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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:23 am 
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Location: South Florida
On a recent 4-day trip shortened to 3 because of weather, I was forced to tack into 20+ mph winds. I was in shoaling areas and had a kayak friend, who I lost visual and radio contact with for most of the day. I also almost lost 1/2 of my paddle, which, in turn, caused me to accidentally release an aka brace--fortunately it was the flying ama brace. It was one of the most stressful days of kayaking and sailing ever for me. All of these things got me to thinking about falling out of the boat.

So, my question is, "Do you tether yourself to the boat? If you do, where do you attach the tether to the boat and to yourself? Finally, how long is your tether?" As an old sea kayaker, I have an aversion to tethering, but on the AI I can see its value, if done thoughtfully.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Keith

PS The following picture tells the story of our trip in from Pavilion Key to Chokoloskee Island. The notations read from right to left. Lou Greenwell is my friend. He was paddling a 19' sea kayak.
Image

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:15 am 
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Location: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
I use a piece of 1/8" nylon with uni knots. They form a "lasso" which I slide my foot through and attach other end to forward aka brace. (google uni knot). I guess i should have made it long enough so that I could change a rudder pin while out...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:18 am 
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Location: Phuket, Thailand
mcoop57 wrote:
I use a piece of 1/8" nylon with uni knots. They form a "lasso" which I slide my foot through and attach other end to forward aka brace. (google uni knot). I guess i should have made it long enough so that I could change a rudder pin while out...


Sorry mcoop if I am getting this wrong but are you are passing your foot thru a slipknot thats at the end of a length of rope???.....If so I would, with great respect, advise you to go out and buy a leg leash and throw the ankle garrotte away.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:56 am 
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
Hey keith. If it is rough I use a rod leash hooked to my belt loop. It is only about 2 foot long. Sounds like an exciting trip, I haope the weather is better next week. Did you reef your sail? Did you use peddles? I would be interested in hearing about the handling characturistics in those conditions and what you were able to do to compensate.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:16 am 
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Location: South Florida
I use a uni knot to tie hooks to lines. My "uni" knot is definitely not a slip knot. I googled "uni knot" and found an animated version: http://www.animatedknots.com/uniknot/index.php

Another more complete discussion of the uni knot can be found at
http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/guides/cg2003Sp_Uniknot/

In this latter discussion, the instructions for an "End Loop" would apply to the "lasso" that Mcoop was talking about.

Perhaps a better knot which does not slip is the "bowline" knot: http://www.animatedknots.com/bowlineboating/index.php The problem w/ the bowline knot is that it can come untied when not under load, which would be the case for a safety leash 99% of the time.

Rock climbers use a "Double Figure Eight" knot. http://www.abc-of-rockclimbing.com/climbing-knots/doublefigure-eight-loop.asp

I am a bit worried about leg leashes or belt leashes. What if your boat does not round up into the wind right away? If you have an ankle leash, how are you going to do being pulled 1-foot-first? Might not your ankle loop slip off your foot? If you have a short leash, might you not get banged around? These are the things I worry about when you are leashed to a boat. This is why it is a golden rule for sea kayakers NOT to leash themselves to their boat.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:50 am 
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Location: South Florida
Hey, Quirkster.

Yeah, it was real windy. I suggest 20 mph because it is so easy to overestimate wind. However, I have tacked into confirmed 23 mph winds, and they did not seem as strong as this. On shore, after I stepped the mast, the wind immediately pulled out the sail at the top and tightened the sail around the mast at the bottom--real tight--it was hard to get unfurled. Here is a picture of the sail:
Image

So maybe the winds were more like 25 mph. For a few minutes I used the full sail, but quickly furled it for the rest of the time I was on the open waters of the Gulf. I probably had it 40% furled. Even then, I was burying an ama, so I would spill the wind from the sail when that happened. I was careful because I did not want anything to go wrong. Knock on plastic, haven't broken a pin yet!

I always pedal, but it is especially important to pedal when close hauled (tacking close to the wind) because you can tack still closer to the wind. Pedaling definitely helps on a close haul.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
When sailing alone, or out with a group in more than 3' waves, we use 9' surfboard leashes. The "board" end has large heavy duty velcro, doubled up that comfortably mounts to the rear aka support. They came with soda can koozie that holds the coil of "line". I keep the ankle end, velcroed to my seat strap when not in use. I can now, one handed, remove it from the seat at my side. pull enough to reach my ankle in full stroke of the pedal drive, and attach. I then can work out any twists in the "line" as there are swivels at both ends. If I ever fall out, the rest of the line feeds out of the koozie (the line goes through the koozie so it's not lost).

I have used it when changing rudder pins and at 9' is perfect to keep you 2' behind the rudder to work on it.

I feel more comfortable on my ability to self rescue with it on, either when out by myself, or in a group.

We added these to each AI after a friend jumped in for a swim in light winds (with the sail rolled up) and could NOT catch the AI to get back in. He is a very good swimmer. I had to stop his boats movement with mine for him to catch it.

You can barely make it out on the right side of the picture below. See the 1 1/2" strap on the aka support and what looks like another 1 1/2" strap around one of the seat straps.

Kayaking Bob

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:08 pm 
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hmmm...is getting dragged by the ankle behind an AI a good idea???


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Astro wrote:
hmmm...is getting dragged by the ankle behind an AI a good idea???


It might be preferable to being left 5 miles out to sea. You'd have to wonder if it is a good idea in a breaking surf. Hopefully, you would make a fairly effective sheet anchor in open water.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
An interesting subject and an important one also. I have been sailing with Mickey but could easily be losts if I fell out and the boat kept sailing downwind.
I have not formalised anything but I already have a line on the bow which is long enough to go to the back of the boat and just about return to me. I may attach a suitable end on it and attach it around my waist so the line goes from the bow, past me into the back well then back around my waist. If I fall out the rope will take up and force the bow head to wind stopping it. What do you think, and how to attach it to the waist given I will be wearing bathers or a wetsuit?..Pirate


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:16 pm 
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I don't think we're talking water skiing here! :shock:

I think, at any boat speed and wind, that dragging a body by the ankle is going to slow the boat to a stop, REAL Quickly! :lol:

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Again your right Bob. Our very light rig is going to stop quickly but I think there are enough ropes up front in my boat already what with the main, furl, peddle lanyard etc let alone an ankle strap.
The left wrist may be the best for me as the line runs down the port side, down behind and back again. I may make up or buy a velcro strap....Pirate :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:37 pm 
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Coiled surfboard leashes are ideal - they retract when not in use and dont add much to boat clutter. I have one attached to my front aka brace and use it for the Mirage drive. If I am ever in conditions where I need to leash myself to the boat, I figure I will leave the drive in the drivewell.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:59 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
Coiled surfboard leashes are ideal - they retract when not in use and dont add much to boat clutter. I have one attached to my front aka brace and use it for the Mirage drive. If I am ever in conditions where I need to leash myself to the boat, I figure I will leave the drive in the drivewell.


Thanks Chris. I will pay a visit to my surf shop and go take a look at them....Pirate


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:59 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
Astro wrote:
hmmm...is getting dragged by the ankle behind an AI a good idea???


It might be preferable to being left 5 miles out to sea. You'd have to wonder if it is a good idea in a breaking surf. Hopefully, you would make a fairly effective sheet anchor in open water.


why not a wrist or belt clip?

and not recommended for the surf


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