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Old 30-04-2016, 15:21   #16
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Sully75,

28 footer, sailing mostly singlehanded to Newfoundland, eh?

YMMV, but I would prefer to have the lifelines, just in case. If you are using hank on headsails, especially so, and with lacing, so you've a chance of capturing an "escapee" heads'l. (Had one try to consign itself to the briny deep on our SF - HI crossing. It was quite a handful to retrieve, for the two of us.)

You'll be surprised how often you want to do *stuff* and are not tethered at the time. If you're no longer young and fit, then I would extend the lacing all 'round the boat. This is all assuming you want to live to tell the tale. If not, forget the recommendation.

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Old 30-04-2016, 15:34   #17
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

I have just replaced the two top guard rails and plan to do the lowers next winter as I can't be sure how old they are. Perhaps original which makes them 28 years old, too much for me so replacing them. The life lines on the deck will also be replaced for the same reasons.

The lacing that Ann refers to is interesting. Originally fitted to stop the Pug going over board, but it has also stopped a shed load of other stuff going splash over the last 4 years. Lastly we don't put the fenders away any more, no need just drop them on the side deck and the netting holds them in place. Now into its 5th year I have removed it as its starting to break up and am considering replacing it. One final advantage to netting, everyone thinks we have kids on board so don't generally raft up to us, in a country were rafting is essential in busy harbours.



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Old 30-04-2016, 16:45   #18
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Ann has a good point about the lacing. It's something which we do on a lot of the racing boats, as all of the headsails are fitted with bolt ropes, for the foil headstays.
Ergo, it makes them easier to contain if you're shorthanded/have less than world class bowmen.

You hang a heavy weight on the lifelines back aft before you start, so that when you're putting the lacing on, it doesn't pull the lifelines down/too tight. And then use 4mm+/- cord, in an X-pattern, between the toe rail & the top line.
Then, if you want to be serious about it, you put in a clove hitch wherever the lacing crosses one of the lifelines. Upper & lower.

So they can be handy for boats with furlers too, for the exact same reason racers use them. As once you drop a sail out of a foil, the only things holding it onto the boat, are the sheets, & the tack fitting. Thus, anything which helps you to keep a handle on it, is usually welcomed. Albeit, they add a tiny bit of windage, but...

That's also why I'm such a fan of the racing style, jib storage bags. They're the length of the sail's foot (J dimension), & have a zipper which runs the full length of the top of the bag.
So to use them, you completely unzip the bag, & lay it out flat on deck, sometimes with a tie down or three, to hold it in place. Then you flake the sail into it, & zip it up. Followed by folding it into thirds, & using some of it's attached sail ties, in order to secure it in this configuration.

And from there, it's pretty easy to either; drag it back to the weather rail, so that it's on standby for the next sail change. Or take it below, & stow it.
And with the sail being folded into 1/3 of it's length, they fit in most any spare berth. Ready to go whenever you need them.

Oh, & often, the ends of the bag are color coded, so that it's easy to discern which sail is which, at a glance. Plus, of course, the sail's designation is written on the bag's end(s) in large print, too.
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Old 30-04-2016, 17:02   #19
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Thanks, uncivilized, I did not mean kiddy netting, I did mean lacing, as you described.

For our PJ, we made on-deck storage bags from sunbrella. One seam had ports for the sail ties, which stayed through the toerail, and the bag hanked on with jib hanks. The zips, with flaps to prevent uv damage, ran on the other 3 sides. Tied the sail down, then folded the head aft, and the foot forward, and zipped away. Quick, easy, and kept them above decks on a smaller boat.

Now, back to the OP.

A question for you to consider: why would you remove your existing lifelines? If it is time for replacement, we're quite content with dyneema instead of s/s.

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Old 30-04-2016, 17:26   #20
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Personally, I wouldn't. But, I sail 99.5 % of my time solo sailing and any advantage I can keep from going over, I'll take.
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Old 30-04-2016, 17:34   #21
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

I would not sail offshore without lifelines.
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Old 01-05-2016, 00:12   #22
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Those glorious J Boats don't have lifelines but what's the big deal if a couple of crew go overboard each race-only rail meat, plenty more where they came from, give their wives a few hundred grand and sail on.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:31   #23
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Those glorious J Boats don't have lifelines but what's the big deal if a couple of crew go overboard each race-only rail meat, plenty more where they came from, give their wives a few hundred grand and sail on.
I can tell you that most of them aren't the easiest things to turn around in a hurry, should you need to. Especially given the complexity of some of the sails which they have/fly, as well as the size of same.
They ain't small boats, & you've gotta' stay focused when you're on'em. As going swimming is far less dangerous than some of the other things on them.
Though they are nice to drag a date out for a sail on.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:39   #24
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

I think it depends on the height of the lifelines. The 24", knee-high lifelines seen on many boats are more of a hazard than an asset. They will merely turn you upside down on your way over the rail.
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:34   #25
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I can tell you that most of them aren't the easiest things to turn around in a hurry, should you need to. Especially given the complexity of some of the sails which they have/fly, as well as the size of same.
They ain't small boats, & you've gotta' stay focused when you're on'em. As going swimming is far less dangerous than some of the other things on them.
Though they are nice to drag a date out for a sail on.
I have every link on the net for videos of the Js. I have a pair of them as my desktop background. I could be your date for a day if you like
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:46   #26
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

We don't touch our life lines when going fwd, don't want to flex the bases and its a matter of honor but they are there and will stay because we need to dry the washing.
It takes along time to turn a boat around solo so anything that helps with our golden rule (all crew must stay on the boat) is considered an asset.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:09   #27
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

My lifelines are worth their weight in gold as my Blue Performance cup holder is attatched to them. I take my cup holders seriously...
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:16   #28
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Just wondering. Anyone sailing without lifelines? I'm about to replace some stanchions and my lifelines and pondering their actual use. I'm installing a really strong jackline and harness system which seems more likely to actually prevent going over the side (heavy dyneema jacklines and short tethers).


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Lifelines wont prevent you going overboard. You would be surprised how often you use them without realizing it.

Video yourself on a typical outing. If you never touch them and are tethered 100% of the time then maybe you could remove them.

We would never remove ours. There are many use cases other than just sailing where they are damn useful. Getting in and off, hanging our water filters, attaching shades, etc.

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Old 01-05-2016, 13:04   #29
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Ok ok. I was pondering because my boat looks pretty amazing without lifelines and stanchions while I have them removed. Plus at 24" I do ponder if they might be more effective at tripping me than keeping me on board. Plus I'm trying to make a harness system that will be easy to use almost all the time.

But I think you all convinced me it's not a great idea.


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Old 01-05-2016, 13:49   #30
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

I tossed my lifelines last year but replaced them with a hard handrail. Never felt safer on a boat.
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