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Old 08-01-2013, 02:25   #31
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Of course, if it drags along the ground, then it probably is big enough

The above problem can be rectified by using a snubber.

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:35   #32
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Too much boat.

I've met several folks who buy big, crew changes from divorce, death of spouse, and derail the dream.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:18   #33
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Warm beer. T'has brought many a grown man to tears.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:04   #34
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Divorce.
Too much boat and not enough money to go with it.
Running out of money.
Unrealistic expectations.
Discovering that getting cold, wet and scared not all it's cracked up to be.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:55   #35
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Falling overboard and drowning is right up there as the most likely accident. It is also a true fact that the majority of guys who have drowned have got their fly open when their body is recovered so the call of nature is a risky endeavour more so on a heeling monohull.

It must be the worst feeling imaginable hitting the water and then seeing your boat sailing off into the distance and even worse if you have an inflatable lifejacket &/or personal epirb in your sailing bag onboard.

For this very reason I always wear my inflatable lifejacket with tether & personal epirb on my belt for any night passages. During the day I only wear the personal epirb but the lifejacket is close handy.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:01   #36
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
Falling overboard and drowning is right up there as the most likely accident. It is also a true fact that the majority of guys who have drowned have got their fly open when their body is recovered so the call of nature is a risky endeavour more so on a heeling monohull.

It must be the worst feeling imaginable hitting the water and then seeing your boat sailing off into the distance and even worse if you have an inflatable lifejacket &/or personal epirb in your sailing bag onboard.

For this very reason I always wear my inflatable lifejacket with tether & personal epirb on my belt for any night passages. During the day I only wear the personal epirb but the lifejacket is close handy.
Actually OZ, the open fly is an urban myth. Yes a number of men have been found with open flys, but not the majority. However, a blood test reveals the a significant amount have high alcohol levels in their blood.

So they were drunk - not pissing

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:08   #37
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Actually OZ, the open fly is an urban myth. Yes a number of men have been found with open flys, but not the majority. However, a blood test reveals the a significant amount have high alcohol levels in their blood.

So they were drunk - not pissing

Yep, take your point but I was thinking about passage making and I would not think that alcohol would be such a great contributor when out at sea. Maybe it is.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:11   #38
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

5 threats, Id be hard pushed to name 2, ( remember its as safe as playing golf).

Threat 1 , No money
Threat 2, Wife walks off. ( mind you some would consider that a bonus)

Thats about it really
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:23   #39
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

biggest danger:

SCHEDULES
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:27   #40
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

The biggest danger is getting totally enamored with cruising and never coming back.

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:38   #41
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

I am also not entirely convinced about the open fly cause of drowning scenario - at least not on a mass scale.

My feeling is that falling overboard and drowning (the two are linked!) most likely when doing the very familiar and when feeling not at risk. and as most time is spent at the dock / at anchor then most of that will occur then and not at sea. In the UK boarding by dinghy seems a popular way to go glug, as well as falling off the dock. Alcohol may play a part - as well as simply "knowing what you are doing".

In regard to OP's question, I think a difference between Top 5 threats that would ruin yer day (or whole trip) and the Top 5 most likely - even if some overlap.

Most likely (no specific order)

- Injuries onboard (boom vs head / winches vs fingers / body vs gravity (falling and slipping) / Spouse!).....likely none of them life threatening, except maybe the Spouse thing......
- Anchor dragging......likely won't end calamitously. likely.
- Unexpected weather at an inconveniant time (i.e. at 3am when anchored and the wind veers unexpectedly).
- Navigational error.
- Poor maintanence (stuff breaking at an inconveniant time - especially engines can either simply be a PITA or a major event depending on what, where and when).

Biggest threats (no specific order)

- Falling overboard (self or crew).
- hitting stuff (floating or non-floating - see navigational errors!).
- other people (cruisers, locals, gubberment, pirates!).
- Anchor dragging.
- Skipper (and crew) desires exceeding capabilities........

All IMO etc etc blah, blah, blah.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:41   #42
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Biggest treath, 'most definitely;

Brazilian Woman

CeesH
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:52   #43
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

"Top Five Threats" is too vague. You have to consider the consequences versus the probability. For example, the most likely sort of injury is a minor cut, bruise, bump, or scrape. These things happen all the time. The consequences, however, make this sort of injury hardly worth worrying about.

On the other hand, the odds of falling overboard, while on deck alone, at night, and hundreds of miles out to sea, are almost infinitesimally small. Yet the consequence of such an occurrence is nearly certain death. So even though the odds are low it makes sense to take precautions to avoid it.

Another example, depending on where you are anchored, and what sort of wind/current/tidal conditions you are in, the consequences of dragging might be anything from a minor inconvenience to complete loss of the vessel and your lives. That means that it may be a minor threat, not worth a lot of concern, or it might be a major threat that demands the utmost of attention.

As with most things, there is no simple answer to your question. The only answer, really, is that it depends.
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:27   #44
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

There have already been a few non-facetious replies, but I'll weigh in with mine, which are similar. After coastal and ocean cruising for a some years, I know a few boats that have been lost or suffered some sort of reasonably serious calamity, but I haven't studied the statistics, so can only give anecdotal advice.

I'll not include the obvious, like falling overboard or boom strikes. It does happen, but most people are pretty safe when it comes to direct life-challenges. Also, a couple of boats should have had a defibrillator aboard (1 life lost), but knew they were a risk; in the past it was a serious cost concern, but not so much now. Here's my list of factors:

1) Poor boat safety - you don't want the boat to sink in rough weather.
2) Bad scheduling or being in a rush - strict adherence to weather windows will save you a lot of grief.
3) Not being methodical or slightly pedantic - "accidents" are usually a combination of events that did not appear to be adding up catastrophically.
4) Careless navigating. GPS makes it too easy & complacency sets in. A dolphin saved me from running into the rocks one night when I was too tired to be making nav decisions (I could have been one of the anecdotes below!).

A few boats that sank, or almost did, were cutting corners in safety or preparedness. One did so "literally". We were near the lead of an overnight "convoy" between island groups in Tonga, bashing west into the wind to get around a reef extension, when one friend, several boats (and a few miles) back radioed that they thought it would be safe to turn south. We knew the charts weren't 100% accurate, and though they might be right we decided to sail on a bit longer, until we knew we were safe. We told them we wouldn't turn yet; they turned about 10 minutes later, but too early (about 30 feet as it turned out!) and ran into the reef. They pushed hard with the engine, went over the reef, holed the boat in the process and sank in ~40 feet of water. No lives lost.

In other situations, boats were just not prepared. Like the steering chain coming off a gear before hitting the stop (1 life lost). Another had a hull extension fiber-glassed off the transom to stow the dinghy: just power the dinghy up onto it, out of the water. Great idea, until BIG waves crash down on that surface and open up the hull (no lives lost).

It's sometimes difficult to know what factors will combine to create an on-board crisis, which is why I mention #3 above. If an engine belt breaks or alternator dies, fix it! You might not know when you'll need the engine urgently. Hatches should be completely open or completely closed (especially underway) -- it's too easy to appear secure. That kind of stuff.

About the anchor discussion: A big anchor has always been a curiosity for me. I almost exclusively use a 44 lb Bruce on my 65 foot, 20 ton boat, but I have 300 feet of 3/8" high-test chain attached to it. I had 300 feet of 5/16" hi-test, but sold it after a few uses when I realized that I needed the weight to form a deeper catenary (to help keep the anchor buried). After going back to 3/8", I never had to worry. A sister ship would drag regularly with a 110 lb Bruce and 5/16" chain, but wouldn't consider carrying heavier chain when I suggested it. Some boats have a separate weight they slide down their rode when anchored.

A few cautions:
* If you wait to go cruising until your boat is "ready", you'll never leave! It's a work in progress; but try to understand the various risks of incomplete projects.
* Don't fall overboard when in the open ocean. Never! A solo sailor friend survived that (twice!), but it's highly unlikely.
* Read about weather and weather forecasting.
* Understand your boat's behavior as the weather gets worse, but more importantly, understand the weather and forecasts enough, and you might just be able to avoid the worst.
* Don't overload your boat! It will change the performance for the worse.
* Pay attention to forecasts (yours and others)! See #2 in the previous list.

Cruising is a great way to live, and relatively very safe. I think the difference is that cruisers are regularly exposed to new risks (like a coconut falling soundlessly 50 feet, then landing with a thud right beside you!), so it seems like a dangerous activity. The "known" risks of urban life are significant and if the statistics say cruising is safer, then maybe the downside of urban risks aren't always so catastrophic, since advanced medical care is usually minutes away, instead of days.

But most people also feel more alive than ever while cruising! So if you're inclined to go, then go and have fun!

Cheers,
Doug
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Old 14-01-2013, 18:18   #45
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Re: Top Five Threats? Top Ten?

Biggest threat to cruising? Inability to untie the dock lines.
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