End of a tether

Yachting World - - On The Wind -

Your ar­ti­cle Safe for Ocean Cruising in the July is­sue was very in­for­ma­tive, but sur­pris­ingly, the fol­low­ing po­ten­tially un­safe prac­tices were ev­i­dent in some of the pic­tures.

The young lady in the main pic­ture has left the safety of the steer­ing po­si­tion and has climbed onto the side deck in or­der to at­tach her tether to the jack­stay, thus putting her­self in a vul­ner­a­ble, un­teth­ered sit­u­a­tion. It’s es­sen­tial that the po­si­tion of a jack­stay will al­low a crew mem­ber to at­tach to it without leav­ing the safety of the cock­pit or steer­ing po­si­tion. In this case, the jack­stay should cer­tainly have been se­cured much closer to the stern of the boat.

The teth­ers be­ing used in the main pic­ture and in other pic­tures are fit­ted with sim­ple, sin­gle ac­tion ‘safety’ hooks that don’t have any lock­ing de­vice. These can eas­ily be­come un­done if twisted on a U-bolt or pad eye. The off­shore sail­ing reg­u­la­tions strongly rec­om­mend that safety hooks with dou­ble ac­tion lock­ing de­vices be used. This is a statu­tory re­quire­ment on com­mer­cial ves­sels and dou­ble ac­tion hooks should def­i­nitely be on the list of ‘must haves’ for ocean cruising.

The teth­ers shown in the pic­tures ap­pear to be full-length, 2m teth­ers at­tached to the jack­stays with their safety hooks. It’s much safer to pass the tether’s safety hook un­der the jack­stay and at­tach it to the wearer’s har­ness point, along­side the other safety hook. This halves the length of the tether and sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the risk of an MOB go­ing into the water. It also helps to pre­vent the safety hook from dam­ag­ing the deck!

Mervyn Wil­son, Prin­ci­pal, An­daman Yacht­ing

The real win­ners

In the Septem­ber edi­tion’s back page fea­ture there were some in­ac­cu­ra­cies. In true Max Boyce fash­ion ‘I was there’ and I re­mem­ber the race well.

I had just wit­nessed the amaz­ing suc­cess by ‘the blondes in a boat’ and then Mr Ainslie win­ning his Gold medal. The con­di­tions were gnarly, but I man­aged to snap this photo (right)

Be­low: GBR suc­cess at 2012 Bei­jing Olympics Bot­tom: Car­nage in the 49er class

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