We have a couple of Andys in the company and a couple of Robs, now that this Rob (he who writes the blogs) has 'semi retired' it does make life a little easier with a bit less confusion. This week Boss man Andy's right hand man, the other Andy, is going South to sail his new acquisition back North, so with part time Rob and the other Andy absent this week life will get a lot simpler!
Some simple checks around the boat will make your time on the water a lot safer. One of the essential safety items missing from Andy Laurence's new purchase was a set of jack stays or safety lines, now rectified by the purchase of a set of Safeolina adjustable ones. Whilst talking safety lines in the chandlery today with him it did get me thinking, when was the last time you checked your jack stays? The stitching, the anchorages and fastenings as well as the shackles.
Stitching does suffer from abrasion and the effect of UV, we test our lines to over 2.5 tons, after some years of exposure you would be surprised at how much the strength has diminished, shackles even if they are stainless they can corrode and the folding pad eyes or u bolts likewise. Examine all components with a fine tooth comb and if you have the slightest doubt as to their integrity replace!
If you use a lashing to secure your lines, make sure that it's replaced with Dyneema, which is much, much stronger. Make sure of course the jack stays are not loose. It's no use being clipped on and finding that the jack stay is so slack it goes over the guard rail. Speaking of clipping on, are your tethers in good condition? (see safety hook that has 'lost' its ability to self close' below) and do check that when clipped onto the jackstays there is sufficient tension in the webbing to keep you if possible on the boat!