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Old 01-04-2013, 09:05   #1
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Rope swing for kids

We have two kids, 4 & 7. The other day I raised my 7 yr up the mast 1/2 way, she loved it. So has any one ever built a rope swing off the mast to swing over the side and into the water? Half way up my mast I have a connection ring, I was thinking I could add a block and halyard, while using my winch and cleat I could set it to different hights. Has anyone done this, and what effects did you encounter with your mast and shrouds. Thanks Paul
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:14   #2
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Re: Rope swing for kids

We always just used the spinnaker halyard. Grab hold, jump off the bow, swing out wide and let go. When you think about the load on a spin. halyard in a good broad reach your 7 year old is not even close to a match. A little extra weight in the form of a bight (or a handle, or...) will keep it from going up the mast when you let go.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:43   #3
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
We have two kids, 4 & 7. The other day I raised my 7 yr up the mast 1/2 way, she loved it. So has any one ever built a rope swing off the mast to swing over the side and into the water? Half way up my mast I have a connection ring, I was thinking I could add a block and halyard, while using my winch and cleat I could set it to different hights. Has anyone done this, and what effects did you encounter with your mast and shrouds. Thanks Paul
One can certainly swing off the Spinnaker halyard (as long as one drop's into the sea before swinging back and banging in the mast/life-lines) by why settle for half measures when one can go spinnaker flying?

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:20   #4
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by why settle for half measures when one can go spinnaker flying?
Now that souds like fun. What would I use to connect to it?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:28   #5
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
We always just used the spinnaker halyard. Grab hold, jump off the bow, swing out wide and let go. When you think about the load on a spin. halyard in a good broad reach your 7 year old is not even close to a match. A little extra weight in the form of a bight (or a handle, or...) will keep it from going up the mast when you let go.
How does a bight add weight to the halyard?

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Now that souds like fun. What would I use to connect to it?
We used a trapeze harness and a snatch block. The picture posted above looks like she's just sitting on the line tied between the clews.

John
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Old 01-04-2013, 14:09   #6
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Re: Rope swing for kids

Considering the kids are 4 and 7, would it make sense to put the halyard through a whisker or spin pole, set high with an uphaul and made fast fore and aft? That way if they got scared and didn't let go, they wouldn't smash back into the side of the boat.
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Old 01-04-2013, 14:21   #7
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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How does a bight add weight to the halyard?
Ease halyard enough that it would touch the water, then double up in a bight so that you have a loop/handle. The extra 5-8 feet of halyard on the swing side help keep it from going up the mast when you let go. No guarantee though, you can always add a tag line, but I think they get in the way of the fun.

Flying on a spinnaker is a blast, probably the most fun I had boating as a kid. With young kids be careful, I had a gust crack me out of the seat while looking down at the upper spreaders. It wasn't pretty. Parental supervision and control recommended (somewhere between the nanny state and a little common sense and good seamanship).
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Old 01-04-2013, 14:37   #8
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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Ease halyard enough that it would touch the water, then double up in a bight so that you have a loop/handle. The extra 5-8 feet of halyard on the swing side help keep it from going up the mast when you let go. No guarantee though, you can always add a tag line, but I think they get in the way of the fun.

Flying on a spinnaker is a blast, probably the most fun I had boating as a kid. With young kids be careful, I had a gust crack me out of the seat while looking down at the upper spreaders. It wasn't pretty. Parental supervision and control recommended (somewhere between the nanny state and a little common sense and good seamanship).
I'm not sure I fully understand the process. I assume you're at anchor and have a bit of breeze. Aren't you therefore sailing about at anchor a little, but generally head to wind? Doesn't that mean the spinnaker will be blown back against the rig? Are you using a second anchor to keep the boat beam on to the wind? Or are you not at anchor at all and need to do this jogging along to keep steerageway?

I'm assuming this will work reasonably well with an assym kite as well, but you may need to adjust your exact position on the tack-clew line. Any thoughts.

I need to try this.
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Old 01-04-2013, 14:41   #9
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I'm not sure I fully understand the process. I assume you're at anchor and have a bit of breeze. Aren't you therefore sailing about at anchor a little, but generally head to wind? Doesn't that mean the spinnaker will be blown back against the rig? Are you using a second anchor to keep the boat beam on to the wind? Or are you not at anchor at all and need to do this jogging along to keep steerageway?

I'm assuming this will work reasonably well with an assym kite as well, but you may need to adjust your exact position on the tack-clew line. Any thoughts.

I need to try this.

This is something I looked up on sail mag
http://www.sailmagazine.com/spinnaker-flying
It gives step by step directions. Keep me posted when you try this.
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Old 01-04-2013, 17:23   #10
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Re: Rope swing for kids

I have set up the swing many times on my Morgan 27. I set the spin pole up high with the down haul running forward and a sheet running aft. I use the spin halyard to swing from taking off from the bow pulpit. I carry a short length of 1 1/2 inch nylon that I hook on the halyard, it makes it a lot easier to hold on with your hands. Spinnaker flying just takes to much wind for the size of the chute on a Morgan 27.
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Old 01-04-2013, 17:38   #11
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
This is something I looked up on sail mag
Spinnaker Flying | Sail Magazine
It gives step by step directions. Keep me posted when you try this.
That pretty much sums it up. Interesting that the text says to set a stern anchor (that's how I've always done it) but the photo shows the spinnaker being flown astern of the boat (main halyard?).

The photo is also a good example of just how high you can get. Not quite looking down at the upper spreaders, but pretty close. Coming off accidentally can hurt (like a horse, get right back on).

Never tried an asym, would be interested to hear if it works.
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Old 01-04-2013, 17:49   #12
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Re: Rope swing for kids

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Originally Posted by Autumns Wind View Post
This is something I looked up on sail mag
Spinnaker Flying | Sail Magazine
It gives step by step directions. Keep me posted when you try this.
That. Is. Awesome.

They say an assym won't work, which is all I have. I wonder if they've tried? In theory, if you offset the sitting position it might work? Has anyone tried?
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Old 01-04-2013, 17:58   #13
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Re: Rope swing for kids

I have set up a swing by placing the blade of the sculling oar against the mast step, using the throat halyard as a topping lift at the handle, and thus fixing it out sideways at about a 45 degree angle. Where it goes past the aft lower shroud I seize it on tight, so it doesn't swing fore and aft. Then a swinging line can be fixed to the outer end, and it's out enough that the kids can't come crashing back into the hull, even though my sculling oar is a shorty (12 feet). They don't always swing out just to get wet: sometimes we rig a little bosun's chair swing, and they leap around in that a little. Kids 4 and 7 years old don't need huge--mine were 5 and 8 last summer, and that was big enough for them.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:16   #14
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To Benz
Thanks for the info on the oar, we used our spin pole. It worked out great this past weekend. they had a great time swinging off the boat, including me. Cheers
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:04   #15
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Re: Rope swing for kids

We used a spinnaker pole and tied it off so it would only swing halfway out.

Here is a video of our 4yr swinging off it.

http://merlin.catfisher.org/uncategorized/boat-swing
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