Why Lifeline Netting?
For our family with two kids a lifeline netting was never a question. With a safety net you are just relaxed as a parent, if it’s while sailing, in the harbour or at anchor. We don’t want the kids to move unattended on the foredeck of the boat, but in any case the net prevents a child from slipping under the railing. Even for adults, when working on the foredeck with wind and waves, the net gives a certain security. By the way, fenders, boat hooks and bottles fall less frequently aboard. And there are also people who have their pets on the boat. Everything according to the motto: “Never leave your boat!”
Fixing the lifeline netting
On charter boats a long network is usually installed from the stern to the bow and on the other side back to the stern. This is simply fixed by means of cable ties to the railing and to the stanchions and thus takes about an hour. We had this for example in our Croatia trip.
For our boat we put our back into it and it took us a whole day to fix the net. The devil is here in detail. But now let’s go step by step:
Typically a boat already has one railing wire, but none down to tension the net evenly. So first we checked pulpit, pushpit and stanchions, took some pictures. Back home we checked different options how to fix the lower wire. We opted for a soft shackle at the pulpit and a reef-line eyelet at the pushpit. On our boat the stanchions are fixed to the deck with a small welded arch so the wire could just pass underneath and we do not need any additional fastening elements. For our shopping list, we went along the route of the wire with the measuring tape.
Our shopping list:
- Sturdy knotted UV-resistant railing net, 60cm wide with edge mount. Approx. 2x boat length and width.
- 2x custom-made wire, 3mm with white PVC sheathing, fork terminals and a tensioner in rear (measure beforehand)
- 2x soft shackles
- 2x reef-lead eyelet
- Liros Magic Speed 2mm, 8x boat length
We could buy everything from AWN.
Installing Lifeline netting – step by step:
1.Install the lower wire: at the pulpit, at the stanchions and at the rear basket. Do not tighten the tensioner yet, it will be easier to fasten the net.
2.Starting at the stern: The upper and lower leading line of the net has to be attached firmly to the pushpit. This is important to tension the net nicely. The net is then cut along the shape of the pushpit and glued with the lighter all the ends. For this we recommend a storm-proof lighter.
3.Fasten the net: Basically the 2mm fastening rope is wrapped around the upper leading line and upper railing wire as well as around the lower leading line and the lower wire. This work is very tedious because you have to pass the whole rope through the stitches and you have to do that along the upper, lower, left and right edge of the net. The required length for this fastening rope is almost doubled due to the winding, that’s why we put 8 times the boat length on the shopping list.
4.Cut off the net: As you slowly come the the other end you cut the net again along the shape of the pulpit. The leading lines are tensioned and fastened tight to the pulpit.
5.Tensioning the lower wire is the last step.
6.Lateral doors: Optionally you can make lateral doors: This is quite practical in the harbour, but there is quite a bit of extra effort.
Have a lot of fun and a lot of patience installing the lifeline netting for the first time :=)