These days it seems like hardly a month goes by without the announcement of a new and/or improved safety device, aggressively marketed as the latest thing that we all must buy, to the point that it’s getting impossible to keep up. Here is how John decides which of these new technologies to put energy into understanding and which to ignore.
A chat with Steve Moore, Product Manager at Ocean Signal about potential problems with the MOB1 Beacon and how to make sure these beacons work. Also a couple of other thoughts on water activation for AIS beacons and AIS/PLB combo beacons.
We all have navigation lights, and many of us AIS transponders too, so we assume that other vessels can easily see us at night, but can they really? John shares some tips learned from a real life night encounter with another yacht.
Just three years ago I thought I really understood Crew Overboard (COB) Prevention. And then I found out how many of my cherished ideas about what would keep me and my crew safe were just plain wrong. Here are 20 things I have since learned that could save your life.
To be safe we need to be open to reviewing our assumptions in the light of new information. John takes a fresh look at the Spinlock Deckvest that he and Phyllis have used for years, and also revisits the whole issue of wearing crotch straps, or not.
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 above our heads, nervous. In this chapter Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, will help you understand how lightning strikes happen and what you can do to reduce the associated risks.
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 crew 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 […]
One thing we have a ban on aboard Pèlerin is going around the decks with no shoes. Stubbed toes can easily be badly damaged, as I found out one night in a pitch-dark harbour when another yacht announced that they were coming alongside by the simple expedient of slamming straight into the side of us. Leaping […]
Staying safe on deck needn’t be an eyesore. Question: What’s one of the easiest ways to sustain a serious injury on a yacht? Answer. A fall. Question: What’s one of the easiest ways to prevent that happening? Answer: Decent non-slip everywhere! So why is such a simple way of staying safe so often ignored? When […]
At the beginning of each working season we used to take our old boat out on a really breezy day and push the boat hard to check that everything was in good working order. Whilst we had run through our winter maintenance schedule with great care, winter always seemed to find a chink in our […]
Sailors can be a superstitious lot, and the idea of setting sail on Friday 13th has always alarmed mariners. But as the latest one came around we weren’t worried. As we were simply minding our own business alongside a pontoon, and planning on going nowhere we were in a risk-free place – or so we […]
The winter we spent in London England living on Morgan’s Cloud at St Katharine Haven next to Tower Bridge, was wonderful. We walked all over the city and soaked up the history and culture. And the pubs…wow!
Question [Edited for brevity]: We have been upgrading the safety equipment on board our boat and are thinking of installing radar reflectors to amplify and enhance the radar signal we create to alerting oncoming vessels of our position during offshore sailing in bad weather and heavy seas. The Echomax Active-XS-Dual Band reflector seems very good, […]
We are really careful about getting our liferaft serviced each year. So back in the fall we contacted Raymond Harvey at Air-Sea Safety and Survival Inc, here in Charleston, South Carolina, where we are spending the winter.
For most cruising yachtsmen there are few more beautiful, peaceful or congenial places to down a cold Tusker beer, than on the Kenyan shore of the Indian Ocean. Such places form the backbone of the dream for so many, and it’s not hard to see why. But outside in open waters things are less idyllic, […]
One of the many things that attracted John and I to each other is that we are both gimped. John has one leg shorter than the other and a slight scoliosis and I have congenitally flat feet and knock-knees. John walks like a duck and I walk like a penguin. It is a match made […]
Fire blankets are a great idea, particularly to smother a grease flare-up in the galley without the mess of a dry powder extinguisher, and we have long carried one on Morgan’s Cloud; however, it was bulky and ugly and so was relegated to a locker up forward, much reducing its effectiveness in a fire where […]
We spent a month taking care of Polaris, a sailboat wintering over on the west coast of Greenland. Before he left for home, Michael (owner of Polaris), Phyllis and I talked about managing risk, particularly as it related to falling overboard into the sub-freezing sea water there.
It has been something of a culture shock to be back in Cornwall, where the volume of boat traffic is on a completely different level to the western isles of Scotland. Up there other yachts really are few and far between, whereas sometimes around the Falmouth area we may be altering course for another yacht […]
Question: Do you carry survival suits and do you do anything special for working in the dinghy? I’ve seen ice suits, and all sorts of combo work/survival suits and we are wondering if we should carry something similar for the wilder areas?