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Old 24-09-2008, 07:29   #1
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Knife - Safety purposes

On a multihull does anybody keep a knife near the main sheet or others sheets in case of emergency and the sheet needs to be cut quickly to avoid a disaster.

If so what type, size and weight or other attributes does your knife have.
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Old 24-09-2008, 07:40   #2
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I have three or four knives laying around, one on the companionway ladder for emergencies. I've found that the best for cutting lines have a serrated blade.
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Old 24-09-2008, 08:23   #3
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Imagine has self tailing winches. When I first started sailing her. I would keep just enough rope in the self tailor to keep from slipping out. It wasn't long we were in some snotty weather. I soon realized this boat will never flip unless........she is pushed well beyond her limits, and I am stupid enough to push her. If you are reefing properly this will never happen, except by MAYBE rogue wave....IMHO
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Old 24-09-2008, 10:00   #4
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I have two titanium dive knives on either side of the dodger for such line emergencies that may arise. So far havn't had to use them but I show each new crew where they are.
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Old 24-09-2008, 10:23   #5
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Most relatively inexpensive Titanium* knives do not have the hardness, nor the abrasion resistance required for maintaining a sharp knife edge.
However, a titanium knife blade made from a Ti beta-phase alloy, commonly called a "beta alloy" is excellent, and generally very expensive.

* Ti-6AL-4V; which is an alpha-beta alloy of 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium (grade 5)
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Old 24-09-2008, 10:24   #6
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My Mainsheet is 7:1 9/16 braite. Under tension it would take me more than a minute to saw through it with my best knife. It takes a split second to uncleat it with a quick snap of the wrist. After literally decades on beach cats, I keep the bitter end ready to hand and clear of interferance. I'm more than a little concerned when I see someone else leave their sheets in a wet pile on deck.

Two stories: thirty years ago I was working as a rigger at Inland Sailboats in Dallas. The biggest job we ever got was some heavy duty glass work, and replacing an entire mast and standing rigging. A large (for Dallas) boat broached in a race. A crewman grabbed an explosive rigging cutter and sheared a cap shroud. The entire rig went overboard, the boat popped upright, and the crwman felt very proud of his accomplishment. The owner disagreed.

Second Story: In a small raft of a dozen sailboats, a squall approached. The raft captain properly called for a breakup. The skipper of an adjacent boat went wild because I had passed him a spliced end of a springline (both ends were spliced for a different purpose) He was yelling and waving a knife saying we had placed his vessel in peril (a generous paraphrase) and threatened to cut away. So I said OK. I think it made him feel better. It was an old line. I was just glad he didn't have a crash axe or a flame thrower in his pocket.

For some people, there is a romance about knives that is out of place on a sailing vessel. For others, they would be better off using their teeth.
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Old 24-09-2008, 10:39   #7
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I have one at the mast and another in the cockpit.

I have only once used the mast based one, when the cover of my Code 0 halyard stripped off and jammed the whole thing, and a big squall was on. I cut the line and got the sail down in one piece, which I doubt would have been the case otherwise.
I have a relatively cheap "safety knife" in stainless steel, just keep it well oiled.

Alan
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Old 24-09-2008, 10:46   #8
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Quote:
For some people, there is a romance about knives that is out of place on a sailing vessel.
I wouldn't call it a romance with my knife, that might hurt, but when I'm aboard I always carry a folding knife in my pocket. I find it to be usefull for lots of the small jobs around a boat. The scenario of needing to save the boat by cutting a line free is probably a little dramatic, but I do find some reassurance by always having my knife with me.
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Old 24-09-2008, 11:23   #9
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I have a very sharp 6” stainless serrated knife kept in a hard plastic quick release sheathe, strapped to the helm pedestal.



The only time I can ever recall needing it is when the anchor chain brought up a thick pile of fish line that needed cutting away.

I can imagine a few scenarios where a line locked up under strain might endanger a limb or freeing the boat in an emergency, but so far it has never happened because teaching safe line handling and neatness in coiling/cleating comes first.

I guess racers are more at risk.
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Old 24-09-2008, 12:22   #10
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I have a very sharp 6” stainless serrated knife kept in a hard plastic quick release sheathe, strapped to the helm pedestal.
The only time I can ever recall needing it is when the anchor chain brought up a thick pile of fish line that needed cutting away...
Having used the formerly sharp S/S blade, you should probably re-sharpen it. Stainless doesn't generally hold a very good edge.
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Old 24-09-2008, 15:35   #11
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Yachting Monthly has just done a test of 18 different multitools to establish capability especially in cutting through different ropes (inc dyneema) (Oct 2008 edition)
There is a UTube picture of the different knives hacking through the ropes. Some where very good, and some were not.

Unsurprisingly the Leatherman Wave was the best premium product.

The Victorinox Swisstool spirit, the best midrange

and the Gerber suspension, the best budget buy.
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Old 24-09-2008, 16:01   #12
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I have a Myerchin A500 fixed blade rigging knife as the cockpit safety knife. It is sharp as hell - I had to cut through a piece of 11mm (7/16) Spectra on Friday night - it took less than 2 seconds. I like a serrated blade - you really need serrations to cut rope efficiently. I also like a "sheepsfoot" blade (don't know if that is the correct term) - essentially no pointy end on the knife, so you are less likely to accidentally stab yourself or your crew.

I have a Myerchin L300 folding rigging knife for my pocket knife.
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Old 24-09-2008, 16:01   #13
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"I've found that the best for cutting lines have a serrated blade."
No disrespect meant, but have you ever used a properly sharpened straight blade? I keep a small kitchen knife in a sheath (with a bungee wrist loop on the handle) that is not used for ANYTHING unless it must be. Spent a lot of time putting a good edge on it, and it will cut any conventional line with one push-pull motion, faster and cleaner as there's more tension on the line.
Some of the flip-open knives with some type of finger-assist on them look like they'd work one-handed very nicely, but what can I say, the price was right on mine.<G> Good stainless, no moving parts.

What I don't like about serrated is the PITA to keep them sharp. If I had to saw through heat-melted poly line, I could see using one.

One day I'm going to treat myself to one of Boker's ceramic knives, they are supposed to hold an exceptional edge way longer than any metal blade.
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Old 24-09-2008, 16:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
My Mainsheet is 7:1 9/16 braite. Under tension it would take me more than a minute to saw through it with my best knife.
Have you ever tried this? Sharp knifes cut through lines like butter, and even quicker under tension.
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Old 24-09-2008, 16:46   #15
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I don't keep a knife handy. There is an ancient marine combat knife onboard and the only times I've used it, is to cut away crab trap lines caught on my skegs or props.

I see the squall lines coming miles away and aways shorten sail or more likely, motor through the squall. I've never been in a position where I've needed to attend to a rigging emergency with a blade.
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