Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Planting Accident Report-Final
OK, these are the two points that stand out to me.
A) Consider steering manually during periods of heightened risk that cannot be avoided by other means.
B) Position the person on watch so as to facilitate immediately taking control if the autopilot is used during periods of heightened risk. This could mean a crewmember is placed at the wheel, though not actively steering.
A) consider?. Excuse me, but am I mistaken to assume that is the job of the human crew members when conditions dictate? With 5 crew steering would have been pretty light duty and perhaps one of the "experienced and professional" crew would have noticed that the steering was 'mushy' from lack of fluid. All that time and money spent to produce this report and the recommendation is: consider? Bah humbug!
B) I read about this attitude all the time on these forums. Folks tucked up under the dodger far from the helm and literally unable to see around the boat, but all nice and cozy, some even listening on headphones to music or books on tape.
Not on any boat that I'm the captain of! From a 30' yacht to an umpteen thousand ton freighter, if you are on watch, you are at the helm, sitting or standing where you have an unobstructed view of the vessel and the waters around her, never more than a few seconds from taking over from a miscreant autopilot. Comfort and tunes are for off watch, not when everybody on the vessel has put their lives in the watchstander's care!
As for a need to regulate these things, Darwin had a pretty good point, and I don't see the harm in culling the herd from time to time.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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