While many of the J-27's come with double life lines, others need the second line added. Some suggestions follow, using a discussion in the J-27 Yahoo Group.

Many of the J-27’s seemed to have come from the factory with double lifelines for enclosing each side of the boat, and for giving crew members more security when hiking out in higher winds. The top of the original lifeline is 20 inches off the deck, with room for a midpoint strap at approximately 10” off the deck, the right height for getting the crews legs under, so the crew can “hike out” better and thus flatten the boat better in windier conditions.

For boats without the original double lifelines there are 3 ways to install them:

1) Drill and sleeve holes in the existing stanchions. This is not the preferred method. Drilling holes in the original cast stanchions will greatly reduce the strength of the stanchion at that point.

2) Add Schaeffer lifeline rings and end fittings to the stanchions and pulpits (best choice). Schaeffer makes a stainless ring that fits over the stanchion, with an intersecting hole through it for the second line.

3) Or get new stanchions. New 20” stanchions can be had from Garhauer for around $25, which is not much more than the price of the rings noted in 2) above. 20” tall stanchions seem to be the standard, with the second stanchion at 10”. (offshore rules require the intermediate stanchions to be a minimum of 24" high AND the same height as the pulpit (which is I think 30" - Check first before commitment ! - Blackadder edit )

The line can be added at half height (10 inches), but check that it is easy to get the legs under. Spectra works for the line the second lifeline is made of, but it can be very uncomfortable for the crew to use for hiking. Another choice is webbing with a foam core covered with canvas. Also, West Marine and other marine stores market a round plastic covered foam which can slip over the lower lifeline to protect the crew from the original wire or Spectra. Or webbing itself can be used with no further covering.

Added: 5.1.2009
Just pull the stanchion out of the socket and slip the ring on from the bottom. The new lfeline dead ends at the pulpit and pushpit and there are separate attachments for there that open up and clamp on.Alternatively buy new one's from garhauer with the centre hole (my originals were toast) same height as pulpit and pushpit (Offshore rules)

Added 5.1.2009
The South African version is a little more Heath-Robinson and will no doubt, cost a lot less as well. We cut precise (to breach 90% of the available space) lengths of PVC electrical conduit tubing (25mm ID) - two lengths for each side where the crew hike out. We leave the last section aft with a single lifeline. We got North sails to make up some padded Canvas covers which we pull over the PVC conduit sections. Inside the conduit we run lengths of 4mm spectra which we simply tie on to the stancions about midpoint. To prevent the lines from slipping up or down, a sturdy cable tie does the trick. Cover the cable ties with some insulation tape to prevent anyone being hurt on the sharp edges. Tie your knots in such a way that the lifelines are easily adjustable whilst sailing. It is very important for the crew to have a comfortable and safe hiking setup.
We terminate the top lifelines at the first stancion so that the back section is independent and adjustable for the helmsman and main trimmer. Because of the J27's fairly pinched stern, it is uncomfortable to helm sitting hunched forward. By having the last section fairly slack, it allows those two people at the back of the boat to be able to lean out further, making for a much more comfortable sailing position. We have the upper lifeline taut from the first stancion all the way to the pulpit.
Smackwater Jack

Gunnar 27
Trygve Roberts/Smackwater Jack
PHRF Sailor (ricklake)