Thursday, January 10, 2008


Guardrails should be continuous around the upper deck. The ends should be secured with lashings or quick release slips so that you can cut or release them to recover a person from the water. Treat any slippery areas with either non-skid paint or stick on strips. Pay particular attention to the tops of hatches and sloping coachroof sides which become walkways when the boat is heeled. Use harness in rough weather and at night. Make sure they are adjusted to a tight fit or you can fall out of them. Fit suitably placed harness attachment points close to the companionway so that you can clip on before coming on deck and on both sides of the cockpit. Rig jackstays on both sides of the boat so that you can walk the full length of the deck without having to unclip. Flat webbing straps are in some ways better than wire because the wire tends to roll underfoot when you stand on it. Wear suitable protective clothing and a lifejacket preferably fitted with reflective tape and alight.

REMEMBER that if you do go over the side, at night or in bad weather, there is a high probability that you will not be recovered. Have the necessary safety equipment to hand so it is ready for immediate use:

A DROGUE to prevent drifting.

AN AUTOMATIC LIGHT - a continuous beam is considered most effective.A DANBOUY - fitted with flag 2 meters clear of the water which assists in marking the position of the lifebuoy.
A BUOYANT HEAVING LINE may be necessary in heavy seas if it is difficult to come alongside the person in the water. Practice man overboard Drills regularly - This can be achieved by using a fender and bucket as your casualty.