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TractorJohn 10-19-2009 02:14 PM

What do you tell 1st timers on your boat
Our forecast is for drippy calm weather all week so I just read all of the posts here for preparing for a knock down and really had my eyes opened. I need to get more serious about being shipshape when the wind comes back.
But it got me thinking about what to tell 1st timers on my boat.
I usually say something like, don't hang on the lifelines, wear a life jacket on deck, don't worry, the boat wont sink, and when the boat leans over it is a good thing. I mostly have new people steer.
Anyone have some thoughts.

Jeff_H 10-19-2009 02:44 PM

I always say something like this: No matter how much we lean, Synergy cannot turn over. Here's why; Synergy weighs about as much as four Volkswagens and hanging out the bottom is a lead fin that weighs nearly as much as two Volkswagens. As the boat leans over the two volkwagons on her bottom start from having almost no leverage when we are vertical to having a giant lever nearly 7 foot long trying to pull the boat upwards again. Meanwhile as we lean over, the wind that slams squarely into the sail when the boat is vertical, is glancing off the sails at an ever flatter angle, reducing its relative force.'


ste27 10-19-2009 03:30 PM

The location of the cooler

Mostly an explanation of what a tack is and how to get across the boat, "if we're not worried you shouldn't be either" etc - eventually we'll need to gybe and it's "just like a tack but a lot faster make sure your head is DOWN"

Let them play with the strings/helm a bit, or just sit there if they want, whatever

Sabreman 10-19-2009 03:39 PM

I hold a pre-sail meeting with everyone in the cockpit and explain the do's and don'ts. I also hand out a two sided sheet with a diagram of the boat and locations of fire extinguishers, life jackets, and "other stuff". When we race, I pass the sheet to all crew since we sometimes have new faces. My verbal for the pre-sail comes from the text of the summary sheet. As a community service, my text follows: :)

1. Man Overboard
• If you see anyone go over the side (unintentionally), call out loudly “Man Overboard!” and point to the victim. DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE PERSON IN THE WATER.
• Whoever is closest to the yellow life ring should throw the ring to the person in the water. DO NOT THROW THE RING AT THE VICTIM.
• It may take a few minutes to bring the boat around, so make sure that you do not lose sight of the victim.
2. Movement Afloat
• We do not restrict movement except as weather conditions warrant. However, there may be times such as during sail changes and docking when we will call everyone aft to the cockpit.
• Children who can not swim or who are under age 10 are required to wear a life preserver when outside the cabin.
3. Alcohol
• No consumption while we’re away from the dock.
4. Fire
• We carry three fire extinguishers.
• Inside the port (left) side locker in the cockpit.
• At the foot of the companionway steps, starboard (right) side.
• In the starboard (right) hanging locker (closet) across from the head (bathroom)
• Point the extinguisher at the BASE of the fire and pull the trigger.

5. Life Preservers
• We carry 6 adult and 2 child life preservers.
• Four adult preservers are located in the Lazarette hatch behind the wheel.
• Two adult and 2 child preservers are located in the hanging locker in the Head (Bathroom).
6. Bilge Pumps
• A manual Bilge pump is located on the port (left) side to the left of the steering wheel near the floor. The handle is located under the second step of the companionway steps. The handle inserted in the hole on the pump.
• An automatic bilge pump is located in the bilge.
7. Distress Signals
• We carry handheld and aerial flares. NEVER POINT A FLARE AT ANYONE. They are located in the chart table.
8. Swimming
• If you are not comfortable swimming in deep water, Use a Life Jacket! It’s not wimpy!
• We trail a float about 30 feet behind the boat. Under no circumstances should you be farther from the boat than the float.
• We maintain a “lifeguard” in the boat at all times while someone is in the water. Under no circumstances, should VICTORIA be un-attended
• Weather conditions change rapidly. We may curtail swimming if the conditions change.

First Aid
1. First Aid Kit Location
• A Red Cross First-aid kit is located in the cabinet in the Head. Small first aid items are also located in the head.
2. Jelly Fish Sting Treatment
• Vinegar is stored in the galley. Soak a paper towel & apply. It will still sting, but not as bad.

1. Radio
• Located in the sliding cabinet at the chart table on the starboard (right) side of the boat.
• To make a distress call, tune the radio to Channel 16 and call “St. Inegoes (“In-knee-goes”) Coast Guard, St. Inegoes Coast Guard, this the sailing vessel VICTORIA.” When the Coast Guard responds, state the nature of the emergency clearly and calmly. You will be directed to switch to another channel (usually 68). After switching, call the Coast Guard again.
2. Engine
• VICTORIA has a diesel engine. To start,
• Push the handle on the right side of the wheel all the way forward.
• Push in the red SHUTOFF handle beneath the key switch in the starboard (right) side Lazarette hatch.
• Turn the key located inside the starboard (right) hatch behind the wheel, to the right.
• Push the START button.
• If the engine does not start, turn the key to the right, push the pre-heat button for 30 seconds (to pre-heat the injectors), and push the start button at the same time.
• Adjust the engine to about 1000 RPM and shift the transmission into forward by pushing DOWN on the handle on the left side of the wheel. Pull the handle UP for reverse. Remember “BACK – UP”
3. Sails
• Tremendous tension is placed on all lines. NEVER rest your hand on a line that is under tension. Ask Vicky what can happen.
• NEVER wrap a line around your hand when pulling on it.
• Except for rare occasions, jib sheets (the ones that lead to the front sail) should always be wrapped around a winch (looks like a silver can located on each side of the cockpit).
4. Head (Toilet)
• Do not be uncomfortable. Use the head.
• To flush, pull the lever near the handle to the “Flush” position and pump the handle 10-20 times. Dry the bowl by pushing the lever to the “Dry” position and pumping until dry. If it is difficult to pump, hold the lever down while pumping dry.
• Please do not out anything into the head other than toilet tissue.
• Fresh water faucets are in the head and galley. A foot pump is located on the floor near each faucet.

Siamese 10-19-2009 04:33 PM

Hey, I'm going to borrow and modify Sabreman's handout. 'Cept we don't have many jellyfish here in Lake Michigan.

A couple of things I always like to mention to passengers is, when moving about on the boat, above and below, steady yourself with at least one hand. Those handrails down below in the cabin top are not decorative. If you lose your footing, and it's easy, think of your nose impacting with the edge of the table (then I sucker-shove 'em into a bulkhead to get my point across lol).

I also have written instructions for the head. Ladies in particular tend to "hold it" on daysails because they're reluctant to use the head. I also give them instruction on how to pee at 15 to 20 degrees heel. It can come as an unpleasant surprise to a newbie.

jaschrumpf 10-19-2009 06:44 PM

"Never hand an unopened beverage to the Captain."

capngil 10-20-2009 09:29 AM

Too late if there already on the boat
Your not comming on this boat with those shoes! :hothead .... Leave the cooler here and will be back around sunset. :cool:

DrB 10-20-2009 12:19 PM

Similar to Saberman
I do pretty much what Saberman does EXCEPT the following:
  • Everyone wears a lifejacket/PFD when not in the cabin.
  • No one is allowed on deck (out of cockpit) unless permission is granted from captain (me) or admiral (wife).
  • Before anyone comes below, I go below and check the bilge, turn on the head, turn on Engine Raw Water, and finally the power.
  • Guest come below for head orientation, fire extinguisher locations, PFD acquisition and to stow bags. Head is used then if needed.
  • On deck/cockpit, review MOB, show last Fire Extinguisher
  • Talk about sailing and heel. State that boat will do this (heel) and perfectly fine even if a lot. However, we also say that if someone is uncomfortable with heel angle, let us know.
  • Once everyone is done asking questions and comfortable, motor is started.

Before we leave mooring, we tell everyone if they start to feel ill, let us know immediately so we can begin to head back. No shame in it and would rather someone not getting sick than feeling embarrassed or thinking that it will pass and then getting sick.

As far as the radio, there is a set of instructions on how to use in case of emergency.

US27inKS 10-20-2009 12:26 PM

No matter what it feels like, the boat is NOT going to fall over.

Sabreman 10-20-2009 12:41 PM

I like the idea about telling guests about the possibility of seasickness. I think that I'll add it to my sheet.

We usually have someone below to point out lifejacket storage and fire extinguishers while I'm in the cockpit doing the verbal. I point out the locations of the exterior lifejackets and fire extinguisher. I also ask each guest whether they can swim and how comfortable they are in open water. It's amazing how many people are freaked by open or deep water and how many have only swum in pool water. Murky Chesapeake water scares some people because "things live in there". They usually ask about sharks (not a likely threat in the Lower Tidal Potomac!).

Basically, I use the sheet as talking points for my pre-sail. The whole concept is a result of my job which occasionally takes me to sea on Navy ships. We always conduct a pre-sail regardless of each rider's experience (I have a bad habit of leaning on lifelines and always get hassled by our Project Officers). The only problem is that it's usually held really early, in the dark, and it's cold.

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