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Old 17-08-2014, 11:38   #1
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A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

For now, this is theoretical - I am just trying to see what limitations I might be facing.

Wasn't sure where to post this, Challenges or General Sailing... hope I chose correctly.

What would be the recommended practice for a hearing impaired sailor on the open seas? To give you an idea of my level of hearing:

I cannot hear high toned beeps from a distance (and this is while wearing hearing aids), and I'm a deep sleeper, when my two dogs jump on my bed (110# and 60#) they don't wake me. Likewise if they bark while I'm in REM sleep, I don't hear them. I know this because my roommates will ask me "did you hear the dogs barking"?

I can hear normal speech, even in windy environments (assuming I cover my hearing aid to stop the "blowing into the microphone" effect), I can hear the high toned beeps as long as I'm within 5' of the source (though if I'm in deep thought as I often am, I can miss the beeps), I'd be able to hear sails fluttering (since I can hear tarps fluttering).

My biggest concern as someone who hasn't sailed and doesn't know what all the risks are - is getting crushed at night by a cargo ship while I'm sleeping.

What's the best practice for someone like me? Any other hazards that I need to have an improvised plan for?

Thanks,
Jay
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Old 17-08-2014, 11:51   #2
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

NO PROBLEM!
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:08   #3
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

Take sailing lessons. Find out how your hearing will affect you on the water. On your own boat you will need to set up some type of loud alarm instead of the normal beep alarm that most systems have. For instance will you hear an anchor dragging alert while you are sleeping? How about an emergency horn signal while underway? Or a foghorn?
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:12   #4
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf Sailor View Post
For now, this is theoretical - I am just trying to see what limitations I might be facing.

Wasn't sure where to post this, Challenges or General Sailing... hope I chose correctly.

What would be the recommended practice for a hearing impaired sailor on the open seas? To give you an idea of my level of hearing:

I cannot hear high toned beeps from a distance (and this is while wearing hearing aids), and I'm a deep sleeper, when my two dogs jump on my bed (110# and 60#) they don't wake me. Likewise if they bark while I'm in REM sleep, I don't hear them. I know this because my roommates will ask me "did you hear the dogs barking"?

I can hear normal speech, even in windy environments (assuming I cover my hearing aid to stop the "blowing into the microphone" effect), I can hear the high toned beeps as long as I'm within 5' of the source (though if I'm in deep thought as I often am, I can miss the beeps), I'd be able to hear sails fluttering (since I can hear tarps fluttering).

My biggest concern as someone who hasn't sailed and doesn't know what all the risks are - is getting crushed at night by a cargo ship while I'm sleeping.

What's the best practice for someone like me? Any other hazards that I need to have an improvised plan for?

Thanks,
Jay
It is not so much the hearing that that may be problematic; it is the single-handed sailing.

You are required to keep a watch at all times by all available means. That is hard to do when asleep.

Single-handed sailing is a divisive topic and there is no consensus among the posters on this site or any other.

Best practice, IMHO, is another crew member.
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:23   #5
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

I'm thinking strobe lights and an alarm pitched to the range you hear best. I'm mostly deaf in one ear and 50% ish in the other ear.

Really a ship collision outside shipping lanes is a very low probability. It's just not a biggy as things go.
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Old 17-08-2014, 12:38   #6
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

DeepFrz, my responses in bold
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Take sailing lessons. Find out how your hearing will affect you on the water. Indeed, I will. My father and grandfather raced boats, and I hope to have them teach me to sail with the Bluejay my g-pa has in storage On your own boat you will need to set up some type of loud alarm instead of the normal beep alarm that most systems have. I'll look into that. I do plan on running on minimal electronics though. Ideally - none. For instance will you hear an anchor dragging alert while you are sleeping? How about an emergency horn signal while underway? Or a foghorn? Don't know about anchor alerts, or emergency horns but I can hear foghorns. From a ways away. On a still day, I can hear the train rolling by about 5 miles from me.
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It is not so much the hearing that that may be problematic; it is the single-handed sailing.

You are required to keep a watch at all times by all available means. That is hard to do when asleep.

Single-handed sailing is a divisive topic and there is no consensus among the posters on this site or any other.

Best practice, IMHO, is another crew member.
If that were an option, I would've sought out a hearing person to crew with, and this question wouldn't have been posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
I'm thinking strobe lights and an alarm pitched to the range you hear best. I'm mostly deaf in one ear and 50% ish in the other ear.

Really a ship collision outside shipping lanes is a very low probability. It's just not a biggy as things go.
Glad to hear that ship collisions are not really a "biggy".
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Old 17-08-2014, 13:01   #7
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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Glad to hear that ship collisions are not really a "biggy".
Well really it's storms and or things breaking that do most folks in. Yes it's possible to be hit by a ship at sea, but it's about like winning the lotto, It could happen but probably not going to happen. Storms on the other hand will flat out ruin your day.

Myself, I don't worry about anchor alarms, I'll not hear one anyway. If the weather is up enough to be worried about dragging, I'm not sleeping much anyway.
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Old 17-08-2014, 13:21   #8
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

That's logical.

So it would seem that an impairment of hearing while singlehanding is not an issue - if one is mindful of being conscious/alert during hazardous situations.
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Old 17-08-2014, 15:25   #9
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

I think some of this tech may help
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Old 17-08-2014, 16:12   #10
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

Ok. Let me chime in as a deaf sailor. And I mean deaf. I don't hear trains or beeps or anything. Deaf, period. I wish I could hear tones or a train 5 miles away.

With that said, my three concerns are avoidance, anchoring and communication.

Avoidance - keep a watch and if in open seas not to much of an issue. Use Ais with an alarm.

Anchoring - set an alarm on the gps.. But I can't hear it you say.. I'll get to that. Also, if it's bad enough I won't be sleeping much at anchor anyway and after a few days, you "feel" your boat more than hear it.

Communication - radio is the big one and I haven't solved that. Otherwise it's sat phone with email. VHF is an issue.

Now, what do I use to help these three areas? (Or at least two). I use something called "silent call". It's a rechargeable, battery operated sound sensing alarm that vibrates a watch on your wrist when a sound, like an anchor alarm, or Ais alarm is sounded. It's an annoying vibration and wakes me up. I can also set it up to vibrate my entire bunk if needed.

There are downsides sure but so far it works at anchor. Haven't tried the Ais yet but I'm sure it will work.

Going with minimal electronics, being "hard of hearing" as you are might be foolish at this time. Rethink it as you learn and when you get your boat.

Also, you better practice not being such a deep sleeper. If a 100lb dog jumping on you doesn't wake you up, you may want to think about other choices. Just my 2 cents.

My other decision is to bring a hearing crew depending on the trip. Much more pleasurable.
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Old 17-08-2014, 16:44   #11
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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Originally Posted by Sea Frog View Post
I think some of this tech may help
Good stuff, thank you! Have you used any of the items on that website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate999 View Post
Ok. Let me chime in as a deaf sailor. And I mean deaf. I don't hear trains or beeps or anything. Deaf, period. I wish I could hear tones or a train 5 miles away.

With that said, my three concerns are avoidance, anchoring and communication.

Avoidance - keep a watch and if in open seas not to much of an issue. Use Ais with an alarm.

Anchoring - set an alarm on the gps.. But I can't hear it you say.. I'll get to that. Also, if it's bad enough I won't be sleeping much at anchor anyway and after a few days, you "feel" your boat more than hear it.

Communication - radio is the big one and I haven't solved that. Otherwise it's sat phone with email. VHF is an issue.

Now, what do I use to help these three areas? (Or at least two). I use something called "silent call". It's a rechargeable, battery operated sound sensing alarm that vibrates a watch on your wrist when a sound, like an anchor alarm, or Ais alarm is sounded. It's an annoying vibration and wakes me up. I can also set it up to vibrate my entire bunk if needed.

There are downsides sure but so far it works at anchor. Haven't tried the Ais yet but I'm sure it will work.

Going with minimal electronics, being "hard of hearing" as you are might be foolish at this time. Rethink it as you learn and when you get your boat.

Also, you better practice not being such a deep sleeper. If a 100lb dog jumping on you doesn't wake you up, you may want to think about other choices. Just my 2 cents.

My other decision is to bring a hearing crew depending on the trip. Much more pleasurable.
Thanks!

Why is minimal electronics an unwise decision?

Also, while I don't remember waking up when my dog jumps on my bed, I do wake up when my Sonic Bomb super shaker alarm goes off. I should also add that when I am not in REM sleep, I do notice the dogs.

If I may ask - what is your sailing background? Have you gone long distances out to sea?
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Old 17-08-2014, 21:05   #12
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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Really a ship collision outside shipping lanes is a very low probability. It's just not a biggy as things go.
There is really no such thing as shipping lanes. Ocean going vessels take the shortest possible routes.
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Old 17-08-2014, 21:23   #13
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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That's logical.

So it would seem that an impairment of hearing while singlehanding is not an issue - if one is mindful of being conscious/alert during hazardous situations.
Tempest in a teapot... You hear many things. While impaired, I am not sure I would call you deaf. And even if you were I don't think it would limit you too much.

You have no issues becoming a sailor and other than being just as foolish as the other singlehanders () will have no problems...

For any alarms you "need" to hear you should be able to rig up some technology.
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Old 17-08-2014, 21:58   #14
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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There is really no such thing as shipping lanes. Ocean going vessels take the shortest possible routes.
Well True. Looking at Marine AIS traffic on line, there does seem to be standard routes ship traffic takes.
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Old 17-08-2014, 22:48   #15
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Re: A Deaf Sailor Singlehanding A Circumnavigation

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Well True. Looking at Marine AIS traffic on line, there does seem to be standard routes ship traffic takes.
There are heavily trafficked routes, but no shipping lanes.



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