Clip­ping on

Yachting Monthly - - TECHNICAL -

The num­ber one golden rule to avoid the risk of an MOB sit­u­a­tion is to stay clipped on. The Clip­per Round The World Fleet now clips on when the true wind is over 10 knots. If you’re the skip­per it’s your call when your crew clip on. If you’re crew and you want to clip on, do it, it’s your safety. Clip­ping on re­quires proper jack­stays, clip­ping eyes, har­nesses and safety lines. For un­avoid­able deck work in foul con­di­tions off­shore I use two lines, clip­ping them al­ter­nately when I reach a cross­ing point so that I al­ways have one firmly at­tached to the boat. The elas­ti­cated web­bing type help keep them tidy, but be sure not to have them so long as to al­low you to hang over the rail, pos­si­bly with your head in the wa­ter.

One other thing – folk tend to rely on guard wires when they lose their bal­ance on deck. It might not be the cor­rect thing to do, but it’s of­ten un­avoid­able, so make sure they are prop­erly se­cured and the stan­chions bases sound. Rather than fix­ing them to the rails us­ing steel shack­les or lash­ings, try us­ing a soft shackle on the end that can be cut when need­ing to drop the wires in an emer­gency. dis­cov­ered one golden rule – a pas­sive radar re­flec­tor should be as large as pos­si­ble. Bet­ter still, if you re­ally want to be seen by a pass­ing ship and can af­ford the ini­tial cost (c. £500) and have the bat­tery power to run it then buy an ac­tive Radar Tar­get En­hancer such as the ex­cel­lent Ac­tive-X (

With sec­onds of ac­ti­va­tion, res­cue ser­vices will know you’re in dis­tress Clipped on while work­ing at the mast, but the jack­stays aren’t tight and the tether is too long

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