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  #1  
Old 03-24-2012
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Info. for Guests Aboard

Having folks aboard who have varying ideas and knowledge about sailing seems to present some problems. I would like to put together an actual list of things a captain should tell anyone coming aboard so that he's at least made his/her friends and family aware of the dangers of sailing, what they need to bring with them, and also to make them aware of what happens on a sailboat so they can at least stay out of the way and not be overly terrified when the boat heels over. Things like : Don't stand up and get in the way of the boom, etc... A quick Sailing 101 sheet that could be emailed to potential passengers might be really helpful.

Below is a list of things to start:

Suggestions for Sailing Trip


Space is crucial. Room only for essential items.
Frugality is the key idea- food, water, light, cooking, toilet, etc. Everything is in exact supply.
Please read the head instructions.: "leave no traceJ"
A completely different mindset is required offshore, paying attention 100% of the time, planning every move ahead, wasting nothing. The results of minor errors ashore can be life threatening at sea. Always watch the weather and as they say, "Don't turn your back on the sea."
Turn water pump elec. switch off immediately after use. Use the wrist band.
Things dropped overboard are GONE. Plan how to handle any item over or near the water.
Tie everything down or put where secure , inside and out. Things will fly around if not secured.
Don't guess as to position or course. Know position at all times if at helm, especially when near shore, reefs, inlets. Inattention WILL bite you.
One hand to the boat, one hand to yourself. Never go up on deck when sailing without being tethered. It's the stupid little trip that will send you overboard as the boat sails on its merry way. This is probably the biggest danger on a sailboat.

IF SOMEONE GOES OVERBOARD KEEP YOUR EYES GLUED TO HIM/HER. Hit the MOB button twice on GPS unit IF you can, without taking eyes off person in water. Put the LIFESLING in and circle boat until person has the lifering then stop boat and haul in.

Items to bring

PFD- a good one (ESSENTIAL)
Harness and tether (ESSENTIAL offshore) I have one extra single tether.
One medium duffel (pref. waterproof- drybags are good) of clothes. No hard suitcases or anything that can't be stuffed somewhere. A plastic bag for unthinkably dirty clothes. Plan on wearing stuff lots of times before washing. Fresh water is not available for washing clothes unless near fresh water. Synthetics dry, cotton NEVER dries if salty. Baby wipes are good for a "sponge bath."
Boat shoes (or good sneakers with non-marking soles) (ESSENTIAL)
Food- dry/freeze dried/canned. PBJ. Eggs keep well. Can always find room for a few beers or wine. On long offshore trips, bread can be made onboard with flour, yeast, gluten . Remember there's limited storage. There is no refrigeration. Offshore there are no supermarkets. Inshore there are places ashore to get fresh stuff and ice.
DOP kit and maybe some band-aids, sunscreen, etc. You can really get cooked at the wheel for 8 hours on a bright day. Maybe some zinc oxide.
Reading material. Books require no electrical load, charging electronic toys is likely not possible.
Rain gear tops, bottoms and boots. You can get really cold (even in summer) standing fixed at the wheel on a rainy day. I recommend Helly Hansen (or equal) commercial rubber suits over expensive Goretex/synthetec material which quickly get soaked through. Get something a commercial fisherman would wear. (ESSENTIAL)
Fleece or wool sweater even in summer.
Sleeping bag / a sheet if itís warm. (ESSENTIAL)
Swimsuit(s)/wetsuit?
Diving mask and snorkel?
I have some fishing poles on board. License for lake?
Passport and multiple copies of it as well as any other i.d. stuff you may lose.(ESSENTIAL if going to another country).
Cell phone and charger.
Cash, Traveller's Checks, credit card(s).
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

Goodness. If it was my first time sailing, I might think twice after reading that. Passport? How long are they going to be on board? You're suggesting fleece and wool and expecting to go swimming and diving? Recommending expensive gear like Helly Hanson? So, you're not just talking a daysail or weekend?

If you have to go into instructions that detailed, perhaps a daysail to get them used to the boat first to knock some things off the list as well as to see if they even like sailing before committing to all that gear.

That said, I have heard of making up a one-page list for guests, but I don't remember where I saw it. It was done in the form of a welcome letter and didn't sound nearly as dire and fraught with danger as the list you're suggesting.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

We conduct a pre-sail briefing tailored to the experience level of the guest, even if they are regulars. I developed a briefing sheet that I use as a cue during my verbal briefing. Sometimes I email it prior to departure, sometimes I simply have the guest read it. The brief is as follows:


Safety
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.

Systems
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.
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Last edited by Sabreman; 03-24-2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

I agree with having some kind of list, I've thought of doing it myself. I also think there is a fine line between helping the guest have a fabulous time and scaring them, however.

Systems procedures I limit to using the radio and the engine. Life jacket location and use, fire extinguisher location and use, the head, sinks, MOB, etc. I go over when they are on board.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

Sabreman, that's a great list! I think if enough folks add these type items, it will result in something very useful. While I do not want to scare anyone off, it is also very clear that some people who want to go out sailing have almost no idea of what is involved. If some things on the list are scary, well, it's because there are numerous ways to get hurt on a sailboat, especially if you do not know what to expect. Probably the fastest way to discourage potential sailors is to fail to give them sufficient information so that they wind up having a miserable time. It has taken many of us years to figure out just what to bring, what to look out for, and how to deal with the things that can happen. To me, the more list-like, logical, and sequential things can be made, the better. I know I have been remiss at times in my assumptions about what people can be expected to do, bring with them, and how they will react. Of course things on a list like this will not all be necessary for short trips and daysailing but all of the safety issues are always in play. Issues as simple as explaining why a passenger's personal schedule cannot be guaranteed is a difficult thing to get across.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

smurphny - Thanks. The list is an offshoot from briefings that I've received when going to sea on Naval vessels. It's a practical list based on questions or situations that occurred over the years.

One item that I tell people verbally is that sailboats lean. It's what they do. The boat will not tip over because of 6400 pounds of lead in the keel and mostly because I won't let it. A lot of people don't know that.

I stress that if anyone wants a PFD at any time, they are to tell me immediately. We have inflatables that aren't hot or dorky and there is no shame in wearing one. I also tell them that nothing bad is going to happen to them because I won't let it. The goal is to come back with the same number of crew, not leaking anything red, and boat still pointy up front.

I once had a licensed captain compliment us on the pre-sail briefing that he overheard. That made my day.
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

Certainly more comprehensive than my briefing of "Don't put anything in the toilet without chewing it first".
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

There's so much paper work involved in a fatality at sea that I do my darnedest to prevent it. My guests are much soothed by my caring attitude. The kneel or sit sign in the head over the electric toilet marked #1 or#2 has helped my attitude a lot too.
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Goodness. If it was my first time sailing, I might think twice after reading that. Passport? How long are they going to be on board? You're suggesting fleece and wool and expecting to go swimming and diving? Recommending expensive gear like Helly Hanson? So, you're not just talking a daysail or weekend?

If you have to go into instructions that detailed, perhaps a daysail to get them used to the boat first to knock some things off the list as well as to see if they even like sailing before committing to all that gear.

That said, I have heard of making up a one-page list for guests, but I don't remember where I saw it. It was done in the form of a welcome letter and didn't sound nearly as dire and fraught with danger as the list you're suggesting.
Crikey ... I thought they were talking about a daysail.

I did .... but I can't remember where I put it ....

Good people, they were interesting lists but for mine somewhat over the top.

Sailing is in essence a free and easy pastime .... taking the right precautions surely has to be tempered by a bit of easy going common sense.
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Last edited by tdw; 03-25-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Info. for Guests Aboard

I think it's important to explain use of the head to newcomers; and also to emphasize the fact of heeling, but also the physics of the keel (I use the example of those old inflatable clowns that always stood back up when you punched them.... some of the younger one's don't know what I mean....)

I don't try to dwell on the dangers too much.. the whole experience can be overwhelming enough without that, but I do say to take a cue from us.. if we appear unconcerned then things are probably quite normal.

I also mention that there may be times when we ask them to sit somewhere specific, or go below, and that they should do so as quickly as possible.

Beyond that there Rules #1, 2, and 3:

#1: Stay on the boat.
#2: STAY ON THE BOAT
and #3: STAY ON THE %#@$^&* BOAT

If it's an extended trip, we do something more involved esp if the guests are not already boaters, though that's rare for us.
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