Anchoring can be intimidating to sailors, especially if one has to anchor in front of an audience, or with an unfamiliar boat, or with an inexperienced crew. Chartering a boat in some gorgeous place can bring all three of these aspects together, for some rather unfortunate results. To prevent the inevitable shame from crushing some egos, all names and other identification has been removed from the following stories.
Chuck Hawley ran into CCA member and sailor extraordinaire Skip Allan at the marine flea market this weekend, and he suggested the following Safety Moment:
Lithium batteries are a fact of life in this day and age, and, like so many other things aboard, we must treat them with care.
After two major collisions with substantial loss of American lives between US Navy destroyers and merchant ships, many of us went to websites that provide histories of the movements of the ships in the area up to the minute of the collision. Using the AIS transponders that are on all of the commercial vessels, and some of the recreational vessels, you can clearly see the paths of the vessels heading in and out of some of the most constrained and confusing waterways in the world.
When we think about boating safety, all of us can come up with a specific story, perhaps several, that previously taught us about the ocean, how sailboats perform, and how to avoid trouble. Frequently, these stories involved trouble of one sort or another, since the school of hard knocks provides a pretty effective education.
In the early 1970s, a new method of categorizing life jackets was introduced by the Coast Guard and Underwriter’s Laboratories, using five “types” and a new, strange name for life jackets: the Personal Flotation Device.
The five types fell into recognizable styles: Type I were for commercial use and had the most buoyancy; Type IIs were inexpensive “yoke” style; Type III were vests that were more comfortable, but had relatively low buoyancy; Type IV were “throwable devices” for man overboard; and Type V were anything that didn’t fit into the previous definitions.
In August of 2014, Fortress Anchors conducted an extensive anchor test on Chesapeake Bay, south of Solomon’s Island, in deep, sticky mud. I was asked to be the impartial observer, based on my participation in anchor tests for several decades.