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Old 20-08-2009, 08:57   #1
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Where to Get Short Tethers?

I'm looking for a 3 to 4' safety tether to keep the kids in the cockpit. The standard 6 footers would put them over the side (not a good thing).

Are the any makers that have these pre-fab? Or do I have to talk to my sailmaker?
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Old 20-08-2009, 09:04   #2
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Talking to your local canvass shop might be cheaper, especially if you supply the hardware.
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Old 20-08-2009, 10:25   #3
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We don't have kids but wanted shorter tethers for ourselves. Doesn't seem so good to be long enough to get tossed OVER the lifelines (and ours are 30-inchers) but spent the money on the comercial 6-footers, not finding anything else.
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Old 20-08-2009, 10:31   #4
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A bit of hardware, some webbing, and one of the hand stitching awls should let you make your own. Several decades ago I participated in vertical caving, i.e., going into caves that one had to rappel down into and climb out using ascenders. We all made our own harnesses using this little tool. None of the stitches ever failed.

Here is a link to show you what I mean but they are sold all over.
Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl at REI.com

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Edit: by the way I still have one in my sail repair kit.
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Old 20-08-2009, 10:48   #5
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Hehe, knots.
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Old 20-08-2009, 10:50   #6
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Hehe, knots.
thanks.....
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Old 20-08-2009, 11:02   #7
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[quote=cabo_sailor;320221]A bit of hardware, some webbing, and one of the hand stitching awls should let you make your own.

Cabo:
Thanks. I had a hand stitching awl years ago & forgot about it's existance.
But two thoughts; the thread better be UV resistant and what size? Same question for the webbing. We thought about making our own (custom-length) jacklines w/ REI webbing but unsure of size & type (flat or tubular, color). Don't want to be loosing sleep over THAT!
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Old 20-08-2009, 11:49   #8
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Personally I wouldn't be too concerned over the UV rating of the thread. Like the harnesses themselves, visual inspection should be sufficient plus my experience suggests that the amount of sewing or thread applied is usually serious overkill.

If I were building one for myself, I would probably choose 1 in tubular nylon webbing. It's what we used on our caving harness for attaching the ascenders. The harness itself was made from 2 in seat belt webbing.

I use the tubular webbing for my jacklines with no qualms. Color is irrelevant as far as I can see but I've made jacklines out of both red and blue. In really rough conditions I would expect the wee ones would be below.

Looking at REI's site there is 1 in military spec tubular webbing in a variety of colors for $0.36/ft. The strength is just a bit short of 4000 lbs (17.8 kilonewtons). Sure beats WM prices for jacklines don't it?

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Old 20-08-2009, 11:57   #9
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If you are clipping to padeyes, you will need the shorter harness. If I were stitching one up, or modifying a longer one, I would use sailmaker's waxed thread. That stuff is strong!

If you will be tethering to jacklines, you can always loop the long tether around the jackline and back to the harness (or better yet, clip the tether to itself at the harness-end shackle eye). This will halve the length. The disadvantage is that it is more prone to snagging.
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Old 20-08-2009, 14:08   #10
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Ask the Admiral....

,..... She's always got the Captain on a short tether!
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Old 20-08-2009, 14:29   #11
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I can set you up. PM me if interested.
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Old 20-08-2009, 14:46   #12
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I would buy some three strand nylon and make up eye splices connected to some sturdy stainless steel clips at each end.
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Old 20-08-2009, 15:21   #13
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I would buy some three strand nylon and make up eye splices connected to some sturdy stainless steel clips at each end.
That's the alternative. Where did these manufacturers come up with 6' anyway? It seems like it'd be too long for any reasonably sized boat.
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Old 23-08-2009, 19:50   #14
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6 ft hooked in midline of a spray model cruising boat will not allow anyone to go over the side. spray model boats are about 14 ft beam./ formosa is a 12 ft -12.5 ft beam--these hooked midline of boat will allow one to reach the bulwarks. there used to be many beamy cruisers--probably the reason for 6 ft jacklines.....makes sense.....
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Old 23-08-2009, 20:11   #15
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If you don't wish to sew, you can simply create what ever length you need by tying a figure eight on a bight/follow through or a water knot in the webbing. (This is what I've done on my boat.) These are standard knots used in tubular webbing frequently to which climbers and cavers routinely trust their lives. Sewn webbing is actually a bit stronger when done right, but a knot is plenty strong and has the advantage of being adjustable if you don't get the exact length correct the first time.
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