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Old 29-06-2015, 06:30   #31
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't think that this attitude exists at all. If someone says something like that, then it is far more likely to be just a rationalization for not investing in safety gear and just taking the risk, than something like that.
Evans Starzinger has posted this attitude on this forum and on his website - no liferaft and no EPIRB. His rationalization is that if one has an EPIRB or liferaft, then one will not try everything possible to save the boat.

This logic is twisted and makes no sense to me personally (and doesn't bear out in the real world - look at some of the recent abandonments by experienced sailors), but everyone decides for themselves.

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Old 29-06-2015, 09:00   #32
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Evans Starzinger has posted this attitude on this forum and on his website - no liferaft and no EPIRB. His rationalization is that if one has an EPIRB or liferaft, then one will not try everything possible to save the boat.

This logic is twisted and makes no sense to me personally (and doesn't bear out in the real world - look at some of the recent abandonments by experienced sailors), but everyone decides for themselves.

Mark
I greatly respect Evans, so will be interested to hear his views on this.

The way it's stated here, I don't understand the logic. So you would board up your escape hatch to force your own self to save the burning building or die? Weird.

Why should anyone "try everything possible to save the boat"? At the grave risk of life? What's the point?

It is true that many abandoned boats are found floating later, but others sink or burn. It is not always possible to prevent a sinking, and God help you if you have a major fire. So you're just supposed to go down with the ship?

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Old 29-06-2015, 10:35   #33
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

I wonder what the survival ratio is in rafts? As I recall from the Fastnet race, the abandon boats did as well as those in rafts (many were lost from rafts). Without at least estimating this figure, we cannot make a reasoned choice. My guess is that the raft is about a 65% proposition at best, and that many jump in the raft because they are psychologically overwhelmed, not in real jeopardy.

There has always been a school of thought that you put all of eggs in one basket... and then watch the basket. The reason rock climbers can climb vertical rock without a rope is not that they are crazy, but rather that they really watch the basket. The most dangerous rock climbers have always been those that placed too much trust in safety equipment, without really understanding the craft.

As for fire, I think I would add additional firefighting equipment and upgrade my fuel systems first. I had a small electrical fire off-shore once; I was a LOT more focused on putting the fire out than pondering whether I should launch the raft. I suppose I could have rushed to launching the raft, grabbing the bag, and enough provisions. I would not have been able to fight the fire, would have been stuck in the raft, and I don't feel that was the safer option.
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Old 29-06-2015, 10:58   #34
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I wonder what the survival ratio is in rafts? As I recall from the Fastnet race, the abandon boats did as well as those in rafts (many were lost from rafts). Without at least estimating this figure, we cannot make a reasoned choice. My guess is that the raft is about a 65% proposition at best, and that many jump in the raft because they are psychologically overwhelmed, not in real jeopardy.

There has always been a school of thought that you put all of eggs in one basket... and then watch the basket. The reason rock climbers can climb vertical rock without a rope is not that they are crazy, but rather that they really watch the basket. The most dangerous rock climbers have always been those that placed too much trust in safety equipment, without really understanding the craft.

As for fire, I think I would add additional firefighting equipment and upgrade my fuel systems first. I had a small electrical fire off-shore once; I was a LOT more focused on putting the fire out than pondering whether I should launch the raft. I suppose I could have rushed to launching the raft, grabbing the bag, and enough provisions. I would not have been able to fight the fire, would have been stuck in the raft, and I don't feel that was the safer option.
You make it sound as if it's an either/or proposition -- either "understand the craft" or "have safety equipment". Surely the best solution is both. If having safety equipment is leading you to neglect your craft, is the solution to perfect your craft, or get rid of you safety equipment? I know which one I would choose. Why all the need to psychologically manipulate yourself? If you should be fighting the fire rather than thinking about the raft, why just fight the fire. The raft doesn't make you get into it.


You are in a cat, which depending on the design might be more or less unsinkable. That's a rather different proposition. Fire is a risk, but I might personally be ok in reasonable waters (not cold high latitude) without a raft, in a sturdy cat. In a mono (aka "lead mine"), not so much.
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Old 29-06-2015, 11:16   #35
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The need for a liferaft &lt;--&gt; immersion suit

We removed our bimini so that we have to do everything possible to keep from getting sunburned. We remove all the cages from our fans to make sure we don't get used to putting our fingers too close to the blades. No lifelines or jacklines for us because they make one not hold onto the boat. I would never have life jackets around because when things go down, someone might rely on it rather than give their all swimming.

Safety equipment is for weak-thinking wusses.

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Old 29-06-2015, 11:19   #36
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

under RORC racing rules every boat has to have a liferaft big enough to cater for all crew members. grab bags and drogues for the raft are also on the list along with a great many other things like personal EPIRBS.

personally i would never go out in Ruby Tuesday without my raft in its box in a cradle securely fastened to the stern.

i thinki that the only people that would go without a raft are those that really dont give a stuff about themselves or their crews.

if you were to offer me a crewing place on your boat with that as your exit strategy then i'd just laugh at you and then walk off.
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Old 29-06-2015, 12:06   #37
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Re: The need for a liferaft &lt;--&gt; immersion suit

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We removed our bimini so that we have to do everything possible to keep from getting sunburned. We remove all the cages from our fans to make sure we don't get used to putting our fingers too close to the blades. No lifelines or jacklines for us because they make one not hold onto the boat. I would never have life jackets around because when things go down, someone might rely on it rather than give their all swimming.

Safety equipment is for weak-thinking wusses.

Mark
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Old 29-06-2015, 13:22   #38
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by ruby tuesday View Post
i thinki that the only people that would go without a raft are those that really dont give a stuff about themselves or their crews.
I'm of the same frame of mind as you and everyone else who greatly values a liferaft, but damn.

Some people think all cruisers are demented, irresponsible, and a danger to others
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:50   #39
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I greatly respect Evans, so will be interested to hear his views on this.

The way it's stated here, I don't understand the logic. So you would board up your escape hatch to force your own self to save the burning building or die? Weird.

Why should anyone "try everything possible to save the boat"? At the grave risk of life? What's the point?

It is true that many abandoned boats are found floating later, but others sink or burn. It is not always possible to prevent a sinking, and God help you if you have a major fire. So you're just supposed to go down with the ship?
I don't know that I could live it but I do understand Evan's position.

First off chances of needing a liferaft are pretty slim. Second off we are out in the ocean playing with our toys. Third off who is responsible for paying the cost of a rescue.

1) I think this stands on its own.

2) For the most part we don't serve a significant purpose when we go out sailing. WE are out sailing for fun. It is a risk that we are taking and that we bare the responsibility for. I don't think that it is the government's responsibility to save us when we are out playing.

3) Is an argument that I have whether it is land based or ocean based SAR. Who bares the cost of the rescue mission? I would imagine that someone would have to make payments for the rest of their lives if they had to pay for the cost of a rescue mission like Rebel Heart's. Also the rescue mission's are putting people's lives at risk. A combined air sea rescue might put at risk 10,20 or 30 more lives to save two.

All that said if I were in a wreck at sea I would wait till I had to step up to get into my life raft and I try to have all that I need to take care and repair items myself. Would I call for help? Probably.
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Old 29-06-2015, 16:30   #40
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by ruby tuesday View Post

i thinki that the only people that would go without a raft are those that really dont give a stuff about themselves or their crews.
Or, they have given careful thought to safety at sea and have come to different conclusions as to the best way to prepare for the worst case scenario.

In my own case this has meant an unsinkable dinghy with sea anchor and diving wetsuits for all crew. In the future the wetsuits will be replaced with drysuits with neoprene hoods and gloves. I am not convinced that a purpose built liferaft has much, if any, advantage over a large, unsinkable dinghy that is kept either in davits or lashed to the deck.

Not all boats have the size or space to carry such a dinghy, and in that case a liferaft makes greater sense, but to say that carrying a liferaft is the only way to sail safely offshore is, to my mind, overstating it a bit.
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Old 29-06-2015, 17:15   #41
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Or, they have given careful thought to safety at sea and have come to different conclusions as to the best way to prepare for the worst case scenario.

In my own case this has meant an unsinkable dinghy with sea anchor and diving wetsuits for all crew. In the future the wetsuits will be replaced with drysuits with neoprene hoods and gloves. I am not convinced that a purpose built liferaft has much, if any, advantage over a large, unsinkable dinghy that is kept either in davits or lashed to the deck.

Not all boats have the size or space to carry such a dinghy, and in that case a liferaft makes greater sense, but to say that carrying a liferaft is the only way to sail safely offshore is, to my mind, overstating it a bit.
A dinghy is far better than a raft in calm conditions. A dinghy is useless in rough conditions in open sea because you can't keep it from capsizing. One is not a substitute for the other.

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Old 29-06-2015, 19:31   #42
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
A dinghy is far better than a raft in calm conditions. A dinghy is useless in rough conditions in open sea because you can't keep it from capsizing. One is not a substitute for the other.
I think to a certain degree a large liferaft with ballast chambers may initially have more stability than a dinghy, but this is quickly overcome as waves become larger. I'm thinking here of the aforementioned Fastnet race in which liferafts were repeatedly capsized and the occupants thrown out. The ballast chambers on a liferaft do not extend very deep and the turbulent portion of even a small wave can render them ineffective. I believe that a dinghy with a sea anchor would fare no worse in rough conditions.

After spending quite a bit of time at sea in a liferaft Steve Callahan felt there must be a better solution and came up with this:
An Easy to Store, Combination Hard Bottomed Dinghy/Life Boat | Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips
http://www.stevencallahan.net/images...signs/frib.pdf
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:04   #43
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I wonder what the survival ratio is in rafts? As I recall from the Fastnet race, the abandon boats did as well as those in rafts (many were lost from rafts). Without at least estimating this figure, we cannot make a reasoned choice. My guess is that the raft is about a 65% proposition at best, and that many jump in the raft because they are psychologically overwhelmed, not in real jeopardy.
...
Obviously one must not abandon too early. That was the chief lesson of fastnet. But let's not exaggerate here. A lot has changed in liferaft design and build since 1979. The rafts abandoned to in that race were in many cases hardly better than child's paddling pools made of mildly tougher fabric. It is hard to draw any conclusions for the situation in modern terms simply from the survival, or lack thereof, in that storm.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:08   #44
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Re: The need for a liferaft &lt;--&gt; immersion suit

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We removed our bimini so that we have to do everything possible to keep from getting sunburned. We remove all the cages from our fans to make sure we don't get used to putting our fingers too close to the blades. No lifelines or jacklines for us because they make one not hold onto the boat. I would never have life jackets around because when things go down, someone might rely on it rather than give their all swimming.

Safety equipment is for weak-thinking wusses.

Mark
Now THAT's funny, and yes, exactly.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:21   #45
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Re: The need for a liferaft <--> immersion suit

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I wonder what the survival ratio is in rafts? As I recall from the Fastnet race, the abandon boats did as well as those in rafts (many were lost from rafts). Without at least estimating this figure, we cannot make a reasoned choice. My guess is that the raft is about a 65% proposition at best, and that many jump in the raft because they are psychologically overwhelmed, not in real jeopardy.

There has always been a school of thought that you put all of eggs in one basket... and then watch the basket. The reason rock climbers can climb vertical rock without a rope is not that they are crazy, but rather that they really watch the basket. The most dangerous rock climbers have always been those that placed too much trust in safety equipment, without really understanding the craft.


As for fire, I think I would add additional firefighting equipment and upgrade my fuel systems first. I had a small electrical fire off-shore once; I was a LOT more focused on putting the fire out than pondering whether I should launch the raft. I suppose I could have rushed to launching the raft, grabbing the bag, and enough provisions. I would not have been able to fight the fire, would have been stuck in the raft, and I don't feel that was the safer option.
Just DO IT RIGHT. I carry two liferafts with an EPIRB and watermaker with camelback bladders packed in each one. I personally supervise the repack each time. I have plenty of additional equipment in each, and two extremely thoroughly prepared ditch bags, each standalone. There is a big dry powder fire extinguisher in each space of my vessel, plus two further fire suppressors in enclosed high risk areas, double the number in the saloon by the companionway, plus a 5kg CO2 below and another in the laz. I maintain all systems and safety equipment aboard my vessel until my fingers bleed (quite literally). I have exceptional long range comms equipment with multiple layers of reundancy, and tools, spares, crash and collision drawers good enough almost to rebuild the boat from scratch. The full description of the safety and security preps I have in place as well as procedures and drills would run for many pages.

As a result I sail absolutely unrestricted and I do so in great confidence.

What on earth is the opposition between Plan A and Plan B you are attempting to set up here? Have you forgotten about plans C to Z? Thoroughness is the absolute watchword of good seamanship. Many of the radical sportsmen and women who do truly unsafe things die before they reach 40. It is not just because they are 'watching the basket'. In many cases it is because they are addicted to risk and display extreme personality types, or feel they are forced so to do because it is what garners the plaudits and the sponsorship. I do not suggest that all do as I have done, as some may not have the budget or the space or whatever (I do almost all work on my boat myself however), but what you seem to be suggesting is you can either be lazy about the main vessel's integrity or your backup strategies. As Dockhead says, it is not an either/or type opposition, nor should it ever be. You can't be lazy about any of it. Or you can but that would mean...
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