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Old 03-02-2015, 09:32   #1
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Health Issues & Live Aboard

I am not sure that this section is the best.
I was slowly preparing for extended cruising and like many others before me had a lot of things to settle before casting the lines.
The plan was that at the end of summer i would slowly progress south with stop at the Bahamas, where wife and kids would join me for the Christmas.
Later down to Caribbean or to Cuba if it become available. Usually I am single-handing.
My problem is that last September I had "installed" in my chest ICD (defibrillator), which since then reminded me of its existence about six times. Usually it happened after strenuous physical activity. Yesterday, during removing snow from the driveway using selfproppeled snow-thrower I received 3 shocks when last one rendered me unconscious for short while.
I know that during sailing form time to time you have to do things which require prolonged physical activity.

Wondering if anyone out there is actively sailing with ICD?

If so, how do you handle it?
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:55   #2
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

Most sailing is not strenuous but when it is you're body will not even notice it. It's amazing to me view tired we are after a few days passage the body's muscles are constantly trying to keep you balanced. Maybe take some one with you on your first go with your new icd. See how it dose.

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Old 03-02-2015, 10:47   #3
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

I don't have one, but have already had a heart attack. Not really sure that it matters if you face the problem from the boat or from the "safety" of the house (as you found out).

On the boat the biggest heart racers I have found are cranking the sails or the anchor. Both can be reduced with a power winch or a windlass, which seems a small price to pay to sail instead of waiting to die at home IMO.
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Old 03-02-2015, 15:09   #4
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

I would say this is something best discussed with your doctor. It's a calculated risk but being on a boat away from medical attention is a calculated risk anyway, just less of one for the apparently healthy.


You may not appreciate the suggestion to buy a power boat but many folks do that when sailing becomes to strenuous for them.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:52   #5
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Talking Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

Thank you all for the input.

@ scuba o_1

"young, strong mate" huh?
Not my "cup" of tea.
Seriously, I've thought about this variant. However for me sailing is solitude. Have a couple of friends who sail, but none of them seams to be eager to sail in time which works for me. I am almost sure that they don't want to be the last person seeing me alive.

@ sailorboy_1

Managing sails (at least on my boat) require a lot of power, specially furling genoa in strong winds. And additional stress when things go south weather-wise. Perhaps I would purchase and try some sort of powered winch handle, advertised lately in the sailing press?
We all know that often situation on the boat evolves so rapidly, that there is no time to work slow.
In my age and recent development you are "forced" to thing about "the exit", and definitely I reader die on the boat than be ridden to the bed, waiting in pain and agony.
Definitely I am not ready for it, not yet. World is to beautiful and I din't see much of it.

@ rwidman

That concept crossed my mind (da stinker ).
Ufff...

Definitely I would look more in to the trawler alley.
Funny thing, yesterday I've mentioned that option to my lovely wife and she jumped to the idea.
After further discussion (when she mention our relatives leaving in Arizona) it appeared that she heard "trailer", not "trawler".

With the doctor things are little dicey. They are more concerned with the legal aspect of any advice than honest opinion.
That sort decision must be solely mine. Still looking for that "old doc", who still can tell you strait in the eyes without hiding behind legal fence. Had one but he retired and leaving somewhere in Florida.

Well, first thing first...
Waiting for the day when my boat would float again (Michigan ) and will take baby steps.
Back in my old country we have saying - God hand protects drunk and stupid.
I don't drink, at least not to the point when need God's hand .
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:09   #6
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnZiggy View Post

@ sailorboy_1

Managing sails (at least on my boat) require a lot of power, specially furling genoa in strong winds. And additional stress when things go south weather-wise. Perhaps I would purchase and try some sort of powered winch handle, advertised lately in the sailing press?
We all know that often situation on the boat evolves so rapidly, that there is no time to work slow.
I think those powered winch handle drill thingies are not your answer!!!!

You need larger winches and even then it may be worth it to have powered ones.

You situation is a lot like what older sailors face, how to modify the boat so they can still handle it.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:25   #7
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

capnziggy.

I am planning my 3rd trip from Ontario Canada to the Bahamas on a 37 ft sail boat. On my last 2 trips I motored for the whole trip down coast and the ICW so sailing was not really a concern, I did occationally motor sail. Even crossing the Florida straits to Grand bahama I motored to reduce travel time. My biggest stress was the motor, every change in the purring of the A4 caused concern, I have a anchor windlass with remote in the cockpit so setting and retrieving no sweat. Again big stress when recovering anchor I solo sailed both trips) was washing down when retrieving and when securing the anchor there is no one on the helm so extra care was taken. When docking at a marina call for help from staff they are more than willing to help .

Enjoy the trip

John
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:26   #8
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

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Originally Posted by John Boor View Post
capnziggy.

I am planning my 3rd trip from Ontario Canada to the Bahamas on a 37 ft sail boat. On my last 2 trips I motored for the whole trip down coast and the ICW so sailing was not really a concern, I did occationally motor sail. Even crossing the Florida straits to Grand bahama I motored to reduce travel time. My biggest stress was the motor, every change in the purring of the A4 caused concern, I have a anchor windlass with remote in the cockpit so setting and retrieving no sweat. Again big stress when recovering anchor I solo sailed both trips) was washing down when retrieving and when securing the anchor there is no one on the helm so extra care was taken. When docking at a marina call for help from staff they are more than willing to help .

Enjoy the trip

John
Hello John,

Your post is forcing me to thing more and more about trawler (or similar power boat). I've purchased my Lord Nelson 35 in 2005 with mere 1200 hr on the engine. Right now a do have 3400.
And all this during sailing Great Lakes and 2 ocean trips, 2006/7 Bahamas and 2009 Bermuda.
How many times I was thinking - am I a sailor or "powerboater"?
Thank you for your input.
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:27   #9
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

Cap'nZiggy,

Only you can decide if you'd prefer a motor boat.

We bought one of the Milwaukee right angle drill motors, and use it for furling, mostly only our headsail, although I have used it on the main halyard winch, to winch Jim aloft. I find it heavy, and awkward to handle, but it sure does the job fast, and is a great deal less physical work than cranking on the winch handle with one's own muscles.

Being unconscious for a while would not be a good thing in most conditions when you're having to furl a sail. If over-activity seems to trigger shocks that lead to syncope, then I think you have a problem, and would definitely be better off with someone aboard who could finish furling, and do whatever else would be necessary at the time.

If you pretend it is someone whom you love who is asking the question you asked of us, but is asking you, you'll find your way to an answer which you can handle.

Ann
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:53   #10
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

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.............With the doctor things are little dicey. They are more concerned with the legal aspect of any advice than honest opinion.
That sort decision must be solely mine. Still looking for that "old doc", who still can tell you strait in the eyes without hiding behind legal fence. Had one but he retired and leaving somewhere in Florida. ................... .
Well you can shop around for a doctor who will tell you what you want to hear but that doesn't change the underlying risk which is yours and yours alone.
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Old 04-02-2015, 19:06   #11
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

CapnZiggy, I use a Winchrite electric winch handle. Less powerful than the Milwaukee drill but a lot lighter and strong enough for most tasks on my 42 ft 30,000lb boat. Makes raising the main much easier. You shouldn't need electric help to furl the headsail if you turn down wind and blanket it behind the main. The Winchrite is okay for trimming headsail sheets up to a point. When it's too hard to trim its time to reduce sail.


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Old 05-02-2015, 07:26   #12
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

This medical journal article describes your medical situation exactly (it describes a subgroup with an ICD that has experienced syncope after implantation of the ICD.)

http://www.ahjonline.com/article/S00.../abstract?cc=y

It references the average lifespan to be expected and usual cause of death for this subgroup. Given this information, no sensible doctor is going to recommend being away from immediately available medical care. Likely, they won't even give you advice about how to minimize the risk of being in a sailboat- such as traveling with someone trained to use an external (more powerful) defibrillator etc as it could be viewed as encouraging you to do something dangerous. Armed with this information, you can make an informed decision about how you want to spend the rest of your life.

Your doctor has no doubt already told you to avoid strenuous activities which lead to triggering the defibrillator.

On a positive note, I've always been amazed at how many people lived far longer than their doctor predicted, as if the patient was intent to prove the doctor was wrong! Also, I think there are many people nowadays that rust out before they wear out and staying reasonably active in a lifestyle you enjoy might have tangible health benefits.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:04   #13
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnZiggy View Post
Perhaps I would purchase and try some sort of powered winch handle, advertised lately in the sailing press? .
I just sold 23 WinchRites at the Seattle Boat Show...yes....23 of them...they were moving like hot cakes, heck I wish I sold that many water makers! I have 1 new WinchRite's left that I'll move out the door for $600...list is $749. That would clean up the 6 cases I brought to the show and make me happy.
Winchrite Electric Sailboat Winch Handle | Cruise RO Water & Power

If interested, email me at Rich@cruiserowater.com
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:53   #14
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Re: Health Issues & Live Aboard

Best of luck CapnZiggy with your decision. Refraining from solo sailing (motor or power) would seem to be the smartest thing you could do. You have more options that way
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