk for and aft would be outside all shrouds, but I do that, anyway.  To implement this tether I could run a long tether line through my unused spare jib halyard sheaves, maybe even use dynamic climbing rope

For tethering in the cockpit I would attach another tether to the joint of my split backstay, also high above the waterline.  When switching I could clip into the new one before releasing the old one.

I can't think of anything wrong this tether system, but I'm sure you guys can.  Thoughts?

Have you thought about what can happen if you capsize and that line gets caught on some of the rigging?  You can become the bait on a really big fishing pole...................

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Or slipping while on windward side and flying head first, backwards, initially into mast, then, with broken neck, bouncing or swinging in front of, or between mast and forestay,  trapped to leward...  Go try your theories on a dingy with traps before you come to any conclusions and if you do try, notify the darwin people before hand.  

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True story - There was a much older cruising couple sailing around the world, probably 20 years ago now...

The old boy went up the mast mid Indian Ocean for some reason, tied himself off, then had a heart attack and died... There was literally nothing she could do to save him, or bring him down.

The poor old girl had to sail alone, from memory, over 1,000 miles to Cape Town with the old boy flopping around at the mast head... Sea birds took a liking to him and paid him regular visits, things were pretty ugly by the time they arrived in Cape Town...

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I don't understand why people try to come up with new ways to do things safer.  

You should never ever clip into a leeward jackline.  There are 1/2 a dozen other options to choose from that don't run down the side of the boat that's half under water.   

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On 12/12/2017 at 1:01 PM, Islander Jack said:

Boat is 30 ft LOA, 10 ft beam, 8600 pounds, not a tender boat, and I weigh only 152 pounds.  Still, this may be a borderline case.  Before implementing this system I should go out with a friend, who knows how to operate most everything on your boat, and jump overboard while on a beam reach in a fresh breeze.

A masthead tether would be superior in the admittedly rare case of falling overboard to weather.  Actually, on my boat I feel that weather MOB is just as likely as lee MOB.  Can't explain why, though. And I guess weather MOB is my primary motivation for a masthead tether.

Well, guess I'll stay with the standard jacklines until (and if ever) I can fully test the masthead tether.

 

Your grippy line is a standard jackline, no?  Why grippy?  Where's the prusik?

 

Fixed it for ya.. and you might want to write him into your will ;)

 

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On 21/12/2017 at 4:36 PM, Merit 25 said:

I don't understand why people try to come up with new ways to do things safer.   

Because every once in a while new things to do things safer actually are an improvement. That's how come we have all this harnesses and stuff people didn't used to have.

Trying to think of new and better ways of doing things is a good idea. So is posting your ideas on a forum or whatever so that other folks can point out the flaws. The only things that are foolish are implementing things that are obviously flawed because you can't bear to put down your new idea, and believing that everything is perfect and no improvements can ever be made.

 

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I wasn't trying to suggest improvements cannot be made.  Only that proper seamanship/common sense should determine where someone tethers off.  Every single argument that says 2 meter tethers are dangerous, jacklines that are run down the sides are dangerous, and yet every video I've seen has people tethering into the low side of the boat, and then they throw the dummy overboard and say look, it got wet.  Point being, tether into a location where you won't fall overboard.  No need to swing from a halyard or redesign your jacklines.  

Last thing I want working on the bow in bad conditions is another string to manage. 

 

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On 12/26/2017 at 8:39 AM, Merit 25 said:

I wasn't trying to suggest improvements cannot be made. 

Then you should have written better.  Perhaps, " I don't understand why people try to come up with new ways to do things safer when they don't even employ known, safer techniques."  But then that would have been an obvious strawman argument.

 

To the usual core group of snarky Anarchists (not necessarily Merit25):  You cut down every new member and every fresh question/suggestion/idea, no matter its value, whether it's presented with humility or pride.  This is how you entertain each other and re-confirm your tribal membership.  It's not just SA.  Virtually every special-interest website evolves to this.  In the next phase people who might have joined the site look to other sites where lower expertise is compensated by more cooperation.  The site gets no fresh blood, and the core group, lacking fodder for its disparagement engine, moves on to discussing news and politics rather than the special interest for which the site was created.  If you're here for exclusive tribal  membership, maybe it's time for you to move over to PA and let others, perhaps less knowledgeable, respond to the fresh blood's naive posts.

Now, before the core snarkists tell me to fuck off...   Fuck off.

 

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There was an article from Sail Magazine quoted in another thread about a recent mob recovery. The article and the poster were only suggesting a fresh look at safety practices but got shot down pretty hard. I forget the name of the thread but read the article and came away with a more firm hunch that this is a bad idea. 

Here's my take. 

When you're moving forward in rough weather its natural to grab hand holds down low, or at least lower your centre of gravity by bending knees in shock absorber mode. Having your jack line down low  moving in relation to the deck is probably going to complement your natural instinct to get down low.

Now if you add a third point of connection that is not the deck...yourself, the deck, and now the third connection point, the mast, may or may not move in correlation in rough seas. I see the distinct possibility of inadvertently becoming a human marionette if you move one way while the mast moves the other way. It's natural, when the boat heels, to move up the tilted deck surface, not down. This means you'll be naturally inclined to move in the opposite direction of a swinging, dynamic connection point. 

 

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Here's another example of being yanked backwards. (Which is a likely scenario with a topping lift type harness)

My friend crews on his uncle's 57ft circumnavigator. They got the furling messed up, he climbed the forestay. He was harnessed to the jacklines at deck level, mistakenly hung on to the clew and got blown beyond the reach of his harness line, got snapped back and almost didn't live to tell about it. Luckily they sorted it out and he came away with some bumps and bruises. 

So with the idea of a harness from above...the same possibility of being snapped backward, but this time OFF the deck surface. You lose your foot to deck connection for even a second and your swinging (think mountain climbing). If your gonna get yanked, hopefully it's toward the deck, not away or off of it. 

One last observation...in order to measure the length of the harness, if you are able to reach the bow in mid crouch position, it will be slack mid ship. 

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OK, more evidence that masthead tether is a bad idea.  I feel protected from both leeward and weather MOB when tethered to my spin pole ring and it would have been nice to extend that range, but no.  Back to jacklines, and getting hung up by the lazy sheet when going to the headstay, etc.

 

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After much thought I decided to continue to use fixed points only, no jackline.  It's a small boat and the points are not so far apart.  And I've decided to stick with my non-locking carabiner at the far end, put small rope loops through the hard points, and clip to those loops so that the hard points can't distort or unclip the carabiner.

 

My next humbly-asked question is about my harness-to-tether connection.  It will definitely remain quick-release, but my current geometry looks just terrible:

tether2harness.jpg.5932166233a307ed848f1af9ce2ce8a8.jpg

The D-rings, with their nearly opposing geometry, are practically daring the snap shackle to open.  And I see that the available harnesses aren't any better.  What is everybody else doing about this?  A carabiner between the D-rings and the snap shackle would help, but donning and doffing the harness will be more troublesome.  Maybe build a harness with one D-ring and one snap shackle, so that, fully assembled, two snap shackles -- one from the other side of the harness and one from the tether -- clip to one D-ring?

By the way, based on Practical Sailor advice I just bought some 8.5 mm climbing half-rope.  Gear Express is selling 20m for less than $40.

 

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Look at the single soft point attachments on Spinlock and Mustang Survival inflatable PFD/deck harness.

 

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I couldn't find a Mustang Survival sing-point attachment but I found this $189 Spinlock Deck Pro Harness:

image.png.d5930d84e99ff8696f37c085eff6ab83.png

Something to think about.  Thanks, Ronin.

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