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Suicide / crew retention line?  Bottom

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  • 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

    --
    -----
    Nacra 430
    Nacra 5.2

    'There is nothing, but nothing as much fun as simply messing about in boats'
    --
  • 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
    --
  • 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
    --
  • 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

    --
    -----
    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
    --
  • 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!!!!

    --
    Marty
    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
    --
  • 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.

    --
    1998 P18.2
    Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
    --
  • 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.

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