You can never underestimate the importance of safety on a sailboat.
Our lifelines were the old, white vinyl coated kind that has a lot of rust showing through. They sagged, looked unsightly, and we just generally didn’t trust them. They lasted us almost two years and we were glad to see them go. We added 316 stainless steel tubing to the existing rail along the back of the cockpit. Then we replaced the old lifelines with new 316 stainless steel 1×19 wire lifelines. We considered switching to Spectra, but decided against it because 1) we got the 1×19 wire really, really cheap at Port Supply, and 2) our canvas shade cover would have chafed through the spectra.
Update: August 2017
We added gates to our lifelines on the port side. We got tired of having to step over the lifelines, but couldn’t stomach the high cost of the lifeline gate hardware. So for now, only one side has gates.
Teak Grab Rails
We took the 14-foot long, solid teak grab rails off the boat about two years ago. They’ve been stored way up high in the shed (out of sight, out of mind) since then. We were going to replace them with stainless steel tubing but decided to see if they could be saved. After lots of sanding, some scraping, teak cleaner and brightener, and a couple of coats of teak oil and sealer, they felt almost as good an new. We reinstalled them and sealed up the screw holes with 4000 sealant. It would have been a shame to let all that teak go to waste, plus they look great and add one more layer of safety to the boat.
A mast pulpit is a metal or wood structure that is bolted through the cabin top near the sides of the mast. It gives you a place to brace yourself while working at the mast underway. When we bought Ramble On we were not considering installing a mast pulpit partially because we were planning to run all the control lines aft, but we’ve changed our tune a bit. Installing a mast pulpit is definitely on the to-do project list. It makes working at the mast safer and since we decided to simplify our rig by not running everything aft to the cockpit, it just makes sense.
Stay tuned for more info…
A jackline is a rope or wire strung from the bow to stern to which a safety harness can be clipped. The idea is to keep you on the boat by clipping yourself via a harness to the jackline. At this point, we’re not sure how we’re going to rig jacklines. We saw a video on Off Center Harbor’s website of a small boat that used D-rings lashed to the wire stays at about chest-level as their anchor points for jacklines. They would run Spectra rope through the D-rings when they went offshore and that served as their jacklines. The typical way jacklines are run is through pad-eyes bolted to the deck. We’re sure we’re going to install some sort of jackline system, but not sure yet what it will be.
A man overboard pole is a deployable marker for those instances when someone falls overboard. Our boat didn’t come with one, but we’re planning to get one, just haven’t thought about it yet. Stay tuned…
Yeah, we’re planning to get one of these eventually. Check back in 2017