High Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE) advisory article updated.
This article, by Evans Starzinger, provides updated best practice recommendations for the design and installation of
Spectra/Dyneema life lines. Here's the link to the article.
Coastal Seminar Announcement
US Sailing Introduces the Coastal Safety at Sea Seminar at Strictly Sail Pacific on Sunday April 14th.
These seminars are intended for sailors who participate in coastal races (or for coastal cruisers). They take four hours and include the following topics:
a. Emergency communications
b. Personal safety gear
c. Man overboard
d. Search and Rescue procedures
e. An incremental topic(s) that meets the needs of the race conditions, e.g.
i. Reduced visibility
ii. Large vessel traffic
iii. Heavy weather
iv. Breaking seas
With the addition of the Coastal Seminar US Sailing now offers three distinct courses aimed at preparing sailors for offshore sailing conditions. Most offshore race organizing authorities require completion of one of these courses for 30% of the crew taking part in the race. The certifications are good for five years. Proof that the training has been completed is stored in a database at US Sailing so that sailors have a record of the training they’ve taken and its currency.
A US Sailing Safety at Sea Moderator is present at all seminars to ensure the consistency and quality of the information. S/he will work with other safety experts to present the topics.
Below are descriptions of the other two Safety at Sea courses that are offered:
1. One-Day Offshore Safety at Sea Seminars. These seminars are generally required for participants in ocean races and long coastal races. They take eight hours, and use a combination of lectures and demonstrations (life raft, Coast Guard helicopter, signals, personal safety gear). They are commonly offered prior to major ocean races so that sailors can be certified in time for the race.
2. Two-Day Offshore Safety at Sea Seminars. These seminars combine a lecture format for the same topic covered in the one-day seminar along with hands-on training with safety gear. Each participant will don foul weather gear and a PFD and spend time in a pool, including life raft boarding and righting. Additional topics include jury rigging, damage control, and firefighting. This course meets the ISAF requirement for offshore safety training.
PFD CO2 Cartridges – From Glenn McCarthy our expert on this subject.
There are still layers of bureaucracy, ALL of the following must be in compliance (don’t think that if one is ok, they are all ok. The answer must be yes to all of the following):
1. The PFD cylinders filled with CO2 are permitted by TSA and allowed as either carry-on or checked baggage –
http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items when on this page scroll down to the section Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items to see that CO2 cartridges are allowed by TSA with the requirement listed below:
Small compressed gas cartridges
(Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany the life vests and presented as one unit)
2. Any compressed gas is a Hazardous Material by DOT rules. However, when traveling with any Hazardous Material, it requires declaring the Hazardous Material to the airline at check-in.
3. Each airline has its own Risk Management Department. Approximately ½ of all airlines allow these CO2 cylinders on their airplanes, and about ½ of them don’t. You need to check with each airline you will be traveling with including any connecting airlines. Usually the answer is buried pretty deep in the airline websites.
Warning - Violating any of these can result in arrest and fines!
March 2012 ISAF Offshore Special Regulations
The US Sailing Board approved US Prescription to resolve a problem with a new requirement for highly-visible material on storm jibs.
"US Sailing prescribes that the requirement for a highly-visible colored material or patch covering 50% of the area of storm jibs in ISAF OSR 4.26.2 (a) is a recommendation in the US. After January 1, 2014, the requirements for new storm sails in ISAF OSR 4.26.2 (a) shall apply to CAT 0, 1, 2, and 3. This requirement grandfathers all storm sails made prior to January 1, 2014”
REASONS FOR THIS CHANGE:
1. US sail makers report only a limited amount of hi-vis material and sticky back is available on this short notice and it will take 3 months to get more.
2. Several major races that start in the next 2-3 months are facing this last minute modification of all Storm Jibs
3. Worries that the proposed modifications would not last and may affect the efficient use of the sails.
4. The suggestion that similar modifications were made by Volvo racers using hi-vis paint and talcum powder when folding the sails to keep it from sticking may have problems because the paint is apparently not sold in the US.
11 May 2012 ISAF Offshore Special Regulations
The US Sailing Board approved US Prescription to clear an ambiguity in the 2012-2013 version of ISAF Offshore Special Regulation 4.20.5 e) which calls for an annual inspection by an approved manufacturer's agent of valise packed liferafts. “Inspection” is not a defined process for life raft certification. Racers are being forced to do an early servicing to comply.
"US SAILING prescribes: A life raft built to ISO 9650 Type 1 Group A and packed in a valise shall be serviced in accordance with its manufacturer’s recommendations at least as frequently as is recommended by the manufacturer. US SAILING reminds persons in charge of their responsibilities under OSR 1.02.1 and OSR 1.02.2 and notes that there have been reports that the integrity of valise-packed life rafts can be compromised by mishandling, poor storage, and other factors, and that such conditions may indicate a need for servicing more frequently than is recommended by manufacturers."
This replaces the ISAF version printed below. Emphasis added
A liferaft built to ISO 9650 Part 1 Type Group A packed in a valise shall be inspected annually by an approved manufacturer’s agent and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions but NOT less frequently than every three years.
May 2012 US Sailing has been asked by the USCG to conduct independent reviews of the recent Farallones deaths and The Newport to Ensenada deaths. Last year US Sailing conducted three independent panel reports on the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac accident involving Wingnuts, the youth sailing 420 tragedy on Severn River, and the Rambler 100 incident.
Please click below to access each report from the panel.
- Farallones and Newport to Ensenda Safety Studies
- 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac report
- Youth sailing 420 tragedy on Severn River report
- Rambler 100 report
- January 2012. What's New in the 2012 ISAF Offshore Special Regulations? Learn more.
- November 2011. Mustang Survival recented issued a voluntary recall notice on inflatable personal flotation devices MD2010 and MD 2012. Learn more.
- October 2011. The SAS Committee met at the US SAILING AGM on October 27, 2011. The US SAILING AGM was held in Annapolis, Maryland. Here's the SAS meeting Agenda.
- June 30, 2010 West Marine announces voluntary recall of certain safety tethers sold at West Marine Stores. Product details can be found here.
- Summary of Offshore Special Regulations Changes: Click here for a summaryof ISAF and US SAILING changes to the Offshore Special Regulations since 2008. Posted February 4, 2010.