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Old 15-11-2017, 19:08   #1
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Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

I just purchased a new PFD, a Crewfit 190 OS. I also purchased a double tether with Gibb hooks on the boat ends and a sewn loop where it attaches to the PFD. I have been encouraged by a veteran cruising friend NOT to attach the tether via the sewn loop but rather attach it to a snap shackle which is then snapped onto the tether. The idea being that the snap shackle gives you the option to quick release from the tether if you have gone overboard and are dragging underwater. I notice that others recommend a hard tie-in and the use of a web cutter to cut yourself free. I've been dragged, tossed and tumbled underwater many times while working commercially as a diver and cutting myself free, in the dark while being dragged by the waist and holding my breath seems like a formidable challenge. So I bought and installed a quality snap shackle and added a knotted pull cord. But now as I look at the whole assembly, seems to me the pull cord could get hung up on something and release at just the wrong moment, when the tether is actually keeping you on the boat. My question is, what do other CFers prefer, tie-in or quick release, and if quick release are you concerned about it releasing inappropriately?
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Old 15-11-2017, 19:32   #2
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

Hard tie, but tether short so that if you fell over, your still not in the water.
However Iím a newbie myself, so letís see what others say.
I donít have a plan to cut away myself
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Old 15-11-2017, 19:42   #3
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

I use a quick release on the tether at the harness. For one thing I do not want to lug the tether around with me. The harness goes on below decks. They get setup each side of the companionway and a short one near the helm.
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Old 15-11-2017, 21:05   #4
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

World Sailing does not require quick release or a carabiner at the chest, so there are obviously multiple opinions. Many solo sailors (me included) don't like the idea of a quick release (snap shackle that can release under load).

That said, it is really easy to find yourself tangled up in something where the best solution is to unclip and bring the tether around the sheet or whatever. You screwed up and went over a sheet, and then the boat tacked or jibed. With no way to release and reattach your options are less attractive. Getting the cutter out will take longer than unclipping. Additionally, with a simple locking carabiner you don't need to carry your tether below, everywhere you go. I like to leave the tether on the jackline.

I like the Kong Tango at the harness end, because it is fast and secure. But there are many good options.
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Old 16-11-2017, 00:16   #5
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

I like a Gibb hook on all three ends of a double (long and short) tether.
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:33   #6
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

I use a Gibb hook at the vest and a quick release on the other end. I have not had it release by accident, yet. I like it that way because you can release and reattach very quickly as you move around. I once spent nearly two hours getting the jib down in a storm. I was under ice cold water holding my breath, and the bowsprit, for about 15 or 20 seconds out of every 2 minutes or so. I also had to slither back to the cockpit 3 times. My tether is about 6 feet long and I had to release from the jackline to get far enough out to do what needed doing. But was able to take a wrap around a big portion of the pulpit to shorten the slack. I don't know if it helped or not but it made me feel a little more secure. I have a really, really sharp knife/marlinespike on a tether in a pocket on my vest in case I need to cut myself away, God forbid. Comfort levels are different for us all. I think it was a book by Bill Robinson where he cautioned his teenage son about climbing down to the bobstay tang in the southern ocean, unattached nor with any kind of flotation, to use the bowsprit like a jungle gym.
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:37   #7
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
World Sailing does not require quick release or a carabiner at the chest, so there are obviously multiple opinions. Many solo sailors (me included) don't like the idea of a quick release (snap shackle that can release under load).

That said, it is really easy to find yourself tangled up in something where the best solution is to unclip and bring the tether around the sheet or whatever. You screwed up and went over a sheet, and then the boat tacked or jibed. With no way to release and reattach your options are less attractive. Getting the cutter out will take longer than unclipping. Additionally, with a simple locking carabiner you don't need to carry your tether below, everywhere you go. I like to leave the tether on the jackline.

I like the Kong Tango at the harness end, because it is fast and secure. But there are many good options.
I thought about using one of the locking carabiners from my climbing gear but am concerned that corrosion would eventually be its downfall. Also, I'm not certain it could be released while under load. How has your Kong Tango held up so far?
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:38   #8
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I like a Gibb hook on all three ends of a double (long and short) tether.
A Gibb Hook was also part of my thought process but again can it be released while under load? Assuming strict use of a double tether, one long/one short attached to jacklines as close to the centerline as possible it seems highly unlikely that I would find myself dragging over the side. Not impossible, but unlikely. So in your opinion what's the greater risk: being dragged underwater and not being able to unhook from the tether or Having the snap hook release at a critical moment?
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:42   #9
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I use a quick release on the tether at the harness. For one thing I do not want to lug the tether around with me. The harness goes on below decks. They get setup each side of the companionway and a short one near the helm.
The way I have my PFD rigged at the moment the snap shackle does in fact connect to the harness and is hard tied to the tether. Separating from the harness in order to go below was the practical intent with quick release in an emergency an additional benefit. Seems logical and practical. Just wondering how secure that quick release will be should things go sideways.
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:46   #10
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

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Originally Posted by fatherchronica View Post
I use a Gibb hook at the vest and a quick release on the other end. I have not had it release by accident, yet. I like it that way because you can release and reattach very quickly as you move around. I once spent nearly two hours getting the jib down in a storm. I was under ice cold water holding my breath, and the bowsprit, for about 15 or 20 seconds out of every 2 minutes or so. I also had to slither back to the cockpit 3 times. My tether is about 6 feet long and I had to release from the jackline to get far enough out to do what needed doing. But was able to take a wrap around a big portion of the pulpit to shorten the slack. I don't know if it helped or not but it made me feel a little more secure. I have a really, really sharp knife/marlinespike on a tether in a pocket on my vest in case I need to cut myself away, God forbid. Comfort levels are different for us all. I think it was a book by Bill Robinson where he cautioned his teenage son about climbing down to the bobstay tang in the southern ocean, unattached nor with any kind of flotation, to use the bowsprit like a jungle gym.
Well that sounds like a good testimonial to the integrity of a snap shackle. Do you have a lanyard attached to the split ring on the shackle release? If so, do you do anything extra to keep it out of the way or less likely to be snagged?
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Old 16-11-2017, 08:56   #11
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Hard tie, but tether short so that if you fell over, your still not in the water.
However Iím a newbie myself, so letís see what others say.
I donít have a plan to cut away myself
I've often been accused of overthinking and over-planning especially as it relates to emergency preparedness. I've also had my precious butt saved by some of that very same "over-planning". Although I have yet to fall overboard I have been entangled in a line while in the water and was towed for an inordinate amount of time. Didn't have a knife or other cutting instrument at the time. Would very much have preferred having one. Like fatherchronica notes in his response I also have a sharp knife in a tethered pouch attached to the PFD. Just in case.
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Old 16-11-2017, 09:09   #12
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Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

The races I am familiar with require a quick release at your body and a knife you can activate with one hand to also cut yourself free. Releasing prematurely has not caused any deaths, but being trapped and unable to disconnect has caused fatalities in these races, so those rules were added in response.
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Old 16-11-2017, 09:32   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

In short, my vote is for a quick release.
When we find ourselves in a single watch keeper situation, I develop an overwhelming aversion to actually going overboard and being dragged. And while I never leave the cockpit without crew alert and awake, if I lose my balance and end up outside the lifelines a purposefully short tether will keep me hanging above the water greatly increasing my chances at self-rescue.
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Old 16-11-2017, 09:33   #14
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

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Originally Posted by macman4190 View Post
The races I am familiar with require a quick release at your body and a knife you can activate with one hand to also cut yourself free. Releasing prematurely has not caused any deaths, but being trapped and unable to disconnect has caused fatalities in these races, so those rules were added in response.
Makes good sense to me, except when singlehanded. Then it's more a matter of short tether that, hopefully, will keep you from going over but some sort of release on the harness end is still useful in plenty of circumstances.
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Old 16-11-2017, 09:35   #15
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Re: Quick release VS hard tie in of tether to PFD

My long distance single handed races require the quick release and knife.
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