Safety and the modern multihull sailor / Minimum Requirements for Ocean Multihulls

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Corley, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Silver Raven had a good idea for a thread discussing safety equipment and its application on modern racer/cruiser multihulls. Maybe a good minimum level of safety could be applied to our boats by looking at what racing boats carry as a minimum standard of safety equipment. Compulsary inverted access hatches are a good start but also perhaps a change in our attitudes towards letting others know our cruising and racing intentions.

    As an example one of our club boats competed in the Three Peaks Race in Tasmania on their return delivery from the race our club commodore had a call from the search and rescue authorities regarding the position and plans of the boat. Unfortunately our club commodore was not being updated with their current position or intentions so could not be of assistance. As it happened everything was fine the cat was holed up in Refuge Cove where they were waiting out the gale but there is no radio communication or mobile phone signal there due to the high surrounding hills. Having someone external to the boat that is able to give a good idea of cruising intentions and any bolt holes they may run too would be a great idea.

    Most of our members have been racing inshore club events for a number of years and the number of ocean capable racer/cruisers has declined with an increasing membership and bluewater boats coming into the club we are having to "relearn" some past lessons.

    __________________
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Wow! That was quick.......Thanks, Jeff...
     
  3. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Here are the Cat 1 (ocean racing) regulations for multihulls just as a basis for discussion.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Interesting topic. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time contemplating this stuff. My feeling is you go with whatever you are comfortable with. Self-rescue is the most important factor in my opinion, as is not flipping your multi in the first place. I sail and navigate extremely conservatively. Keep boat speed and sail area down when not just screwing around near the harbor.

    I don't think there should be any minimum standards. There should be personal responsibility and the acceptance of the fact that you just might die doing this stuff. If you choose not to carry safety equipment, you must accept that you are on your own and if the worst happens, you may very well die.

    People are too coddled these days.

    Also, I'm adding that this philosophy applies to a cruiser, not a race team or a charter, both of which have a different mission and must have all training and safety options on the table and at the ready.
     
  5. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    It should be focusing upon 1) is the boat safe and 2) are the crew adequately trained.

    Safety equipment is, ostensibly, the last line of defence.

    If the boat is designed for such harsh conditions and the crew are suitably trained/experienced in the vessel and offshore racing...then most accidents could/should be avoided.

    The equipment is there if/when all else fails...
     
  6. Corley
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    The regulations are pretty clear in what they expect of the skipper of the boat.

    1.02 Responsibility of Person in Charge
    1.02.1 The safety of a yacht and her crew is the sole and inescapable
    responsibility of the person in charge who must do his best to
    ensure that the yacht is fully found, thoroughly seaworthy and
    manned by an experienced crew who have undergone appropriate
    training and are physically fit to face bad weather. He must be
    satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars, rigging, sails and all
    gear. He must ensure that all safety equipment is properly
    maintained and stowed and that the crew know where it is kept
    and how it is to be used. He shall also nominate a person to take
    over the responsibilities of the Person in Charge in the event of
    his incapacitation.

    It's a fair question how many skippers who race occasionally on their principally cruising boat would adhere to the letter and spirit of these regs. When you cruise and race how thoroughly do you brief your crew on safety equipment and expectations do you maintain your safety equipment and is it accessible? I'd count as safety equipment items like tethers which are a primary safety item. Most fatalities at sea are caused by crew or skippers getting swept or falling overboard not by boats inverting. If your cruising and become incapacitated or die are your crew capable of returning your boat safely to shore?
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I don't think any Thursday nigh beer can racers in the states follow this rule, Corley. The skipper just finds any rail meat (they are all monohulls), they go out to the marks and do some laps, while drinking a beer or two. There is always a Boston Whaler with a race official watching the race, so i would imagine most mob's are either picked up by the Whaler or another passing race boat, if not the boat they are on.

    There is a very lax attitude toward safety in those races.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    "Category 1 " regulations are a very good reference. If you can fulfill these regs, you have seaworthy hull, proper safety and communications onboard and the correct level of training. Not many boats can achieve Cat 1.

    Long range communications is the major safety advance for small craft sailors. GMDSS training, DSC equipment , AIS , SAT C and a connection to the Internet for downloading GRIB files are critical.

    Because of Grib weather data ,I very rarely face challenging conditions.

    The SAT C always allows me to update my ETA shoreside and avoid stress. .
     
  9. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Agreed, looking at Cat 1 it would be onerous for most cruiser/racer multihulls with prudent seamanship maybe Cat 3 is a better reference for most cruiser/racer multihulls? Nothing seems particularly onerous there?

    http://www.rsays.com.au/site/yachting/rsays/downloads/Cat3%20multi%2011.12.pdf
     
  10. warwick
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    warwick Senior Member

    Is it also allowing for the unexpected, as well as having the equipment on hand part training and part common sense. You can still have a fire or strike something animal or log in the water.

    Part of the problem with common sense theses days people are getting uses to being told what they can and can not do. People are now getting use to deferring any responsibility off to some one else.
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Whats important with Cat 1 preparation is that it represents best practice for seaworthy small craft.. A goal for you to achieve. Most boats and their skippers " mature" into cat 1 over many years. First comes the boat, its design , construction and detailing. Cat 1 scantling and design compliance is common sense at sea. Once you have the correct boat , you built sea time ...as your sea time builds the need for the onerous, expensive communication and safety equipment becomes obvious .
     
  12. warwick
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    warwick Senior Member

    Another case for carrying a life raft could be the loss of D Flawless, had they not been carrying a life raft the crew could have been lost. There was a article written by Richard Pilkington on the rescue, I think may have been published a AMSA news letter.

    I think the boat suffered structural damage due to wave impact or whale. Where would Gavin and his crew be now with out the life raft.
     
  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I'd agree with Warwick. A life raft seems unnecessary, but you need something (even if it's a very large tender set up as a life raft). The boat can't be your life raft because it may very well burn to the waterline and sink.
     

  14. warwick
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    warwick Senior Member

    Another problem I think they had on D flawless, may have been the location of the life raft. It may have been in the hull, that had suffered the structural failure ( Center case stove in? ). So location may be as important.

    It was a while ago I had read the article, so I may have got the hull wrong.
    How ever it was a concern for Richard after wards.

    From what I understand the only part they found was the bow sections and fore beam, washed up.
     
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