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Old 02-12-2015, 14:57   #1
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Higher Lifeline

Anyone aver use one of these to mount a higher lifeline? Although they suggest them for jacklines, I don't agree with that (even closer to the edge, possible big side load on shroud). However, just used as a lifeline, with the ends terminated at the same place as the lifeline (pulpit, stern rail, or deck) is seems interesting.

Some folks secure such lines to the shrouds, but that could place excessive side load on the shroud (tight rope affect). With this it would slide.



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Old 02-12-2015, 16:03   #2
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Re: Higher Lifeline

would be handy for my over my head main to mizzen life lines, but the price is totally prohibitive.
believing i can invent a mexigrab or mexilead for pennies. bronze ok??
i do not see how the life lines could place any load on the shrouds unless hefty elefant fell full weight on them while they were slack....hell i been using lines over my head on both sides between mizzen and main masts while under way -- proper placement of a line to grab as your balance fails.
i also keep lines between my lower shrouds of my mizzen so a life line preventer of fallout is in place constantly. as it is gotten used to and made a part of the daily routine, it is a natural location for hand grabs and prevention of overboardness at sea. when i again have what pass for belaying pin rails, i will remove and relocate lines as i see fit for safety at sea.
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Old 02-12-2015, 17:13   #3
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Seems like if you wanted something high up on the shrouds like that, you could lash it to the shroud, not spend $135 and then worry that the fancy clamp could cause the stay to break.
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Old 02-12-2015, 17:58   #4
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Re: Higher Lifeline

When we go offshore, I tie a line on each side from an aft cleat to a clove hitch around the cap shroud and down to a forward cleat. About high to mid-chest on me at the shroud.

While low at the aft and bow, I have sufficient strong handholds leaving the cockpit, and by the time I pass the shroud, I can move 10' toward the center of the boat, so the low bow line isn't a problem.

I don't see any need for the fitting you show, and no need for a permanent arrangement.

If your shrouds can't take the loads of having a line tied to them, or having a body fall against those lines, then your boat is WAY under-rigged.

Mark
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Old 02-12-2015, 18:16   #5
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Guy: Obviously too much. I was just illustrating the idea.

colemj: There is an error, I believe, in the rigging with clove hitches. For example, it is forbidden in the reg to attach lifelines to the individual stanchions because the tight rope effect will put undue side strain on the stanchions. Instead, the line may only pass through, the strain being carried at ends that should (often are not) be able to carry the strain. A good hard fall against a lifeline rigged with clove hitches will result in forces like those on jacklines, probably 1000-2000 pounds, and that might not be damaging, but it ain't healthy. On the other hand, if the line runs through an eye the force will only be the side force, perhaps 500 pounds at most. Thus CS Johnson got the pass-through part of the concept dead right.

ISAF Special reg 3.14.3.k

"Lifelines shall be continuous and fixed only at (or near) the bow and stern. However a bona fide gate shall be permitted in the lifelines on each side of a yacht. Except at its end fittings, the movement of a lifeline in a fore-and-aft direction shall not be constrained. "

And this is the reason for the thread.
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Old 02-12-2015, 18:20   #6
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Re: Higher Lifeline

I have my lifelines permanently attached to the upper shrouds (main and mizzen). If you have toggles on the shrouds, as you should, I don't see how side-loading would be an issue. It's worked for me for 5 years.

I do this to avoid 30 holes in the deck where stanchions would be.

If you don't have a mizzen it wouldn't work though.

Fair winds,
Jack
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Old 02-12-2015, 19:40   #7
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Re: Higher Lifeline

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I have my lifelines permanently attached to the upper shrouds (main and mizzen). If you have toggles on the shrouds, as you should, I don't see how side-loading would be an issue. It's worked for me for 5 years.

I do this to avoid 30 holes in the deck where stanchions would be.

If you don't have a mizzen it wouldn't work though.

Fair winds,
Jack
No stanchions at all? That's interesting.

I generally agree on the loading, at least for boats over ~ 35'. Just thinking through the details. How have you attached them?
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:37   #8
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Re: Higher Lifeline

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
-----
When we go offshore, I tie a line on each side from an aft cleat to a clove hitch around the cap shroud and down to a forward cleat. About high to mid-chest on me at the shroud.

While low at the aft and bow, I have sufficient strong handholds leaving the cockpit, and by the time I pass the shroud, I can move 10' toward the center of the boat, so the low bow line isn't a problem.-----
Mark
After a bunch of years messing about with boats, I've never considered that. Food for thought.
Thanks Mark
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:50   #9
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
No stanchions at all? That's interesting.

I generally agree on the loading, at least for boats over ~ 35'. Just thinking through the details. How have you attached them?
Thinwater,

I took 4 pieces of 1x1-inch oak, each 18 inches long (approx). I drilled four holes in each oak piece. Then I affixed one piece to each shroud with stainless-steel wire through 2 of the holes, so that the oak pieces are positioned inside the shrouds. Then I ran the lifelines (I use StaSet-X) through the other 2 holes in the oak strips.

The oak pieces are inside the shrouds so that the stainless-steel wire is just for positioning. The force is taken by the shrouds.

I should say that the lifelines are well inboard between the main and mizzen shrouds. But that helps keep me inboard and upright, closer to the cabin, and not walking near the toerail.

I'd add a picture, but I'm a thousand miles from the boat. I can add a picture after Christmas if that would be helpful.

I hope this helps. Glad to pay back for the great info you've provided over the years.

Fair winds,
Jack
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:01   #10
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
colemj: There is an error, I believe, in the rigging with clove hitches. For example, it is forbidden in the reg to attach lifelines to the individual stanchions because the tight rope effect will put undue side strain on the stanchions. Instead, the line may only pass through, the strain being carried at ends that should (often are not) be able to carry the strain. A good hard fall against a lifeline rigged with clove hitches will result in forces like those on jacklines, probably 1000-2000 pounds, and that might not be damaging, but it ain't healthy. On the other hand, if the line runs through an eye the force will only be the side force, perhaps 500 pounds at most. Thus CS Johnson got the pass-through part of the concept dead right.
I will agree that small stanchions bottom bolted on a small base to the deck should not be limited in this way, but I don't think there is a person large enough falling from far enough away to have any effect at all on our 7/16" shrouds connected to massive 1/2" chainplates bolted to the hull at the bottom and 1/2" thru-welded tangs at the top.

We have a camberspar jib, whose normal operation deflects the equal-sized forestay 12-14" in a "V" shape at its load point (about 1/4 of the way up the shroud). It deflects this in the forward direction when going upwind, and sideways when off the wind. And this deflection is dynamic - when the wind increases, it deflects the stay even more (a self-vanging action). It is always in movement. Several manufacturers have used this rig, and I have never heard of a single forestay failure due to it.

Certainly, this produces MUCH more load on the wire and attachments than a 150lb person leaning against it can. 2,000lbs is <10% of the breaking strength of 7/16" 1x19 wire. If one could generate that type of impact load (and I doubt that), then it would be as nothing to the shroud - regardless of applied direction.

You do have toggles on your shrouds that allow them freedom of movement in all lateral directions, don't you?

A shroud is not a stanchion in any sense of comparison. You may think a clove hitch to a shroud is an error in theory, but I bet you cannot justify that "error" in practice.

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Old 03-12-2015, 07:37   #11
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I will agree that small stanchions bottom bolted on a small base to the deck should not be limited in this way, but I don't think there is a person large enough falling from far enough away to have any effect at all on our 7/16" shrouds connected to massive 1/2" chainplates bolted to the hull at the bottom and 1/2" thru-welded tangs at the top.

We have a camberspar jib, whose normal operation deflects the equal-sized forestay 12-14" in a "V" shape at its load point (about 1/4 of the way up the shroud). It deflects this in the forward direction when going upwind, and sideways when off the wind. And this deflection is dynamic - when the wind increases, it deflects the stay even more (a self-vanging action). It is always in movement. Several manufacturers have used this rig, and I have never heard of a single forestay failure due to it.

Certainly, this produces MUCH more load on the wire and attachments than a 150lb person leaning against it can. 2,000lbs is <10% of the breaking strength of 7/16" 1x19 wire. If one could generate that type of impact load (and I doubt that), then it would be as nothing to the shroud - regardless of applied direction.

You do have toggles on your shrouds that allow them freedom of movement in all lateral directions, don't you?

A shroud is not a stanchion in any sense of comparison. You may think a clove hitch to a shroud is an error in theory, but I bet you cannot justify that "error" in practice.

Mark
No error on your boat. I was thinking in terms of a small monohull (~25'), the kind of folks that need higher lines the most.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:12   #12
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Re: Higher Lifeline

One of the most loved mods made by the PO of my ketch was the higher SS stanchions and top tubing (instead of cable) that went completely around the boat. With most standard lifelines you will be flipped over by any body move towards the lifeline top cable due to the physics of momentum and levers. I did not view it as a substitute for jacklines, which I rigged separately for passages, but it was an extra measure of safety and useful day to day in doing many maintenance things on the boat, even at dock. It would be expensive to duplicate it on my current boat but I would do it if I could afford it. It does mean your jib needs to be cut higher to clear the higher stanchion (or just let it ride higher over the tubing).
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:34   #13
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Re: Higher Lifeline

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.

Our jacklines 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 door.

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)

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Old 03-12-2015, 14:00   #14
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Re: Higher Lifeline

Quote:
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No error on your boat. I was thinking in terms of a small monohull (~25'), the kind of folks that need higher lines the most.
The Freedom 25 also used a Camberspar jib that performed exactly as ours does. This certainly puts more dynamic side loads on the forestay than anyone falling against a lifeline fixed to a shroud would be able to. The breaking strength of 1/4" 1x19 wire is ~7,500lbs, so even that can take quite a load. And shrouds should be toggled to accommodate movement.

I don't think it is an error in any way on any size boat.

Fixing a lifeline on a stanchion could have its issues. But again, stanchions and shrouds have nothing in common structurally in any sense.

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Old 03-12-2015, 14:10   #15
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Re: Higher Lifeline

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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.
I agree on the higher lifelines. Using the system I described in post #9 I made the upper lifeline about hip-high, so I can't be tipped over it.

Jack
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