An Efficient Foredeck Centreline Jackline


Last fall we wrote about our new centreline jacklines that enabled us to work our boat from cockpit to mast without resorting to clipping to sidedeck jacklines.

(If you doubt how dangerous using sidedeck jacklines is, please read, or reread, the last three chapters in this Online Book.)

Work Left To Do

But we were still left with installing a centreline jackline from mast to bow. A project with some problems to solve:

  • Because the cabin top extends forward of the mast, this jackline would be at ankle height on the foredeck, resulting in a nasty trip risk while coming alongside, anchoring, or wandering around the deck with a sundowner—this could be a bigger, or at least more frequent, risk than being dragged.
  • Interference with operation of the windlass.
  • Difficulty of stowing our dinghy in its inshore position on the foredeck.

Over the winter, encouraged by this comment from Dick Stevenson, we thought about the problem and came up with a centreline jackline from mast to bow.

The Details

The secret to making all of this work, and dealing with the above-listed issues, was to make the foredeck jackline easy to install and remove as well as tension.

It's about the's always about the details. Let's take a look:

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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