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 Post subject: The value of a life vest
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: Oakland, CA
This is why I wear a life vest on every outing. Today the winds were mild and I was soloing an 18SX on a lake in northern Michigan. I was on the wire and the trapeze adjustment line broke and the boat sailed off without me. I was about a mile in any direction from land when this happened. I was a competitive swimmer for seven years then played water polo for ten, so being in the water is a strong point with me, but in this case I let the life vest do its job while I relaxed and waited for a passing boat to rescue me and return me to my still sailing boat. The wait was about five minutes, which was much easier with a life vest than putting my swimming skills to the test in the middle of a choppy lake.

I have always worn a life vest when sailing, and always will.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
Yes! Wear your PDF / Life Vest. No good left on the boat. I ALWAYS wear mine. I had a similar experience, but had to swim about a mile and a half before someone found me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:35 am
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Location: Opelika/Lake Martin, Alabama
Very good point, and very good post. Everyone needs to be safe out there. Hope you and your boat are okay.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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Marty
1984 H16 Yellow Nationals Redline, "Yellow Fever"
Lake Martin, 'Bama.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:01 am
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Location: Orlando!
Why didn’t the boat “round up?“

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:27 pm
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And if you don't wear your vest...

https://poststar.com/news/local/autopsy-man-who-fell-from-kayak-drowned/article_b3d792bd-ef26-54f9-86ad-ccde02804762.html


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:45 am 
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Location: Oakland, CA
Pescatoral Pursuit wrote:
Why didn’t the boat “round up?“

I thought the same thing as it gently sailed downwind and gybed on its own, too, and set a new course just below a beam reach. When I returned to the boat the jib sheet was still cleated and the main sheet was uncleated but tangled in the main block. Apparently the sails were set just right for the wind and point of sail, which caused some confusion on the rescuing boat since they saw me in the water and wondered why the crew on my boat was not returning to retrieve me. They assumed I was not alone.

I, too, expected the boat to either round up or capsize. My ghost-riding boat was still moving when I boarded it about half a mile from where I was picked up.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 989
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Safety first....we should all share these stories.

June 2015, on the 2nd day of the Ottawa Catamaran & Skiff Grand Prix, with good E winds around 12 knots, gusting 18, and rain, rain, rain. My son and I started the first race, beating upwind. The rain was so hard, we could not see the weather mark. The gusts were punishing, and boats were capsizing everywhere. Later, an I-14 broke a daggerboard while wave jumping, and another I-14 broke their gooseneck. Dave and Martin K (no relation) were thrown across the tramp on their first tack, and broke the carbon fibre hiking stick on their C-2 F18.

I knew that if we could just finish the racing, we would be on the podium. Alas, on the second upwind, son Martin goes out on the wire, and SNAP, the trap rope lets go at the J&H handle, and he disappears off the boat with a huge splash. There was no way that the crash boat could even see us, and I recognized the challenge - keep the boat upright, and do the 'man overboard' drill. Two minutes later, in 3' of chop, I picked up a wet and bedraggled sailor, who was in no shape to swim the mile or more to shore. Of course, he was wearing a PFD, for without it, the ending would have been very different.

As I used to tell my sailing students, "it's hard to stay afloat if you are unconcious".

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'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:01 am
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Location: Orlando!
Skipshot wrote:
Pescatoral Pursuit wrote:
Why didn’t the boat “round up?“

I thought the same thing as it gently sailed downwind and gybed on its own, too, and set a new course just below a beam reach. When I returned to the boat the jib sheet was still cleated and the main sheet was uncleated but tangled in the main block. Apparently the sails were set just right for the wind and point of sail, which caused some confusion on the rescuing boat since they saw me in the water and wondered why the crew on my boat was not returning to retrieve me. They assumed I was not alone.

I, too, expected the boat to either round up or capsize. My ghost-riding boat was still moving when I boarded it about half a mile from where I was picked up.


Were your rudders tuned for a slight weather helm, and if so could it be possible the clr changes with an empty boat? I’m not sure that any way the sail is trimmed should affect this effect, at worst it should perform a heave to of sorts, no?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:05 pm
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Location: New Hampshire
I went into the water when my trap wire broke and sailing solo. Watched my boat sail off, and after about two hundred yards, the boat rounded up, heaved to, and bobbed gently in the water. Yes, I was able to swim to it, wearing a life vest.

Would I bet any money (even a penny) on my boat doing the same thing if this happens again, never mind my life?

HELL NO!!!

Another sailor who knows the value of a life jacket that one is wearing.

Jim Clark-Dawe


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 3:12 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Denver
Pescatoral Pursuit wrote:
Skipshot wrote:
Pescatoral Pursuit wrote:
Why didn’t the boat “round up?“

I thought the same thing as it gently sailed downwind and gybed on its own, too, and set a new course just below a beam reach. When I returned to the boat the jib sheet was still cleated and the main sheet was uncleated but tangled in the main block. Apparently the sails were set just right for the wind and point of sail, which caused some confusion on the rescuing boat since they saw me in the water and wondered why the crew on my boat was not returning to retrieve me. They assumed I was not alone.

I, too, expected the boat to either round up or capsize. My ghost-riding boat was still moving when I boarded it about half a mile from where I was picked up.


Were your rudders tuned for a slight weather helm, and if so could it be possible the clr changes with an empty boat? I’m not sure that any way the sail is trimmed should affect this effect, at worst it should perform a heave to of sorts, no?


Sail trim will definitely affect the boat. If the jib is cleated hard and the main lets go, the boat will probably have a bit of lee helm. You can actually steer these boats without having the rudders down at all using the sail trim, which is actually a good skill to have for when you're taking off from shore.

The rule on my boat is that if you have a pulse, you wear a PFD. Wear, not bring. You aren't allowed on if you aren't actively wearing it. I'll make exceptions for myself if I'm padding between the launch ramp and the shore without the sails up yet, but otherwise no exceptions. I'm not going to be responsible for someone getting hurt.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:30 pm
Posts: 383
Also don’t cheap out on a vest (just like helmets).

Making sure you get a nice properly fit one will make wearing it for long periods of time a non issue!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 7:20 am
Posts: 235
Location: New Brighton, PA
I've shared my stories before, twice a PFD has saved my life. we should all keep in mind that strong wind can push a tipped cat faster than most people can swim so even that's not a guaranty you'll catch the boat, always wear it. Glad you had it on!

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