Home Forums Mods and Improvements Weta Harness and Tether

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  • #1940
    Paul WhitePaul White
    Keymaster

    Weta used to supply the harness and tether as an option because it supported the torso when hiking from the amas and it was thought that the safety implications of keeping with the boat, if you came off, was better than having the boat sail away from you – which can happen because of the built-in stability.

    However, after a number of incidents when Weta sailors with the harness got into trouble because the tether caught on something, they failed to release the quick release or they were dragged behind the boat for long distances, it was decided that the safety implications of the harness were not worth the risks and it was withdrawn.

    Also with modern buoyancy aids and location beacons (e.g. PLB), it’s much easier to get someone to rescue you from the water – even if you become separated from the boat.

    DIY Tether
    If you are aware of the risks and still want a tether and harness, the standard webbing tether is 2m long and elasticated.

    The tether needs an elasticated section to take up the slack when crossing the boat and ideally, a loop at one end for the cockpit padeye so it doesn’t damage the gelcoat (pass the loop through the padeye in the middle of the cockpit and then pass the long end through the loop) .

    Most of the off-the-shelf elasticated safety lanyards for yachting have a large double action clip to attach to lifelines and so you may need to put a sleeve around the clip so it doesn’t scratch the cockpit floor every time you tack.

    The harness attachment requires a quick release snap shackle (e.g. Ronstan RF6080) to attach to the harness with a lanyard for releasing the pin which you can easily find and release in an emergency.

    IMPORTANT: Do not use a double action yachting lifeline safety hook for attaching the harness or a locking carabiner – they are designed NOT to release under load and you could find yourself held underwater.

    Off-the shelf tether

    Wichard Tether 7061

    The Wichard Tether is 2m long and has the quick release on one end and a double action safety hook which is small enough to fit through the pad eye. It is possible to buy a replacement tether without the attachment fittings which may be a better option if you add the quick release attachment.

    NOTE: There are elasticated safety lanyards designed for working from heights which have a shock absorbing section designed to give way to arrest a fall and so are not suitable for this application.

    If you cannot find a suitable tether, there are companies that make custom tethers (aka jacklines)

    Harness

    You need a webbing chest harness designed for marine safety or climbing – don’t use a waist harness or harness designed for windsurfing or trapezing as you may find yourself being dragged backwards and unable to turn to get air or undo the quick release.

    Black Diamond Vario

    NOTE If the harness won’t fit over your PFD, get a larger climbers chest harness to wear over it (e.g. Black Diamond Vario which fits chest size 61 – 117 cm/ 24 – 46 in) or a PFD that allows for the harness.

    IMPORTANT Don’t use the harness unless you have practiced undoing it one handed without looking – you may not be able to see the release toggle if you’re in the water.

    If you find the tether is not quite long enough for you to sit comfortably on the amas, then you can extend it with a webbing loop that goes through then harness loops and back on itself to provides a new anchor point.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul WhitePaul White.
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