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Captain Haddock

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:42 pm Post subject: Jacklines


What's the best way of rigging jacklines? I'm going to be doing a bit of single handed sailing so they're more or less essential on my Nova 28.


Do you put them inside or outside the shrouds? Can you attach them to existing deck hardware like stays or pushpit/pulpit or do you need to put in specific through-bolted attachment points?


I understand that tape is better than rope or wire - less chance of rolling your ankle on it. I guess polyester is better than nylon because of UV durability too.




Knot Me

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:07 pm


Webbing is the one to use. Wire is just yucky and all the other far better products aren't allowed until YNZ gets into the 21st Century, eta another 50 years odd. Polyester webbing of 2500kg break which will allow for a small strength lose in the sewing and still make the 2000kg required.


Run them over the same place you would walk. I doubt you go outside your shrouds so run the line inside. Remember that you could be using these in real crappy weather so rig for that rather than the nicer stuff.


Fixings - something bloody strong and thru bolted, not just screwed, if you want a NZ safety check.





Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:20 am


Mine run outside the shrouds, from the pullpit stanchion base to the pushpit base. Make sure you run your headsail sheets etc under them or else you'll find your mad dash cut short right when you could do without it!

Also Cameron suggested a while back getting a stainless eye sewn into each end of the jacklines, that way if you break one end and go overboard your tether wont slide off the end of the line.




Crew.org.nz(a.k.a. Squid)

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:05 pm


I chose to have one either side from the pupit to the shrouds. Then a separate one from the mast to the transom. I thought it worked really well, less distance to travel if you slipped and unhooking and re clipping at the mast where there is plenty of support and you are likely to be busy anyway.

And the aft one hung into the companionway so I could attach before heading up the ladder.




Captain Haddock

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:12 pm


I chose to have one either side from the pupit to the shrouds. Then a separate one from the mast to the transom.


That makes really good sense. I could run a single line from the the bow to the mast (the Nova is narrow enough to reach both sides from there with a 2m tether) then one down each side from the shrouds to the pushpit. A single one down the centre from mast to cockpit would be good but the dodger would get in the way - or could I just run it over the top?


I figured a big strong ringbolt at the forward end of the cockpit for tying in when at the helm.




Knot Me

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:22 pm


You want to minimise the times you have to 'swap lines' though. Easy to jump from on to another in 20kts but try it in 50, you'll find it gets a bit tricker as everything is 'alive' at those levels .


I just run from an aft thru bolted cleat up around the outside of my shrouds to a ring thing by the pointy end. I go outside the shrouds as it is a Ross so is leaning over I anything over 5 kts.




Crew.org.nz(a.k.a. Squid)

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:25 pm


Just have it loose enough to drop into the hatch in spite of dodger.

Another idea is two tethers (different lengths) attach one before unclipping trhe other.




Knot Me

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:27 pm


Squid wrote: Another idea is two tethers (different lengths) attach one before unclipping trhe other.


I think thats mandatory now anyway besides a damn good idea.




Captain Haddock

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:32 pm


A short tether is bloody useful because you can clip in and lean back in your harness, releasing both hands to do whatever. My mast has an attachment point on each side at about waist level - brilliant.




Crew.org.nz(a.k.a. Squid)

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 pm


Guess what, I wouldn't be "legal" with my preferred arrangement, I'd have to wait till I had cleared out then change it back.




(e) (K)The jackstays shall be fitted in

such a way that a crew member, when clipped on, can move

from a cockpit to the forward end and to the after end of

the main deck without unclipping the harness.





Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:01 am


I've just been reading the above as I had nothing better to do. My advice. Run your jacklines full length of boat inside shrouds and jibleads, as tight as possible. If they are inside the shrouds you will pull up there if you go overboard Squiddy. (silly boy) and if they are outside the jib leads on the rare occasion that you want to go forward on the leeward side you won't get past a sheeted in headsail. Also be aware that many types of webbing stretc a lot when wet so allow room to shorten up with a lanyard.





Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:12 pm


Comments welcome but..


I use 2 X 12mm Sheets Pulled tight either side of my cabin. They have a loop attached at my Samson post and are cleated off either side aft of my cockpit.


Because of the shape of my cabin the lines are well out of the way.


My harness has two clips one short that I usually use and a longer one that I use to get to the cabin top where I reclip onto the Mast. (usually to help the main drop)


I don't clip in in the cockpit but am thinking about it.







Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:15 am


Shanson: Sheets don't meet YNZ Safety Regs.



On smaller boats, just have one really long webbing. Mark the centre.

Then its very easy to tie (& re-tie) a bowline through (or after a loop) your bollard or main mooring cleat if on centreline. Then run to aft mooring cleat, reasonably taught but loose enough so you yould climb / pass / roll under if needed. I prefer inside shrouds & jib sheets, especially if having to work on the mast from leeward side. (On GP farr 727, we bowline through main cleat.)

Make sure you can get forward of the forestay when still clipped on.


You can buy tethers with 3 clips so that you can clip on with 3rd clip BEFORE releasing 1st clip and repositioning it. This way you are ALWAYS attached.


Further, you can stay clipped on to windward jackline even when in the cockpit, especially for those unexpected knockdowns. You won't fall as far to leeward!


Use some of the folding flat "D"'s as securing points, both sides and beside main hatch and at both sides of helm. Theu fold flat when not needed but are immediately available, especially if inexperienced people aboard. Make sure you use backing plates, or REALLY MASSIVE washers, nout the normal sized washers!!


YY will confirm that on Zora, the securing points by the helm have been placed so the "D" folds DOWN to open. That way you can clip on using ONE hand; rather than needing 2 hands, one to hold the D and the other to operate your tether clip. (Also easy to stow up in port)


I do like Cameron's comment re S/S rings, Very Valid! and I will do the same.


WEBBING. I always prefer the bright dayglow yellow, rather than white or blue. It stands out and easy to see. The last lot I got was from Lidgard sails, Barrys Point Rd, Takapuna.

Remove webbing when not in use. This is normally to reduce UV damage to the treads used if loops are sewn in. Personally I dislke loops. I prefer to use 100% of the webbing for knots and not rely upon a sewn loop. Consider the weakest link arguement.



On GP we even have some "D"s below, behind the mast to secure anchors and chain to.


In the Southern Ocean, the tethers are puny, almost useless. In 60+ with 6ft+ solid green comming over the bow and filling the cockpit every 2 or 3 minutes, we used genoa sheets (30+mm possibly 45mm) over BOTH shoulders to sheet cleats when "enjoying?" the ride.


Night times are worse as you can only hear the waves breaking as they approach. Still we were on course, maintaining our position with the low and "running down our easting".


Once the helmsman was swept away from the helm and it was the mizzen rigging that saved him, not his 8 or 10mm twisted rope tether. In any event, the size / strength of tethers has been increased a lot since then.


I use an elastic inside a webbing tether, that you can loop over your head when not required and is snug enough not to catch on things.


But it's only your life you need to worry about . . . . and not that many suppliers open on a dark and stormy night . . .




Knot Me

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:54 am


PaulR wrote:


WEBBING. I always prefer the bright dayglow yellow, rather than white or blue. It stands out and easy to see.........................


Remove webbing when not in use. This is normally to reduce UV damage to the treads used if loops are sewn in. Personally I dislke loops. I prefer to use 100% of the webbing for knots and not rely upon a sewn loop. Consider the weakest link arguement.



A good post but 2 quick comments.


Any fibres 'dayglow or fluro' coloured will break down faster. Hard to get good amounts of UV additive into very very bright colours.


If talking 'weakest link' and you don't want one - sew a loop. A well sewn loop is stronger than a knot, often by quite a lot.


Removing the lines when not in use is a very good comment many would do well to remember, that includes me as well often.


I use dyneema lines usually but have to downgrade to the webbing to fit the rules when racing, go figure.





Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:25 pm


I used the term "dayglow" more for colour reference than fibre content.

Yellow can range from tan to sunlight, so ia was wanting to convey a really bright yellow choice. Thanks for your extra knowledge.


Do you have any testing data on Knots vs sewing loops? I don't but was aware of UV damage to threads. I know my knots a bit, (but like everything I'm still learning), and am always careful to tie the webbing bowline around the bow cleat, so the webbing lies flat and is untwisted.

At the stern, I pass through the cleat, then do a loop around the cleat before half hitches for the remaining tail, about 6 or 8 half hitches.


Any improvements you recommend?


With technical progress, dyneema inside a wbbing would surpass YNZ's requirements, but as these are being revised / updated, I'm not sure what the future holds.


There is nothing stopping you having two systems on deck, apart from clutter and explaing to the judge that your late crew member simply choose the wrong (Non YNZ) jackline.




Knot Me

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:29 pm


The 'fibre' comment was more for the 'general' fibre product as in the same thing applies to ropes, webbing or any product that uses the same fibers. Most webbings and many ropes use the same stuff.


Basically the 'brighter' the colour the less UV stability it has. The best colour for UV protection is black. Red is one of the worse and also the 1st colour to disappear at twilight and under water. Red is also the one most likely to run and stain stuff (when being new). Blue can also be an arse sometimes. All depends on how the rope was coloured as in just dyed (bad but cheap) or impregnated (best but costs the most).


As you say a brighter colour is easier to see in a panic so it's a trade off thing. But if you look after your lines they will last a lot longer so all depneds on your end use.


Knots bend the fibers a lot more than sewing or splicing so that does weaken the product. Same applies to rope and webbing pretty much equally. The Bowline is one of the worse knots to use actually. On some ropes it can drop the break load 60%.


Sewing is fine and the material used is often the same as the webbing i.e polyester. Yes it does break down and is a bloody good indicator at potential weakness of what it is sewn into. If the sewing thread is looking bad it usually means the webbing it is sewn into is as well. Don't just re-sew - replace the lot. A well sewn webbing retains close to full strength where any knot will reduce the strength more. How much depends in the knot and radius's used.


I have basic sewn loops on the end of mine and lash them to the boat with a small dyneena rope. The only change I'd do next time is sew a SS ring or something in the end just as Cam mentioned, I think that is a bloody good idea. If the webbing breaks you're gone but if the lashing breaks you do have a chance. I'd then lash to the rings rather than the webbing.


The jacklines I prefer to use are just a SK75 coated Dyneema rope, not webbing. They are smaller and stronger than the webbing I have to use to fit the rules. There is the 'rolling' under foot' issue but I've never had that issue on my boat as the deck is reasonably cluttered anyway so we are thinking about that already with the other ropes. On a big open deck it would be something to consider maybe. Dyneema inside webbing would be great and miles stronger, bit of mucking around though.


I wouldn't just pull the core out of a dyneena (spectra) line though as most are not coated so will break down a lot faster with the UV. That is not always easy to see so something to bear in mind. I wouldn't use Vectran as that fiber is more UV prone than Dyneema. I don't see why you couldn't use a covered Dyneena (overbraided with polyester as many are) but I'd work on 80% of it's listed break load (excluding splicing or whatever) so you take any of the covers load out of the calcs.


Many of the Safety Regs are miles out of date. There are so many newer products that are far superior to the currently listed ones. Not only with jacklines but many other areas as well. Hopefully when they revise them it is done with this in mind.




Ailys Comet

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:29 pm


I've previously run black webbing the full length stem to stern either side, nice and tight as it would go so it ran on the inside of the sidedeck nicely following the curve of the cabin/deck join (which meant it was out of the way until used). Also, I found that the best fixing points on my particualr deck layout wasn't the stanchion bases but actually deck cleats - a bit hard to explain but that's how it worked out.





Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:30 pm


YNZ Regs. I know Michael Churchhouse (Chief Safety Inspector) has a whole lot of notes to consider against the currents Regs. Several notes are from me! We always have interesting discussions that make our inspections take longer, but he does know at least I have read the Regs often. Can't remember all the details, but know where to look again! for each boat I deal with.


Glad you also add to his list and I'm sure he's always open to more.

I don't think YNZ have a web list of ideas / rules that could be changed.

Need to check.


Cheers KM & thanks for your comments. Perhaps I will go back to sewing again, but I disliked the thought of several large guys cliped onto a loop with 25mm square diagional sewing only. Now a sewing oblong of 150mm would be better.


I ready many years ago that the bowline was the strongest of knots and held 90% of the breaking strain load. So is there an up-to-date list / chart somewhere that you know of?





Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:31 pm


Thanks for the tips PaulR


The main issue I was dealing with is stretch, with the 12mm Sheets When they pulled tight there is still an amount of stretch allowing it to catch you if you fall, I have read about the sudden jerk causing damage.


So do you still do inspections? I'm keen to have someone look at Spellbound and let me know if it's worth trying for a cat 1. Feel free to PM me.






Knot Me

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:40 pm


I'd like to send a list of what I think needs updating or at least looking at to YNZ. It's not large but does have a couple of key items where some big gains could be made and most at no or very minimal cost increase, some less.


Don't know where that Bowline info came from but it's wrong and if talking Dyneema/Spectra/Vectran and those types of fibres it's very very wrong.


I'm currently compiling a list from the data we have got over the years of testing ropes and so on. Be ready shortly.


We often see people go and spend a pile of fancy Dyneema ropes 'for the extra strength' and then bowline a fitting on. Seems weird to us really but there ya go. I suspect many just don't know and from sussing many of the chandlers they don't either so understandable I suppose. That comment is not only rope specific, I'm constantly surprised at what they tell people about some stuff and often important stuff, very sad to see.


When you sew webbing jacklines go for an overlapped sewn bit of 150/200mm on 25mm webbing. Probably a bit longer than required but just spreads the load further and give more wiggle room if they are getting on a bit. A case of a lot more little soldiers hanging on for the greater good of all theory. Mine have about 250mm sewn overlap but I'm anal and also couldn't be bothered cutting 50mm off.


I'd also think D ring rather than O ring on the ends, again better load spreading. Spend the money on a good Bainbridge (there are others as well) one rather than an over priced Chinese one. Trusting a possibly dodgy chinese weld at 3am while hanging off the side is something I wouldn't do. The price difference is far far smaller than the quality difference. I know someone ( ) who sells a quality 10mm with a 3000kg break load ring for $19 odd so your not really talking big bucks.


At the 2000kg min (2500kg?? can't remember) webbing is strong so it could handle a lot. 4 big guys?? Not too sure but I'm pretty confident in saying I wouldn't like to be one of them. But then how often would 4 go over at once? not often I'd think.


AND DON'T FORGET webbing and rope loads are when new and are talking when loads are applied in an even smooth way. Shock loads kill. Drop 1kg a metre and 9kg is needed to stop it at the end.


ALSO DON'T FORGET that one small nick in the edge of a bit of webbing can drop it's load 20% instantly. If nicked don't muck around replace it. They are there as your often last resort. Jackline goes and you could very easily finish the race very dead. Not something to shortcut with.


AC, yours sound just like mine except I have to run between the caps and the checks as that is where we walk thru. I have a big U bolt a few inches from the transom (why I don't know) so use that for one end. The other I bolted on a fitting about a metre back from the stem on each side. Works well and is about as tuff as I can get.


I thought you weren't allowed to fix to the stanchion bases but could be wrong. Mine need a age related tweak so I didn't think they were strong enough anyway. I didn't see any point in short cutting on something line jacklines.





Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:32 am Post subject:


Don't forget to use "tube" webbing also.




Knot Me

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:40 am


And make sure it is NOT a Polyprop.


Polyester or Nylon are OK as long as they meet strength requirements.



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