What is the Best Tether for Offshore Sailing?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the ideal tether for your needs, including durability, length, and ease of use.

Double tethers, with one 6-foot and one 3-foot tether, are preferred, as they allow for different uses depending on where you are working on the boat.

A high-quality tether may even work in tandem with a man-overboard location alert system to further enhance your safety.

Remember, your safety while offshore sailing is paramount. Selecting quality lanyards puts you a step closer to a safer and more enjoyable sailing experience.

Choosing the Best Tether

When selecting the best tether for offshore sailing, it is essential to consider safety features, durability and quality, and adjustable features. This section looks at each in more detail.

Safety Features

The primary purpose of a tether or lanyard is to keep you safely connected to your boat.

To ensure utmost safety while sailing, choose tethers with a stress indicator that alerts you when the tether is overloaded. Additionally, overload indicator flags can visually indicate when your tether has experienced excessive force.

Another important safety feature to consider is using a non-magnetic tether. Non-magnetic lanyards reduce the risk of interference with your compass or other sensitive electronic equipment onboard.

Lastly, you should select detachable tethers at both ends, allowing for easy attachment and detachment from your safety harness and the boat. To further understand the concept of tethers, consider reading this article on what a sailing tether is.

Durability and Quality

The durability and quality of your tether directly impact your safety while sailing offshore. A high-quality tether should consist of robust materials capable of withstanding harsh marine conditions.

Materials like polyester or nylon webbing maintain their strength in wet conditions and resist UV degradation or chafing. When examining a tether, also focus on the quality of the stitching and the attachment points, such as carabiners and shackles, to ensure their strength and reliability.

Adjustable Features

Adjustable features on your tether can enhance your freedom of movement and safety on the boat.

Look for lanyards with double lengths, such as a 6-foot tether and a 3-foot tether, to move around the boat and secure yourself in different positions more effectively.

This combination becomes especially useful when you need to stay stationary for an extended period, like working on the bow or other areas of the boat.

Remember, choosing a tether compatible with your safety harness and lifejacket is crucial, ensuring a secure and easily accessible attachment point.

Top Tether Brands for Offshore Sailing

Spinlock, a well-known brand, offers high-quality tethers with innovative designs and durable construction. Their Deckvest range, popular among sailors, features elasticized tethers and quick-release mechanisms for safety and ease of use. 

West Marine designs tethers specifically for offshore sailing, providing different lengths and configurations to suit your needs. Their tethers have elastic sections to minimize tangles and high-quality Wichard hardware for reliability. 

Wichard, a French manufacturer, is known for its marine hardware products, including safety tethers for offshore sailors. Wichard tethers offer excellent strength and resistance to corrosion, making them suitable for harsh marine environments. 

Gibb offers stainless steel safety hooks designed for sailing applications. While they don’t manufacture complete tether systems, their hooks can be integral to custom tether setups, ensuring a secure connection to your harness and jacklines. 

Kong, an Italian company, manufactures safety gear for various industries, including sailing. The Kong Elastic Tether Double is a value option with high-quality components. The Kong Tango carabiner has become a standard in the sailing community for its reliable performance. 

Kong Elastic Tether Double Yellow OS
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Remember, the quality of your tether is critical to your safety. Choose from these top brands to ensure a secure and comfortable offshore sailing experience.”

Safety Gear and Accessories

Safety Hooks and Carabiners

Safety hooks and carabiners are essential when connecting your tether to your harness and the boat’s jacklines.

Double-action safety hooks provide an added level of security, preventing accidental release under tension. When choosing a safety hook or carabiner for your tether, make sure to choose one that is marine-grade and corrosion-resistant.

Jacklines and Webbing

Jacklines are the lines on your boat to which you attach your harness tether, allowing free movement around the vessel while staying secured.

Crews typically use rope, webbing, or wire to make them, and they run along the deck or other suitable attachment points.

Polyester webbing jacklines are popular because of their durability and low stretch characteristics. For more information, consider reading this helpful article on where to position the safety line on a boat.

Harness Selection

A harness should be snug but without restricting movement, so get a reliable harness that comfortably fits your body shape and size.

Mismatches in harness selection can lead to increased risk and discomfort while sailing. To ensure you select the right harness, follow this sailing safety harness guide.

Importance of Lifejackets

Lifejackets are a vital piece of safety gear that you should always wear while sailing, especially when conditions are rough or if you’re sailing at night.

Lifejackets should be appropriately sized, comfortable to wear, and have sufficient buoyancy to keep you afloat in case of a fall overboard.

In addition to your harness and tether, lifejackets significantly impact your safety while offshore sailing. Be sure to check out this article on the best life jackets for sailing for more information.

I’m the founder and chief editor here at Sailing Savvy. I spent a decade working as a professional mariner and currently, I mix those experiences with digital publishing. Welcome, and I hope that we can be the hub you need for safe passage.