Rambler 100 Recommendations

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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.
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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