US Sailing Recommendations

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The US Sailing report makes several specific recommendations to prevent future accidents such as the one that involved WingNuts, among them:

Race Standards

Race organizers should establish minimum standards for both the skipper’s and crew’s experience of each boat as well as the boat’s suitability and seaworthiness.

Stability

US Sailing has already heeded the report’s recommendation that a more conservative formula be used to determine the stability index, the number representing a boat’s ability to recover from a capsize.

Safety

The Safety at Sea Committee should conduct a study of different tether/life jacket/harness designs to determine whether an optimum combination of security and ease of release can be found. The committee should consider rewriting the Offshore Special Regulations to make them easier to understand.

Training

US Sailing Safety at Sea seminars should demonstrate the possible difficulty of releasing a tether once the life jacket has inflated, and encourage sailors to practice releasing tethers using their own gear. Stress the importance of boat stability.

Weather

Race organizers should make a high priority of promulgating weather awareness and information in close coordination with the National Weather Service.

Inspections

Organizers of distance races should have a committee of knowledgeable inspectors to conduct pre-race inspections of at least one-half of the fleet and random post-race inspections, with widely publicized penalties.

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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