Features May 2012 Issue

Rambler 100 Recommendations

The crew of Rambler 100 made the following recommendations/observations regarding safety equipment. The recommendations were taken from crew statements provided to US Sailing and do not represent US Sailing’s own recommendations.

Race Standards

  • The auto-inflate capability on all PFDs should remain disabled.
  • Manual inflation handles should be made of a contrasting/fluorescent color or material.
  • Consider survival suits offshore above 25 knots. (Sailors need one that is more accommodating.)
  • Get laser rescue pointers (laser flares) for all.
  • Having small pen-sized flares would have been useful.
  • If any of the crew had been clipped on when the boat flipped, they would have had a hard time getting disengaged from the clip while dangling at the end of their tether in mid-air, and once in the water, they might have had more problems. The current tethers are way too “beefy” with heavy clips. They are cumbersome to wear and should be much lighter.

Life rafts

  • Mount life rafts so that they can be launched from any angle of heel, including capsized.
  • Mount a mini-grab bag (with a lanyard) topside in a waterproof stowage, accessible when capsized.

Electronics

  • Always monitor VHF Ch 16, as Rambler 100 did.
  • Always have a VHF handheld radio (on a lanyard) in the cockpit, on the person of the watch captain.
  • Always have Satcom C turned on, if installed.
  • Mount EPIRB(s) topside where they might float free and self activate.
  • Should the Race Tracker system have detected the problem?
  • Mount AIS antenna on the mast, instead of the stern rail.

Boat Changes

  • Mark bottom or rudder and dagger board(s) with contrasting high-visibility color.
  • Put steps in transom to facilitate reboarding.
  • Put hatch in transom or bottom of boat.
  • Have Lifesling available at transom.
  • Have other lines/”tow ropes” at transom.
  • Install lifeline stanchions strong enough to tolerate crew weight in a rollover.
  • Emergency lighting belowdecks.
  • Small air bottle (Spare Air) and goggles for a person trapped below to wear while swimming free.

Systems

  • Have a stop/kill switch in the cockpit.
  • Have check valves on tank vents to prevent oil spills when capsized.

Comments (3)

Just to clarify: The above text are comments from the crew of the Rambler 100, not the staff or testers of Practical Sailor. See our most recent tether test for current recommendations and cautions.

Posted by: Darrell | January 26, 2014 9:57 PM    Report this comment

"If any of the crew had been clipped on when the boat flipped, they would have had a hard time getting disengaged from the clip while dangling at the end of their tether in mid-air, and once in the water, they might have had more problems. The current tethers are way too "beefy" with heavy clips. They are cumbersome to wear and should be much lighter."

Well, here we are 20 months later and PS has not clarified any of the many vague parts of that statement. Where is the new testing/recommendations by PS of tethers? Why would anyone have a "hard time" disengaging a tether?; have we not discussed that certain tethers can be released under load and that tether cutters are always recommended? "And... they might have had more problems"?; a classic in useless text; spit it out PS! "Current tethers are too 'beefy'"?; what the heck does that mean (too strong? too heavy? too bulky?) and why is it a problem? So, EVERY tether made is too "beefy"? "Heavy clips"?; what, a 200 pound athletic sailor needs to reduce weight of a clip by 4 ounces and sacrifice safety?; how "heavy is "too" heavy and is this not a personal matter? PS, give us solid facts and well-based opinions so we can decide for ourselves.

Posted by: CaptSork | January 25, 2014 11:48 PM    Report this comment

"If any of the crew had been clipped on when the boat flipped, they would have had a hard time getting disengaged from the clip while dangling at the end of their tether in mid-air, and once in the water, they might have had more problems. The current tethers are way too "beefy" with heavy clips. They are cumbersome to wear and should be much lighter."

Well, here we are 9 months later and PS has not clarified any of the many vague parts of that statement. Where is the new testing/recommendations by PS of tethers? Why would anyone have a "hard time" disengaging a tether?; have we not discussed that certain tethers can be released under load and that tether cutters are always recommended? "And... they might have had more problems"?; a classic in useless text; spit it out PS! "Current tethers are too 'beefy'"?; what the heck does that mean (too strong? too heavy? too bulky?) and why is it a problem? So, EVERY tether made is too "beefy"? "Heavy clips"?; what, a 200 pound athletic sailor needs to reduce weight of a clip by 4 ounces and sacrifice safety?; how "heavy is "too" heavy and is this not a personal matter? PS, give us solid facts and well-based opinions so we can decide for ourselves.

Posted by: CaptSork | January 25, 2014 11:47 PM    Report this comment

New to Practical Sailor?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In