A big thanks to Andy for his feedback on my post on installing jackstays. Andy is the skipper of Adelaide based Kinetic Energy. Andy and Les (Andy’s partner in life, co-owner of Kinetic Energy and foredeck guru) gave me the opportunity to race on Kinetic Energy when I lived in Adelaide. They are two of the most adventurous and generous people I know. To have crewed for them was a wonderful learning experience in sailing and in life.
Below is some of Andy’s e-mail which I wanted to share.
“The currently teaching in SSSC is “intelligent tethering”. A tether is meant to keep you on the boat, not just attached to the boat. I suppose this is especially true for toddlers when you may not be able to get to them if you need to handle the boat in a crisis. Using a 3 clip tether so you always have a short tether available. Moving the jackstays further inboard. Terminating the jackstays to the centre line on the bow so they are further from the edge are all good considerations. This approach came from the “Lion” incident where the skipper went overboard from the foredeck on his tether and was dragged along with his lifejacket inflated. The helmsman did not tack the boat and he drowned. You only need 1 knot of boat speed to drag someone under when on a tether.”
When I first read this part of Andy’s e-mail, I thought you are right (Andy is rarely wrong).
Either the Skipper or I will be with Orbit when he is on deck, plus, we would never let Orbit on deck if the conditions weren’t appropriate …
And then …
I thought about it some more, and things do go wrong. Even when you are on guard, even when the conditions are perfect, even when you are doing everything to prevent them, accidents do happen.
So it is based on Andy’s feedback that I am reviewing our gear to see if we can make it and the way we do things safer. It is also another gentle reminder to be careful, not only looking out for Orbit and his safety, but the safety of the Skipper and myself.
Another learning from the “Lion incident” was the importance of practicing man overboard drills. This is particularly important in our situation, with only two adults on board and if one adult goes over the side.
Thank you Andy and thank you to others who have provided feedback – it is all welcomed and accepted with gratitude and appreciation.