How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Use a Jackline on a Boat

Tonight we are going to do what we call a
Pack Cup. It’s a race to Hawaii. We have to abide by the offshore racing rules. The boats
set-up here in the bay pretty much sail anywhere. Up and down the coast and such here, out over
in the bay there, but once you hit the open ocean there you make some long distance passages
out there. There are different rules you have to abide by and one of them is such as our
life lines. They are coated with a vinyl. With the offshore racing rules they want you
to run their stainless steel wire up along side there so you can see if there’s any indication
of rust or any weak spots on the line. Another thing that they want for you to do out there
is to run a jack line. The jack line is attached anywhere in the cockpit or stern of the boat
and it runs forward to another attachment in front, possibly a cleat or another paddi.
What that is; is a line that you attach your tether to. Most of the time you have a tether
out there and you attach it to the D rings on your vest out here and the line. Your tether
will have a six foot line and a three foot line and as you go forward there you’re just
hooking yourself to that line to keep yourself from being knocked or washed overboard. This
is a tether to connect this tether to your harness. This particular life jacket I have
on has a built in harness and you would connect the tether to the D rings. You want to make
sure you get the quick release in on the life jacket or the harness so that you can pull
on it and escape from the tether because if the boat goes down too quickly the boat can
take you with it if you don’t have this quick release located here. This will slip onto
your jack line. The jack line is the line that runs from the stern of the boat to the
bow. You would hook this on there. The jack line would be run so that you could walk from
the stern of the boat to the bow without disconnecting, because if you have to disconnect it then
there is a good chance that a wave would throw you overboard at that time.

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