My thoughts on the loss of "Cheeki Rafiki". One of the most difficult posts I have ever written. Have a read and see if you think I got it right.
Lightning strike! Just the words can make us cruising sailors, who sail around the ocean with the highest thing in hundreds of square miles sticking up, nervous.
This post by Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, will help you understand how lighting strikes happen and what you can do to reduce the associated risks.
As I think I've made clear in the previous two chapters of this Online Book, keeping the water out is a number one commitment for any offshore boat. And not just large amounts, although obviously that’s a fundamental priority, too. Relatively modest amounts of water can cause real issues with sensitive electronics, especially in today's shallow [...]
There are few things more miserable on a boat at sea than salt water below from deck leaks. And if said leaks get bad enough, they can sink you. Colin has a whole series of tips on how to stop that happening to you.
One of the things that is attractive about metal construction is the ease with which structural modifications can be made. What would require substantial amounts of design, planning, physical work and cost in a GRP boat can require very little effort in metal, whether steel or aluminium. A good example of this is the installation [...]
Matt, AAC Technical Correspondent takes a look at the challenges of dealing with a fire at sea. In all likelihood, his post will get you thinking, as it did me, about how inadequate the fire fighting resources on your boat are and what to do about it.
We have written a lot about gear in our ongoing Person Overboard Prevention Online Book, but all the gear in the world won't keep you safe if you don't heed this tip.
In this chapter I examine some of the dangerous illusions and downright fantasies prevalent in the offshore sailing world about how various jackline and tether systems will prevent us from being injured or being dragged over the side, and some options for what we can do on our own boats to make these systems safer and more effective.
Due to pressure building on all sides (Canada, Norway, etc.), I finally caved, took a Boating Safety Course, passed the exam, and am now the proud bearer of a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (Canada). It isn’t that I think a boating safety course is a bad idea, it’s just that our peripatetic lifestyle doesn’t lend [...]
It's a sad fact that most production boat companionways are potential boat-sinkers. But it does not have to be that way. In this chapter I provide solid suggestions on how to stormproof your companionway.
Your harness, its fit, and how you use it are among the most important parts of staying safe on a boat offshore. In this chapter I share what we have learned in 140,000 miles of offshore sailing, most of it short-handed, about harnesses, features to look for, and their use.
I have been thinking about safely a lot lately. I guess that stands to reason, given that I’m in the middle of a series of posts on person overboard prevention—not to speak of the fact that I had a very nasty accident a few months ago—and, up until a couple of days ago I was [...]
Okay, picture this: You've just crashed a long way down a flight of log steps a long way in on a hiking trail and smashed down onto a stump; you've analyzed the situation and realized you've broken your femur (a potentially fatal and definitely excruciating injury); you've moved into a safer and marginally more comfortable position and stabilized the leg as best you [...]
In this chapter I examine the options for jackline (jackstay) materials, strength and recommended replacement cycle. Note that the many things I learned from the comments have made me change my mind about much of what I write in this chapter. I have covered those changes in Chapter 6.
The key to person overboard prevention is never losing contact with the boat. In this chapter I take you through an easy to use (with a little practice) system, which we have evolved over 20 years sailing offshore short-handed on our boat, that will enable you to stay clipped on at all times and still have the mobility and reach to sail your boat properly.