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Old 15-03-2011, 18:25   #1
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Tethers

I have been looking for an all pourpose costal cruising type tether.

Talking to a buddy who is an avid rock climber/mountaineer. He recommended I build one from components at REI. I see they have locking caribiners w/ 25+ kn strength & 11mm rope at 33 kn (kn = kilonewton, 1-kn is I believe around 230 lbs). Throw a bowline around the caribiners for different lengths, applications, & needs.

Any thoughts?
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:30   #2
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Re: Tethers

Purpose built tethers have some advantages:

The snap release at the harness will free you from a sinking vessel.
The double action clips are designed to stay attached, but can be released easily.
The stitching on the webbing is designed to show when the tether has been stressed.
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:32   #3
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Re: Tethers

Yes a few thoughts...yacht tethers are not climbing gear. Different animals. There has been a fair amount of research and optimization put into harnesses. There are a couple threads on this forum you could find with the search function that detail the unique characteristics. Also, Practical Sailor has done some testing on tethers and associated hardware.
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Old 15-03-2011, 22:58   #4
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Re: Tethers

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpoint16 View Post
I have been looking for an all pourpose costal cruising type tether.
We're also about to order some tethers, but for off-shore use. I think the main reason for going with marine tethers is that they have been developed with ease of release being a major consideration. Being dragged under water with no easy release is a real danger.

Personally we're looking at the retracting dual tether designs. I read some Practical Sailor reviews a while back but haven't seen any recently.



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Old 16-03-2011, 01:48   #5
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Double action release with nylon rope?

I've brought some double action hooks and some nylon rope an am planning to make my own tethers.

I have two objections to commercial tethers:-
1) They have standard lengths (usually about 6').
and 2) They're expensive.

I think the hooks are about $16 each, and 2 are needed on each tether, though a double tether gets by with 3.

The big advantage though has to be that I can customise the length. Say for working up round the bow I can have one very short and one quite long.

The commercial tethers look to be well suited for racing boats with a large, fit alert crew and jacklines.

If ever my "U" bolts arrive I'll start working on placement and jacklines (if any).

What I would really like is a autopilot cut off line.
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Old 16-03-2011, 03:16   #6
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Re: Double action release with nylon rope?

Quote:
I have two objections to commercial tethers:-
1) They have standard lengths (usually about 6').
I like mine which are elasticated - so they sit at about 1m, and stretch to about double that. When not clipped on, it wraps nicely around my hips, like a belt.

Quote:
and 2) They're expensive.
So is life.
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Old 16-03-2011, 04:49   #7
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Re: Double action release with nylon rope?

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Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
I like mine which are elasticated - so they sit at about 1m, and stretch to about double that. When not clipped on, it wraps nicely around my hips, like a belt.

So is life.
+1

I use Seago safety lines (Seago life vests, too). They are elastic so that any slack you are not using is drawn up so as not to trip you or catch on something -- a positive safety as well as convenience value.

They are not so expensive. I seriously doubt that I could buy materials alone to make something comparable, for the same price.

I would not want to trust my life to something which had been properly mis-engineered on my kitchen table.

Slightly off topic, but I think that some of the sailors who died in the '79 Fastnet tragedy were drowned by their own safety lines. Not only do you want a proper quick-release hook -- not like a climbing caribiner -- but you probably want to have a knife on you at all times while using a safety line.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:14   #8
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Re: Double action release with nylon rope?

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+1

but you probably want to have a knife on you at all times while using a safety line.
Absolutely - a good rigging knife on a lanyard.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:28   #9
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Re: Tethers

I own a webbing double ended and have borrowed an elasticized double-ended. I think I prefer the elasticized, although the plain webbing is more comfortable.

I carry a rigging knife on my belt and another on a lanyard directly on the PFD. It's possible to go over in such a way as to have an arm pinned, or even injured, and having access to two knives is prudent, I think.

The "PFD knives" we carry when sailing are el cheapo West Marine $9 ones I buy when they go on sail. Like the cheap "shaky LED lights" you clip around the boat, I consider them practically single-use and expendable. Interestingly, however, you can use Teflon tape and little rings of silicone to partially make water-resistant those shakey lights, and I haven't actually had one fail yet, despite the fact that they will leak at the switch.
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:28   #10
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Re: Tethers

Maybe I'm the only cheapo on here, but I generally get by tying two bowlines into a small diameter braided line. There's usually enough stretch and lateral movement in the jackline anyway. It's not that I don't see the need for a tether, but I just cough at the $200 I'd have to spend vs zero with the two lengths of line.

I've used the elastic tethers before and they're nice, but really how hard is it to tie a bowline around your d-rings?
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:31   #11
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Re: Tethers

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
but really how hard is it to tie a bowline around your d-rings?
The issue is, How easy is it to release under tension?
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:36   #12
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Re: Tethers

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpoint16 View Post
I see they have locking caribiners w/ 25+ kn strength & 11mm rope at 33 kn (kn = kilonewton, 1-kn is I believe around 230 lbs). Throw a bowline around the caribiners for different lengths, applications, & needs.

Any thoughts?
Locking caribiners don't belong on a tether.

Take a look at the tethers commercially available for marine applications. On the ones I use, the shackle for the end that attaches to the harness has a quick release. This is so that in a capsize or a rollover, the tether doesn't drown you.

If there's a place I would not be looking to cut costs on gear, it would be with tethers. You want them to be so easy to use and so accessible that crew being called on deck to shorten sail before a squaw won't hesitate to tether in as they come up the companionway.
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:41   #13
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Re: Tethers

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The issue is, How easy is it to release under tension?
I doubt you could, and that's a fair critique. But honestly when I look at other boaters I have a hard time imagining that they would have the wherewithal to use both hands to undo a clip will getting slammed around underwater headfirst into the hull of a moving boat.

But still, it's a valid point.
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:44   #14
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Re: Tethers

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I doubt you could, and that's a fair critique. But honestly when I look at other boaters I have a hard time imagining that they would have the wherewithal to use both hands to undo a clip will getting slammed around underwater headfirst into the hull of a moving boat.

But still, it's a valid point.
I wear a tether a lot and have no trouble with a one handed release.
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Old 16-03-2011, 09:49   #15
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Re: Tethers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Locking caribiners don't belong on a tether.

Take a look at the tethers commercially available for marine applications. On the ones I use, the shackle for the end that attaches to the harness has a quick release. This is so that in a capsize or a rollover, the tether doesn't drown you.
They are also designed so that they can be release under load. They also have a toggle or strap attached to the ring.

BTW - that ring should brazed so that it does not deform or come apart. My older tethers had that feature.
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