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Safety Considerations for sailing with guests...

On one of my recent daysails (written about elsewhere on this board), I had, including myself, five people on board. Two of them sat on deck in front of the mast beam, one on port, the other on starboard. Vaea is a tiki 26, so if you don't sit on the tramp, the foredeck is a good seat.  But...I have to say it makes me uncomfortable to have carefree sorts sitting there with no lifevests or short tethers on. I don't know how accomplished they are in the art of ocean swimming (!), or how calm they would be if they suddenly found themselves in the water, sans boat.  At this point, Vaea has no sort of lifelines ( I have thought of rigging something from the cabin tops to the foreward beam ends), but even with them lifevests and tethers seem an excellent idea. 

 

I have 4 inflatable vests with built-in harnesses/ crotch straps, 4 Wichard tethers, and 4 of those terrible orange things that are called life vests for Coast Guard compliance. Best used as cushions for backsides! If I go on another boat, I take my personal safety gear with me.

 

It seems no one but me thinks of these things: my wife (one of those on the foredeck) even gets testy with me if I voice these concerns!  Despite this, I am leaning towards a more disciplined regime on MY boat!  What are your views and thoughts on this situation?

 

Don't get me wrong: I am in favor of young, naked women lying on my tramp as much as the next fellow! The problem is I don't know any young, naked, COMPETENT SAILORS, who can swim like olympic gold medal winners!! :~)

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Charlie, I do have the horseshoe buoy and a LifeSling on Vaea, but obviously keeping people on board is even better. I have thought of getting at least two of the foam vests, as the Mustang manually inflatable vests do require a clear head to operate, ie, you have to pull _down_, not out.

First off I would say that I'm not a great fan of rules and regulations, and never wear a lifevest when on my own boats. If asked to do so on another persons boat, I would do so without question.

 

If you are the skipper then you are responsible for the vessel and those on board. 

 

If your other half doesn't like the idea of lifevests etc. then try using her for a simulated M.O.B. she might just change her mind.

She might just leave me! ;~) Seriously though, that's a good idea. On the subject of an actual MOB, I just posted a picture from one of my cat sailing books on the site.  It shows a MOB recovery technique, for upwind or downwind sailing. Charlie, leaving the sails up just in case the motor balks is good backup!_

 

Kim,

This is a small, but I believe significant idea that I cannot claim responsibility for.  When I asked a friend to tidy up our dock lines recently, he took the lines that were tied through the stem handles back and looped them once around the built-in cleats on the forward beam, then back to the cleats on the mast beam and cleated them off there.  This made for a low-lying lifeline that I feel would be a great handhold, if not a complete barrier to someone inadvertently sliding outboard from the position you described.

Ever since then, that's how we tidy our dock lines.  We do the same aft.

Randy

Randy, that is a great idea. I have such lines and have just been coiling them when going out. Kind of a "two birds with one stone" idea!  Rather than coiling them, I'll do what your friend came up with.
Years ago when I sailed out of Long Beach there was a race every year called a seamanship race and at some point in the race while the spinnaker was up your observer would toss your MOB over. The Mob was a set of foul weather gear that was weight to 150 lbs  and had a PFD on. Some college racing team at some point in the past did some studying on MOB recovery technique and their conclusions were to stop the boat immediately and return to your MOB. This means that even with your chute up you turn the boat around. Then you deal with the chute and the cleanup. The idea is to minimize the distance of separation and the MOB. The time to turn into the wind and drop your sails and start the motor could mean losing sight of your MOB. Also should you miss a line and it becomes wrapped in your prop you would now have no motor and no sails. Practicing MOB recoveries is a great way to be prepared and also will improve ones boat-handling skills. Failing to plan is planning to fail
naked girls with lifejackets on? na mate;)
Sailing up here in the Pacific Northwest with a lifejacket on except for the warmest windless days is de riguer. Not for the falling in the water thing but to help insulate the soul from hypothermia! Lifevests come in all shapes and types but the only sport that has put real thought into a comfortable vest that floats your carcass and that you can actually do stuff in while wearing is whitewater kayaking. Pockets for stuff even fleece lined pockets for warm hands. When the sun comes out you're free to remove lifejacket, raingear, sweater, all three layers of polypro, tshirt bra panties whatever but keep them close there's a cloud nearby thinking the rain forrest might need another dousing!

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