Boating Forum > Boats, Safety, Seamanship

Safety at Sea: The Use of Jacklines


The following is from "The Beacon", January 2016 edition:

Safety at Sea: The Use of Jack Lines

All boating activity that takes place off shore, out of the sight of shore, or near shore where the conditions MIGHT exceed 3’ waves, with or without the handicap of fog or darkness is a dangerous environment for a man-over-board (M.O.B.) situation. If you are fortunate enough to immediately know there is a M.O.B. situation it is very tough to spot a 1’ diameter sphere (like a head) in a life jacket, bobbing between the waves. It the M.O.B. situation is not immediately recognized, or there is darkness or fog, the recovery becomes very doubtful.

By far the best solution is to eliminate the M.O.B. risk with the use of Jack Lines. Multiple Jack Lines should be installed between secure fixed attachment points so that every crew member that is at risk of going off the boat by any means is restrained by a body harness (optionally integrated with an inflatable life jacket) that is connected to a tether and snapped on to a Jack Line that will accommodate the tether sliding along the line to any needed destination on all open deck areas. The jack Lines can be fabricated from nylon webbing or other material with a working strength of at least 1,000 lbs. The lines should be designed to run between cleats, chain plates, or other heavy duty connection points. The line should be custom made and have a loop in the ends that folds back on itself at least 2’ and double stitched the full length of the 2’ length with heavy nylon thread and then pull tested to verify secure attachment. The tether can be made the same way and several should be fabricated in 4’ and 6’ lengths, each tether can be used either full length or doubled over to provide 2’ and 3’ options. Basic principal – never go overboard, and REQUIRE your crew to be safe.

See this video ( Capt. John.

John Harris, JN


[0] Message Index

Go to full version