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Old 12-01-2010, 13:50   #31
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I also wonder why US Sailing did not use a lab specializing in fall arrest gear.

Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Let me start by saying I have 25 years of mountaineering and engineering experience, and know a lot about falling onto harnesses.

1. They did not measure the impact force in the dynamic test, or at least it was not in the summary. How do we know that the strongest tether would not have killed the user by breaking his spine or ribs? OSHA and UIAA (climbing gear standard) test require impact force limitations.
2. Only 2 tethers have built-in impact arresting features; the OSHA tether and the Survival Technologies tether. I have commented on this for years and I do not understand WHY marine tethers do not include sacrificial impact absorbers, as required by OSHA and implied by UIAA.

So, the only alternative is to design carefully engineered stretch in the jackline system to provide this shock absorption. This requires boat-specific consideration. I have posted some thoughts on my blog, but your boat is different and so are the answers. Sail Delmarva: Search results for climbing gear jacklines unemployed. You could, of couse, use a commercial tether or add a climbing absorber to the harness end.

Climbers and construction workers have been killed by the short stop at the end of a tether.
That was a waste of money, I think.

It is real scary, watching sailing gear companies try to design climbing equipment. Climbing carabiners never break in such a test - it would not be accepted. Neither do the harnesses. One inch of stitching... please. It seems most did not even try to research their designs.

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Old 12-01-2010, 15:02   #32

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I told my kids first time out " if you fall overboard you will die". When Jason boarded for his first cruise on a navy ship the captain got on the loudspeaker and said " if you fall overboard you will die". If you keep this thought in your head complacency won't be as much of an issue. Not fear but the realization your life is at stake everytime you step on deck.

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Old 12-01-2010, 15:25   #33
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I have mentioned this before, but walk around the deck of your boat the next time you haul it out and have it on the hard. Look over the rail and down to the pavement below. It's a long way down, isn't it! That fall could kill you.

Now remember this feeling when you are at sea. It's easy to get comfortable, with the water only inches below you, but you're probably better off hitting the concrete than going in the water.

Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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