Safety

Just three years ago I thought I really understood Person Overboard (POB) 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. Complimentary Post

Members' Online Book: Lessons from Losses at Sea, Chapter 5 of 5

“Cheeki Rafiki” Report Misses An Opportunity to Make Boats Safer

Free Introductory Chapter I would be the first to commend the authors of the report on their diligence in analyzing the capsize of the Beneteau First 40.7 "Cheeki Rafiki" and the tragic loss of four lives.

Having said that I believe said report failed the offshore sailing community in its recommendations. Here are my thoughts on what we need to do to prevent another tragedy in the future.

Members' Online Book: Maintaining a Cruising Boat, Chapter 19 of 24

Protecting Against Lightning Strikes

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.

Fire Control

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.

Certificate of Competency

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 [...]

Can We Have Too Much Safety?

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 [...]

Members' Online Book: Person Overboard Prevention, Chapter 1 of 14

We Should Focus On Staying Aboard, Not Recovery

Free Introductory ChapterThere are countless articles, books and courses that focus on recovering a person overboard, but what really matters to the short-handed crew offshore is making as sure as humanly possible that a person overboard situation never happens in the first place—we need prevention, not cure. This chapter introduces this Online Book and that basic concept.

Staying On Your Feet, Part II

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 On Your Feet, Part I

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 [...]

Jonbuoy—Stuff That Works (We Hope)

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! While there we took our MOM and liferaft to Ocean Safety to be serviced. They were great—they inflated [...]

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, [...]

Air-Sea Safety and Survival Inc.

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. Raymond started in raft packing by helping his father Steve after school. And Steve has been packing rafts [...]

Piracy—Trouble In Paradise

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, [...]