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Old 01-05-2016, 14:26   #31
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Sully,

If you're comfortable with the thought of no lifelines, leave them off. After five years of cruising in our own boat (which included a trip around Newfoundland, BTW), my wife keeps asking me to remove them. Lifelines or not, on a Triton at sea, solo, I would be clipped in in all but the quietest weather. Unless they're really high, lifelines IMO offer a false sense of security. Better to not have the illusion of safety and be safe by clipping in religiously. Of far more value than lifelines is a high bulwark, or at the very least a deep toerail. The 8-inch bulwarks on our boat do a lovely job of containing nearly everything--if you're not fussy about looks you can rig up a ghetto one using some wood and the existing stanchion bases, maybe with the stanchion sawed off at bulwark height.
If you're about to be swayed by popular opinion, remember that it's your boat, your trip, your life--you should do what you think best, regardless of other people's idea of prudence. You wouldn't believe how many sailors, both experienced and armchair, get passionate about the necessity of a dodger, when I and others have sailed thousands of miles from the tropics to northern Newfoundland and never wanted one. Just saying: find what works for you and don't worry about anyone else.
Ben
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PS. lots of pics of Newfoundland on my website/blog. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the place.
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Old 02-05-2016, 16:36   #32
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
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.
I have solid rails not wire.
I raised the height of my railings from 2 foot to 3 foot and added an interior rail at the same height and a mast pulpit, I can assist balance with either hand and wedge myself in at the mast on either tack. I'm planning to add lacing between my lower rail and the bulwark.
I am a stronger believer in life lines then tethers.
By the way I've gone over a life line once and below one once. The life line did flip me when I went over, but it also slowed me down just enough to grab on. Luckily I was much younger and never hit the water but was able to stay aboard. I don't think at my current age and condition I'd be able to do the same again.
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Old 02-05-2016, 18:11   #33
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

I would be surprised if sailing boat lifelines actually stopped a 100 kg body flying through the air. The height is too low, the gaps between lines too great and the attachment points too weak. As a steadying aid, a hand hold a restraint for people on or near the rail, a reminder where the edge of the boat is, lifelines do a great job.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:17   #34
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by sailor1924 View Post
I have solid rails not wire.
I raised the height of my railings from 2 foot to 3 foot and added an interior rail at the same height and a mast pulpit, I can assist balance with either hand and wedge myself in at the mast on either tack. I'm planning to add lacing between my lower rail and the bulwark.
I am a stronger believer in life lines then tethers.
By the way I've gone over a life line once and below one once. The life line did flip me when I went over, but it also slowed me down just enough to grab on. Luckily I was much younger and never hit the water but was able to stay aboard. I don't think at my current age and condition I'd be able to do the same again.
Just pointing out you seem to be making a case for tethers > lifelines!

Also you have one of my dream boats!
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:27   #35
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Sully,

If you're comfortable with the thought of no lifelines, leave them off. After five years of cruising in our own boat (which included a trip around Newfoundland, BTW), my wife keeps asking me to remove them. Lifelines or not, on a Triton at sea, solo, I would be clipped in in all but the quietest weather. Unless they're really high, lifelines IMO offer a false sense of security. Better to not have the illusion of safety and be safe by clipping in religiously. Of far more value than lifelines is a high bulwark, or at the very least a deep toerail. The 8-inch bulwarks on our boat do a lovely job of containing nearly everything--if you're not fussy about looks you can rig up a ghetto one using some wood and the existing stanchion bases, maybe with the stanchion sawed off at bulwark height.
If you're about to be swayed by popular opinion, remember that it's your boat, your trip, your life--you should do what you think best, regardless of other people's idea of prudence. You wouldn't believe how many sailors, both experienced and armchair, get passionate about the necessity of a dodger, when I and others have sailed thousands of miles from the tropics to northern Newfoundland and never wanted one. Just saying: find what works for you and don't worry about anyone else.
Ben
zartmancruising dot com
PS. lots of pics of Newfoundland on my website/blog. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the place.
Hi Ben,

If I make it to Newfoundland it will be with copies of your charts (I met you in Newport a couple years back and made copies of what you had, remember?)

THanks for the encouragement. I'll probably reinstall the lifelines mostly because I don't have time to really think out the implications of not having them thoroughly. I like your budget bulwarks idea, I've thought about that before. Not sure I'll have time as the clock is ticking. I'm hoping to leave Baltimore June 1 and currently have the boat torn apart entirely.

If I anchor in Newport I'll look you up. Looks like Cape May to Block Island and then on from there though. Hope all is well. I enjoyed reading your blog.

Paul
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:39   #36
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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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There are plenty of smaller yachts and daysailers without them. Though, class rules of any racing fleet demands lifejackets must be worn at all times in such a case. (I am talking about Aus btw).

For day sailing on lakes and small "non-tidal" waterways, I dont really see a problem. Though sailing offshore and doing overnighters would be questionable to say the least.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:08   #37
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pirate Re: Eliminating lifelines?

The first boat (1985) I owned.. which was timber and a restoration in large part had no stanchions & wires.. no worries at all.. but I was a lot younger and fitter with ace sense of balance and a quick mover. Same with my 2 Wharram cats.
However now I'm a senior/old bugga I find them useful as an emergency grab support in confused sea's which bounce the boat around unpredictably despite my good sense of balance.. my arrogant self confidence is not all it once was..
On my current boat I do not have wires tho'.. instead they are rod rails.. no snags to rip ones palm's open and no rusting.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:18   #38
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Just because someone doesn't like having someone else telling him to do or not do something doesn't mean what they need to do is wrong or right, i.e. a rules making or regulation making group telling me that I have to have lifelines (or anything else) is not a good reason to get in a snit and not do it just because of that.

Or maybe I misunderstood. My vote is to have lifelines because they are a bloody good thing to have. I would not crew on or own a boat without them. I like them for all the reasons given above. They have saved my butt many times and they are good for all those reasons, except for using as something to lean on while peeing off the side of the boat. That's not a good use. But that's just me.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:37   #39
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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...I was pondering because my boat looks pretty amazing without lifelines and stanchions...
As a single-handed sailor you should reexamine your priorities.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:39   #40
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Maggie-
Let's face it, this is the cruisers' forum. If we didn't have lifelines, wtf would we hang wet laundry to dry?!


Don't let all this safety chatter distract you from the real important issues. I'm not putting one of those clothing-hangar-go-round thingies up on top of the cockpit, no sir. Lifelines and clothespins, that's how we can tell a racer from a cruiser.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:52   #41
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Lifelines saved my life.

It was 1987. I was crewing on a C&C44 doing a fall racing series. The winds were up that day and we anticipated sailhandling challenges, so we called up every sailing friend we had. There were more than a dozen of us. We won the race on elapsed time, but were circling near the finish line to see if we cleared our handicap. The cockpit was full and I stood on the side-deck watching the race and enjoying a snack. I didn't see it coming.

The boat crash-jibed unexpectedly (I wasn't the helmsman, I don't know what he was thinking) and the full force of the boom swinging almost 180 degrees hit me in the side of my head. I was knocked unconscious and my body thrown against the lifelines. I had a convulsive seizure from the concussion. Several of those on board thought I was certainly dead. All agreed that I would have been if it had not been for the lifelines.

No, we weren't cruising. Yes, I should have been paying better attention and I certainly should have ducked. But jack-lines would have been out of the question with more than a dozen of us crewing (can you imagine??). Given the small cost ($, windage?, ?) and potential large benefit (lifesaving) I would argue to keep lifelines.
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Old 04-05-2016, 14:01   #42
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Maggie-
Let's face it, this is the cruisers' forum. If we didn't have lifelines, wtf would we hang wet laundry to dry.

You can tell a cruiser from a racer by the clothes pins on the cruiser's life lines. 😀



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Old 04-05-2016, 20:40   #43
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Never crew on a boat without lifelines, huh? So that offer to crew a J boat at St Barths is just totally out of the question.
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Old 04-05-2016, 22:12   #44
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Some of the J-boats have removable stanchions and lifelines for deliveries.
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Old 04-05-2016, 22:50   #45
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Re: Eliminating lifelines?

Lifelines as they are in most boats are not just pretty useless but plain dangerous IMHO. Two wires wide apart, one too low to keep you from tipping over and another too high to prevent being washed under. False security.. If you going to have them make them proper.

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