Raritan Marine Toilet Systems Manufacturers Discuss Safety With Jackline Installation
Raritan Engineering would like to share with you this week some great information regarding jackline installation tips.
The “to-do” list begins to swell in October, a month when many northern hemisphere sailors start preparing their boats for offshore passages to warmer climates. High on many lists is the job of installing jacklines—the lines running along the deck to which we attach our safety tethers.
One of the most startling conclusions of our current test was that despite the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) generalized approach to jackline standards, the best material for a jackline varies as boat length increases.
Importance of Good Boat Maintenance
Your marine toilet systems professionals talk about how material selection is just one of many details regarding jacklines that deserves careful thought. If you are re-installing your jacklines or installing for them for the first time, be sure to read our upcoming test report.
- Although you can use existing hardware for anchoring jacklines to your deck, finding adequate anchors on light boats can be difficult, since the deck and fittings might not be very strong.
- Confirm that the entire system is of known minimum strength. ISAF standards recommend 4,500 pounds minimum breaking strength for webbing, although we recommend more for boats greater than 40 feet in order to provide an adequate safety factor.
- Nylon stretches a great deal when it is wet, so nylon jacklines should be tensioned when wet.
- Webbing jacklines should be twisted—not laid flat. This way they are easier to clip into when wet and they won’t flap in the wind.
- Outboard-powered boats should never have jacklines or tethers so long that a sailor who has fallen overboard could be towed behind the boat near the prop.
- Jacklines should stop well short of the bow. Fast boats, multihulls in particular, can hurl a person forward when the bow stuffs into a wave.
- The cockpit should have at least one dedicated fixed point for clipping into. Consider installing dedicated clip-in points (padeyes) at other work stations—i.e. at the mast, or at the bow.
- Rope jacklines can be acceptable on boats with higher coachroofs that allow the lines to be routed off the deck where they won’t fall underfoot.
- When Dyneema or stainless cable are used on the deck, sheathing them in tubular webbing can reduce the chance that the jackline will roll under foot.
- Jacklines must be clearly distinguishable from running rigging, so that there is no chance of clipping into the wrong line.
- Jacklines should be permanently rigged during a passage. It takes time to become accustomed to their use, and sailors have often gone overboard in benign conditions.
- Jacklines should be rigged under sheets and over deck-routed control lines so that a sudden tack or jibe does not grab the tether.
- If you rely on stainless steel hardware, use only the highest quality. (Wichard is one company whose hardware has consistently done well in our tests.) During our field research we came across a 46-foot boat with very tight 3/16-inch stainless jacklines attached with 3/16-inch stainless shackles.
Don’t forget these helpful jackline installation tips. 1) Confirm that the entire system is of known minimum strength; 2) Jacklines must be clearly distinguishable from running rigging, so that there is no chance of clipping into the wrong line; and 3) if you rely on stainless steel hardware, use only the highest quality.
Not Quite Time for Winter Storage? Consider These Simple Fall Boat Maintenance Tasks
Boating and boat ownership during autumn months can mean different things depending on where you live. In the southern states, it could mean that the summer heat is finally dissipating enough to fully enjoy days spent out on the water. In the north, it may mean the beginning of the end of boating season.
Even if you’re not quite ready to store your boat for the season, there is still regular maintenance you might consider as the season changes. Many people may not realize what the lack of other boaters on the water (thanks to cooler temperatures) could mean for your time on the water.
Fall Maintenance and Safety Checks
It can be a good idea to check your safety equipment and supplies, including:
- Making sure the batteries in the very high frequency (VHF) radio are charged.
- Signal devices are up to date and working.
- There are plenty of warm clothes on board and they’re stored in a plastic bag to help keep them dry.
- Make sure you leave a float plan telling people where you are going and when you should be returning.
Another thing to keep in mind is your battery bank, a group of batteries used (often exclusively) to start your boat’s engine. A battery that started perfectly fine in summer may not have the power to get you back in colder temperatures, because as the temperature decreases, so does a battery’s capacity, according to Trojan Battery.
Keep the Inside Dry
Cold temperatures can also mean condensation inside the boat, so ventilation becomes very important. When leaving your boat for more than a few days at a time, you may want to take a few extra steps to help make sure your supplies are not damp or susceptible to dirt and grime upon your return.
Doing an inspection of all plumbing is a good idea every few months, although particularly heading into fall. The hoses that have expanded all summer due to excess heat could now be contracting in the colder weather, and fittings may no longer be as tight as they should be.
While it may not be time to prepare your boat for the off season just yet, these tips may help ensure your safety and keep your mind at ease while you enjoy the fall boating season.
Click here and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.
Be sure to watch our latest video on marine toilet systems below. We are your #1 expert for marine sanitation supply needs.