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Jack Lines

Discussion in 'Catalina 309 Group Forum' started by Far Away, Apr 2, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Far Away

    Far Away

    Joined Apr 2, 2018
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 309
    Far Away US Morro Bay
    Hello all, new to this forum, very interesting so far.
    I've been trying to figure out how to rig jack lines to clip my harness tether onto. My problem has been to find good hardware anchor points, or places to mount new hardware. I tried running web jack lines from the anchor roller mount to the aft cleats. This didn't work out as I couldn't open the anchor locker. And also because the jack line became fouled in the genoa sheet. I believe I can use the forward cleats as anchor points, but I don't know a good way to anchor the aft end of the jack lines. If anyone has run jack lines or has a good system to use, info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    3,001 posts, 679 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    Install thru-bolted padeyes where you need them, if you can.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  3. SG


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    1,376 posts, 265 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    If you have a deck plan and post it, you'll probably get some answers. If you have pictures of the deck that would be adequate that you could post, you'll similarly get some feedback.

    You have two issues --
    • General movement along the deck from the cockpit to the foredeck. We use continuous jacklines on both the starboard and port sides which run (on our boat) from the bow to the stern cleats.
    • Secondly, we have "strong points" in the cockpit. We have 4 on our boat. Each Wichard folding padeyes with backer plates. Two are as you come into the cock-it from cabin so you can clip-on before your shoulders clear the companionway and your belly is outside; and two located on either side of the wheel under the coamings. You can transfer accross pretty well clipped in whenever out of the cabin.

  4. Hayden Watson

    Hayden Watson

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    664 posts, 160 likes
    Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs
    US Oak Harbor, WA
    On my 88 C30 I have an extra deck cleat mounted on centerline just aft of the anchor locker. I use this for the forward end of both web jacklines. They run board of the upper and lower stays and tie off to the stern dock cleats. With this arrangement they are held at the bow, midship and stern. This does mean that I need to go forward inside of the shrouds on the cabin top rather than along the side decks but this is my preferred route anyway.

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  5. thinwater


    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    2,226 posts, 526 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    FYI, jack lines are short utility lines used to secure or pull on something. Jacklines and jackstays (UK) are for safety.

    316 SS rock climbing bolt hangers will do it for ~ $6 each. They also make inexpensive hard points that are easy to identify as such. Always load rated.

    They should terminated about 4 feet from the bow and stern. You can still reach the ends standing tall with a 6-foot tether, but cannot easily be thrown over either end. As for how far inboard, there are many opinions.

    Finally, if you used pad eyes as hard points, make certain the tether carabiners fit. The new, larger aluminum via ferrata style don't fit the smaller eyes. Needless to say, the Gibb-style hooks are going by the wayside.

    (From Practical Sailor Magazine)


  6. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,392 posts, 3,522 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    @Far Away First I want to welcome you to the greatest forum on the net.
    I like your thinking about jacklines. There are a number of theories about how and what to do.
    In my exploration for sound information about this safety subject, I discovered John and Phyllis who write the blog Attainable Adventure Cruising. They have spent several years exploring the idea of jacklines on a boat. Here is a link to one of their free reports on the subject.

    After testing lines that run up the sides of my boat and stringing a line down the center which I use religiously while cruising solo, I prefer the center line approach. I position 2 tethers, one in the cockpit that I clip onto when exiting the companion way. It allows me total access in the cockpit. I currently have it tied off to the base of my binnacle guard. The guard is thru bolted beneath the deck with three large bolts. From the cockpit the JackLine runs to the mast and is tied securely there. I then run a JackLine from the mast to a bow cleat. There is a tether at the mast on the bow side. I clip it on and then release the aft tether when I have to work at the bow.
    This system works well. I is centered on the boat so even when leaning back I am inside th elite lines for all areas except right at the bow. There I have a third tether with a short length. This keeps me on the boat in rough conditions.

  7. Far Away

    Far Away

    Joined Apr 2, 2018
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 309
    Far Away US Morro Bay
    Thanks to all for the good ideas and quick response. I'll have to take these ideas down to my boat and see how I can make them work. My main problem currently is finding places to mount new hardware. Most places on board have an interior liner below the deck that makes it hard to through bolt.

  8. LeslieTroyer


    Joined May 20, 2016
    2,373 posts, 1,055 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    My forward jackline attachment doubles as the pole downhaul or fore-guy from there they go back and terminate at the aft double stantion. If you don’t have a dodger then terminate on coach house so it doesn’t interfere with the main sheet (one per side)

  9. JimInPB


    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,371 posts, 403 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    The last time I was inside a boat factory, a 50+ foot long hull needed to be lifted off of it's cradle to do some work on the bottom. The unfinished hull had no hardware that was suitable for lifting. The hull was attached to the lifting slings by slapping a couple of pieces of scrap glass onto the hull with some epoxy, to provide temporary lifting points that would be ground off later. I'm going to have to figure that if you can lift a 50-something foot boat that way, there is probably a similar method that can be used to mount a hard point or two for a jack line. You might need to find the right craftsman to do the job.

  10. JimInPB


    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    1,371 posts, 403 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
  11. thinwater


    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    2,226 posts, 526 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    And I and many (most) others do not. My feeling is that in virtually every example you can find, and in my experience, people fall down hill. You will be very hard pressed to find an example of someone falling off to windward other that racing (rail meat or jibing a spinnaker). Using windward jacklines places the line farther from the leeward rail.

    By all means, add hard points at the mast and other work areas. For example, when working at the mast I have always left my tether on the windward line AND clipped short near the mast. In effect, you can easily have both.

    Finally remember that these solutions are not one size fits all, because boats come in different sizes. I've had 3 boats and the jacklines were routed quite differently on each, for boat-specific reasons. Perhaps the best advice is to rig some temporary lines using dock line, use them sailing in moderate conditions to sort out their flaws and get used to tethers, and then decide what works best and make them permanent.

    Alansails and JimInPB like this.

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