This jackstay arrangement strikes me as much safer than most

I saw this jackstay arrangement on our catamaran test last week and took a few photos because I thought it was a good one.

The Wichard jackstay has a sewn loop at one end. At the aft end it goes through a padeye and back to a metal buckle and the plastic fitting pictured below is screwed over the end to fix it in place and prevent the buckle damaging the coaming.

One thing that always worries me about the fixing of jackstays on boats is how they are made fast at each end. Often the webbing, made to handle a load that would exceed all the crew clipped on one side, is fastened with a spare bit of signal halyard which, as often as not, has been sitting for years in the sun.

I had just joined a boat about to sail to the Canaries some years ago (I won’t say whose, but it belonged to someone well known) when I noticed that the jackstays were tied in place with a length of signal halyard looped back and forth through the bight of a bowline. In other words, the whole thing was held in place by a single knotted line – scary, especially bearing in mind that a bowline reduces the breaking strain of a rope by about 50% anyway.

This struck me as a better solution. And I also liked that the jackstay has a luminous strand in the weave and the plastic end fitting is also luminous so it’s easier to pick out at night.

Jackstay 2