Dinghy tragedy caused by stability fault

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by zerogara, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Not in Spain. If the 'Guardia Civil del Mar' catchs you sailing a racing dinghy out of the race field, they'll fine you heavily. Not to talk about what'd happen if an accident happens and somebody dies, like it was with the family mentioned in this thread's original post. Captain/owner would be most probably declared guilty of homicide in Court (Unless death him/herself, for sure).
    And I would very surprised if this is not so in all EU countries.
     
  2. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Might be illegal in Spain, not so in the UK and a damn good thing too!

    I don't like the idea that I couldn't use my racing boat for cruising, just because somebody legislated against it for being "un-safe".

    There are often accidents in dinghies, some caused by genuine error, others, like the one in this thread, by in-experience. There is always a media-type pressure to protect the nation from accidents, and there is a growing tendancy for the politicians to jump on the band wagon to look like they're doing something. However, it is a dangerous precedent to set, because pretty soon someone will realise that people die putting there socks on in the morning. And what then? People die of natural causes. Well, we'll legislate against natural causes of death because they could be fatal.

    Clearly, this is ridiculous. It is a risk we all take when we go on the water. Death is not inevitable, by any means. However, it should serve to remind us that attempting things well outside our capabilities is dangerous. There is only one person who can decide where their abilities lie, and that is the person themselves. Not the government, not HM Coastguard, not 'Guardia Civil del Mar'. The Captain/Helmsman has the final say, and it should be a reasoned decision. Now people get it wrong, and other people die because of it, the Fastnet 1979 was a good example of both good and bad decisions leading to life or death, but we still sail the Fastnet race today. And a damn good thing too.

    Sailing is a dangerous sport. It always will be, but the main appeal (in my view) is that when I'm sailing I have complete control over my decisions and actions. If that's removed, I'm basically out of a job. If no-one wants to take risks then why bother even designing racing boats?

    Tim B.
     
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Big Brother

    Guillermo, that sounds so very strange-and unfortunate! How do people practice in their racing sailboat if they can only sail when racing? Most serious racing sailors spend hundreds of hours sailing alone in practice sessions-surely that can't actually be illegal in Spain? That kind of "big brotherism" is government gone way, way over the line.
     
  4. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Folks, I'm not defending the thing, just stating it.

    To train racing in Spain you have to do it under the umbrella of a recognized Club or the like, and have an official 'sporting license' granting insurance coverage.
    Many people here don't care about this and they sail their racing dinghies just for fun....And in my job I have to deal from time to time with people asking me to perform the technical works required under the Spanish laws in order to get their racing dinghies registered, because they have been inspected by the Guardia Civil when sailing. Usually that is not possible, because those dinghies have neither been designed with CE rules in mind, nor the Spanish regulations

    A second problem on top of the possibility of being fined, or even sued if a serious accident happens when sailing a not registered dinghy out of the racing field or duly covered training (pure racing dinghies doesn't need to be registered), is that the insurance companies may even refuse to pay.

    So, if your son is the captain of such a dinghy, and he invites that pretty girl for a gorgeus day sailing, you'd better pray all saints that nothing happens, because if the girl dies and their family or the authorities sue him (most probably), he takes not only the risk of going to jail or the like, but on top of that you'll have to pay the indemnifications in his name.

    I would like to know what happens in other EU countries ralated to this. Anybody has more info?
     
  5. solrac
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    solrac 100% sudaca

    As Guillermo stated, a very similar situation happens here in Uruguay (and also as I know, in Argentina & Chile). You must have a register certificate for your ship, a sailing license (exam is mandatory) for any kind of floating device, even 2 barrels tied or your funny inflatable duck.
    The racing ships are on a different consideration, same as Guillermo said, you must be registered at a Yacht Club, who is responsible for all out port situations, (at regatta time always they provide safeboats & personnel and at training time you must fill at the port authority an authorization form)
    For the minor aged sailors, allways, on regatta & training they must exit the port with a backup motor dinghy with an experienced trainer. no way the authorities let you out without this rules (you may escape out, but better don't come back to same port, on the sureness you'll stay overnight in a comfortable jail)
    attached is a photo of the minimal documents required for a really little sailboat (3.70m fiberglass monohull, 1 mainsail only, even smaller than a laser...belive or not:cool: )
     

    Attached Files:

  6. zerogara
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    zerogara build it and sail it

    The only thing regulations do is raise the cost for human activities and create markets and industries out of nowhere. A practice very common in most industrialized countries. Whether the regulations are meant to protect humans, livestock, the environment, cost of conforming to them is common. In 95% of the cases some may argue that not much changed.
    If practice is the same thing as a supervised informal race within a club, now practicing would be safer by paying someone to watch over you, set marks, have an inflatable etc etc. You can still end up in a grave it just cost some more! If you are sailing you have to pay for the infrastructure to meet the requirements.
    Safety is an illusion that sells as a commodity. Entertainment has a lack of safety factor in it.
     
  7. solrac
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    solrac 100% sudaca

    Sorry... seems like an ad for introducing a newbie to russian roullette as a sport, "don't worry it's a nice sport, some risks envolved but preety much fun"
    don't agree that a sport like sailing has an "acceptable risk level" (what is acceptable? a minor injury a month? loosing a leg twice a year? a 34.9% probability of death on the first 500miles sailing?)
    safety is not a comodity, it's a need for all human activities, what would be the figure if driving a car was not a such controlled activity? Why would I need a safety belt on my car if I (still) never had an accident? or better, why to spend money on such sophisticated ABS brake systems on a car when an anchor & a chain can do a similar task much more economically? (remember the flintstones car?)
     
  8. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I couldn't less agree. Go and tell this to the RNLI and the like.
    Attitudes like yours kill people. I find it, in my humble opinion, quite childish. We need a little bit more of sense of responsibility when sating opinions.
     
  9. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    In Scandinavia small boats where much safer "before CE". Then you would need a DNV certificate to sell a small boat, now all small boats are in category C or D.

    I think racing dinghies is a different matter. You should know what you are doing when you use one and wear a suite and floating device.
     
  10. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    I must say that I can see what zerogara is getting at. "Safety" in a media sense is usually the result of a rushed decision by MPs to look like they're doing something. It costs the taxpayer and/or boater money, and hasn't actually made anything safer at all.

    Entertainment (boating) is not inherently safe. Now I wouldn't say I did it because it wasn't safe, but I do wonder about jetskiers and the like.

    The point is that you can't make boating "safer" as such because of people's tendency to drown occasionally when they fall in the water.

    Tim B.
     
  11. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Absolutely. Neither is living.

    I don't get your point.... What all of us, designers, boaters, boatbuilders, authorities, etc, have been doing all this time? I think increasing safety has been one of the main concerns and I hope you may admit boats and boating are actually much safer than ever, generally speaking. Even jetskiing.

    That's OK, when you are already at sea. But society needs to do something to avoid insconscient (or plain stupid) people going sailing without enough knowledge and without a proper boat. The same reason why the society doesn't allow people to drive cars without a license or to drive cars technically inadecuate, let's say without saftey belts, i.e. Because that 'brave' people not only risk their lives, but also the lives of the ones who have to come to rescue them if something happens. Not to talk about the money the rescue and medical services, etc., cost the tax-payers....

    By the way, Do you drive your car without the safety belt? Maybe you can tell the policeman: "...Clearly, this is ridiculous. It is a risk we all take when we go driving. Death is not inevitable..."

    Cheers.
     
  12. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    I think the roads would be a lot safer for everyone else if driver's side seatbelts were banned and every car had to have a foot long sharp spike projecting from the steering wheel boss...
     
  13. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    sticky situation

    Jim, that is probably the wierdest post of yours I've ever read-and usually you make a lot of sense....
     
  14. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Gasp! You mean people would have to stop hitting things or get skewered? Divers would have to pay attention? The insurance companies would kill that idea in a heartbeat. If people stopped crashing cars they would have no risk to insure against.

    It's odd that people that know that ANY "accident" is going to cause them pain tend to be better drivers than those that buy 5 star rated crash-mobiles.

    Great Idea, it will never fly.
     

  15. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I think the real problem here is how to make sensible rules that are easily understandable instead of relying on all kinds of 'expert enforcers' who's main objective often becomes doing the least work possible by denying approval anything they may have to put some thought (ie: work) into.

    This is not easy to do. Building codes (house) that exist in my neck of the woods are a good attempt at this. Anyone who can read the local language reasonably well can follow these codes. Sadly, however, these very same codes are often enforced by people who prefer professional builders to do-it-yourselfers.
    And they have been known to be very picky on the work of do-it-yourselfers, yet willing to 'look the other way' on the work of professionals (if they even check their work at all).

    Power without any real accountability invites abuse. And that's has nothing to do with government being bad and business being good, or the other way around for that matter. It's just human nature.

    Bob
     
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