Safety

Gallows Point
Beaumaris
Anglesey  LL58 8YL
info@nwvyc.org.uk

NWVYC Clubhouse and Beaumaris Bay North West Venturers' YC Burgee

North West Venturers’ Yacht Club

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Recommendations for Safety Equipment


The safety of a yacht and her crew is the responsibility of the skipper!

Introduction

Going to sea in a boat is potentially dangerous and no amount of equipment will make sea-going safe if the skipper and crew are not fully competent or if conditions become extreme.  However, the right equipment can help everybody to cope with danger and misadventure, so that the risks are reduced to an acceptable level.

Crew

The plan for any cruise should take into account the strength and competence of the crew.  A crew with a high proportion of novices and young children is unlikely to enjoy the physical stress of making long passages. In rough weather, their reserves of strength may be totally exhausted so that the yacht is placed in a situation which is hazardous not only for itself but for those who come to the rescue.  The human resources are even more important than the equipment carried and sufficient hot food must be available to enable them to continue to function satisfactorily.

Watchkeeping

In a seaway, watch-keeping is important and a routine should be established early in the passage.  In the Irish Sea, ferries can approach at over 30knots - less than 15 mins from hull down to collision. They do, however, carry sophisticated collision systems. Ferry operators recommend that you do not change course to avoid the risk of confusing these systems. In the vicinity of Holyhead, monitor Port Control (Ch14) for up to date traffic movements. In heavy weather it is particularly important that off-watch crew are well rested and well fed.

Seasickness

Sea-sickness pills should be carried but should be used with caution since many cause drowsiness.  Unfortunately, to be effective, they must be taken in advance of the bad weather and this means that any tendency to sea-sickness should be confirmed before embarking on a passage.  Experiment beforehand to determine the type of pill appropriate to your metabolism and that of your crew, to maximise effectiveness and minimise unwanted side-effects.  Skippers should remember that, since some remedies may react with other medications, the final decision to take seasickness medication must lie with the individual.

Safety Equipment

The equipment which may be required in any yacht depends on the area in which she sails, the weather conditions she is likely to encounter and to some degree, the size of the yacht.  The most important factor is deciding the extent to which a yacht is likely to be caught out in rough weather and this will necessarily depend on boat speed and distance from harbour that the boat ventures.  The recommendations which follow have been drafted for yachts (generally between 8.0m and 14m) which are unlikely to be more than 12 hours from a harbour or suitable anchorage.  That is, the conditions in which a Venturer’s cruiser is most likely to find herself and in broad correspondence with the R.Y.A.’s Category B conditions.

In the final analysis the skipper must take full responsibility for the boat and her crew. The Club cannot take responsibility for any mishap to a yacht accepting these guidelines, however it may be caused.


The notes which follow are adapted from the RYA’s publication C8/02.

Means of Propulsion

Yachts should have:

Anchors

Anchors and chain should be at least as heavy as those recommended by the RYA. A yacht should carry:

Bailing & Bilge pumping

Bailing equipment should be chosen with the strength of the crew in mind.

Detection Equipment

Daytime signals

Pyrotechnics

The minimum set of flares should be in date and should meet the SOLAS requirements. Pyrotechnics should be stored in a waterproof container and must be easily accessible. Instant-access collision avoidance flares are often carried in the hatchway.

Fire fighting equipment

The following recommendations are made by the RYA.

Personal safety equipment

The following items should be available for every person on board:

General emergency equipment

Communications

Navigational equipment

Increasingly, integrated electronic equipment is reducing the apparent necessity for basic navigation gear. However, complete power failure in the most adverse weather conditions (fog) must be assumed when equipping a yacht for any form of passage, however short. The following should be carried as a matter of course. Other Club boats must not be relied on to provide assistance.

First Aid & Medical

A first aid kit should be carried, containing:

General Equipment

Publications

These recommendations are for guidance. Skippers should purchase a copy of RYA booklet, “Boat Safety Handbook” (G103). Offshore, the RYA booklet G87 is recommended as is the RNLI publication “Sea Safety - the complete guide.”

Charts & Guides

Imray


The Admiralty charts for the areas included in the Club programme are:


Pilots and Sailing Directions


     ** Club members