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Ok Sailing Gurus here is a topic for you to chew on. Before I leave the dock I have safety meeting with everyone to get our heads in the game. Here is the list of items I review. It is intentionally short and is not mean to the comprehensive discussion of the all things that could go wrong but is meant set the tone for sailing a large boat. So review and chew. I would really like to here some thoughts on this.

Thanks

Crew Meeting Before Leaving the Dock

1.Safety is number one we can replace anything including the boat but replacing hands, arms, or people is not possible. Sacrifice the boat or equipment not yourself – do not get hurt.

2.The major hazards on the boat are:

- The boom – Being hit by the boom can be fatal

- The lines – They contain a large amount of energy. Do not get jewelry or fingers caught in winches. Remove rings and necklaces.

- When leaving or coming into the dock do not get between the boat and other boats or the boat and the dock.

- There are many tripping hazards on the deck move around the deck slowing and cautiously. Wear shoes when under sail.

3.Man over board.
- If some one falls off the boat keep you eyes on the individual and let the crew know. There is no need to shout hysterically but calmly state “man overboard” and do not take your eyes off the person in the water. If you are close enough throw a floatation device to the individual.

4.Life vest are on deck and if conditions warrant we will put them on.

5.Fire – there are five fire extinguishers on board located in the galley, aft stateroom, and forward stateroom. If we have a fire pull the pin on the extinguisher point it at the base of the flame and pull the trigger.
 

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Crew Meeting Before Leaving the Dock

1.Safety is number one we can replace anything including the boat but replacing hands, arms, or people is not possible. Sacrifice the boat or equipment not yourself – do not get hurt.

2.The major hazards on the boat are:

- The boom – Being hit by the boom can be fatal

- The lines – They contain a large amount of energy. Do not get jewelry or fingers caught in winches. Remove rings and necklaces.

Add clothing and hair to this list... both can get caught in a winch or windlass. Power windlasses and chain anchor rodes are particularly good at maiming people.


- When leaving or coming into the dock do not get between the boat and other boats or the boat and the dock.
Do not ever fend off using any parts of your body. A large sailboat, weighing thousands of pounds, can crush your arm/leg/foot/etc before it comes to a stop.

- There are many tripping hazards on the deck move around the deck slowing and cautiously. Wear shoes when under sail.
There is a reason for the saying "One hand for yourself and one hand for the ship."

3.Man over board.
- If some one falls off the boat keep you eyes on the individual and let the crew know. There is no need to shout hysterically but calmly state “man overboard” and do not take your eyes off the person in the water. If you are close enough throw a floatation device to the individual.
Might want to go over MOB procedures a bit more thoroughly than this, in case you are the MOB.

4.Life vest are on deck and if conditions warrant we will put them on.
Do you have jacklines, harnesses and tethers? If not, why not?

5.Fire – there are five fire extinguishers on board located in the galley, aft stateroom, and forward stateroom. If we have a fire pull the pin on the extinguisher point it at the base of the flame and pull the trigger.
Might also want to go over where the main battery switch is, as well as any fuel cutoff switches and the propane tanks are located. Shutting off the electricity will often stop an electrical fire in its tracks. Stopping the fuel will often help you fight a fire successfully.

How about the bilge pumps. You do have manual as well as electric bilge pumps, right??

You also might want to go over the radio procedures for an emergency. For instance, I just had a small sign made up for basic emergency radio procedures that will be mounted next to the navigation console.

You also might want to point out where the flares/horn/bell and other emergency signals are kept aboard the boat. If you have an EPIRB, it might be wise to go over the arming procedures for it. If you have a liferaft, it would be wise to go over how to launch it and under what conditions—only step up in to a liferaft.

If you have a first aid kit...point out where it is kept. Also, if you have any severe allergies (food/beesting/etc) and carry an EpiPen, it would be wise to explain its use.
 

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That "no fending off" is something I will really have to watch whenever I go to a bigger boat. If I have the sails down, I can control my boat pretty well. That came up over in "learning to sail" the other day; a guy was worried about docking downwind and it turned out he has a 15' boat. I told him what I do is get the sails down and then head straight at the dock. I hope I didn't suggest a bad habit for the future. :eek:
 

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I have NEVER been on a boat with jacklines, tethers and harnesses.

Honestly, how many have them??? HONESTLY !
 

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Safety meeting

I think you are doing a great job. So few sailors have a prepared well thought out speach, and don't cover things until its too late. As time passes, you will become better and better at it and realize what to keep in and what to keep out. Keep up the good work.

Two items, don't forget to finish by reminding them to have fun! and Possibly discuss seasickness.

I went to a lecture (sort of) at MIT about a sea sickness study done for NASA (I guess every trip to space someone hurls in the space suit). I could give a brief rendition of the findings if anyone is interested.

Don
 

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I think that your list is fine, but question what you mean by "crew". Is crew guests, or is crew out for a night/week of racing? Big difference!

I have a list that I give people that are guests on the boat. Mostly non sailors, but it hopefully relaxes them a little. Points out what COULD happen, and never has, and what counter measures are available, to reassure them about the boat.

Basic things like: Do as much or as little as you want, lines under tension are under lots of tension, don't put anything you value between the boat and the dock, and the boom and the head are the two most dangerous things on the boat. Use them both, don't abuse them!

Serious crew, those that are sailors and operating the boat, we talk about duties and risks. Non serious....I sail, they do what they want as long as I show them what to do.

Jacklines and tethers...have them! When it is blowing, whether alone or with crew, we use them. We practice MOB and plan NEVER to have a MOB!
 

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Hello,

If I have people who have never sailed I will give them a minute or two talk to help understand that:
-The boat will lean
-The boat will not tip over
-If you fall overboard don't panic, we will come back for you
-If I fall overboard call for help on the radio - there are printed instructions right next to it.
-If you need to use the head, there are instructions on the wall.

I don't have tethers or jacklines, and don't want to ever sail in conditions that warrant them.

Barry
 

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Well said TommyT... best MOB recovery plan is prevention.
I think that your list is fine, but question what you mean by "crew". Is crew guests, or is crew out for a night/week of racing? Big difference!

I have a list that I give people that are guests on the boat. Mostly non sailors, but it hopefully relaxes them a little. Points out what COULD happen, and never has, and what counter measures are available, to reassure them about the boat.

Basic things like: Do as much or as little as you want, lines under tension are under lots of tension, don't put anything you value between the boat and the dock, and the boom and the head are the two most dangerous things on the boat. Use them both, don't abuse them!

Serious crew, those that are sailors and operating the boat, we talk about duties and risks. Non serious....I sail, they do what they want as long as I show them what to do.

Jacklines and tethers...have them! When it is blowing, whether alone or with crew, we use them. We practice MOB and plan NEVER to have a MOB!
 

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I just tell everyone to stay out of my way....

Unless my older son is on board, I do everything, with the help of Ralf, of course, our autopilot.
I do wear a harness, my kids do also, when we are on the way...
I still have to work on good anchor points, though...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to All

Thanks to all for the comments and ideas. To answer some of the questions

Sailingdog thanks for the info - I have both electric and manual bilge pumps.
I would like to see the sign for emergency radio instructions when you get it.
I will make a point to talk more about MOB procedures.
I have life vests with the harnesses built in and tethers but no jack lines. I will make a point to get jack lines on board. So far I have managed to avoid conditions that require them but you never know when I am going to get in a situation where I need them and when I do I am sure I will really need them bad.

Dquack – I did leave seasickness off the list. We use Sturgeron and it really works well. I will include that item from now on.

You make a great point about having fun. It is easy to get caught up in all the stuff associated with sailing on the ocean and miss the sense of wonder and true magic that is sailing. It continues to be one of the most memorable experiences for my friends and family. Don’t know what I did last week, last year or yesterday but I can talk for hours about every time I have been sailing.

Tommyt and barryl great post - Crew to me is anyone on the boat and I have a wide range of experience form racing sailors to first timers. Tailoring the message to the audience is important and I will definitely use you input.
The operation of the head is one of the first things we go over with people but having instructions posted is a great idea.
 

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Barry-

Just cause you don't want to sail in conditions that warrant using harnesses, tethers and jacklines, doesn't mean that mother nature will cooperate and leave you out of experiencing such weather. :) Just something to consider... it is far better IMHO to have them and not use them because they're not needed, than to need them and not have them when they are needed.
I don't have tethers or jacklines, and don't want to ever sail in conditions that warrant them.

Barry
 

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I would say those are all good things to cover... and i do that as well before leaving the dock or atleast on the way out.

Also, I briefly go over anchoring. I do this because if I am the one to go overboard then i need them to stop the boat so i have a chance of getting back aboard. I figure that worst case if they were to drop anchor that she would just turn up into the wind and the sails would flap around for a bit before i could swim back to the boat. This is assuming that I'm not knocked out by the boom or something.
 

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I was just thinking of putting together a list of this sorts for guests coming onboard. I think mine will include things like, my nav station is for my use, and not a storage area for them. Showing them where they should stow their gear, and things about water and electricity usage, as well as how the galley works, because they are cooking! I also think its important (maybe just with my friends) to go over alcohol consumption... basically, if they want to be a part of the crew, and help, then no drinking (maybe a single beer is ok), but if they want to drink, then stay out of the way of the crew.

The last time I had a buddy come with us for a few days, I didn't do a good job at all of going over things. He didn't have as good a trip as he could have, and we didn't either.
 

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Jack Lines

You don't have to be in heavy weather to use jack lines and a tether. Last year I was leaving Lake Tasmoo on the Vinyard, a perfect day wind at about 6 knots and the water was calm. I steered the boat into the wind and went forward to raise my mainsail and when returning to the cockpit the wind shifted slightly, got hit gently by the boom and over I went! I found out why they call them lifelines when I caught the back of my knees in them and saved myself from going completely over. Hair in the water and one hand on the lifeline I got myself back on board. All that happened was brjuised legs and pride. Now I go forward I hook up, period!
 

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I would say those are all good things to cover... and i do that as well before leaving the dock or atleast on the way out.

Also, I briefly go over anchoring. I do this because if I am the one to go overboard then i need them to stop the boat so i have a chance of getting back aboard. I figure that worst case if they were to drop anchor that she would just turn up into the wind and the sails would flap around for a bit before i could swim back to the boat. This is assuming that I'm not knocked out by the boom or something.
This is a fantastic idea! Especially since I finally got an anchor that might actually stop the boat. :) I still plan to start tethering (but I know I will take it off sometimes or not have it on yet), but I can attach the end of the anchor line to a bow cleat and lead the line outside the bowrail back to the cockpit and keep the anchor at the ready. This is something I need to do, even for me; if I get into a situation where I need to get things under control I can always toss it over (my usual sailing grounds are not that deep and all sand bottom). Making sure others know to do that also and making sure I always have it ready is a great idea. Thanks Joel!
 
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