Sailing alone

Questions or comments regarding sailing your Cape Cutter 19.....

Sailing alone

Postby Ru88ell » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:28 pm

It would appear that a singlehanded yachtsman has perished off the IOW this weekend. A yacht on passage from Poole to Chichester was found crashed into the south of the IOW, engine running and sail aloft. There is no sign of the skipper.

As I'm primarily a singlehanded sailer it does cause me to think what I ned to do to keep safe. I always wear my life jacket, and I have safety lines. As its difficult to run jack stays I have one clipped to the tabernacle and clip in before going forward.

I'm CG66 registered and always log my passage with HMCG via VHF. I'm in the process of adding a GPS antenna for my VHF so I can send emergency with position. I have a small dinghy which I can inflate afloat in 5 minutes. I'm configuring the reefing so I can do everything from the companionway. I tend to put in a reef when I first think about it.

What else can we do? I'm seriously tempted to get a McMurdo PLB.
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Postby erbster » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:22 pm

I know you carry flares too.

Waterproof grab bag? Waterproof DSC VHF?
I think a PLB is a good idea.
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Postby Dennis » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:41 pm

Your best safeguard is your own awareness.

I also mainly sail alone, on a lake, 44 metres deep, with no rescue services and virtually no mobile phone cover.

I am sometimes the only person on the lake!

I always wear a lifejacket.

But, I am aware, that if I fall overboard I may well perish.

I assess the risk before I do anything on the boat. I regard my destiny to be in my own hands.

PBO recently ran a test on the use of safety lines on yachts. It makes sober reading.

Part of the fun is being in charge of your own destiny.:)


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Postby Ru88ell » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:52 am

I've had one incident to date. I fell on Zephyr and landed heavily on my knee. It hurt. I carried on sailing, yet after a few minutes I could sense the damp under my sailing trousers. I felt fine, so turned around and sailed back to the anchorage. Having anchored and stowed the sails I removed the sailing trousers to find a bleeding mess of a knee. It's all in this blog.

I could have radioed for help had it been much worse, but it does make you wonder about a head injury. Last night I read about someone who wears a canoeing helmet once the wind picks up a bit. A nasty head injury or being knocked unconscious when sailing single handed doesn't bear thinking about. I'm seriously considering it.
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