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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Safety lesson
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Thread: Safety lesson Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-30-2011 09:34 AM
sailingfool
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
So some here think leaving port without a functional engine is a root cause of the loss of this boat? Its time to invoke the Lin & Larry Pardey credo - not many sailboats really need an engine and our reliance on them makes sailing less of an experience. My first boat was a 27 footer with a seized diesel when I bought it. Sailed it for two and a half years without an engine and learned more about sailing that boat, what I could and couldn't do, than I ever would have if the engine had worked from day one. I regularly sail my current 37 footer on and off the mooring without ever starting the engine. I just don't buy it that you MUST have a good engine on a sailboat to be safe!
Good advice. While I think an operable engine is a good backup safety device, valuable for certain circumstances, but necessary for none..,on a sailboat, the sails are the safety devices.
Even the best outboard is pretty useless in rough seas. The rougher the seas, the more you should look to your sails as the solution to your safety.
Most of the boats we sail such as the Cal27 have small mainsails which are poor or inadequate to power the boat to windward, maybe not powerful enough to make a tack (although a gybe should always be an alternative). The solution is to deploy the jib, partially furled if necessary, and no main at all if necessary. The jib will still drive the boat. If the OP was trying to manage his vessel in rough weather under just a main, he was trying to make it do something the boat (and similar design boats) do very poorly or not at all.
10-30-2011 07:31 AM
JonEisberg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

I understand this was worse than forecast, but will have a hard time believing the forecast was for 2 to 4 and it suddenly became 20.

I'm very glad the OP survived, but do admit that the story sound like a bit of grog is involved in the telling. No offense intended.
20 foot seas between the jetties at Galveston???

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, right? (grin)
10-30-2011 03:11 AM
TakeFive
Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
...when you put the bullseye shirt on, you gotta expect that people are going to take shots at you...Self-appointed scolds...
By making your "bullseye" comment, I think you're appointing yourself as scolder-in-chief. FWIW, I shall not seek, nor will I accept, your nomination.

And unless one's userid is labeled "administrator" or "moderator" then everyone else here is self-appointed, kinda by default.

But I guess I put a bullseye on with my comments, so I understand you taking aim at me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
...Sometimes Monday morning quarterbacking improves the game for others...
I agree! Probing, challenging questions often reveal new information.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
...But even cheap shots can glean some information...
Nope, comments that dump on someone for what they already acknowledged that they did wrong does not advance the discussion, it just discourages others from revealing their own hard-learned lessons.
10-29-2011 10:59 PM
bljones
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
Its time to invoke the Lin & Larry Pardey credo -
When the wind ain't right, beg for a tow?

It takes guts to spill your guts here. By the same token, when you put the bullseye shirt on, you gotta expect that people are going to take shots at you.
Some of them might be cheap shots. But even cheap shots can glean some information. Sometimes Monday morning quarterbacking improves the game for others.
Self-appointed scolds pointing out the cheap shots, however, aren't moving the conversation forward- they are hijacking the thread.

Safety, maybe I missed it, but could you have dropped a hook?
10-29-2011 10:43 PM
RedtheBear An additional penny's worth from the Bear:
To loosly paraphrase " man's got to know what his and his boats limitations are" and then try to stay two steps below. I belive that the whole purpose of this thread was to take an example of a situation gone terribly wrong and get us to think about it, review it as how it could relate to us and our practices and get us to fix or change things that could keep it from happening to us with possibly worse results.
Hat's off to the brave man who would publicly relate such a tale to this agust body of seamen but in that his background as a safety officer he is following standard industrial practice of an accident safety review. We can't change history but we can try to prevent similar accidents from happening again. Suggestions of what could have been done, and just as importantly, not done, additional training recomended, reinforcment of safety practices, are all very good; but better yet is the reminder to all of us that a small laps in the attention to details, a failure to check everything involved, an overconfidence in our skills can lead to a domino chain of events and disaster.
The fact that many people have looked and hopefully read some or all of these comments and at least for a few minutes thought about "what could or would I have done." I believe OP has done what he intended. IMHO
10-29-2011 09:29 PM
HDChopper Thanks Saftytech for shareing your story , It does help ..

and your CORRECT complacency can kill but it is (complacency) that I strive for in every skill I want to develop , but knowing this I keep safty first...
10-29-2011 08:55 PM
TakeFive
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
...Do not for a second think that I am having a 'cheap shot' at you....
My prior comment on cheap shots was not directed exclusively as you. There was at least one other that I was concerned about, and the combination of the multiple messages could start a classic SailNet e-brawl, so I made my comment to try to stop it before it got out of hand. As a moderator on other messages boards, I believe in self-policing so the moderators can enjoy life and not have to get involved.

Questions and statements that go beyond what has already been said do contribute to the discussion are not cheap shots, even if they challenge someone's skills and actions. However, scolding someone for things that he has already admitted to would be a cheap shot. The OP is a professional safety expert, and had already described his own actions as arrogant, foolish, and complacent. There's really no benefit to piling on additional comments that point out what he's already admitted to. Frankly, I can't remember exactly what your deleted comments said, so I'm not re-accusing you of this or anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
...Safe use of a vessel means more than complying with a 'regulation'...
I agree, and didn't mean to imply otherwise. The PA state regulation that SHNOOL was referring to was merely a point of discussion. For example, even though a horn might not be required in some localities, it is still a good idea everywhere. So I agree with you that following regulations is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for safety. And regulations for one area are often a good idea to practice in other less heavily regulated areas.

Safety is only gained through a combination of capabilities, equipment, and attitudes. The minute you think you're 100% safe, your attitude needs some adjustment. Safety is maximized (but never completely assured) when your capabilities and equipment are up to the task of the conditions under which you are sailing. But if your capabilities erode, equipment fails, or conditions turn worse than anticipated, you are less safe.

I am always learning, and have a long ways to go. My crew and I are building skills as we go. But I suspect there will always be a possibility that everyone who is trained for MOB gets thrown OB and those remaining on the vessel have limited MOB skills. That's why I always conduct some training for newcomers before leaving the dock (which is rare, since my wife and I are the only ones aboard 90% of the time), and explain many of the basics, including how to operate the little "Distress" button on the radio - which, by the way, is connected to a dedicated GPS, unlike up to 90% of vessels (by USCG estimates). I have recommended making this DSC/VHF-GPS connection in dozens of online posts, as well as in articles published in a national sailing publication. Does this make me a safety expert? No way! But connecting GPS to your radio is still a good idea, even though it's not required by law.
10-29-2011 08:36 PM
Tbrad Funny thing: when I was a very young man I marveled at how cautious and even afraid older folks were of so many things. I thought that it was hard to understand why they were so careful. After all they had lived a long time and if they checked out what did they have to lose? Now having reached the cusp of my geezerhood, I realize that I too have become more cautious. I wear my inflatable pfd at all times on the boat. I check and recheck the weather. I would not even think of embarking on a trip without making sure that all the gear and the engine were in tip top working order. One of the things I practice is that in performing every task, no matter how simple: think it through and have a plan. Overly cautious?? Maybe so but I just ascribe it to my advance in years!
10-29-2011 08:15 PM
Charlie B I have to agree with Rhythm Doctor. (are you a drummer?) A boat with a motor is safer boat to have.

However, I also agree with Jim Jazz Dad, (another musician?) I too feel a motor, though very useful, is not necessary. My first sailboat (21' wooden John Alden Indian) had no motor and I sailed it for many years everywhere I wanted to go. My Morgan 25 has a sweet Atomic 4, but I use it as little as possible. Just today I left the dock and sailed all around our harbor and out to sea and back a few times and only fired up the motor at the end of the day to dock against a strong current.

I find I can handle my boat as well without the motor as with it, so long as I have some wind. It does help to have a few tricks up your sleeve though. For instance, I avoid a lee shore like the plague, using the wind to blow myself out of trouble rather than into it. Also keeping my speed up to prevent being in irons when coming about is helpful, as well as back winding the jib when I forget to and have to get her moving fast. (haven't had to in years) I'm sure most of you here know all this. But to me, I'm not sailing until that motor is off. Also I like to call sailing without my jib up "half sailing".

Largest head sail up, board down, beating to windward with the rail in the drink, now that's sailing!
10-29-2011 08:02 PM
St Anna RhythDr,

Safe use of a vessel means more than complying with a 'regulation'. It does mean being prepared [and I am aware you did not like me saying this]. If you prefer, then maybe we could pm about this. I would like to hear your opinions.

Good preparation does include and is not limited to; an understanding of the vessel, its gear, and the conditions you may experience.

Do not for a second think that I am having a 'cheap shot' at you. I do take your point to listen to other's mistakes, allow me to express my views.

My point is that each of us makes decisions which affect the lives of people on our boat. I have seen a perception enough times that safety is only about following regulations. Most regs are made for safety reasons. However:

If you wear a PFD at all times, do you think you are safe? Often people call up the CG and request a radio check daily. They log onto the CG if travelling just over spitting distance. This gives a very false sense of 'safety'.

On a yacht you must have the mindset of being self reliant foremost. If the first thought is call for help, then that you do have a false sense of security.

Does your 10yr old know how to retrieve you if you fell over the side of the boat? Or to use the radio/drop sails/ put the engine on/ read a chart etc etc. That in my mind is part of being safety conscious.

Each of us has an understanding based on our experiences. I am still learning. I have seen on occasion very experienced people have problems due to oversights/fatigue. I have made enough myself. However errors are inversely proportional to experience.

I would love to hear from the OP about the new yacht and where he plans to sail to - it sounds like a blue water capable and much bigger?

What about your boat and where you sail her - and plans for future sailing trips?
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