The traditional tallships/big boats called this sort of higher up line a "breastline" because it is about chest high.
For a couple years after re-launching our boat, we just had taken 1/2" braid and run it (clove hitches) around the boat at chest height "temporary" but had it quite a while. Then when I had some time last year, I went to putting together a system with dyneema
, thimbles, lashings, and pelican hooks.
Like Jack and others who don't want to put a bunch of holes in the deck
, we have used our main and fore shrouds (schooner rig) to assist in keeping the guardwires from needing stanchions. We have a pullpit on the bowsprit
and the lines go from pullpit to fore shroud
then from fore shroud to main shroud then main shroud to stern rail. Ours are all higher than the norm--our lower guard wire is where most people's top one is and the top one is about chest high midships. Anyone who has two masts (ketch, schooner) can do similar.
We use lashings and Pelican hooks for connecting these guard wires to the boat. All can be quickly removed if needed.
run a few feet inboard so nowhere near these guardwires. I also run a 5/8" line (yes, thick) that is attached to the stern rail on each aft corner of the boat and goes forward to the mainmast. That one runs through the (aft) cockpit
in a way that you'd think was in-the-way but it's not--It's a great thing to grab onto when moving forward quickly out of the cockpit
. We do attach our jacklines
to it while in the cockpit unless we're attached to one of the 4 fixed pad eyes in the cockpit for the jacklines. That line is the fastest way to be clipped in as you exit the companionway--you slide the hatch
open a foot, reach over and clip in before you've ever opened the actual companionway
Since we've had breastlines on the boat these past 6 years, I do wonder how we managed without them before. They're a nice thing to run your hand along as you walk forward, too. You can see the lines in a couple pics in this blog post
. Pic below too (I'm 5'8" so you can see relative height)