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
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]
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.
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.
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'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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.