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Old 22-08-2012, 20:02   #16
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

They seem to trip me more than catch me. And stepping over them is a pain. I have thought about removal too. tie in if rough or solo.
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Old 22-08-2012, 20:02   #17
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Beef em up if your that worried about it. I added 4 more stanchions (8 total now) and 1/4" wire with a rope line running halfway up, netted in, all backed up by the biggest buttblocks I could fit and 316ss bolts holding it down. Not the strongest part of the boat, by far, but if i'm tied into a jackline, that plus the lifelines should help keep me on board. Also makes a really handy place to lash things onto...
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Old 22-08-2012, 20:27   #18
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Ya never use a safety line to a jackline, thats long enough to let ya go over the side more than to your waist! I use 2 safety lines 1 short and 1 longer which I use depends on where and what Im doing !! just my 2 cents
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Old 22-08-2012, 20:36   #19
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Re: Are deck lifelines a nearly complete waste?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Lifelines provide a visual clue as to where the edge of the boat is. When walking the side decks, they also provide a tactile clue since they are mounted inside the edge of the boat.

While you may never consciously recognize this in daily operation, I suspect this would be missed if the lifelines were removed.

Mark

I think you're right about that. i've noticed that when I've been on boats without them. It's not hard to climb over them, esp. at the shrouds, and mine have gates in them anyway.
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Old 23-08-2012, 09:23   #20
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

If nothing else, they serve as a warning for people not to board your boat, especially when it is at the dock- like a "don't cross this line or else" perimeter.

If you go off the boat at over 4 knots you WILL be dragged no matter how strong you are, hopefully the boat will eventually lose momentum if you are solo unless a self-steering mechanism is being used. Jacklines should be attached whenever you leave the cabin unless seas are calmish AND someone competent to get back to you is at the helm. As soon as they look away to adjust the sails or start the motor they will lose sight of you. Most people underestimate how hard it is to find someone that has just fallen off. The Coast Guard does drills on this with dummies from their medium sized cutters after waiting ten minutes, marking position wind and current and their success rate is no where near 100% (my father in law once said 50% but he tends to exaggerate.)
For a fact I can tell you once I was diving in 5 foot seas offshore when the boat came loose: I was tied to the bottom with a wreck reel and the guys came back to the spot by GPS, even though I was waving a spear gun in the air they didn't see me until I was 50 feet away, it is a very bad feeling to be floating in the ocean with no boat in sight (they thought I had freed the anchor and was hanging on the hangline until they pulled it up after eating lunch.) Further, I can't tell you how many large marker buoys I have lost over the years while fishing in three foot seas. STAY WITH THE BOAT!
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Old 23-08-2012, 14:55   #21
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

I often wonder why we don't see more rigid stainless pipe handrails like say on the Amels, on more boats.

Dave
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Old 23-08-2012, 15:30   #22
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

I think lifelines are more a psychological comfort than safety equipment. I removed them from my first boat and that may have saved me from a long, cold swim at the least. I found occasion to fall overboard while singlehanding and if the lifelines had been there I would have been flipped upside-down. As it was, I remained upright and was able to grab the boat and haul myself back aboard.

I have them now on both my boats but they are 32" high. I also run a line from the pulpit to the uppers and then to the pushpit at chest level. I feel this actually provides much more security and gives me something to hang onto as I move around the boat.
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Old 23-08-2012, 16:01   #23
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I often wonder why we don't see more rigid stainless pipe handrails like say on the Amels, on more boats. Dave
Possibly a mix of costs and looks. However, when was the last time someone replaced their life lines, rigging yes but the life lines. Our are 24 years old.

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Old 23-08-2012, 16:14   #24
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

I've always wondered why builders don't glass in pockets to the inner side of the hull extending down below decks to accept longer, more substantial stanchions. I guess one could retrofit this concept, but it would be a pain...
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Old 23-08-2012, 16:26   #25
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Lifelines are much more of a life saver than a life taker, so they're staying on my boat - and in fact being replaced this year with new, uncovered 1/19 stainless wire. I am also adding a gate on the stbd side, leaving the port side without one.

The current lifelines have fancy turnbuckles at each end, but the new ones will merely have an eye swaged on each end, a galvinized shackle placed in the eye, and tension taken by lashings fore and aft. This practice removes a wire loop around the boat that can interfere with rf and GPS signals, is lighter, cheaper, and can be detensioned with a slash of my rigging knife if needed.
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Old 23-08-2012, 16:46   #26
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

We have stainless steel wire rope lifelines on Boracay. They are essential, as mentioned above, for providing tactile and visual information about exactly where one is. We also have 1 1/4" thick walled stanchions welded to s/s pads on the deck. They support my weight and a bit more. I can put my hands on the top of them and haul myself onto the boat from a dinghy or a dock (Why must docks be so low?).

However despite their sturdiness I was never comfortable walking round the deck. I added 2" high toe rails and and this improved the feeling, but real comfort came from a good thick coating of industrial (water soluble paint with rubber particles) non-slip floor coating.

I considered jacklines but could see no way of locating them so that a realistic length tether would keep me on the boat, and was concerned that the strain put on them would be more than their breaking strain so I mounted some oversize "U" bolts well inboard.

Offshore it's the 2m tethers to 3"x5mm "U" bolts that (hopefully) keep us safe. Every time I jump round the cockpit without thinking I bless them, and every time I go into the cockpit and forget to clip on I tell myself not to be stupid.
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Old 23-08-2012, 16:47   #27
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

They act as a good balancer when you are creeping forward--just a light touch with one hand can help keep you balanced. I have seen them catch falling people. I use low-stretch line like you would use for haliards. Much stronger than wire, not prone to corrosion, super easy to replace, and useful for dinghy painters etc. when you do replace it. A lot cheaper too. Some people are using low-stretch dyneema. I think the fetish for taught lifelines is just that--why do they have to be super taught? A little give is helpful when someone falls against them. So I just tie my lifelines on. Keep your jackline as close to the centerline of your boat as possible. Mine goes from the cockpit to the mast and then forward to a central cleat. Yes, I do have to deconnect when at the mast, but there I am very protected with very strong things to hang onto, and I have my boat set up so that I rarely have to go forward of the mast in bad conditions. If you fall, it is more likely to keep you on the boat, plus you only need one jackline. I use a wide flat strap that is incredibly strong, and yet won't roll under foot. And, yes they are great for hanging laundry on--I can't imagine where I would dry my bathing suits without them!
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Old 24-08-2012, 02:29   #28
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Re: Are Deck Lifelines a Nearly Complete Waste?

Anyone else just using rope instead of wire between the stanchions?

That would be a lot simpler to replace.

Pete
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:14   #29
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Our lifelines are essential to us and we have them all netted as well. We have two little crew onboard and the lifelines help keep them onboard when we are at anchor as well.
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:14   #30
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Re: Are deck lifelines a nearly complete waste?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
But there are those who argue that jacklines have their risks too, especially if sailing solo -- you can end up being dragged behind your boat, possibly with an injury like broken ribs.

The guy whose slip is next to mine was about to get caught in what turned out to be a bad storm. He was reefing his mainsail when the first wall of wind hit the boat. He was knocked off the cabin top.

He had an offshore pfd on, and a tether. He had wrapped the tether around the mast, but it still stretched so much that he went through the lifelines almost to his waist before the tether stopped him. If he'd used his tether on a jackline he would have been off the boat ...
I think you are missing the point....

Traveling off shore, even in the best of conditions can be a nightmare if someone goes overboard without a jackline.

The problem is finding the person once they are in the water, which is hard even with small waves of three feet or near impossible in the dark. It is also very difficult to get someone back on board who is floating in open ocean. If you don't believe me try an MOB Drill off shore with a float and see if you can find it. It is not easy!

Being attached to the vessel being dragged through the water, even with broken ribs is better than floating away and hoping one of the crew sees me.

Single handed without jacklines means your boat will just sail away while you waive good bye.

Yes, Jacklines and lifelines have their limitations, but without them your risk increases.
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