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Old 09-03-2010, 13:59   #31
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One of the things the study shows is that often the people dying didn't swim well and weren't wearing pfd's.
Not swimming well is pretty far down the list. Not wearing a PFD is the number 1 factor in all boating related deaths for all reasons. When it comes to those cruising the stats are actually very thin given the relative numbers compared to all boaters. Most boaters don't cruise at all. Those "lost at sea" are as they say lost and so there is only conjecture as to cause of death.

It appears by the numbers that cruisers being slightly more experienced enjoy a higher level of safety. It's not so much that they cruise or have more experience but they more often than not practice good safety. It is not to say as cruisers there are no risks. When cruising your exposure to the potential risk increases astronomically if you are aboard almost 24 x 7 compared to your average weekend boater. It stands to reason your diligence is required to compensate for the increased exposure you bare. Based on the USCG stats that they put out each year if you are in a sailboat (cats included) the risk also plummets but only compared to all boaters. Drunk and stupid still leads the pack by a huge margin. It's the main reason that 41 US states have mandated boater safety programs. The causes of death are related to the most basic of issues.

It is fair to follow that as cruisers the basics are the place you have to do right all the time. The rest of the more exotic situations are still important but the day to day risks in normal conditions statistically are the biggest risks. It is when your guard is lower and you are relaxed. Surprise can take you overboard as good as anything even though a large wave crashing on you will break any grip you could use to hold on. It only assumes you have avoided the drunk and stupid stuff.
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Old 09-03-2010, 14:03   #32
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Different people have different approaches. When I was building my boat, someone told me I should only have one toilet, because toilets are so unreliable and always block or break down.

Funnily enough, to me that sounded like an excellent reason to have two!
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Old 09-03-2010, 14:09   #33
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Different people have different approaches. When I was building my boat, someone told me I should only have one toilet, because toilets are so unreliable and always block or break down.

Funnily enough, to me that sounded like an excellent reason to have two!
I think the thinking is that the head is the first or second most frequent cause of sailboats sinking.

Heads sinks lots of boats. They are, in most cases, a rather complicated below the waterline hole in the boat.
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Old 09-03-2010, 14:10   #34
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when i bought my formosa everything was broken and she didnt make her own electricity!!! now i have solar and a new engine and am readying her for travel--she has a simrad quadrant mounted self steering system, she has radar and gps and other tronix...her electrical system is still fairly broken--but those things are fairly necessary items in long range cruising--lol--i do NOT have the tv, microwave, nor coffee maker or other household what i consider useless items on board--nor will i!!! i will add to my ability to make own electricity and upgrade panel as able and upgrade battery charger as needed and as able-i might even repair my refrigeration unit!!---but she will sail out of san diego before any of that is complete---my first priority is sailing the boat ..after which comes the unecesssary comfort items i probably donot want anyway, like a/c--lol....have fun and smooth sailing!!
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Old 09-03-2010, 14:15   #35
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Not wearing a PFD is the number 1 factor in all boating related deaths for all reasons.
Yes, this and alcohol.

This is why everybody wears a PFD on my boat once the anchor is up, regardless of USGC regs. Everybody. I'm a hardass about this. (But we do pee off the boat from the stern arch or the shrouds.)

Having tendencies toward being a Luddite, and living in a cool climate, all of my PFDs are of the foam variety. No automatic blow ups for me (to tie back into the thread topic).
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Old 09-03-2010, 14:49   #36
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Items on board quandry?

Due to lack of space, bring items on board with forethought. If the item you bring on board has at least two uses, it is even better. For example,



Use this tool for:

1) opening jars, lids, etc.
2) remove oil, fuel filters
3) raw water filters, lids
4) drinking water filters removal
5) other
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Old 09-03-2010, 15:00   #37
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I think the thinking is that the head is the first or second most frequent cause of sailboats sinking.
Actually fire is number One on the destruction list. 80% of all fires are ignited from electrical problems. Being in the water and failure to winterize in cold climates as well as storms would include the bulk of sinkings. It really is the dumb stuff that does the most damage.

Love the strap wrenches loads! May not prevent you from sinking boat get two anyway. A small one and a big one is the trick. Just too many things they are good for not to have one. Also 4 of the really tiny "vise grips". Amazing little tools.
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Old 09-03-2010, 15:46   #38
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Actually fire is number One on the destruction list. 80% of all fires are ignited from electrical problems. .
My prior post was speaking specifically about the causes of sinkings, not overall boat loss.

Stepping up to overall sailboat losses, I suspect for sailboats not tied to the dock navigational errors are the primary source of boat loss.

But once you include tied-to-the-dock situations, then fire takes on new significance because those fires from electrical problems tend to sink lots of other boats tied to the same dock. One boat fire can destroy many other boats at the same time, so the statistics get scewed.

Plus, there are lots of boats with gasoline engines and they present a higher fire risk than most sailboats.

There's not a lot you can do about reducing the risk from a neighbor's stupidity. It's just a risk hanging out there, like lightning. So in terms of risk reduction, I think you have to read the statistics with some context.

I saw a guy sink his sailboat once during a quick trip to the hardware store. He was working on the head and the boat sank before he got back from the store. Oops.

OTOH, up in Alaska marinas at Seward, Whittier and Valdez would lose one or two boats every year from people failing to shovel the snow and the weight would sink the sailboat. The owner was typically an oil guy relocating from Texas or something similar. It's what you don't know that bites you.
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Old 09-03-2010, 16:17   #39
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In defense of the guys from Texas, I was a local and still had the axle on my trailer for the motor boat destroyed in a single snow storm. I left the boat at Seward for just one weekend after SCUBA diving and figured I was OK until the next weekend.

Wrong!!

You have no idea how fun it is swapping out trailer axles at 5 degress F in several feet of snow. All my diving was shore diving after that.
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Old 09-03-2010, 17:24   #40
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Not wearing a PFD is the number 1 factor in all boating related deaths for all reasons.
Mmmmm. Would have thought falling overboard would be higher..........
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Old 09-03-2010, 18:11   #41
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Age, marriage, gender...

The National Marine Safety Committee report on boating fatalities in Australia 1999 to 2004 makes interesting (if a little boring reading).

Being drunk, male, employed, old, sick and on an overpowered aluminium dinghy is not good for your life expectancy.

On the other hand fatalities from cruising did not get a mention(if my reading is correct).
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Old 09-03-2010, 19:50   #42
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Stillraining, he say:
And what this proves is the need for a high tech open fly notification alarm coupled with an automated MOB retrieval system Gizmo to tinker tinkle with.
There, FIFY.
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Old 10-03-2010, 17:21   #43
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Give me simplicity every time...
I'm old school and can splice wire and rope... sort out cooling/injector prob's on a diesel engine, strip and clean my own winches and tune/rig my own boat.. Glass repair and rough carpentry... Gadgets are Speed/depth logs, VHF/GPS handheld, Compass, Paper Charts,
All the rest you can keep...
But then I'm a lazy bastard who realises the Purpose of Life is to Appreciate this World and Enjoy It...
Sweating, Swearing and Scrapping my knuckles in the bowels of my boat over some man made gadget that's allegedly supposed to improve the 'Quality of Life" does not come under the heading "Purpose to Life" for me..
Laying in my Hammock sipping a 'Cold One' and savouring this beautiful world does....
You guys keep working away and earn the loadsa dollars for your "Gadgets"... Keep the garbage/pollution producers happy
This guys happy with what he's got... "Simple Quality of Life"

Example... last year as I was crossing the Biscay in my 21ftr a light wind died and left me drifting slowly south on the current.. a 36ftr came steaming along at 5kts plus, and passed me with much hubbub and photo's of the crazy dude drifting in the middle of the Bay in a toy boat... 3 hours later a pod of whales drifted in out of the West and started diving and feeding around me... 5 hrs of heaven I could have missed.... if I'd had an engine..
They obviously had a schedule to maintain...
Someone asked me once why it took me 30 days from the Azores to the UK... simple.. it was August and the wildlife was awesome.. Pilots, Orca, Dolphin, Turtles and even some seals... who can rush past all that...
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Old 10-03-2010, 17:38   #44
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The key to having a complex system onboard is that it must be engineered well and time tested. Simplicity is easy to engineer, that's why traditionally it is more reliable.

If though you take a look at a complex system like a Boeing 737, they are extremely reliable because they have been engineered well, are time tested and in most cases are properly maintained. They are also operated by well trained professionals and not amateurs.

Complex systems can be very reliable but there are a number of caveats that must occur first in order to have this reliability. Fewer of these caveats exist with simple systems.

I like both simple and complex. It depends on the application and the environment.
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Old 10-03-2010, 18:08   #45
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The key to having a complex system onboard is that it must be engineered well and time tested. Simplicity is easy to engineer, that's why traditionally it is more reliable.

If though you take a look at a complex system like a Boeing 737, they are extremely reliable because they have been engineered well, are time tested and in most cases are properly maintained. They are also operated by well trained professionals and not amateurs.

Complex systems can be very reliable but there are a number of caveats that must occur first in order to have this reliability. Fewer of these caveats exist with simple systems.

I like both simple and complex. It depends on the application and the environment.
And how many engineers you have to maintain it for you...for free...lol
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