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MC Safety Line

At one time or another we'll all be faced with a capsize. The most common cause is a cleated main sheet when a puff hits.

The proper way to right it is to grab the end of a line (e.g., traveller), stand on the bottom board and pull the MC upright. Make sure you uncleat the main sheet before you try this; otherwise it will be almost impossible to right the boat.

In my experience with capsizes, I was never able to grab the end of a line to hang on to! However, one day I saw what an old-time MCer had done to MC #64. 

He had installed a line that ran in front of the mast, along both sides, and then behind the tiller crutch. Eyestraps kept the line properly positioned. The section in front of the mast had figure-eight stopper knots in them, plus about three feet of shock cord to keep the line tensioned (see picture of installation on my MC).

Now when I capsize, I clamber onto the lower board, reach over the edge of the deck for the line and pull. It will stretch until the stopper knot reaches the eyestrap. With both hands on the line, it is easy to keep your balance while pulling the boat upright. I have used it successfully and other Masters in our fleet have gladly copied it!

Parts List:

  • 32 feet of 3/8" Sta-Set Polyester line
  • 4 - eyestraps
  • 8 - #10 x 3/4" panhead screws
  • 4 feet - 1/4" shock cord
  • hog rings and white tape to attach shock cord to line
  • caulk to seal screw holes

See you on the starting line!

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