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Old 15-02-2020, 17:30   #1
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Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

My adultish (21-22 y.o.). 190 pound sons have asked if they can swing off the deck hanging on to the halyard. My response is a reflexive "absolutely not".

It is certainly me echoing my father's admonishment against doing that on our boat with a wooden mast.

So what do you all say about that? Remember I have a 28 foot boat with 2,900 pounds of ballast.

Would you let them swing for joy?
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:40   #2
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

South Haven? Your major concern might be having your boat in the water. I'm in Muskegon, with similar challenges.

But, regarding 190lbs. swinging from a halyard. I would just say find a better way to have fun, son. Oh, by the way, I have a 28 foot Catalina.

Damage to the boat. Probably not, but....

Damage to the swinger. Sounds like he'd be jumping from ahead of the mast from the cabin top, so he has to clear the shrouds and the lifelines. That could get ugly. Could he do it. Sure, but whose responsibility is it to keep the passengers safe?

And, if you have ANY qualms about it happening on your boat, they need to respect that.
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:45   #3
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Depends on what halyard and line material. Spinnaker halyards with stout block out in front of the mast good if strong and swinging from fore deck. Jib and main halyards likely have plenty of strength, just a matter of chafe at the masthead and likely fine but might want to check after a few test swings to see if damaging the line. If wire halyard, forget it. Of course safest for the boat is to say no, but boating is supposed to be fun.
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:55   #4
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Yeah, you could hurt yourself if doing something dumb. I saw some kid swinging and he didn't let go a swung back into the side of the boat. Likely hurt, but he was OK. But kids are likely thinking along lines of
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Old 16-02-2020, 10:20   #5
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Spinnaker halyard would probably be better but doubt any halyard would have a problem. That is assuming the boat is big enough the swinger wouldn't capsize the boat. People have been spinnaker flying for almost as long as I've been sailing and that's been too long a time.
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Old 16-02-2020, 10:29   #6
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Sounds like a lot of fun to me !
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Old 16-02-2020, 10:43   #7
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

won't hurt a thing.
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Old 16-02-2020, 10:56   #8
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Here, hold my beer
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Old 16-02-2020, 10:57   #9
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

I would think that the sideways torsional loading, would not be good for the halyard block/sheave !
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Old 16-02-2020, 11:00   #10
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

My grandkids and son-in-law do it all the time off Scorpius. Biggest risk is not letting go or letting go too late and swinging back into the boat (steel is SO unforgiving) but I just warn them about that ahead of time, then shout "Let Go" when they are at the apex of their swing. They love it!

I extend the halyard with a short piece of heavy line with a big knot in the end to improve grip - then pull the halyard up putting the knot head high. That way the halyard wear point on the masthead sheave is at an unusual and variable point thus spreading any possible wear out.

Without a little risk from time to time, life can be awfully dull - and actually more dangerous.
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Old 16-02-2020, 11:09   #11
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

This is a common thing, I have done it many times, people on my boats have done it many times.

If at anchor, start from the bow, and... let go about amidships.
Underway we put a bosuns chair on the spinnaker halyard, swing out and enjoy the view. Sometimes you get a gust and a dunking.

I am sure there are folks who say "no! this is dangerous!" but those are the same folks who state you should not go out of sight of land without wearing a life vest, two tethers and a couple of water activated GPS locators.

Sailing offers many opportunities to have fun, halyard swinging is one of them.

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Old 16-02-2020, 11:13   #12
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

I also think this sounds like a very risky and silly Idea.



However using some imagination.
I think about the 190 pound tension on the Haliard rope. As the person lets go to enter the water. and the load comes off. I would expect it to fly up the mast. and all that tension would have to have been loaded on both sides of the sieve at the mast head. So that tension would likely cause the attachment shackle to be out of reach?



Do you have a bosuns chair to go up that mast to retrieve it for when you next need to attach the head of a sail to it?



on a small boat the stress to the rig is not worth the risks to it either.
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Old 16-02-2020, 11:22   #13
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalexplorer View Post
I also think this sounds like a very risky and silly Idea.



However using some imagination.
I think about the 190 pound tension on the Haliard rope. As the person lets go to enter the water. and the load comes off. I would expect it to fly up the mast. and all that tension would have to have been loaded on both sides of the sieve at the mast head. So that tension would likely cause the attachment shackle to be out of reach?


on a small boat the stress to the rig is not worth the risks to it either.
On a 28' boat there is a whole lot more than 190 lbs load on a halyard when the wind comes up.

Unless your halyard is made of nylon it will not faly up the mast, if you are worried about it just tie a tag line on it.

there is a lot more stress on the rig flogging a headsail than swinging on a halyard.

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Old 16-02-2020, 11:31   #14
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

We never tried to use the halyard alone.

We've pinned the halyard and topping lift to the end of the boom and all taken turns "Boom swinging". A tradition we started with a Catalina 22.

Swing away.
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Old 16-02-2020, 11:36   #15
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Re: Swinging from a halyard to jump in the water

I've done this many times, albeit on bigger boats. The loads on the rig and lines from sailing are far more than 190 lbs, unless that 190 lbs is dropping from a great height (I don't recommend jumping from the spreaders). You trust this line to haul you up when you go up the mast, right?

As others have said, don't be stupid about it and try to avoid shock loads. You'll likely want to run off the side of the boat at a different angle than you expect so you swing out around the shrouds. Make sure you grab onto the halyard high enough that you clear the lifelines. Oh, and on a bigger boat, it hurts a lot if you let go at the wrong time and flop onto your back... ask me how I know. But it is fun!
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