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Old 07-09-2016, 11:12   #31
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Never tried it, But my belief is that clipping into the windward jack-line with proper length tether will keep my body on deck.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:18   #32
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

Never tried to pull myself aboard under those circumstances but rescued 3 sailors once pulling them aboard a 23 footer with lifelines. The last one cost a shoulder tendon. Still hurts after 30 yrs.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:49   #33
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
Never tried it, But my belief is that clipping into the windward jack-line with proper length tether will keep my body on deck.
True, but you are probably more likely to fall off the leeward...
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:59   #34
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

tethering aside i also rig a trip line to my wind vane that if reached will let the boat come to weather and stop
usually dragged behind boat i have seen harness and hardware fail when 200 lbs is caught in the momentum of a green wave going down the deck
fortunately i have no stanchions to injure me on the way over and only 24" of free board on 70' so getting back on is no problem
learned this mid Atlantic saving a turtle from a net
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:22   #35
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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True, but you are probably more likely to fall off the leeward...
I believe that's why you clip into the windward jackline...
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:37   #36
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
I believe that's why you clip into the windward jackline...
Doh!
Good point.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:38   #37
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Doh!
Good point.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while...
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:42   #38
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while...
Hey I think I resemble that remark!
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Old 07-09-2016, 13:01   #39
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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wow! i posted the question because its been on my mind and popped up tonight. hadn't actually even started researching yet. very chilling articles after a quick google search.

surprising how many people i talk to (including myself) have never actually given it much deep thought. making me re-think the entire set up of a tether.

I think SV Third Day made a very important comment. It only works if it keeps you on the deck.
This is what bothers me about these threads and magazine articles. Someone reads about someone being towed at 5 knots and thinks oh, tethers are bad therefore I won't use one. Bullshit. A tether has kept me from going overboard at least a dozen times, where if I had, I would not be here to write this. A proper tether and jack line, used properly will keep you from going overboard let alone being towed in bad conditions. A recent practical
Sailor article was appalling. They attached someone by a 6 foot tether to a toerail and low and behold they were in trouble. Bullshit. If that person was attached to a proper jack line by a 3 foot tether, their feet would have barely touched the water.

The golden rules are:
1. Keep everyone in the boat.
2. Keep the water out.

Do only these 2 things, and nobody can drown. Isn't possible. A proper harness tether and jackline solves for item 1. Vessel integrity, seamanship., and proper compliment of plugs, crash
Mats and bilge pumps solves for item 2.
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Old 07-09-2016, 13:30   #40
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

The tether that attaches to your harness should be no longer than from your armpit to the snap shackle that is attached to the vessel. Not to life lines. Generally, you can run jack lines, or fasten to something very secure.

You do not want to go overboard into the water and be bashed along the side of hull while ingesting a good amount of ocean. Nor towed behind the vessel in its wake. Single handers really have to be ahead of the power curve on this.

You want to be able to remain in a position that you can keep from drowning or injury. Trying to climb back onto the vessel from the water with a few feet of free board is going to be quite difficult and maybe impossible.


Off the stern, there may be a swim step or fixed ladder handles, but again, making way in thru the ocean, most of us, even tho in good physical condition that might be problematic pulling on a trailing line tied off at stern cleat.

In 36 years of sailing, never had anyone overboard, tho we practice man overboard procedures. The vessel is hove to, and on a vessel without a boarding ladder, or swim ladder, I take two strong lines and tie bowlines with a good sized loop in the ends, and drop one down well below the water line , the other above the water line. The person overboard can use that as a ladder, we can assist them on onboard.

Again, never had anyone one overboard, and only came close once, and
that person was me.


In the BVI, with another couple we were sailing a mid 30's Freedom, with a huge main stepped forward, and a small jib with a metal jib boom.


Off the back side of Tortola we were sailing wing and wing, and I had rigged a preventer for the main, that ran from the end of the main boom to the starboard forward deck cleat.

Well, we were on a tack that was taking is in toward the island, and it was
time to jibe as we needed to get back out to sea . The jib boom was on the port side. No preventer.


Erica is at the helm, Nancy, a pilot for FED EX flying the heavies was at the main sheet ( which had an electric winch that top speed was slow sloth).

I had to go up forward and release the preventer from the starboard bow cleat,

Nance was to haul in on the main sheet , we were closing in on land 'and ready to sheet the main ( center it ), Then we would slowly jibe the main over from a port to a starboard tack.



Up forward I released the preventer, and had turned to walk the preventer line back along the splashway, and free it from the end of the boom.

Wind shift ! Crack !! I am hit at the base of the skull by that jib boom, when the fairly strong wind shifted across the decks.

My body was now airborne and I am flying toward and over the starboard life line. Actually, it is interesting, time slowed down for me, I saw the life lines coming, and that I was well above them, and would clear them, and then overboard. I did not want to go overboard.

I dropped the preventer line, lowering both elbows making a dual
arresting hook with them. Catching the upper life line in the crook of my elbows , I still have a lot of momentum. My legs and body are perpendicular to the deck .....and wavering on falling back on board or over the life lines into the sea.


I fell back, and landed on the starboard fore deck. It was a good solid hit by that jib boom as it swung over with quite a bit of force impacting the back of my thick Irish skull.

Erica ordered Phil to come up and help me.

I counter- manded the order, " NO, finish sheeting the main, and jibe us out of here, let the jib swing back and broad reach us away from land. Sail the boat !

Getting up on my own I walked back aft to the stern and pulled the now trailing preventer in and released it from the end of the boom, coiled and stowed it.

The vessel was squared away, and we were on course for Jost Van Dyke.

Phil and Nancy were also volunteer ski patrol and rescue squads back in Minnesota...so they did that finger from side to side deal, checking my eyes. Aye, lads and lasses, ya can't kill and Irishman by hitting him in the head.

Well, there was a sound lump on the back and just to the side at the base of my skull. They tied a red piece of cloth with ice in against the lump with a bloody red bow at the top of my head. I ordered up a large drinking cup of Mount Gay Rum, and all was well.

A very bad situation was averted, and the fault that it occurred was my not remembering that high angle jib boom. My attention was in releasing that preventer, watching the main coming to center, albeit very slowly before I was moving aft of the mast.

The other problem was the slow operating electrical winch on our bare boat Freedom. It was supposed to be operated electrically, and also if you hauled by hand, it would somehow break free of the winch for manual operation. Well, none of that super whizding invention live up to the hype.

End game: I was proud of the crew, working together and following orders to sail the boat our of our situation approaching land.

Not accidentally jibing the main, and trimming the sails and holding a proper course away from Tortola, checking me out, and handing me a grand cup of rum.

There were no recriminations, but there were photos of me with that silly red ice filled bandana with a giant bow resting on the top of my noggin.


Although Phil and Nancy were not sailors they were power boaters, and they actually flew out to Orange County, ahead of our trip to take a sailing
lesson with us, and also had read two basic sailing books from their library.

Goes back to my not thinking about that jib boom, and not having sailed many vessels that had them, and never sailed another boat with an electric windlass for the mainsail.


This was quite some time ago, and I am sure that the new electric windlasses for the mains are more powerful, and can be manually operated as well. That was also the last freedom that I sailed, as the Benetetaus and the Jeanneau's were coming on scene and are now pretty standard for bare boat international sailing companies.

Main thing is not to put ourselves into a situation that we might wind up overboard, and it is also our responsibility as skippers to take extra good care of our crews and passengers.
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Old 07-09-2016, 15:35   #41
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

same for when you are on watch and everyone else is below /


the first mate went in head first 80nm out off cape leuwin /southern ocean /
we had destroyed a head sail / in the process of changing the sail a shifter was asked for and promptly supplied to the foredeck / then she turned to go back to the cockpit at the same time as the boat side slipped and dropped of a swell going in head first ( completely silent ) / the long safety line snagged on a cleat and held her close to the transom leaving her with one hand on a staunchion / after turning to hand the shifter back and yelling to pull up the halyard and realising I was on my own / following the life line back found the hand on the staunchion and retrieved the first mate / the language was very colourful keeping her warm (it was all about the shifter and where I should stow it) / safety tethers are very important but need to be short and thought out well so as to stay on the boat /


just measured my own factory tether made by crew saver it is 6ft

poem called OOPS!!!
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Old 07-09-2016, 16:28   #42
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

The commercial harnesses I bought at West Marine had tethers that were too long. Shorten them so you can't go over the side! Our lifelines are old rod rigging and sturdy as hell. With a 3' tether clipped to a jack line running the length of the side deck it's pretty well impossible to go over the lifelines and that's the way it should be.

It's almost impossible to get back on if you go over in calm seas - but this is not usually when it happens. It's actually much easier to get back on when it's rough. Wait for the boat to roll down to you, grab something and hang on as she rolls back and you can roll onto the deck. Not always successful. Sometimes fatal.
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Old 07-09-2016, 16:32   #43
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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. This winter I was testing drogues (many types for PS Mag) in near gale conditions. I often had some of the lifelines open and I got thrown that way countless times. The problem with testing drogues is that it is difficult to hold on while recovering (perhaps normally you would wait for better weather, but that was not an option). I was also single handing.
Why on earth would you go out single handed to test drogues in winter near gale conditions for a magazine? I don't want to be rude, but that's......

As a sensible minimum I would expect at least second person to record what you were doing and to act as a safety lookout.

Was this contracted or were you just expecting to sell an article afterwards. If the former, I'm surprised the magazine agreed to it.
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Old 07-09-2016, 16:59   #44
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

This has got me thinking the lines that came with my boat I presumed just ran down the side of the boat which in theory would be useless to stop me going over the side anyone got any pictures or ideas where they will run them so they're more in the centre of the boat I was thinking running from the front of the boat crossing them around the mast but from there I'm not sure
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Old 07-09-2016, 17:00   #45
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Re: Has anyone ever fallen over tethered and tried to pull themselves back in?

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I have been in several situations where I needed to release from my tether under pressure if I did not have this type of shackle it would have been impossible. PS my Jack lines are set from bow to stern inside my Stroud's and my tether is under 6 feet long so I don't have to unclip and I can reach everywhere on my boat. But hopefully would be kept out of the water if swept overboard.
I'd like to hear what the circumstances were that required that. One thing i don't yet have is that kind of quick release on the tether; it's been nagging at me but I don't really understand under what conditions (aside from being overboard, dragging) it might be required.
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