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Old 21-03-2014, 17:45   #16
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I tend to agree that self-rescue is the best option whenever possible. Steven Callahan's FRIB is a great idea, I link below to a page about it on the Pardey's website.

For myself, I am planning a nesting dinghy that rows and sails with an add-on canopy but I think we will likely equip our boat with a life raft as well. In the meantime, we're going across the pond with a friend this summer and I have made myself in charge of the bag, hence my inquiry.

I think JK and Smitty's list is a pretty good starting point. Can't say I am a huge fan of electronics in general but I think to ignore them would be imprudent, but not any more so than depending your life on them.

An Easy to Store, Combination Hard Bottomed Dinghy/Life Boat | Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips
I think the "Whaly" which is a rotomolded dinghy that looks just like an inflatable would make the ideal life raft and tender too. The only problem is the`re made in the UK can't find one in the US
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Old 21-03-2014, 17:51   #17
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I tend to agree that self-rescue is the best option whenever possible. Steven Callahan's FRIB is a great idea, I link below to a page about it on the Pardey's website.



For myself, I am planning a nesting dinghy that rows and sails with an add-on canopy but I think we will likely equip our boat with a life raft as well. In the meantime, we're going across the pond with a friend this summer and I have made myself in charge of the bag, hence my inquiry.



I think JK and Smitty's list is a pretty good starting point. Can't say I am a huge fan of electronics in general but I think to ignore them would be imprudent, but not any more so than depending your life on them.



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Don't see the point. Take an epirb , GMDSS will ensure that max time in liferaft these days is 4 days.

Steve Callaghan days are long gone

Dave
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Old 22-03-2014, 07:21   #18
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Don't see the point. Take an epirb , GMDSS will ensure that max time in liferaft these days is 4 days.

Steve Callaghan days are long gone

Dave
I am not sure what to make of this statement. Seems like you could be joking but you may well be serious.

My first experience packing an EPIRB was over twenty years ago. It was about six inches in diameter and at least 20" long and was quite heavy, at least six or seven pounds, and maybe worked for 24hrs.

If recall correctly, at the time they did not transmit to satellites but rather used VHF to transmit to passing airplanes in the vicinity, which where I was going there were few.

At the time, the EPIRB was viewed as a nice thing to have that might get you lucky if you were lucky, but best to prepare for the worst. I understand that the EPIRBs of today are very reliable and that things are a little different these days.

What hasn't changed is my outlook or my interest in self reliance. In my mind, the notion that one should simply expect to push a button in the middle of the ocean and be rescued without making any effort at self-preservation reflects a reckless, selfish, and self-centered mindset.

Every time some sad soul or family member comes on this forum to ask for help locating a boat or crew that has gone missing I think the same thing, what a shame!
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Old 22-03-2014, 08:04   #19
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Re: the basics for survival?

I used to ferry aircraft from Georgia to points south, Central and South America. as such I flew over lots of water in single engine airplanes. I carried a PLB, a Satphone and of course a handheld GPS or two for aircraft navigation. Additionally I carried water, very little food (usually beef jerky) and a tiny little life raft, a good hat and lots of good sunscreen.
I was betting on the PLB and the Satphone to get me rescued, water and life raft to keep me alive until then, but there was no way I was going to last very long, just couldn't carry much stuff.
PLB, Satphone and a GPS to give exact co-ordinates and I think you can get in touch with someone to come get you, assuming you survive whatever it took to sink the Mothership.
I think maybe we are failing to consider your having to abandon the big boat in weather that sunk it and get into a tiny boat, that tiny boat had better be awfully seaworthy.
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Old 22-03-2014, 11:36   #20
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Re: the basics for survival?

Ned Ludd is not my hero, I think technology is great and I am also glad you didn't have to rely on it for rescue.

What you were doing sounds like work, I hope you had a pilots union to cover your back if something happened and that you were getting paid appropriately for the risk.

I would except at the very least you would have taken some comfort knowing that whoever owned the expensive aircraft you were delivering would come looking for it and that because your transit is considerably shorter than any cruiser, they would come looking in a time frame that worked with your tiny raft and provisions.

I don't know if the same holds true for mom-and-pop family cruisers and I personally don't feel comfortable taking my wife across an ocean without having made every reasonable preparation.

Technology is great but I think over-dependence on it is at best unseamanlike and I can provide a plausible scenario in which your spacecraft will fail you-

Seven days into a three or four week crossing you have the poor fortune of suffering a lighting strike that travels down the rigging and puts a hole in you boat.

Along the way the lightning takes out your companionway mounted EPIRB along with all the rest of your high technology.

Now you are in a life-or-death-raft with a very basic kit and short rations and it's gonna be twenty days before anybody even thinks you're late.

You gonna look at your wife and lie to her and tell her not to worry even though you know an acronym isn't coming to save you?

According to MaineSail, as reliable as EPIRBs are known to be, they are not infallible-

Faraday cage for hand held GPS

Some people get lucky, others make there own. Some have none at all.
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Old 22-03-2014, 12:27   #21
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Re: the basics for survival?

If all else fails, EPIRB etc. water is everything in a survival situation. Small hand pumped watermakers usually don't get the regular service they need and many times are worthless by the time they might be needed, thus the overabundance of them on E-Bay. Also the joke is that it will take four pints of sweat to pump out two pints of water. Instead buy a solar still, light weight and easy to stow away in a ditch bag. In fact, if you are worried about long term survival in a raft. Buy four.
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Old 22-03-2014, 12:42   #22
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Re: the basics for survival?

Great post, Delancey, I reckon.

And an admirable point of view. Great to see the overwhelming majority on this thread seemingly interested in taking some responsibility for their own survival.

Previous discussions had led me to wonder if more people might respond as if this notion was being pushed down their throat, in spite of the use of such markers as "personally" ...

In previous threads there has generally been a much more palpable consumerist ethos of delegation and outsourcing of responsibility for survival.

I personally wish the national authorities would adopt a policy of "if we get an EPIRB signal from leisure craft, we will respond if we have spare capacity". That would certainly refocus people on what measures to take in the way of self reliance.

To rely 100% on being rescued, regardless of where one is or why, smacks to me of "It makes no sense to have fire extinguishers. That's for the fire service to worry about .... and you should have insurance anyway"

Apart from the passivating and infantilising effect on the sailing community, exemplified by those to whom survival has become purely about gadgets, I don't think it's fair on the taxpayer (particularly in small nations with huge rescue areas) for states to accept an open-ended duty of care, and it's particularly galling when nitwits like Jarle Andhoey trade on that duty of care.

All this delegation of responsibility to the state just hastens the day when the states mandate the details of how, when and in what we venture onto the water.

(As a few states already do, or have attempted to do)
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Old 22-03-2014, 12:54   #23
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Re: the basics for survival?

"I am not sure what to make of this statement. Seems like you could be joking but you may well be serious."
I'd have to agree with him. Forget about what electronics were 20 years ago. My cell phone is infinitesimally smaller than the smallest desktop computer was then. And it has way more memory. Costs a fraction. Has multiple faster processors and full internet connectivity with multiple radios.
Twenty years? Forget about it. Today I can buy four EPIRBS, each with a built-in GPS, and fit them all in half the space that one 20-year old EPIRB with no GPS used to occupy. Buy two now, two in four years, and every two years replace a battery set so there's always a fresh one. Well, maybe once or twice because in ten years...right, they'll all be obsoleted anyhow.

And around ten years ago, Practical Sailor and Doug Ritter's equipped.org and some other folks did in-water tests of life rafts. Guess what? Using a dink or a Tinker with canopy or whatever, nice idea as long as your boat sinks in calm water and you stay in calm water. Dink or raft, none of them are worth having unless they are ballasted well enough (with deep water ballast pockets) so that they'll stay upright in storm conditions, when an unballasted raft or sailing dink becomes a washing machine.
Not my opinion, that's the result of extensive tests and the entire life raft industry changed production to implement it.

By all means, plan to sail and be self-sufficient. But realize that if you know how to "raise your hand" these days? You've got to be in some really inaccessible places to be out of reach of all aid for more than a couple of days, a week at the outside. In/on the more common sailing grounds? 48 hours.

It ain't the 1950's any more. Or the 1990's.
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Old 22-03-2014, 13:14   #24
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Using a dink or a Tinker with canopy or whatever, nice idea as long as your boat sinks in calm water and you stay in calm water. Dink or raft, none of them are worth having unless they are ballasted well enough (with deep water ballast pockets) so that they'll stay upright in storm conditions, when an unballasted raft or sailing dink becomes a washing machine.
Yehah. indeed! Hard bottom is extremely attractive though. Then I can survive 1 year and land in Marshalls.
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Old 22-03-2014, 13:37   #25
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Re: the basics for survival?

One of my favorite books on the subject entitled "Survival at Sea" by R.P. Brandt covers the adrift scenario pretty thoroughly.
One thing I've learned is that you can have the most complete list known
to man but unless your mind and skill set are prepared and you know how to properly use your equitment/gear. you will not survive.
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Old 22-03-2014, 13:50   #26
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Re: the basics for survival?

In my mind the better part of good seamanship is creating situations where you have options, not tying knots.

I'd like to have the option of stepping up into my life-or-death raft from my sinking dink, that I had stepped up into from my sinking boat.

I'm glad tellie mentioned solar stills. Given the extreme value of water to life it seems like a good kit for anyone going out for longer than a weekend. Couldn't me more simple or cheap insurance.

It occurs to me that boatman61 wouldn't have had to rely on the kindness for strangers for such a basic necessity if his bail-out-bag had been so equipped. How convenient a passing ship was available to flyover him water and ciggies.

Like I said, some people make their own luck. Some get lucky.
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Old 22-03-2014, 13:58   #27
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Re: the basics for survival?

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I'm glad tellie mentioned solar stills. Given the extreme value of water to life it seems like a good kit for anyone going out for longer than a weekend. Couldn't me more simple or cheap insurance.
Sorry to break this up, but Solar Stills are NOT a guarantee. They do not necessarily produce enough water to fulfill your dehydration demands. You'll need a farm.
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Old 22-03-2014, 14:22   #28
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Re: the basics for survival?

No, I don't think anything in life is guarantied, but I think it's good to have options and don't understand why people would want to limit their own.

"Oh, it's okay, somebody will rescue me " doesn't sound like much of a plan to me.
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Old 22-03-2014, 14:27   #29
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Re: the basics for survival?

[QUOTE=SaltyMonkey;1499233]Sorry to break this up, but Solar Stills are NOT a guarantee. They do not necessarily produce enough water to fulfill your dehydration demands. You'll need a farm.[/QUOTE

Guarantee? There are none of those to be found when it comes to ones safety crossing oceans. But you certainly would not need a farm, Callahan did survive with one solar still, albeit barely. Thus my suggestion of taking four with you. Easy to pack even six. I played around with two of them a few years ago and it was fairly easy to make two pints or more a day from a single solar still in good to fair conditions. Six solar stills would take up about a gallon to a gallon and a half worth of water space in a ditch bag. They have to be tended to carefully to make that much water, but whatdaya gonna do all day anyways floating around in a life raft?
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Old 22-03-2014, 14:33   #30
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Re: the basics for survival?

Water, I buy a decent desalinator although expensive, and have a usual 5 gal container w/ water.
Food - dried bananas and Eclairs. Be careful of protein. Too much = hard on kidneys.
VHF - handheld
Flairs - yummy ones and LOTS. not like above
EPIRB, Personal SPOT SPOT
Space blankets
Containers. Lots of containers

Else rest of stuff above okidokiday.

Stay out of sun; stay hydrated.
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