“Safety is thinking about the problems you might encounter and ensuring you have considered your options” – quote from Yachting Monthly magazine.
I guess it is what I am hoping to achieve by researching what has worked for other people and tying them all together in to a safety plan. It will help us decide what equipment we need to purchase, what we will be looking for in the new yacht in regards to particular safety features, what regular maintenance and checks we should do, and I will add my notes in to a folder for us to refer to before any major passages to familiarize ourselves with the plan of attack should anything go wrong.
From my past experience of being in some emergency situations (like the first Christchurch 7.2 earthquake, and the yacht motor stopping close to a lee shore in about 30kts of wind) my first reaction is to panic and I don’t imagine that I will react any differently – perhaps unless I have had time to think about the situation and then jump in to action as I already have a plan!
- Check the weather forecast and know what is coming
- Reef the yacht accordingly – refer to heavy weather sailing, consider deploying the drogue
- Ensure all heavy items are well secured – oven, batteries, fuel and water tanks, outboard motor, tool box, tins of food etc
- If heavy weather is expected – ensure everything is packed away as best as possible
- Secure the anchor when on long passages and if possible lock the chain locker so that the chain can’t fall out
- Check cupboard and drawer locks.
- Consider screwing down floorboards or is there another way they can be secured
- Under seat/bunk stowage – is there a way of securing these lockers?
- Padlock the cockpit lockers
- Secure the chart table – ensure that electronics and ships papers are securely stowed
- If capsized there will be chaos in the cabin!
- Check the rig to ensure it has not broken and deal with that accordingly
- Check the hull to ensure no water is leaking in
- Try and best secure all the items to ensure no further damage occurs