Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Safety Tips

Safety seems to be the theme for the watery blogger at the moment, so here are two top tips:

1) Use Gloves

I love the spinnaker: when you put it up you get this surge of power as the boat accelerates - hopefully in the right direction.

But it can be a scary sail. The thing is it just has such a huge area that the loads on it can be hard to manage, and it needs a lot of ropes, which can lead to all sorts of tangles.

This story however involves a hoist of the spinnaker in the picture above that went wrong. The man swigging on the halyard by the mast didn't notice that the rope wasn't being pulled through the jammer but was coiling at his feet. So when the wind caught the sail the rope went flying upwards through his hands, and he wasn't wearing gloves.

The result was not pretty.

2) Stay in the boat

A couple were once found swimming half way between the islands of St Lucia and Martinique. They were all on their own, without a boat and also without any clothes.

Apparently they had been out sailing but as alas happens too often there was no wind. So they decided to go skinny dipping, both of them.

However once in the water the wind picked up, and it was fair to say they were lucky to be picked up too.

Lets be careful out there.


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Yeah, herein are two pieces of worthy advice to the prudent sailor. I'm not sure #2 will apply to me, but I'll file it away just in case. As far as #1: recently, in a Chinese fire-drill takedown at the end of a race, I lost a glove. Without instantly re-gloving , I almost lost a couple of digits subsequently!

JP said...


It's also very easy to get fingers caught between rope and winch.

As well as gloves am a big fan of knee pads, particularly if doing a lot of foredeck work on mahogany decks!

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

My knees no longer do squat, JP. And I don't do boat maintenance to speak of. But, when racing, knee-pads are required for me. Have to get my center of gravity low enough! Safety as well as comfort!

JP said...

Yup, keep that weight low is a good way of avoiding a dunking.

Health and Safety Risk Assessments said...

Keep the deck oil free to prevent slip and fall cases.