The sailing yacht CV30 was taking part in the third leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race having left Cape Town on 31 October 2017 bound for Fremantle, Western Australia.
For many in the northern hemisphere winter is the off-season, which means it's a great time inspect safety gear. Lifejackets and throwable rescue aids like the Lifesling which incorporate materials that degrade over time deserve particularly close attention. Even new safety equipment deserves close inspection. Probably the most startling safety equipment failure we've experienced was that of a newly bought child's safety harness with a polypropylene tether that immediately broke under very little load.
Man overboard gear standards are behind the times because the sample size is tiny and the facts surrounding an accident are often clouded and disguised by difficult circumstances. But fixing this is pretty simple; piggyback on standards that have been developed for climbing and industry. The following are just some of the steps that a sailor can take to improve his chances of staying on board.
A continuation of last month's new-product focus.
The ubiquitous dry chemical fire extinguisher is cheap, suitable for multiple fire types, and UL listed, but...
Considering the short comings of existing leg loops for harnesses, we designed an add-on set of leg loops that can transform any ISO 12401 chest harness into a harness capable of safely distributing the force of a epic fall, without adding significant weight and without inhibiting wearer moment.
In a moment of exasperation last month, I chipped in a few bucks to a charity group that promised to blow 100 vuvuzelas for a full day outside BPs corporate office. Four-foot-long African trumpets that produce an ear-piercing moan, vuvuzelas were responsible for that annoying buzz you might of heard on ESPN during the World Cup soccer action last month. My donation didn't save the planet, but I slept a little better. The scheme, dubbed the Experimental Vuvuzela Exhalation Procedure in London and organized through www.kickstarter.com, ended up raising more than $7,000 for the Gulf Disaster Fund.
It’s clear that the tools we use to measure stability, and to prevent future incidents are still imperfect instruments, as we saw in the fatal WingNuts capsize in 2011. And in the cruising community, where fully equipped ocean going boats hardly resemble the lightly loaded models used to calculate stability ratings, we worry that the picture of stability is again becoming blurred by design trends.
I really appreciated the article Anchoring in Crowded Harbors (see Practical Sailor, June 2019). The difficult and critical part is always estimating distances, and the guides you gave (two-to-three mast heights, using fractions of a nautical mile, etc.) can be difficult to do accurately in a crowded harbor with the sun setting, with some of that information available only at the helm, and multiple boats moving to anchor. As a bow hunter, I am…