End of a tether
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