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Old 05-07-2013, 08:45   #1
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1000 Ways To get Hurt

Everyday it seems, my wife and I find new ways to get hurt while boating. "How did you get that nasty bruise?" Oh I remember... while backing into the throttle. Bruised toes, knees and arms from bashing into deck fittings, a broken finger by smashing it into the companionway hatch, stitches in forehead form bashing into a friend's boom... I guess that's why it's called a boom The list goes on and on; it's a good thing we're both Registered Nurses.

I don't even know how many times I've fallen down... I'm sure by now I should be able to qualify for a free government PowerChair or Scooter. Who needs a tattoo?... We have scars.

If you have any learning experiences (injuries) to share with the CF community, please do, so that future accidents might be avoided.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:55   #2
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

Hey, mate,

Life's inherently unsafe. It's fortunate we're mainly self-healing units. I once hadn't pocketed my tether and tripped over it, falling head first down the companionway, make a dreadful racket which woke up the off watch, and the bruises were amazing. So there's one: pocket the bloody thing.

Here's one for short handed sailing: when you go to take down the spinnaker, and you've got it blanketed behind the main, ease off the guy--unload it so the pole stays stable when the guy's snap shackle is released. Can save your life.

One for the newbies: never stand over a sheet block when it's loaded. Use your imagination!



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Old 06-07-2013, 04:51   #3
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

make sure your feet are dry when going below from dew moistened deck---i fell and broke my back in this boat before i bought her....good thing i are a rn so i knew what to do....
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:07   #4
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

On my previous boat I hit my head on the companionway sliding hatch so many times its not funny.
Nowadays I mostly have problems with my lower back as it really doesn't appreciate the life aboard.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:21   #5
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Sailboats are a dangerous workplace, they are an OSHA inspectors nightmare. But they are such fun!!

From that perspective..... The biggest causes of injuries when working in a dangerous environment are rushing and not having a good plan. Know how you are going to perform a function before you start the process and know what you are going to do if one step in the process does not go as planned. Then execute it in a calm controlled manner. Then practice it again and again and again. Familiarity with a task, without getting cavalier about doing it, reduces the odds of injury. For example, when I got this boat I practiced reefing every time I went out. Now reefing takes little time and if something goes wrong I know how to handle it...

Finally, walking is normally a fairly safe act, add a wet heaving deck with no shortage of things to trip on or being below deck in a rough seaway and you have a perfect opportunity to get hurt --- if you rush.

Over time repetition and familiarity will decrease the time needed to plan an action to zero, but until then "plan your work and then work your plan."
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:16   #6
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

once you feel low back pain, is ALMOST too late to begin the exercise that relieves that low back pain--i use rowing and kayaking and bicycling as relief from pain--stronger muscles make less discomfort...funny thing about that-- when i dont row or kayak or walk a long distane or ride a bike, i have reallly bad pain in my broken lower back area...when i do that work, i feel good and no pain... go figger....
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:20   #7
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

Make sure you have plenty of handholds both above and below deck.

I don't care how familiar you are with your boat -- that's a LADDER going into your main salon -- not a stairway. Turn around, go down backwards, and use the handholds. "One hand for yourself is as true on that ladder and below as it is anywhere else on the boat.

And above all, iMO the most dangerous thing you do is getting on and off the boat. When you're doing that, don't chat with others, don't think about what else you have to load on, don't do anything except focus on getting on and off that boat safely.

I have cerebral palsy and it sounds as if I've done better than a lot here when it comes to falls. Because of the CP I have a heightened awareness and just always hold on to something.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:25   #8
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
stitches in forehead form bashing into a friend's boom... I guess that's why it's called a boom The list goes on and on; it's a good thing we're both Registered Nurses.
on my way home from where i bought the yacht i smashed my head 8 times the first day on the boom, then i stopped counting... why oh why are they at the top of the companionway steps???
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:26   #9
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
once you feel low back pain, is ALMOST too late to begin the exercise that relieves that low back pain--i use rowing and kayaking and bicycling as relief from pain--stronger muscles make less discomfort...funny thing about that-- when i dont row or kayak or walk a long distane or ride a bike, i have reallly bad pain in my broken lower back area...when i do that work, i feel good and no pain... go figger....
Makes perfect sense, same with my back too; exercise and no problems, don't exercise and the back will soon remind me.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:36   #10
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

Hi Kenomac,

If its a problem for you as a couple its a much worse problem for me at sea on long passages and by myself. If I get injured badly - thats it - I'm dead.

So I have quite a strong philosophy to take things slowly and not rush, to be very gentle with what I am doing and gentle with myself.

Each time I scrape some skin off (about every day at sea!) I study what I did wrong and how to not scrape that skin off again.

My hand holds around the boat are pretty well set as the safest way I know to get onto deck... and I always keep the same grip if I know its a good grip.

I do the same in the day as I would at night so I am practicing for the worst conditions.

This is also important when I am doing the most dangerous manoeuvre in sailing: Getting into/out of the dinghy at night when drunk. I always CRAWL into the dinghy, no matter if I am sober, its daytime, tubes are dry. because then when I do it at night when drunk, dark and slippery tubes I will be doing practiced movements.

I ensure (force) my guests never to stand on a dinghy tube. They can be very slippery when wet and just a few inches in the wrong place and the foot will slip.

So my way of preventing bad injuries are to plan every move; do it slowly; never rush even when something goes wrong; always be gentle with myself.

I hope this helps

I still get BLOOD!

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Old 06-07-2013, 06:37   #11
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Misses got stung by macerated jelly fish getting sucked through a saltwater wash down pump.
Head got caught between a un dogged hatch and the deck. Like a big ping pong ball. Hatch comes down hits head head hits deck repeat that for a few revolutions. Anchor chain got away from before I got my hands clear it tore the skin off my palms. That's my short list of memorable oops that hurts
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:46   #12
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Anything worth doing, except maybe reading, has some inherent danger.
Broken bones heal and chicks dig scars.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:03   #13
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Make sure you have plenty of handholds both above and below deck.

I don't care how familiar you are with your boat -- that's a LADDER going into your main salon -- not a stairway. Turn around, go down backwards, and use the handholds. "One hand for yourself is as true on that ladder and below as it is anywhere else on the boat.

And above all, iMO the most dangerous thing you do is getting on and off the boat. When you're doing that, don't chat with others, don't think about what else you have to load on, don't do anything except focus on getting on and off that boat safely.

I have cerebral palsy and it sounds as if I've done better than a lot here when it comes to falls. Because of the CP I have a heightened awareness and just always hold on to something.
+1
On the boat underway you're usually and instant amputee... only 1 hand to do stuff with, the other holds on....
If only monkeys had become cruisers we'd probably never lost our tails
In a gazillion years cruisers will have reversed evolution and grown them back

But our natural colour now is 'bruise' in all it's shades from black through purple, bit of yellow...

The advice on focusing when getting on and off the boat also applies to dinghies at a dock... particularly with any kind of swell.

DON'T try to load up to do less trips from the cockpit to the galley and vice versa. Do more trips... you know you need the exercise anyway

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Old 06-07-2013, 07:17   #14
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

never wrap any lines around your hands as you will lose the appendages wrapped when the line tightens, which it will...know of folks in this situation....
as for ladders--isnt only thing one can slip off to break backs or whatever---i didnt fall on or from ladder--i fell on the slickly varnished sole a previous owner had slickly shined for selling boat...varnished soles are bad news with wet feets...
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:11   #15
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Re: 1000 Ways To get Hurt

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So I have quite a strong philosophy to take things slowly and not rush, to be very gentle with what I am doing and gentle with myself.
Same for me. Staying injury-free underway is one of the safest things you can do.
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