Seascout-Net Mail Archive for October of 1998: epirb mounting & other topics
epirb mounting & other topics
Thu Oct 15 20:41:01 1998
I just read the post from DAlcant118@AOL.com and was just agast that he was
appalled at my suggestion for an EPIRB mounting. I thought this all started
with a request for opinions from a forum devoid of sailing absolutists.
Sailors are after all the most cantankerous opinionated form of human in the
world. Just look at yourself in the mirror and deny it. I work with dozens
of them and it is trying sometimes.
I think our differences might be due to the different types of craft we might
employ. It looks like Martin and Dave possibly use motor trawlers for their
program. If we used such craft for ours, I would probably agree with them.
Here in Texas our program involves sloops from 22 to 30 ft. involved in
coastal cruising, racing and general sailing in crowded waters in Galveston
Bay and offshore cruising in our better suited craft in the Gulf. The crew is
positioned and works differently than on a trawler. We require an EPIRB
aboard craft sailed out in the Gulf. Mounting the device seven feet or so
above the deck puts it on the mast where it will get whapped by the jib
whenever we come about and maybe catch a sheet. (Those folks with Cat Ketches
will ask "What is he talking about?) I'm sure some of the folks I work with
might think that's just fine, being sailors themselves. I think deployment of
the EPIRB should be a deliberate act and placement inside the companionway on
our craft would make it accessible in seconds. It's a good place for a fire
extinguisher and a good place for an EPIRB too. What is right for one boat,
condition and circumstance may not be right for another.
If it is stowed in an open canister on the mast, what is to keep it from
deploying in a knockdown? The craft might right by itself and sail on with
its relieved crew unaware that the EPIRB was bobbing behind shouting "wolf" to
Or, what is to keep it from not deploying in a knock down and roll over? This
was the likely demise of COYOTE but the failure of that craft was a foregone
conclusion, probably quite sudden and a deployed EPIRB would probably not done
Mr. Plant much good. Anyone who staked his life on that engineered folly of a
keel design which secured an 8000 lb keel bulb to a carbon fiber keel fin with
only a flat plate glue joint and expected it to hold up to the continuous
hydrodynamic stresses of high speed sailing (and one slight grounding) was,
with all due respect to the dead and departed, either a blue ribbon fool or he
had a death wish. If the fin had penetrated the bulb like an ax handle and
been pinned in three or four places, Mr. Plant might still be pushing the
outer limits of the sport.
For the opinionated and the easily appalled here are a few other safety
quandries worthy of debate:
Boat/U.S. and other sailing organizations presently holds that the "Quick
Stop" method to recover a man-over-board (MOB) is the only acceptable method
of recovery. I think that's just a little too absolutist again. Anyone
Texas state law now requires boating training for youths who pilot craft over
14' and personal water craft (jet skis). The emphasis of the required
training is shifting towards PWC's, a not-approved activity for Scouts. I
agree that training in the use, operation and characteristics of these craft
should be part of the curriculum. Anyone disagree?
One of the questions on the test for this training states roughly "Should you
come to the aid of a distressed vessel if you are underway and have no
problems yourself?" They say the correct answer is "no." That seems to fly
in the face of the Sea Promise. Any comments or explanations?