Suicide / crew retention line?

Hi,

I have seen mention of a suicide line, which I believe may be a line attached whilst trapped out to prevent (primaily the crew?) from swinging outfrom the hull or aftwards towards the helm, however I cannot find any real mention of such a line, when it would be used or how it would be typically rigged. Can anyone please help clarify this term / item?

Thanks

Anthony

--
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Nacra 430
Nacra 5.2

'There is nothing, but nothing as much fun as simply messing about in boats'
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That just does not sound like a good idea. You want to be able to unhook from the trapeze as quickly as possible when things go bad.

--
Kenneth Purdy
Hobie 16
Nacra 5.2 (2)
Banshee
First Coast, Florida
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Could this be the "chicken line" that keeps crew from swinging around the mast and into the dolphin striker?

--
Tom
NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
Pennsylvania
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chicken line
I use it very rarely. It is stored inside the rear beam, each end has a carabiner which is normally out of each beam end cap. When the crew uses it, she hooks the carabiner to the trap thimble, not to her harness. Before tacking she takes it out and hooks it to the side stay to have it handy for next tack.
The setup shown is complicated but the bungee is long enough to have a nice tension in any position and to take all the line back inside.

http://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=125407&g2_serialNumber=3



Edited by Andinista on Sep 15, 2016 - 10:37 AM.
I did it mostly for the fun of doing it... Maybe for long distance sailing it's worth it, otherwise it's not really needed.
Someone suggested it would prevent this kind of problem...

https://vimeo.com/182856641

Thanks

Anthony

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Nacra 430
Nacra 5.2

'There is nothing, but nothing as much fun as simply messing about in boats'
--
It's nice to keep it simple too, if you tack very often it's an additional complication that will eventually bother you.
For the record, Dart 18s sold in California came with these lines.

Quoting Bob Martinez (Dartman):
"The Dart 18 (British heavy weather catamaran) comes standard with chicken lines. They're attached to the stern hulls and have a stainless steel hook on the other end that attaches to your trap harness. A bungy line also is attached to the hook to keep it in place on the boat. Since all my sailing is done out in the Santa Barbara Channel, I have made footloops (similar to those that come standard on the Dart) and have attached them to my Prindle 18-2. It makes for a more secure day of sailing. I recommend both modifications to any catamaran that sails in heavier winds!!!"

When you are on a broad reach offshore headed back to shore, this comes in real handy as the waves are 7 seconds apart and each one wants to wipe the crew off the boat. The crew is on the skipper's trapeze, poised behind the skipper, hanging onto the chicken line.

--
Sheet In!
Bob
___/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
(Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
Arizona, USA
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Wow, that video looked pretty violent!!!! If the wife saw that, she'd never let my 13 year old son get anywhere near my boat!!!!! Yikes!!!!

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Marty
1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
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martyrIf the wife saw that, she'd never let my 13 year old son get anywhere near my boat!!!!! Yikes!!!!

For the record, that is a foiling catamaran, which is why it can pivot so quickly. You could not turn that fast on your cat if you tried.

--
Sheet In!
Bob
___/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
(Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
Arizona, USA
--
QuoteWow, that video looked pretty violent!!!!

That wasn't violent... (imho) - if he sliced his face on the boards, or lost a limb, or spontaneously combusted....

that was a pretty standard Peter-Pan (exacerbated by the rocket-ship of a cat spinning like a top)


Chicken wires are useful in distance racing / heavy (and short frequency) waves but as mentioned add complications and add some risks. really not needed for pleasure sailing
I’m re-starting this thread because I’m interested in rigging a chicken line/wire(s). Am going to start solo-sailing the P18.2 and am wary about possibly slipping/falling off and having the boat sail or drift away from me when I’m a mile or two or five from shore and nobody around to help. Even closer in would still be an unwelcome problem.

1. A couple of commenters have felt they’re a pain in the a** and not really necessary for pleasure sailing – only for distance races, etc. I can definitely see why they’d be PITA, and I’m thinking that in under 5kt winds of easy sailing I wouldn’t worry too much about my ability to stay on and connected to the boat. But I’d worry more when trying to push it in stronger conditions. I'd consider my a** in trouble if I’m alone and lose contact w/ the boat w/ nobody around to help. I'll be carrying a radio in my PFD, but I’d rather be sure I can stay attached to the boat. It sounds like a lot of you guys sail by yourselves quite a bit(?); if so, I’m not sure why you aren’t too concerned about getting detached from your boat. Maybe I'm just a chicken icon_eek , which is why I'm interested in chicken lines.

2. I don’t have holes in the end caps of my cross beams, so the solution listed by andinista above isn’t available to me. Klozhold posted a quote from Dartman that he rigged chicken lines for his P18.2 while sailing offshore in the Santa Barbara channel. But it doesn’t really indicate where he ties the lines from and to. I’d like to know.

I have rear foot straps and am thinking maybe I should tie a line to each one of those. Maybe with a carabiner on the other end that I can hook into my harness? But I’m guessing the line not in use would just fall off the tramp and drag in the water? Or is it better/possible to have just one line that always stays attached to you so you are not hooking/unhooking? If so, where is best to attach it to?

Any comments welcome. I just started thinking about this.

(Edit: The boat wants to sail away from me just standing in shallow water getting ready to climb aboard w/ sails rigged up and both sheets loose. So I figure if for some reason I slip off while out sailing and the boat doesn't tip over immediately, there's a decent chance it'll sail away.)



Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 19, 2018 - 06:22 AM.

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1998 P18.2
Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
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If you are considering to be tied permanently I think you would add more risk. I got trapped once from the foot after a capsize and it was very scary, the boat didn’t stop for quite a while, fortunately the sheet got loose quickly, otherwise I might have drowned. There was no way to reach with my hand to do anything. I would rather have someone to call, what about local authority? Both phone and radio. Testing the phone from the water is a good idea too, i think I’ll do that. About chicken line, you can rig something under the rear beam or tramp. I just prefer to attach that line to the trap line rather than to your harness. Some harness hooks have some sort of retainer that might help to stay connected, I think it was the old ones but it sounds a good idea.



Edited by Andinista on Sep 19, 2018 - 06:43 AM.
When we are using the chicken lines we hook them to the shrouds.
I've added a pair of grommets to the trampoline aft corners. Thr chicken lines are attached to the midpoint of the rear crossbeam, on the underside of the trampoline. They have bungee take-ups. The trampoline has boltropes - not many grommets.

These chicken lines have a handle made of hose, they are to hold in my hands. I wouldn't have an attachment, for the same reasons others have put forth.

My cat moves pretty wild (it's a toilet), but I don't do distance sailing, in particular soloing.
It's a foiler! Autocorrect fail!
martin_langhoffIt's a foiler! Autocorrect fail!

haha! i was gonna say .. "don't be so hard on your cat"
CatFan57I’m re-starting this thread because I’m interested in rigging a chicken line/wire(s). Am going to start solo-sailing the P18.2 and am wary about possibly slipping/falling off and having the boat sail or drift away from me when I’m a mile or two or five from shore and nobody around to help. Even closer in would still be an unwelcome problem.


IMHO - this is a bad idea
these wires are mainly for crew on the wire in heavy air/racing - not for solo helming

you greatly increase your risk of death by attaching yourself to a tether on a single handed boat - if you capsize ... you have a great chance of being forced underwater -

and foot straps greatly increase your risk of broken ankles

these are tools for racing in heavy air - if your not racing .... you don't need them
IF you want to be out in 20+ air - go with crew or other boats. if none avail ... stay ashore

Quote
(Edit: The boat wants to sail away from me just standing in shallow water getting ready to climb aboard w/ sails rigged up and both sheets loose. So I figure if for some reason I slip off while out sailing and the boat doesn't tip over immediately, there's a decent chance it'll sail away.)


Your cat should be set up with some weatherhelm so WHEN you fall off your boat it turns into the wind and stays close
Yeah, my understanding is that chicken wires have one use, to keep the trapped crew from flying forward. They are called suicide wires because the concept of being tied in like that is inherently dangerous. It's an acceptable tradeoff when racing in big waves or conditions that may lead to pitching. As far as the boat getting away, I'd wear a wetsuit that would allow me to survive 12 hours in the water, carry a VHF, and have insurance to buy a new boat if mine sailed onto a rock wall. Perhaps the other best advice I've read here regarding the issue of boats getting away is to hold on like hell to the mainsheet during a capsize. The other is to rig a line setup that allows you to quickly board the boat from in front of the main beam. When the boat rights, grab the dolphin striker, then quickly hop back on. I test fate, by going around to my trap lines to reboard. In those few seconds, my Inter 20 can already start to get going.
Weatherhelm may cause the cat to sail into the wind or even circles around you, but there are other variables. For example the tiller extension can lay on the tramp in a way that locks it in place such that the boat sails away. I had mine sail away from me, but the water bag slowed it down just enough that I could get the tip of one finger on a rudder and steer it back. It was that close. My next option would have been to yell at it to come back, then start playing with the VHF in my PDF pocket.



Edited by traphappy on Sep 19, 2018 - 12:01 PM.
traphappyWeatherhelm may cause the cat to sail into the wind or even circles around you, but there are other variables. For example the tiller extension can lay on the tramp in a way that locks it in place such that the boat sails away.

Completely true but i would bet 95% of the time your tiller wont get stuck (unless you have unusual gear on deck). I have tried to "wedge" mine for heave-to many times and it always fails unless mechanically secured

I have seen at least a dozen ghost ships sail away from people in my time cat sailing
I think having some weather helm is the best defense to avoid this

WHEN i have slid off my boat* I have a death grip on my main sheet

*only time i slid off ... I had just applied sunscreen to my legs using a new product (neutrogena stick sunscreen) and flew off my boat in a gybe. I picked a very bad area (shark central) and as my cat continued to sail .... It began to capsize and i was now close enough to rotate my rudder (from the water) and avoid a capsize

I will never again use this "stick" sunscreen on a boat
Thanks MN3. Great info!
MN3
Completely true but i would bet 95% of the time your tiller wont get stuck

But it’s when the tiller gets stuck that the boat may start sailing fast an steady. In my case one rudder came off, I think I didn’t put the lower cotter ring, or it came off. Not saying you need to be connected to the boat, but admit that separating from it may happen at some point and be prepared or stay on the beach. [quote]
Suicide and crew retention.... the mind could run wild on that one..

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John Schwartz
Ventura, CA
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I have not been tossed in front of the cat and dragged under the dolphin striker since I was about 33 years old. I intend to not repeat that in my 60s. I can see the advantage to a line that limits the extent of flight, but normally these events occur in heavier air and they happen fast. My flight did not result in a capsize and I was still attached to the trap wire, and managed to recover and climb aboard over the front cross-beam. I think in many such crashes a capsize is likely.

That was a fun memory, but the point is if a chicken line is attached to the trapeze dogbone, it shouldn't increase risk and could avoid some cracked ribs.

--
Tom
NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
Pennsylvania
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tominpa

That was a fun memory, but the point is if a chicken line is attached to the trapeze dogbone, it shouldn't increase risk and could avoid some cracked ribs.

On the contrary, they should reduce that risk. They may increase the risk of drowning if you get trapped, that’s what I meant above, if you were quoting my comment. Not so much if attached to the dogbone as you say, or even better to the trap wire thimble, but if attached to your harness it may be harder to remove when needed. By the way, a safety knife is another tool to carry, along with the radio. This is why I changed my pfd to one with a pocket. Knife is inside with a lanyard.
There’s also the one that came with the harness but it is has a narrow slot and won’t cut a sheet, just straps or cloth, I don’t trust it very much.
Yeah cutting tangled lines you can't see, under water, groggy/disoriented from the shock of the spill, in the limited time you have... not a practical plan IMO. I won't take any safety tools away from anyone.

I just wouldn't count on fantastic scenarios.
Better to have than not in my opinion. Especially if you are responsible for your crew.
CatFan57I’m re-starting this thread because I’m interested in rigging a chicken line/wire(s). Am going to start solo-sailing the P18.2 and am wary about possibly slipping/falling off and having the boat sail or drift away from me when I’m a mile or two or five from shore and nobody around to help. Even closer in would still be an unwelcome problem.

1. A couple of commenters have felt they’re a pain in the a** and not really necessary for pleasure sailing – only for distance races, etc. I can definitely see why they’d be PITA, and I’m thinking that in under 5kt winds of easy sailing I wouldn’t worry too much about my ability to stay on and connected to the boat. But I’d worry more when trying to push it in stronger conditions. I'd consider my a** in trouble if I’m alone and lose contact w/ the boat w/ nobody around to help. I'll be carrying a radio in my PFD, but I’d rather be sure I can stay attached to the boat. It sounds like a lot of you guys sail by yourselves quite a bit(?); if so, I’m not sure why you aren’t too concerned about getting detached from your boat. Maybe I'm just a chicken icon_eek , which is why I'm interested in chicken lines.

2. I don’t have holes in the end caps of my cross beams, so the solution listed by andinista above isn’t available to me. Klozhold posted a quote from Dartman that he rigged chicken lines for his P18.2 while sailing offshore in the Santa Barbara channel. But it doesn’t really indicate where he ties the lines from and to. I’d like to know.

I have rear foot straps and am thinking maybe I should tie a line to each one of those. Maybe with a carabiner on the other end that I can hook into my harness? But I’m guessing the line not in use would just fall off the tramp and drag in the water? Or is it better/possible to have just one line that always stays attached to you so you are not hooking/unhooking? If so, where is best to attach it to?

Any comments welcome. I just started thinking about this.

(Edit: The boat wants to sail away from me just standing in shallow water getting ready to climb aboard w/ sails rigged up and both sheets loose. So I figure if for some reason I slip off while out sailing and the boat doesn't tip over immediately, there's a decent chance it'll sail away.)Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 19, 2018 - 06:22 AM.


I've done quite a bit of solo sailing on a H18 as well as the P19 in the Santa Barbara Channel. I use a safety tether and would not consider going out without it solo, or with inexperienced crew. I should probably take some pictures or do a drawing, but basically it is about a 2ft line with a keylock carabiner one side and a quick release shackle on the other.

The Snap Shackle: http://www.apsltd.com/nic…b9eRq2hRk0xoCdB0QAvD_BwE

Keylock Carbiner: https://cdn.shopify.com/s…carabiner-open_large.jpg

The carabiner snaps to a jackline that runs along the aft end of the trampoline. The snap shackle attaches to my trapeze harness. On the pull ring of the snap shackle is a 4" long line covered with rubber tubing. Easy to find underwater if you need to grab and unhook. The keylock type carabiner is important in that if for some reason you need to release yourself from that end, there is no hook on the carbiner to impede you getting it loose.

Here is a good example of the difference: http://blog.weighmyrack.c…/keylock-nose-or-not.jpg

As the tether is only 2ft long, the jackline is a bit longer than the width of the stern so I can trap out with the tether connected. The jackline configuration allows me to switch sides on tacks without unhooking.

That I can remember, I've unintentionally capsized both boats once with this set up with no problem. With the H18, it was the classic side down the trampoline with very little chance of separation. With the p19, I had done the bone headed move of jumping out to trapeze without being hooked in. I was on a beam reach so the boat immediately went over.

The only dicey situation was beating to weather on the H18 while trapped out. The trapeze wire broke, I went in the water and the boat headed up a bit and kept going. I was dragged by the tether for a few seconds before the boat slowed down. I was solo, about three miles out, it moderate conditions. I'm not sure how that would have gone if I was separated. The handheld VHF cannot have much range at all from the water's surface.

There is definitely a risk being tied to the boat. But I think I have minimized them with my setup, and feel the risk of being separated far outweighs them.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
Very interesting approach, it sounds like it mitigates the risks we were talking about. And it works as a chicken line too, right?
Doesn't it get tangled with other lines on the tramp occasionally?
There are situations where there is enough time for a knife to save your life. Imagine the boat goes over, you are hanging two feet above the water from a line attached to the raised hull. You can't break loose due to the pull of gravity. Maybe the line is caught on the back of you somehow. You know the boat may go turtle on top of you. In that situation, I'd cut the line with time to spare.



Edited by traphappy on Sep 20, 2018 - 03:19 PM.
on a big boat.. sure. I have worn jack-line harnesses and I have even had my arm lashed to a rail while doing man-overboard watch in the Norwegian fjords in horrific winter weather above the arctic circle
But I wouldn't wear one on a dingy

imagine your knocked unconscious during a capsize and tethered
imagine your knocked unconscious after getting hit with a boom (not uncommon a boat)
imagine your stuck under your boat and tethered ... and panicking
imagine your stuck under your boat and tethered ... and accidentally inhaled some water

all possibility that would prevent me from ever tethering myself to a beach catamaran

ymmv
MN3, I am saying (clarified my above comment), as you advocate, that a knife can help and you should carry one. I also agree that tethering is dangerous. There are situations where there is enough time to cut a line. That was the example I was trying to paint, that a knife can save you. I carry a knife and always give my crew one.



Edited by traphappy on Sep 20, 2018 - 03:20 PM.
raphappy, I wasn't specifically responding to your post, (although i did adopt your phrase "imagine ...")

I am really just playing devils advocate here.
MN3on a big boat.. sure. I have worn jack-line harnesses and I have even had my arm lashed to a rail while doing man-overboard watch in the Norwegian fjords in horrific winter weather above the arctic circle
But I wouldn't wear one on a dingy

imagine your knocked unconscious during a capsize and tethered
imagine your knocked unconscious after getting hit with a boom (not uncommon a boat)
imagine your stuck under your boat and tethered ... and panicking
imagine your stuck under your boat and tethered ... and accidentally inhaled some water

all possibility that would prevent me from ever tethering myself to a beach catamaran

ymmv


All recognizable hazards, and you're mileage may vary. I routinely sail solo miles from shore with nobody around, sometimes in heavy conditions. Being separated from the boat is a far greater risk for me than those you list. But that may be just me.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
AndinistaVery interesting approach, it sounds like it mitigates the risks we were talking about. And it works as a chicken line too, right?
Doesn't it get tangled with other lines on the tramp occasionally?


Surprisingly, that has not been an issue for me.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
Here is a video of what the jackline/tether looks like when used. I did this video for someone interested in going out solo. I usually hook up the tether before leaving the harbor. In this case, I am dealing with it outside the entrance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICjJNvMhzvE

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
mattsonHere is a video of what the jackline/tether looks like when used. I did this video for someone interested in going out solo. I usually hook up the tether before leaving the harbor. In this case, I am dealing with it outside the entrance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICjJNvMhzvE


Cool video...

BTW, what is going on with your 19? You repairing it, or getting another one...

--
John Schwartz
Ventura, CA
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QuoteAll recognizable hazards, and you're mileage may vary. I routinely sail solo miles from shore with nobody around, sometimes in heavy conditions. Being separated from the boat is a far greater risk for me than those you list. But that may be just me.

Agreed - we all must weigh the risks and make the decision that works best for us.
Yes, agree too. Sailing without any backup available is one of the risks behind this discussion, isn’t it? No
possible actions to mitigate it? I can think of a couple
JohnES
mattsonHere is a video of what the jackline/tether looks like when used. I did this video for someone interested in going out solo. I usually hook up the tether before leaving the harbor. In this case, I am dealing with it outside the entrance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICjJNvMhzvE


Cool video...

BTW, what is going on with your 19? You repairing it, or getting another one...


I'm repairing it as a learning exercise, but don't have much confidence in the boat for island trips. Already have a replacement. Just need to get the tires/wheels to make it towable and get the time to make the drive to pick her up. More on that later.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
traphappyMN3, I am saying (clarified my above comment), as you advocate, that a knife can help and you should carry one. I also agree that tethering is dangerous. There are situations where there is enough time to cut a line. That was the example I was trying to paint, that a knife can save you. I carry a knife and always give my crew one.Edited by traphappy on Sep 20, 2018 - 03:20 PM.

I got pulled from my ankle with the mainsheet, at a pretty high and steady speed, by then I didn’t have an appropriate knife but a stupid Swiss Army knife which I didn’t even bother trying to find on my shorts pocket. I changed my pfd and got the right knife. Now I think I should do the same for my crew...



Edited by Andinista on Sep 20, 2018 - 04:57 PM.
Quote I changed my pfd and got the right knife. Now I think I should do the same for my crew...

+1

Sail long enough and ... crazy things are gonna happen - a sharp knife is a life saver for sure
i recently purchased the ronstan strap cutter that Philip posted.
Guys, a little delayed with the response here, but I have to say, dang, based on the responses received this has to be the best post I put up here to date for gaining valuable info in reply. Many thanks and much appreciation to all who took the time to reply. And especially Bill Mattson, who even included links to photos and a great video I really enjoyed. Every comment read and carefully thought over though.

I have a few replies/questions. Maybe I'll break them up a little. Starting with:

martin_langhoffMy cat moves pretty wild (it's a toilet), but I don't do distance sailing, in particular soloing.


Hey man, no need for the auto-correct clarification. In my younger days of wine/women/song, I experienced more than a few late-night episodes learning just how unstable toilets can be: spinning, tilting, bucking, threatening to keel over and crash from great heights at any moment, the whole nine yards, very disorienting for sure - so it definitely sounds like you've got a wild cat on your hands there.



Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 24, 2018 - 09:45 AM.

--
1998 P18.2
Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
--
Well, thanks to all for bringing to my attention the risks/dangers of being dragged under water if you tie yourself to a boat that might be moving away from you at speed when you fall off. Andinista's story of being dragged by the foot without being able to do anything to free himself (until luckily the sheet came loose) gives plenty to think about.

On the other hand, it was interesting to hear from MN3 about the number of times he's seen people's boats sail or float away from them after they fell off, and his statement that it's only a matter of when, not if, it happens to you.

So I guess it's a real judgment call, depending on the circumstances. Personally, if I were solo-sailing in the conditions Mattson apparently goes in I'd assess the risks the way he sees them. I think you're screwed out there if you lose your boat. And I think his quick release clip that he uses at his harness end looks really good for freeing yourself if necessary - that's basically the kind of set up I was interested in finding out about. Anyway, I'm here more to learn more than to offer my opinions about the risk balancing.

MN3IMHO - this is a bad idea

IF you want to be out in 20+ air - go with crew or other boats. if none avail ... stay ashore


Point taken.

MN3Your cat should be set up with some weatherhelm so WHEN you fall off your boat it turns into the wind and stays close


More good info I didn't know. How do I add in the weather helm? Right now my boat holds a really good line when hands-off the rudder, and here I was thinking that's a good thing.



Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 24, 2018 - 04:16 PM.

--
1998 P18.2
Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
--
CatFan57Well, thanks to all for bringing to my attention the risks/dangers of being dragged under water if you tie yourself to a boat that might be moving away from you at speed when you fall off. Andinista's story of being dragged by the foot without being able to do anything to free himself (until luckily the sheet came loose) gives plenty to think about.

On the other hand, it was interesting to hear from MN3 about the number of times he's seen people's boats sail or float away from them after they fell off, and his statement that it's only a matter of when, not if, it happens to you.

So I guess it's a real judgment call, depending on the circumstances. Personally, if I were solo-sailing in the conditions Mattson apparently goes in I'd assess the risks the way he sees them. I think you're screwed out there if you lose your boat. And I think his quick release clip that he uses at his harness end looks really good for freeing yourself if necessary - that's basically the kind of set up I was interested in finding out about. Anyway, I'm here more to learn more than to offer my opinions about the risk balancing.

MN3IMHO - this is a bad idea

IF you want to be out in 20+ air - go with crew or other boats. if none avail ... stay ashore


Point taken.

MN3Your cat should be set up with some weatherhelm so WHEN you fall off your boat it turns into the wind and stays close


More good info I didn't know. How do I add in the weather helm? Right now my boat holds a really good line when hands-off the rudder, and here I was thinking that's a good thing.Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 24, 2018 - 04:16 PM.


You do want just a bit of weatherhelm for exactly the reason stated. Either rake the mast back, or rake the rudders back (tips aft), to induce weather helm.

Btw, if the boat capsizes in heavy air, it may be carried away from you regardless of what helm you have.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
mattson
Btw, if the boat capsizes in heavy air, it may be carried away from you regardless of what helm you have.


And we are talking feet per second... Had this happen on a NACRA 5.8 where the crew decided to swim around the boat to point the the mast to the wind after being told NOT do that, let alone NOT to let go of the boat... In about 5 seconds the boat was 10 yards away from him and getting further... he was not that fast of a swimmer...

In all the years of sailing I never had to call for a "dust off" but this day warranted it when I lost sight of him... and I was getting too close to shore.

Even when sailing with a crew; experience or not, be sure to have a safety briefing before leaving, and as an added bonus, ask them to repeat the procedure 10-20 minutes in to the sail...

--
John Schwartz
Ventura, CA
--
QuoteOn the other hand, it was interesting to hear from MN3 about the number of times he's seen people's boats sail or float away from them after they fell off, and his statement that it's only a matter of when, not if, it happens to you.

Slight clarification: I have seen many "ghost ship" but mostly due to un-secured boats leaving the beach solo. the point of this was they failed to have weather helm that would have prevented the cats from sailing straight away

I have only seen 2 people fall off a cat. One was a 70+ year old on a dart, when he came up to me and tacked right on top of my parked boat ... he fell off and the boat sailed away.

The other person was ... me. Once in the story i shared about freshly "sunscreening up" and flying off my tramp in a hard gybe and the other time was 100% user error and stupidity (showing off / being dumb)



Edited by MN3 on Sep 24, 2018 - 04:42 PM.
I think I know the 70 year old that fell off the Dart. I've been following this thread with mixed thoughts. I think being tethered to any boat is potentially dangerous in the event of a capsize. That said, if you are sailing solo and fall off, your boat is gone by the time you realize that you are in the water. Here's my story ...

I was out with my 14 year old in 12-15 knot/mph winds (can't remember which). We had completed a turn and were gaining speed. Hannah had set the jib and was moving out onto the wire. I felt the boat gaining power and I wanted to ensure she could get out completely before we were fully powered up. I turned into the wind a bit and let out a little mainsheet. Doing both at the same time was likely my big mistake. I was hiked out, trying to hold it down while she got out and the boat started shimmying left to right. I went over the windward side so quickly that I came up in the water with the tiller grip in my hand. By the time I knew I was in the water, the boat was 25 yards away and moving further away.

I was really impressed with Hannah. She realized I was gone, came in off the wire, moved back, took control of the now-bent up tiller and mainsheet. She sailed as close to wind as she could to depower. I got picked up by the other boat we were sailing with and that boat dropped me next to our boat. I climbed on and we started again.

One other thought ... If you choose to use a tether, I would recommend against cleating the main. When I was picked up by the other boat, I just grabbed the dolphin striker and held on for a quick ride. I found that I got tired very quickly hanging on. I can't imagine being behind a boat, attached to a tether, while it has the main cleated and trying to climb aboard with pressure of the water against you. I could see that tiring someone out very quickly.

My novice $.02, for what it is worth.

Dana



Edited by dartsailors on Sep 25, 2018 - 11:13 AM.

--
Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

LJ/Stu's Dart 18
--
Sailing offshore on larger boats, a tether and jacklines are mandatory... but so, too, are high-confidence clips. Beachcat sailing wouldn't seem to need a three-clip long-short setup but there's some leverage available, surely.

*IF* you're going to tether yourself to something that has the capability of dragging you to a rapid wet death, i recommend doing so with a clip that allows you to manually release under load without looking. A tether makes some sense in some situations (stuck under an inverted tramp), but in others (being dragged at speed), I'd want to be able to release the tether by hand without a knife... knowing full well that I'm trading off immediate breathing for an uncertainly-long future of likely boat-less floating.

I have an interesting thought, not fully considered yet: if your clip is at the end of the mainsheet (assume a separate traveler line for purposes of discussion), you'd have a moderately effective kill switch AND/OR an abort. If you're in the water clipped in while the boat is sailing away, it should round up as the sheet responds to your changing from skipper to sea anchor... but you can always release the clip and opt for survival sans boat.

If you generally sail inland lakes with other boat traffic, a high visibility flag on your PFD is probably a better bet. If you truly sail offshore away from likely rescue, a tether begins to make sense. Even VHF or phone from PFD/water-level begins to get sketchy to establish/maintain contact if there's much swell at all.

Randii
I had chicken lines on my old Supercat 17 that ran through the rear cross bar with bungie take-ups. On the ends were simple hooks that I attached to the trap loop. They worked great. Kept me rock steady as I buried the bows. Never got tangled up when I flipped. The hooks were very user friendly.

--
Joe Bohan
Cos Cob,CT

Current boat,

Nacra F18 Infusion- Bad Toro

Former boat,

Supercat 17- Tasmaniac
--
Quote*IF* you're going to tether yourself to something that has the capability of dragging you to a rapid wet death, i recommend doing so with a clip that allows you to manually release under load without looking. A tether makes some sense in some situations (stuck under an inverted tramp), but in others (being dragged at speed), I'd want to be able to release the tether by hand without a knife... knowing full well that I'm trading off immediate breathing for an uncertainly-long future of likely boat-less floating.



I used to waterski. when i was young and dumb ... i would hang on to the handle after i fell off the skis. I can't imagine pulling myself forward 1 inch while being dragged by a boat.

not sure it would be "do-able" to get off the tether if you are being dragged. you would need enough strength (and mindset) to pull slack into the line that was dragging you behind the boat to get the clip off the line.
MN3I used to waterski. when i was young and dumb ... i would hang on to the handle after i fell off the skis. I can't imagine pulling myself forward 1 inch while being dragged by a boat.

Yup, been there and done that behind a tow-boat. Weird how reflex is to hold tight!

There are hooks that will allow you to disconnect even under load. Here's a quick google to one similar to what I've used.
http://marine.wichard.com/images/prestations/7064-275-rvb-2831.jpg
If the IMG doesn't work: http://marine.wichard.com…ns/7064-275-rvb-2831.jpg

Randii



Edited by randii on Sep 26, 2018 - 12:17 PM.
randii
MN3I used to waterski. when i was young and dumb ... i would hang on to the handle after i fell off the skis. I can't imagine pulling myself forward 1 inch while being dragged by a boat.

Yup, been there and done that behind a tow-boat. Weird how reflex is to hold tight!

There are hooks that will allow you to disconnect even under load. Here's a quick google to one similar to what I've used.
http://marine.wichard.com/images/prestations/7064-275-rvb-2831.jpg
If the IMG doesn't work: http://marine.wichard.com…ns/7064-275-rvb-2831.jpg

RandiiEdited by randii on Sep 26, 2018 - 12:17 PM.

SMART!!!!!
Just a couple observations after reading the rest of the thread.

The hook I am using (link posted earlier) is a quick release, which requires no slack to release. I have attached a short cord to the release pin, covered it in a length of 1/4" OD hose, with a stopper knot to keep it on the line. It is relatively easy to find underwater, and will release under load with no slack.

During the one time I was dragged a short distance, I was practically on the stern of the boat, able to reach the tiller bar, tiller cross bar, and rear cross bar easily. The length of the jackline and tether are such that you really are never very far from the boat.

--
Bill Mattson
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
--
QuoteThe hook I am using (link posted earlier) is a quick release

Ok fine! you are brilliant too!!!!!
just teasing - i didn't click through and see your quick release clip, only the second link (carabiner)

but if you're gonna be tethered .. that is a smart way to mitigate risks
mattsonThe trapeze wire broke, I went in the water and the boat headed up a bit and kept going. I was dragged by the tether for a few seconds before the boat slowed down.


Previously I said I wasn't really here to offer my opinions on risk balancing regarding tethering yourself. But I think I'll reverse myself on that because the question might be worth debating.

Basically, I question whether the risk of being dragged until you drown by a moving, unmanned beach cat is really that high. It seems not that likely to me. As mentioned by Mattson above, when he fell off he was dragged for a few seconds before the boat slowed down. Apparently the boat slowed down even though it was possibly still under some power(?). Andinista said he was dragged by the sheet for a short time before the sheet came loose. I wasn't there, but did the sheet come loose because the cat slowed down? Sounds likely.

How far can an unhelmed beach cat really drag a body in the water before slowing down of its own accord? That's a lot of weight and drag, and beach cats are pretty unstable and hard to keep going under power even with an operator on board. A motor boat, sure, but I don't see where that's really the same (and I had my share of novice water skiers fall and fail to let go, which always raised a laugh on the boat).

I'm not discounting that anything's possible, or the other risks of being tethered. I suppose, for example, the boat could flip over and somehow pin you underneath if you are tied.

The yacht guys vote for tethers and jack lines when nobody's there to see them fall in. Just seems to me if you're in open waters a couple miles from help you should do just about everything humanly possible to not lose contact with your boat. The idea of pulling out my radio to call for help from six inches above the water line, and then hoping someone will come and locate me when I'm not attached to a boat, strikes me as a far bigger risk. Just my opinion. Of course, there's always the question of whether you should be out there by yourself in the first place....



Edited by CatFan57 on Sep 29, 2018 - 12:42 AM.

--
1998 P18.2
Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
--
I'll re-post my story from a year ago topic Scare The Newbies Day! Let's Hear The Horror https://www.thebeachcats.com/forums/viewtopic/topic/16403/start/20
QuoteI was in a race sailing my H18 solo at Santa Cruz CA 5 or 6 years ago. Going to weather in 12 to 14 knot winds I went over. No big deal. A chase boat comes up asks if I'm ok I respond yes and they leave to help another H16 that's over while my boat is still on its side. I felt comfortable that I could right myself. Next I take out my water bucket and proceed to fill and hoist it to my shoulder (other end of bucket line is connected to dolphin striker) and right the boat. So far so good, up she comes and I drop the bucket and grab the low side dolphin sticker to keep it from going over the other way.

What happen next frightened me. The rope from the righting bag/bucket wrapped my ankle and the boat starts to power up. The bucket is now acting as a sea anchor! The boat does not want to round up, I'm facing the crossbar and being dragged under the tramp and can't see what I'm sailing toward. I know I'm at least a 1/2 mile off shore so I have some time before hitting the rocks but I don't know if there are any other boats that I might hit. I also can't reach down to release the rope from my ankle for fear of loosing my grip on the dolphin striker. If I would have let go my worry was that I would now be dragged by the boat (ankle first) and be worse off. After several minuets the wind eased momentarily and I was able to get the rope off my ankle but it seamed much longer.

Once the boat was righted the chase boat must have thought all was well and I did not see them again until the end of the day. From that day forward I do not sail or race alone on the ocean and I now carry a knife!


I now sail a TIGER and have a chicken line rigged for my crew. It goes through the front cross bar and connects to the rudder pins (bungy in the front cross bar to take up slack). It does not tie my crew to the boat, it is hand held only! I have it rigged this way so my crew has support going upwind it they are hip checked by a wave and going down if I bury a bow, they have support to not be thrown forward.

I no longer sail solo in 15+ when there are no other Cats or chase boats to assist if a problem arises.
QuoteI'm not discounting that anything's possible, or the other risks of being tethered. I suppose, for example, the boat could flip over and somehow pin you underneath if you are tied.

i agree the risk of being pinned under the boat is more of a risk than being drowned by being dragged
QuoteThe rope from the righting bag/bucket wrapped my ankle and the boat starts to power up. The bucket is now acting as a sea anchor! The boat does not want to round up, I'm facing the crossbar and being dragged under the tramp and can't see what I'm sailing toward.

WOW
glad you made it through that one
MN3
QuoteI'm not discounting that anything's possible, or the other risks of being tethered. I suppose, for example, the boat could flip over and somehow pin you underneath if you are tied.

i agree the risk of being pinned under the boat is more of a risk than being drowned by being dragged

Those risks are considerably increased if you are tied to the boat, therefore the quick shackle becomes critical
Mattson,

Where did you clip to on your vest/ harness, and do you have approximate lengths and sizes for the lines and attachment points? I solo a lot and want to copy this setup

--
Captain Chris Holley
Fulshear, TX
'87 Prindle 19 "Cat in the Hat"
'74 sunfish "1fish"
--
To keep from reinventing the wheel take a look at the leashes that kite boarders attach to
their harnesses. They incorporate a really simple quick release. At about the 1 minute mark of this video
they illustrate the operation of the release.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUAEZfIlxlY



Edited by pknapp66 on Jun 05, 2019 - 07:37 AM.

--
Pete Knapp
Schodack landing,NY
Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
--
Make dang sure whatever you attach to your body is with a quick release shackle that releases under load. Give yourself an easy to grab tag line.
We ran tethers on the GT300 and they were connected via quick release to the harness spreader bar.
If I were running something for solo, I think I would consider something like the SailGP F50 teams are using. A jackline run port to stbd with just enough tether to get on the wire in hopes that if you fall off, you are within arms reach of the rudders/tiller.
I have also seen guys attach a quick release shackle to their harness and run the mainsheet through it. Serves two purposes as its been explained to me.
1 - Keeps the main always with you.
2- If you fall off, the main would be cranked on and the boat would round up. Not sure I believe it in all scenarios, but I suppose its possible.
I would only add, keep your dang VHF on your person. I see so many people with their VHF in the tramp pocket or attached to the boom. It's useless there. Clip it on (I have a small bit of line and a carabiner as a backup retention)

--
Joshua

Texas Gulf Coast
'82 Prindle 16 (Badfish)
'02 Hobie Wave (Unnamed Project)
‘87 Hobie 18 (Sold)
‘89 Hobie 17 (ill-advised project boat, Sold)
--