Rigging heavy weather safety lines

Does anyone have suggestions or diagrams on how to best run heavy weather safety lines on the deck?

John Curtiss
Dulcinea #66

For heavy weather safety lines I run a 1/2" line secured forward to the pulpit back through a ring seized to the cap shroud at about eye level then aft to the boom gallow and secured with a truckers hitch to tighten it. The forward end has an eye splice large enough to pass the body of the line through it creating a cow hitch on the pulpit. I’ll be up to Terrier next week and will try to take a picture or two. BTW, Dulcinea looks great!.

Tom Winkler
Terrier #31

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I run 1" flat nylon webbing from a cleat on the inboard end of my boomkin, along the deck to a cleat at the bow on both sides.(stock boats didn’t have the bow cleats…something I added) I hook on to the weather webbing and, with a 6’ tether, can work on everything I need to reach and would have to work hard to fall overboard. I have roller furling on the headsail and stay sail so going out on the sprit is not an issue…suppose there could be a day when the furler jams but will cross that bridge if and when…Tom

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This may be an unusual approach. Maybe not…

I’ve had various safety lines at one time or another laying on the deck. Problem
is the harness doesn’t run smoothly so I end up frustrated by not being able
to move quickly. Plus the line, flat or otherwise, bothers me laying on deck.

Once during heavy weather, I tied a dock line between the mast and the boom
gallows, up high, just below the boom. What a relief! Harness runs smoothly.
No snags. No lines laying on the deck. Of course, this wouldn’t be for all
conditions since the line would get in the way depending on where (and if)
the preventer is mounted.

Mark Gearhart
SV Godspeed

Good comment Mark, advantage is that the harness snap shackle does not drag along the deck making noise below while others try to sleep. The Pardey’s use a line tied between the boomgallow knees and the upper shroud on both sides of the boat at about chest height. I use both methods, that is, the webbing like Tom’s but I go to the cranse iron from the boomgallows. I also use the Pardey method and I like it because when I want to pee over the side, I lean my chest against this rope!


I always used a simple 1/2 double braid line running from the gallows post at deck level, forward to pass around the bitts and back on the opposite side again to the gallows.

With a six foot tether(that can be doubled over to a three footer)I can clip on and go full length of the boat on either side…using the doubled tether to switch from one side to the other. This double tether (clips at both ends) also allows switching without ever being totally un-connected.

We do use a metal trapped-hook(not sure of the real name). Any noise it makes dragging down the deck does not bother anyone below since harnesses are not worn in fair weather and when it’s rough enough to need them you WANT the person below to be aware of your position going foreward.

I have heard of those ‘high lines’ run up at shoulder level and don’t care for them. To my way of thinking if it’s rough weather you are crouching down holding onto things as you move down the deck.

And I would never, ever lean on a ‘high line’ to pee over the side. If you want to pee over the side with security, lean between the upper and a lower with each arm wrapped around a shroud.

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What type & length of tethers do most use?

I’m looking at one with three clips — maybe two feet in between two of them and the third sewn in between about four feet with a stretch recoil material.