Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

Preparing for heavy sailing weather before it arrives!

by John Jamieson/Sail-World Cruising on 15 Dec 2012
Captain John crewed aboard "Rubicon"--an Outbound 44--from Newport, Rhode Island to St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Captain John Jamieson http://www.skippertips.com
Safety and preparation go hand-in-hand for heavy weather. Crew, topsides, and below decks need to be readied if you suspect a blow in the offing. Even if it never develops, you will have the peace-of-mind that you, your crew and small sailboat are well prepared for what may come your way. John Jamieson (Captain John) here offers some salient advice:

Crew Safety ~ Take Care of Your Sailing Crew

Why place sailing crew first? Your crew represents the most important element in successful sailing. Heavy weather sailing--in particular in cool or cold weather--can take a toll on crew. Take care of yourself and your crew first, whether there is only one or a full crew.

Count on the fact that most sailing crew shy away from discussions of sea sickness, fatigue, aches and pains, etc. Take the lead and suggest that all crew begin sea sick medication, rest, and hydration at least 48 hours before a trip. This will help control sea sickness and fatigue.

If sailing in cold weather, make sure that crew have adequate outerwear. Be alert for the first sign of hypothermia--shivering. Rotate watches at a more frequent interval to keep your crew rested and warm.

If sailing in warmer weather, make hourly hydration your priority. Encourage your crew to drink water or one of the popular electrolyte replacement beverages (Emergen-C, Gatorade) to keep hydrated.

Deck Topsides Safety ~ Clear, Lash, and Coil:

Think of anything in the open of a sailboat as topsides. If you climb from the cabin to the cockpit, you are 'going topsides'. Clean decks make for safer sailing. Matter of fact, a quick study of sailboat racing disasters shows this one factor again and again. Those boats that had clean, clear decks sustained less damage, less injuries, and less rescues!

Keep the bow and side decks free of debris or sailing gear and fenders. After each tack or reach or trim, insist that lines be coiled. This needn't be anything fancier than a simple stack of bights. Mainsheet and Genoa sheets need to be ready to run, free of kinks and snarls.

Use extra lashings on liferaft canisters. Check the lashings on flaked headsails stopped off along the toerail or lifelines. Double check lifeline end points (cotters, rings, pelican hooks). Tape over pelican hook bales. Turn cowl vents around so that the open vent faces aft. This will keep the cowl from blowing out of the mount in gusts or waves that break aboard.

Below Decks Safety ~ Lash and Stow Below

Stuff lockers that you suspect have loose gear with towels, pieces of foam, or rags. These will keep small containers or silverware from rolling about. Double check that locker hasps, latches, and dogs are closed and anchored. Stow any loose gear with bungee cord or line to prevent 'missile hazards' (flying objects that can cause injury or damage when the boat takes an unexpected roll).

Put these sailing tips into play before heavy weather arrives at your position. This will help keep your sailing crew or partner and small sailboat safe and sound on the waters of the world--wherever you choose to cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website. Sign up for the Free, highly popular weekly 'Captain John's Sailing Tip-of-the-Week'. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, e-Books and more!
Zhik ZKG 660x82Mackay BoatsPredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Coast Guard Foundation receives donation from Ice Hockey Team
Coast Guard Foundation announced today that it received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it has received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club for $2,568, to benefit the Coast Guard Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund and Scholarship Fund.
Posted today at 5:50 am
Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan