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