US Sailing Recommendations


The US Sailing report makes seven specific recommendations, several calling for important research into ways to prevent future accidents such as the one that took the life of Olivia Constants.

Capsize Causes and Recovery

Trials and other research should be undertaken on avoiding capsize and turtling by Club 420s, and also on righting them and recovering crew.

Life Jackets

Various types of life jackets should be tested with the aim of identifying their strengths and limitations for dinghy sailing.

Trapeze Gear and Training

Re-creations of the Annapolis accident and other accidents will help identify risks, as well as the equipment and skills needed for trapeze work.


Research should be conducted with turtled boats and crews with the aims of identifying sailor entrapment, and developing and teaching effective methods of recovery.

Electronic Communications

There should be trials of the relative effectiveness in emergencies of old media (VHF-FM), new media (cell phones, social media), alarms (PLB, SPOT), and signals (flares, whistles, lights).


A standard vocabulary and grammar should be developed for emergency communications, both verbal and non-verbal.

Crisis/Incident/Disaster Plans

Model risk management procedures and incident/disaster plans should be developed as templates for use by yacht clubs, race organizers, and sailing programs.

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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