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Old 29-10-2008, 12:39   #1
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Lifeline Stanchions

I am in the process of installing lifeline stanchions (new construction). Is there a certain interval which is standard or is it a matter of preference? Every 6 feet or every 8 feet?
Tell me about how they are placed on your boat please.
Any help will be appreciated.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 29-10-2008, 20:50   #2
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John,

I'm in the same process and am also confused. Originally the boat had stanchions every meter, which seems a bit excessive. I took a walk around the marina with my tape and found eveything from 4 to 8'. It seems that, as you mentioned, it is more a matter of preference. As long as the stanchions are solid and lifelines are sound I feel that every 6' should be plenty for my boat. I think height may be a more critical issue. The knee-high stanchions may be more of a liability than an asset. I like the 30" stanchions that I can hold onto as I go forward.

Good luck,
Mike
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Old 29-10-2008, 21:42   #3
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what's the tallest stanchion you would consider? I was thinking 36 inches....
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Old 29-10-2008, 21:44   #4
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I think the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations rules say ~7' maximum.

ISAF : Offshore Special Regs

And I agree that 30" is much safer than 24" to 26" you sometimes seen on production boats. Though ultimately I try not to use lifelines except as "last chance" item. I hold on to solid handrails moving forward
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Old 29-10-2008, 21:48   #5
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While calculating distance also consider where jib sheets might pass through the lifelines.

Placement of the track and blocks and everything comes into play.

I wound up moving a stanchion because no matter how I led the sheet it was bound to take out the stanchion and lifeline.
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Old 30-10-2008, 14:30   #6
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Aloha all,
Thanks for all the input. Preference seems the key and 6' is doable. I have enough stanchion bases to do every 4' but, as you say, that seems excessive. I might 2' where ladders over the side will go. I prefer lower stanchions because they should not be used as support. They are there for emergency and 30 to 36 inch is like a long lever to bend or break compared to 24 or 26. I'd rather have a grabrail on the cabin top to hang onto and good strong inflexible jacklines.
My early Navy days it was drilled into us to never trust lifelines. They are only there to steady us and not to put our weight against. I got chewed out a lot for leaning against the lifelines until I learned.
These are just opinions I'm offering for consideration.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 30-10-2008, 15:42   #7
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John,

Having raced quite a bit on various boats in difficult conditions I have raced on boats with lower stanchions and found that they can cause someone to flip over the lifelines quite easily if the crewmember is thrown off-balance towards them. Higher lifelines will not cause this, I agree with you that no lifelines should be used for support but rather to keep you on the boat if you lose your balance. Higher stanchions do need to be stronger due to the increased lever arm but they are safer IMO, I have found 30 inches to be the best compromise.

Wayne
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Old 30-10-2008, 16:02   #8
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I installed new 30"h x 1 1/4" on my Cal 48. You need to check where your afterguy goes also.
Mark
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Old 30-10-2008, 16:57   #9
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John,

I agree, it's a tough call on the stanchion height. My personal preference is for higher but to be honest I think that anything less than waist high will probably just trip you up so 24" is probably as good as 30" in that regard. In all liklihood, if you are falling into the stanchions, the boat is either heeled way over or rolling, in which case unless you can drop to the deck lifelines of any height will serve only to turn you upside down before you hit the water.

Someday I'm going to try attaching my harness to a halliard with bowlines at different heights instead of my jacklines, the idea being if I fall overboard I may not even get wet.

Mike
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Old 30-10-2008, 18:57   #10
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Aloha Mike,

"Someday I'm going to try attaching my harness to a halliard with bowlines at different heights instead of my jacklines, the idea being if I fall overboard I may not even get wet."

Wow! A trapeze artist. Sounds like great fun.

Just as an aside. When I go forward I am crouched or on my hands and knees if it is really rough. I'm getting older and much more cautious. I've even learned to wear a PFD when at sea. Something I never thought of doing 20 years ago.

Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 30-10-2008, 22:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Just as an aside. When I go forward I am crouched or on my hands and knees if it is really rough. I'm getting older and much more cautious. I've even learned to wear a PFD when at sea. Something I never thought of doing 20 years ago.
I'm with you on both counts, only I scoot forward on my butt. Is it a sign of ageing when your levi's wear out in the butt before the knees?

Mike
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Old 30-10-2008, 23:22   #12
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Mike,
Well, maybe so. I wear knee pads. Do they have butt pads?
J
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Old 31-10-2008, 01:35   #13
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As has been noted, higher lifelines are generally better; but the minimum height may depend (in part) on your (and your crew’s) height.
On me, 24" comes to just above the knee, an absolute minimum; whereas 30" comes to just below my groin.
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Old 31-10-2008, 08:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
On me, 24" comes to just above the knee, an absolute minimum; whereas 30" comes to just below my groin.

hmmmm I'm thinking... "ouch"...... I dunno about anyone else.
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Old 31-10-2008, 08:46   #15
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Our Ingrid has about 30" stanchions but I don't really think much of the stanchion height. The previous owner has another line rigged up along the boat at about armpit height which is nice if it is calmer and I walk forward standing up. I usually go forward with one hand on the inboard grab rails and possibly one hand on the high lifeline.
The high lifeline is slightly inboard of the lifeline stanchions, so I nerev really get close to the lifelines on the stanchions.
My thought on this is that the lifelines are a last resort catch before you go overboard and I personally would not rely on them as a handhold. I just don't feel comfortable that close to the lower lifelines and the edge of the boat when underway - no room for error there.
But then, I am not all that experienced nor am I a racer.
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