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Old 15-09-2007, 06:08   #1
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Questions about Jacklines

Hello all

Been a few months since I've been here, but I'm back and have a question regarding jacklines.

My 1976 Oday 27 does not have jacklines, however by next season I'm thinking of installing them. I went to my sail shop and the fella there can do them for me. Kinda pricey, but he offered either a tubed webbing material without a core, or the tubed webbing material WITH a core and carrabiner hooks on each ends. As well, he said I can either rig the jacklines as having one go straight down the centerline of the boat, or have two jacklines, one on either side of the boat.

So, my question is to you cruisers, what do you have? Two jacklines or one? which works best for safety and what kind of jackline do you have that doesn't cause any problems for accidental tripping if you're moving around the deck?

Thanks!

Mark
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Old 15-09-2007, 06:40   #2
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We use two. Maybe I'm missing something here, but w/one on center, I assume it would have to end before reaching the stern and must pass on one side of the mast. So if you're going forward, say on the port side and the line passes the mast on starboard, you'd have to unclip and then re-clip or go all the way foreward and around the mast to do something portside??

Check out C-level for readymade jacklines and other good stuff.
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Old 15-09-2007, 07:49   #3
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I like the flat ones. Less likely to roll under foot. Use two. Check the Internet for pricing to assure your local guy is competitive.

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Old 15-09-2007, 08:06   #4
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I have two for the deck, coated wire and two for the cockpit from the companionway to the helm.

I only set them up when I am going offshore or for over night sails.

Roler furling and reefing the main from the cockpit means you almost never have to go forward... except for spinnaker or gennakers.

Before I set up a roller furling system, I was tossed overboard trying to do a head sail change is some very confused chop near the Race in LIS. The harness I wore saved my life.

USE THEM.

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Old 15-09-2007, 08:14   #5
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As a single hander I'm rigged like this. There is one U bolt in the cockpit with a backing place that allows me to tether there very safely. Then two flat nylon webbing jacklines,orange, go from a U bolt in the front deck to the toe rail near the back of the cockpit. My boat came with cable jacklines which were difficult because of the underfoot roll issue. The caving suppliers offer the best deal on 6000# orange webbing, try Bob and Bob out of WVa. Tubular climbing webbing is easier to come by but has a lower breaking strength.
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Old 15-09-2007, 09:46   #6
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There are arguments that for singlehanded sailing you never want to leave the deck, as you might not be able to get back on the boat. So some argue that a centerline jackline with a tether short enough to keep you on deck is the way to go. If you have the side deck jacklines they argue that they should end farther forward on the boat than the length of the tether, so at least you're not behind the boat and can attempt to climb back on the boat. This scenario could also apply to shorthanded crew that are either not very knowledgable, or not very strong.

On a different point, as you reach your arms over your head to try to accomplish anything, if you don't have a crotch strap, your harness can slide up and off.

John
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Old 16-09-2007, 12:31   #7
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John - nice point on the slipping off ... I think that I need to modify my current harness.

Going back to Shellback's original post: it sounded as though you were going to consider installing permenent jacklines. I probably read that wrong; but as you can tell from these responses, most (including myself) run our jacklines when we go out, not while in harbor/anchored.

I use the flat one inch web-type with a caribeaner style clip/hook on one end. I clip on to one of my foredeck cleats, and tie off to the opposite side stern cleat. Forward of the cockpit, the jackline is fairly centered over midships, but back by the cockpit (CC), it is to one side or the other. I typically take the windward (lazy sheet) side lazyjack and 'hook' it up over my secondary winch (for easy access). When in the cockpit, I clip off to my mizzen's shroud or to the jackline.
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Old 16-09-2007, 13:55   #8
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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
There are arguments that for singlehanded sailing you never want to leave the deck, as you might not be able to get back on the boat.
This is something I have never come up with a reasonable answer to - either single handed or short handed.....I can imagine a scenario where one is dragged along the side of the boat but (quickly) becoming not strong enough to haul oneself up a high freeboard - but still perhaps better than seeing the boat sail off into the WBY?

Although I do not use a harness as much as I perhaps should and they are rigged at the moment with flat lines each side - my preffered option (for when I do eventually cast off!) are jacklines on top of the cabin, 1 each side - broadly where the handrails are but extending beyond the mast foot. So I can use the shortest harness line possible (and avoid going overboard) and they not underfoot. IMO however having decent flat, clear and wide sidedecks, in reach handrails and guardrails and a large toerail / bulwarks are important when it comes to never needing a Harness line.
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Old 16-09-2007, 15:36   #9
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Exactly - I would rather be drug along - at least someone will find my body (If I'm unable to get back on) and KNOW what happened.

I have a high freeboard boat. What I've done is create a bowline to bowline (6' end of loop to end of loop) that I secure to my midship cleat. Gives me something grab ahold of, and put a foot in the loop to get a leg up. It was the best and simplest that I could come up with.

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
This is something I have never come up with a reasonable answer to - either single handed or short handed.....I can imagine a scenario where one is dragged along the side of the boat but (quickly) becoming not strong enough to haul oneself up a high freeboard - but still perhaps better than seeing the boat sail off into the WBY?
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Old 16-09-2007, 15:57   #10
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We started our circumnavigation with round jacklines on both sides of the deck. Next we disposed of those and went to webbing jacklines from bow to stern, and that got us half way around the world.

The last half of the trip, I moved the jacklines up in the air to chest height connecting them to the shrouds in the middle of the boat. The high up jackline functioned as high lifelines, and when I went forward, I grabbed on to the lifeline at chest height to keep from going overboard. It worked very well on Exit Only. The danger zone on our catamaran was the trip from the cockpit to the mast, and the elevated jackline gave us a lot of security for the trip forward.

I have one other thing that I recommend if you are going forward in really rough seas, and that is to clip the spinnaker halyard onto your harness once you get forward. If for somereason you get knocked off or over the bow, it would be fairly easy to pull yourself on board with the spinnaker halyard attached to your harness.

These ideas worked well for our catamaran.

I also made one extra long spinnaker halyard designed to assist in recovery of someone who went overboard. Occasionally, someone goes overboard and they can't pull him up the side of the yacht in a waterlogged state. That's what the extra long spinnaker halyard is for.
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Old 02-10-2007, 14:14   #11
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I'm considering simply having the jacklines as good safety decisions. I've heard some people remove them and then re-attach the jacklines as needed. However, due the fun weather of the Great Lakes, I'm going to make the Admiral happy and have them on the deck at all times.

I've also decided to run two jacklines from the bow, both going along either side of the deck.



Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Elusive View Post
John - nice point on the slipping off ... I think that I need to modify my current harness.

Going back to Shellback's original post: it sounded as though you were going to consider installing permenent jacklines. I probably read that wrong; but as you can tell from these responses, most (including myself) run our jacklines when we go out, not while in harbor/anchored.

I use the flat one inch web-type with a caribeaner style clip/hook on one end. I clip on to one of my foredeck cleats, and tie off to the opposite side stern cleat. Forward of the cockpit, the jackline is fairly centered over midships, but back by the cockpit (CC), it is to one side or the other. I typically take the windward (lazy sheet) side lazyjack and 'hook' it up over my secondary winch (for easy access). When in the cockpit, I clip off to my mizzen's shroud or to the jackline.
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Old 02-10-2007, 14:29   #12
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jacklines

Returning from a 7 day sailing trip up north along Door County, we encountered 6-8' waves as the prelude to a series of storms/squalls that hit us later that day (long story).

I didn't have jacklines on the boat, but had all my safety gear on, foulies and inflatable jacket. I was trying to fix a problem with the roller furling at the bow when I was launched airborne by an 8' wave that sent the bow and me skyward. I looked down to see myself 3' above the deck. I crashed back down on the bow face & right shoulder first. I don't believe a jackline would have prevented me becoming a pinata, but it definitely would have prevented me from going over the side. (FYI - I didn't go over the side) but, my right arm was injured. 3 months later and i'm at 95%
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Old 02-10-2007, 17:45   #13
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On a 27' boat, I really can't see why anyone would use two jacklines, one on each side??? That is a short boat and no matter how you run them they are always obstacles. I do agree that it really does little good to run them to the sides of the boat... they seem to be needed to be run near center line with the objective being to keep you on the boat not have you hanging off the boat (even if you do feel you want your body recovered). It appears to me a single jackline near center of the boat, elevated several feet if possible and using a harness with Two tether lines would be the best for mono-hulls under 40 to 45 feet. With the two tether lines you would "make before break" to move around things like changing sides of the mast. Other times the two would provide additional security by double connections possibly to a life line while in the cockpit(only as a back up). These tethers should not be long enough to allow you to leave the deck of the boat.. you would obviously have to take into consideration stretch of the jackline and the tethers. The flat orange/ yellow with 6000lb test appear to be a great choice for jackline material. How you attach them is however the most critical factor and connecting them only to a lifeline or typical stanchion is not a good idea... your shock load will more than likely take them down if you are of any real size 175 and up. Strong closed eyeed hooks with significant backing plates seen to be the only realistic way to go. I'm still working on how to elevate the jackline while still being secured for the shock load it would get if I went down hard while keeping me on the deck and not hanging over the edge or in the water.
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:07   #14
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Ideally, a jackline would run along the centerline of the boat, such that your tether could be short enough to stop your being washed overboard. But ,there is a mast in the way, and a boom vang, and possibly a dinghy or life raft, and various other gear and impedimenta on the coachroof & deck, so a common compromise is to set up two jacklines running along the side decks where they join the deckhouse.

Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear
By John Vigor (page 83)
Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide ... - Google Book Search

US Sailing (USS) has an interesting and informative tutorial on “Jackstays (Jacklines), Clipping Points and Static Safety Lines” at:
Safety Tips

And their “Harness and Tether Study”:
1999 Harness & Tether Study

See also the SailRite how-to’s:
Building a Safety Tether: safety tether
Make Your Own Jacklines: Make Your Own Jacklines
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Old 03-10-2007, 13:54   #15
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Thanks! That diagram actually made me think! Now THIS is why I like chatting with you guys! Some boats ideas work great, other don't...but either way....sailors helping sailors, THAT is why I ask even the silly questions.

That pic of the boat helped nicely. Was a sound idea. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Ideally, a jackline would run along the centerline of the boat, such that your tether could be short enough to stop your being washed overboard. But ,there is a mast in the way, and a boom vang, and possibly a dinghy or life raft, and various other gear and impedimenta on the coachroof & deck, so a common compromise is to set up two jacklines running along the side decks where they join the deckhouse.

Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear
By John Vigor (page 83)
Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide ... - Google Book Search

US Sailing (USS) has an interesting and informative tutorial on “Jackstays (Jacklines), Clipping Points and Static Safety Lines” at:
Safety Tips

And their “Harness and Tether Study”:
1999 Harness & Tether Study

See also the SailRite how-to’s:
Building a Safety Tether: safety tether
Make Your Own Jacklines: Make Your Own Jacklines
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