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Old 15-09-2012, 19:35   #46
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Re: Jacklines

Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
Talking about quick release hooks I've used these.

Only problems have been that the operation is somewhat counter intuitive and the locking bar can get pushed to one side and not engage.

The tether does tend to get wound up over time, but that's mainly a matter of care.

Any thoughts on their use?
Those shackles can't be released under load, and aren't the type I would want to have at the harness-end of my tether. The shackle shown above isn't a bad type for the other end of the tether, where it will be clipping to a jackline or padeye. You absolutely do not want to use a standard non-locking carabiner, as these will release themselves from a padeye with sobering ease.

The Tylaska trigger-shackle, or the one shown in the center of the photo below are the quick-release ones I'm talking about:

These can be released under load and will then detach from your harness.

Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 17-09-2012, 13:36   #47
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Re: Jacklines

Great discussion

Stay on the boat, getting back aboard at anchor in a swell or chop is a challenge for the fittest amongst us, catching a boat doing a couple of knots tethered or not is almost impossible especially in any kind of sea state above flat calm.

As already said the idea is to be able to get to the work zone if thatís on the fore peek and there is an obstacle to negotiate then having two tethers is essential, 100% tie off.

Itís more about prevention than cure! Prevent yourself from going over the edge and you wonít have to worry about getting back on board.

I use 1" 10.000lb flat webbing had a sling manufacturer make them for me with an eye sewn into the forward end that trops over my samson post I run them inside the shrouds etc, into the cockpit and to the aft cleat where they are secured with a water knot.


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Old 17-09-2012, 14:24   #48
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Re: Jacklines

Originally Posted by thinwater
Spin shackles release, but you wouldn't use one on the jackline end.

The question (Snore's) was specifically about the harness end

1. spin shackles . . . ./ . . They also require 2 hands to be certain.

I guess I am not sure you have ever seen or used a trigger shackle if you think they 'require two hands'. They absolutely do not. They are one hand to close and one hand to release.

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3. As a singlehander I find it hard to think of a circumstance when I would be both wearing a harness (instead of a PFD) an better off released. In other words, released I'm still a deader as I am off-shore or in icy water.

Trapped under the boat, or in the rigging is the classic case where you need a release.

4. Not all spin shackles are releasable under load. This has been proven.

Please show me 'proof' that any of the two most popular trigger shackles (tylaska or wichard) cannot be released under load. They have been used for years in both the Americas cup and Volvo races and are utterly reliable. The T12 (pictured above), for example, is designed to handle and release a 12ton load. It sure as **** is going to be able to release a couple hundred lb tethered body load.

Additionally, with some inflatable PFDs the lanyards are not accessible, also proven.

That would also be true with the kong on those same pfds.

So I use a Kong Tango at the harness end. Under most circumstances it is releasable, though it aint' easy if towed (I tested that at 6 knots).

The trigger shackles are inherently easier to release under load than the kong. To get free of the kong you have to pull yourself forward to slip out of the 'hook'. You do not need to do that with a trigger shackle, just pop the trigger and you are free.

The knog is acceptable for the jackline end, I just don't happen to like it because it mixes aluminum and stainless which I like to avoid in the marine environment, and the aluminum bouncing along the deck (along the jackline) and into cleats and blocks will get dinged up

Some of this always boils down to preference, and I clearly stated in summary that my answers were for me and my application. Others will certainly have different factors to consider. Absolutes are generally not. For example, we could go off-topic and discuss boats where tethers in any form (beach cats, for example) are bad.


Trigger shakles? Certainly I have used them on chutes and they should be good for tethers. However, they are not customarily used for this, I am not aware of commercial tethers that use them, and thus they were outside of my discussion. Perhaps that was a careless omission and I certainly have nothing bad to say about them. Notice, below, that many people group common snap shackles and trigger shackles as the same, which they are not.

Is the security of a trigger shackle sufficient that anyone would climb with one? Obviously not. Another poster said he had only expereinced 3 acidental releases with ball releases, and did not state if he had tested the fabric releases with 1.5x body wieght and cold wet hands; I'm guessing there is a 50/50 chance they may not release at all, from tests I have read, imformation I have been given by gear manufacturers, and personal expereince. This is an area where a standard test is sorely needed.

Trapped under the boat? Certainly posible. I believe the release action of the Kong is more intuitive to me and that I would not find it to be a problem. I would not expect high loads, as I am not being dragged. For high latitude sailing this is a concern, but for my use, not so much. My opinion for my useage.

Releasability under load. Agreed. Only said folks should not assume all spin shackles are releaseable. I did not say all spin shackles were not releasable nor did I imply that. Nor did I say that a Kong shackle would be better if also inaccesible. I simply stated that people should test their systems, in the water and PFDs deployed, as these are known flaws. I should add that niether my wife or daughter can open the Wichard shacles when wet; their hands are too small. Too bad for them.

Durability of aluminum parts in marine environment? Though I am not the most heavy duty user, I've use these for >25 years, replaced a few bits now and then, and been saticfied that increased ease of use and light wieght were worth it. The biners last longer than the tether, anyway, and that is enough. Biners are much cheaper than deck gear and gelcoat, and the failure rate of UIAA rated hardware below rated stress is statistically zero.
"Climbing (sailing) is like fun, only different."

Tom Pattey, Scottish ice climber
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Old 17-09-2012, 15:28   #49
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Two thoughts:

1- isn't it advisable to run two jacklines as close to the centerline as possible - one on each side of the mast. The tether should be long enough for you to reach the side rail but not go over. But the line would have to be secured in multiple spots or the slack would let you go over. Do I have that right?
2- wouldn't a simple spring clip suffice for the tether to jackline connection? Fast and can be done with one hand. I am thinking of a horse halter clip. If they can hold a 1100 animal they can hold me.

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Old 17-09-2012, 15:33   #50
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Re: Jacklines

I will just make two comments on the hardware:

(1) I personally started out using aluminum climbing carabiners, but found that the gates got 'sticky' after a few years. The gate hinges typically have stainless pins, which cause very slight aluminum corrosion after some use, making the gate no longer spring/snap shut. This can be worked out with some wd40 or silicon spray, working the gate back and forth. I have only occasionally used brand new kong's (on other people's boats) and never had one long enough to see if this stainless/aluminum stickness occurs with it. But all stainless is fundamentally more reliable in a salt water environment, and weight is not the issue on sailing tethers that it is for climbers.

(2) It is actually not at all unusual today for pro mast and bow men to go up the rig or out to the end of the pole on a trigger shackle. Some of them tie a small diameter spectra cord back up (as I do), but most do not. These trigger shackles are damn reliable, and more compact and faster than untying a bowline, and so have become quite normal to be used.

But quite honestly the tether end hardware is not the critical issue here. Pretty much any of the solutions recommended above will work just fine. The critical issue is that the system design actually keeps you on deck. And the most typical side deck jackline and 2m tether will NOT do that. So the discussion should really focus on how to design the system to keep you on deck.

I will note that side deck jack lines are really oriented toward allowing movement up the side deck and it is in fact very rare for someone to go over the side while moving up the side deck. The vast majority go over the side from a work stations (foredeck, mast, winches, steering) or coming out the companionway. The system design should focus on keeping people on deck at these points (with fixed hardpoints and short strops), and not on the jackline.

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