Rigging Jacklines

estarzinger

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^^ except, unfortunately, where spinlock has chosen to place it on the vest makes it extremely difficult to access when the bladder is inflated. There have been a couple incidents where a sailor found it impossible (fortunately no-one has died from that yet . . . . but we do of course have the UU incident where the spinlock bladders failed).

The reason the spinlock was designed as it is (with a cowhitched tether to a webbing loop and a hidden knife) is because pro racing sailors using grinders wanted as little metal as possible on the other guys chest - they would hit their knuckles on the kong/gibb type clips.

If you use "two-up" grinders on your boat that might be a consideration, but most of us do not.

"Most" authorities would suggest both a 'release under load' shackle on the harness end of the tether and a knife is the safety best practice.

Regarding the spinlock knife itself . . . .

It is not clear to me if the spinlock knife is generally useful on deck or really only specific to cutting webbing. I am guessing that it would be considered specific to cutting webbing and you might want to carry a more general purpose knife also. But I would be interested in hearing from a knife 'expert' on this? Will it quickly cut a 12mm vectran halyard or is a 'regular' blade better for that.

And . . . does the spinlock hook actually meet the various knife requirements and recommendations (just for instance ISAF requirement 5.05 A knife, one shall be supplied to each crew member to be worn on the person at all times) or do you need another 'general purpose knife' to meet these requirements? I suspect most crew have (would be required to have) an additional general purpose knife, simply because they do not wear their vests all the time, and the kinfe is required 'at all times', but I have not seen this come up in an inspection yet.

 
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slug zitski

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The reason you use a cutter is because a human only has two hands..one hand holding on to the boat the other Hand cutting free.

Additionaly an open blade may damage your vest air bladder or life raft. A pull cutter wont.

Always station a pull cutter at your liferaft pennant

 
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estarzinger

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^^

Slug (or anyone else), does/can the spinlock pull knife cut a 12mm vectran halyard (or sheet) easily? I am honestly interested. That would be my personal test whether it is minimally adequate as a general purpose knife (meeting the various recommendations and requirements). Perhaps I will have to get one and try it if no-one else knows.

And Slug (or anyone else), what fraction of life raft pennants are webbing vs rope (the ones I am familiar with have all used rope)? Again, it would be interesting to know. 'Most' rafts have a knife in their kit, located near the door, and 'most' of those knives are standard fixed blade knives. But that may well have to do with cost rather than optimal function.

The issue of puncturing the raft is certainly potentially/theoretically valid, although I have not heard of it happening in the real world. Interestingly, there have been a couple real world cases where people have used a regular knife (not pull/hook) intentionally to puncture a pfd bladder, in order to save themselves (a couple when trapped under water and can't swim out with the bladder inflated, and a couple stupid cases when wearing the pfd under a jacket and it inflated and almost cruised the persons chest).

And Slug, at least in my experience, a 'normal blade' knife has no problem cutting a loaded line one handed. You only need a second hand if the line is not loaded. And the difficult tether situations we (or at least I) have been talking about are with a loaded tether.
 
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slug zitski

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Unless you are carring a push button switchblade then you need Two hands. To open it , then two hands to close it.

I have no idea if a pull cutter will slice a piece a vectran, it certainly will cut a life harness tether or a life raft pennant

Ive never seen a web liferaft pennant, always rope and They are not Particularly strong..something like 1500 lb.

 

bluelaser

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^^

Slug (or anyone else), does/can the spinlock pull knife cut a 12mm vectran halyard (or sheet) easily? I am honestly interested. That would be my personal test whether it is minimally adequate as a general purpose knife (meeting the various recommendations and requirements). Perhaps I will have to get one and try it if no-one else knows.

And Slug (or anyone else), what fraction of life raft pennants are webbing vs rope (the ones I am familiar with have all used rope)? Again, it would be interesting to know. 'Most' rafts have a knife in their kit, located near the door, and 'most' of those knives are standard fixed blade knives. But that may well have to do with cost rather than optimal function.

The issue of puncturing the raft is certainly potentially/theoretically valid, although I have not heard of it happening in the real world. Interestingly, there have been a couple real world cases where people have used a regular knife (not pull/hook) intentionally to puncture a pfd bladder, in order to save themselves (a couple when trapped under water and can't swim out with the bladder inflated, and a couple stupid cases when wearing the pfd under a jacket and it inflated and almost cruised the persons chest).

And Slug, at least in my experience, a 'normal blade' knife has no problem cutting a loaded line one handed. You only need a second hand if the line is not loaded. And the difficult tether situations we (or at least I) have been talking about are with a loaded tether.

The problem with using a cutting hook for 12mm anything is a lot of them aren't big enough to take a 12mm line into the hook. However we did find in testing that cutting any uncovered vectran/dyneema/etc was far easier than cutting any sort of poly cover(not really surprising, but always aim for the tapered part!)

Unloaded is going to be a problem no matter what you're using as a cutting blade.

The biggest problem with the cutting hooks is the lack of sawing action. However with a knife it is easy to pull the knife over the line/webbing in the wrong direction without putting enough pressure on the line/webbing when it's dark(not to mention the stabbing yourself bit)

I did find this knife searching around the internet one day, looks like the best of both worlds to me: http://www.outdoorplay.com/NRS-Captain-Kayak-Folding-Rescue-Knife

NRS-Captain-Kayak-Folding-Rescue-Knives-st.jpg


However I HATE the lockback system for locking the blade open. Can't be closed with one hand without cutting yourself.

I carry a Myerchin A500 fixed blade on my harness(climbing harness) with the sheath attached to the thigh strap, which put it low enough to be out of the way for most things but very easy to pull and use. Also had a leatherman on the tool loop of the harness, and now I typically have an Emerson CQC-7(wave feature, incredibly slick opening) in an outer pocket of whatever I'm wearing. If I can't get through it with one of the 4 knives and the cutting hook in that setup I have bigger issues.


Unless you are carring a push button switchblade then you need Two hands. To open it , then two hands to close it.
Wrong. Almost every folder on the market is designed to be opened with one hand, unless it's a swiss army knife. And depending on the lock system you should be able to close it with one hand. Benchmade's Axis lock is one handed, the frame lock that Leatherman, Emerson, CRKT, Kershaw, Spyderco(sometimes) and almost everyone else uses is designed to be one handed.

And my Emersons(with no spring system in them at all) are both way quicker to open than any assisted or full auto knife on the market when starting from in the pocket.



 
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estarzinger

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Evans,

can you post a link to the ceramic knife with the marlinspike? I've been looking for that combination in a sailing knife.

Thanks, Eric
Boye Cobalt Folding knife

Get the "sheepsfoot" rather than the "pointed tip" blade (to slugs point about accidents)

It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good.

There are a lot of good knives out there. The key is to get one, and a carrying method, so you actually carry and use it. I would guess that 90% of the knives bought end up in a drawer. The Boye is light enough so I don't feel it around my neck, but a serious enough knife for real use, and the neck carry works for any clothing.

And Slug, I see BlueLaser has corrected you about one hand open and close. It is very widely available, but the various brands and models do differ in exactly how easy it is. As I mentioned, its one of the reasons I like the ceramic blade, because the hinge will never get stiff(er) from corrosion, even despite owner neglect.

How big (diameter) a line (not webbing) will fit in the spinlock hook?

 
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Trevor B

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Regarding the original topic of jackline locations.

On medium size boats with cabins, I think the best place to attach the forward jackline is outboard of the cabin top winches, so they run just below the handrails, running inside the shrouds to the tack point of the spinnaker staysail, or some other point on centerline at least a meter aft of the bow. This allows you to move from the cockpit to the bow without much risk of going over the side. It's a bit of a bummer to go inside the shrouds on those boats with inboard shrouds, but I think it's much safer.

The main advantage of this system is that if you have sails stacked on the rail, like in a race to Mexico or Hawaii, the jackline is not pinned under the stack.

In the cockpit I like a single jackline on centerline since it lets the trimmer move around freely with little risk of going over the side.

 

Schnick

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Each boat is different though. I would go inside on my boat except that the jacklines get pinched in the blocks for the german mainsheet setup, and the forward legs of that mainsheet make it hard to go inside the shrouds.

 

Merit 25

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I'm a big fan of fixed blades when it comes to a rescue/safety knife. When it hits the fan, you don't have time to dig into your pocket or open a folder.

The one that Trevor B posted is very similar to my cheap dive knife that's lashed to my vest.

 

NoStrings

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I found the Spinlock cutter to be next to useless vs. 1" webbing, and virtually any diameter of Amsteel.

Btw Slug, I carry a folding Gerber that comes out of my pocket open.

 

NoStrings

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Regarding the original topic of jackline locations.

On medium size boats with cabins, I think the best place to attach the forward jackline is outboard of the cabin top winches, so they run just below the handrails, running inside the shrouds to the tack point of the spinnaker staysail, or some other point on centerline at least a meter aft of the bow. This allows you to move from the cockpit to the bow without much risk of going over the side. It's a bit of a bummer to go inside the shrouds on those boats with inboard shrouds, but I think it's much safer.

The main advantage of this system is that if you have sails stacked on the rail, like in a race to Mexico or Hawaii, the jackline is not pinned under the stack.

In the cockpit I like a single jackline on centerline since it lets the trimmer move around freely with little risk of going over the side.
+1. Some minds think alike. I also have two hard points at the helm. I don't want my driver dragging behind the damn boat.

 

slug zitski

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The spin pole , when hung on the mast and fixed forward to the pulpit, lifelines, makes a fine life harness tether point an is always clear of foredeck sails

Streering wheel hubs , with an eye welded on the nut, make a fine helmsmans tether point.

I dont like tether points on the cockpit sole...very dangerous if a crew gets tangled in a running sheet.

On some boats the staysail track, with an extra car , makes a fine tether point for mast work

Working on the boom when reefing is difficult. Thought should be placed on this issue.....tether points shoud be on the boom.

 

NoStrings

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When I read the bit about tethering to the spin pole, I just laughed. Then when I read your proposal for tether points on the boom...I had to ask "are you serious?"

 

blackjenner

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Here is what we did on Brigadoon a couple years ago. They are due for replacement -- that will happen, along with some upgrades, this spring.

IMG_6877.JPG


IMG_6881.JPG


They are currently made of 4000lb test nylon tubular webbing. I do have a couple knots in it, which reduces the strength but, that will be remedied with...

The next version, which will be dyneema core with the nylon webbing stitched over it.

At first, I wondered if the height above the foredeck (knee height) would be a problem, but I figured that I'd find out in testing. It wasn't a problem to step over it. I don't like rushing around the foredeck anyway and, when I have to step over, it's never been an issue.

The system is mostly centered and, since it's off the deck we can reach it easily without bending over.

I'm also going to make my own dyneema tethers, like Evans shared earlier.

 
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Slick470

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BJ, if you have the length, it may be better to loop around the mast instead of going through the vang bail. For some reason that looks like the weak point if you were to take a whipper. You could also get it a bit lower on the fordeck then?

 

EXO

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The problem with all this [email protected] stuff is that its all pretty much based on theory so is a tad on the BS side of town! In this case, not too many folks have been dragged through the water at 6+ knots on the end of a teather, let alone cut themselves loose, so not a lot of expertise. So people hear what sounds like a pretty good idea, like being able to get un-hooked, and say "oh yeah, how 'bout this Tylaska I have, that would be great" For those of you who have actually used a Tylaska, say on a spinaker guy, you already know that the only way to safely un-hook one, under load, is with a fid. Doing so with your finger is a good way to break said finger. Now think about being towed through the water by the finger you stuck in that Tylaska, if you still have it...not pretty!

Take it all with a grain of salt, and stay with the boat!

 

Monkey

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When I read the bit about tethering to the spin pole, I just laughed. Then when I read your proposal for tether points on the boom...I had to ask "are you serious?"
At least he's consistent. I haven't found much of anything he's said that makes much sense.

 




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