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CRUISING

Sailing is a quest for emotional satisfaction attained by certain technical disciplines and abilities. There are other similar activities; intelligent automobile driving, photography, sculpture and other arts and sports.

In racing, the crew's emotional satisfaction is restricted by the external short ten~ influence; Race Committee rules, the "breaks" of the particular race and the competition.

Cruising offers a greater opportunity to wallow in an emotional state of oneness with your boat and her surroundings. An awareness of the challenge of the unknoeJn adventure to come replaces the immediate thrill of making a mark in racing. In racing, you are "on" the boat, in cruising, you become one with her. An increasing sensitivity to the boat and her world of waves, tides and weather creeps up on you. I never feel I'm "with" my boat until I've been aboard at least 24 hours.

After 24 hours, you become aware of your relative self-sufficiency. A Triton, well-stocked, can take you away from workaday trivia for weeks at a time. The benefits of cruising accrue as a function of time aboard, not distance offshore.

The price of attaining this euphoria is the mastery of certain knowledge and the possession of necessary tools. As the artist must have certain materials and knowledge, so must the sailor. The discussion following is divided into sections on:

Acute Crises

Cruising Seamanship

Creature Comforts

Radio Communication

Navigation A

CUTE CRISES develop in any kind of sailing, they may be intensified in cruising by your solitude.

Fire. Three unpopular varieties; stove fires, electrical and gas. Pertaining to all forms of crises, prevention through constant awareness is the best cure! But you can't be a Pollyanna, crises do occur and you can best handle them by being forearmed with tools and know- ledge. Dry powder extinguishers, baking soda or water can handle a small alcohol stove fire. Disconnecting the battery and shutting off the engine can be a first step to stopping an electrical fire. My first thought on a gasoline fire would be to get everyone off the boat and into the dinghy or raft. If a leaking gas tank is feeding the fire, row fast. Under no circumstances should any engine hatch be opened if you suspect fire. The inrush of oxygen will accelerate ignition. Preventive maintenance calls for an ignition-controlled solenoid fuel valve such as a "Fuel Trol" and installation of one of the inexpensive, small "Halon" extinguishers which go off automatically with no damage to the boat's equipment.  

Man Overboard. Books listed in the bibliography have detailed pro- cedures to increase your chances of recovering the person in the water. They all rely on awareness that someone went over, throwing something to the person and retrieving him. A good man overboard pole and life ring rig doesn't cost much; you can rig it up yourself. If you are singlehanding with the tiller tied, rig up a trip line so that the boat will come up into the wind. I tow a 200' poly line with a float on the end when I sail alone. I can grab it, trip the tiller so that the boat heads up and virtually stops. And I've tied myself into the boat many, many times! A good~safety harness is your best friend in heavy weather. Put a U-bolt bail in the cockpit for attachment, don't trust lifelines. For going torward, experts run a heavy line from stem to stern and clip on before leaving the cockpit.

First Aid. If you don't already own it, buy the Eastman book listed in the bibliography. He clearly lists the stuff you should have aboard and gives a page of stuff you MUST know - mostly common sense. This is followed by chapters of details for use after you've given the immediately required attention. Other than that, the usual run of Band-Aids, aspirin and sunburn goo take care of most problems.

Anchoring - in time of peril. Assuming a sound boat, your anchoring equipment may be your most important safety equipment. A good anchor, checked on deck with chain and a hundred foot rope, ready to go is a safety "must" to me. If you lose propulsion in a tight spot, the ability to stay where you are may be your only ace in the hole. The anchor has to be ready to go and go fast! And I've heard too many horror stories about lines jamming below deck to take any chances with an anchor rode that comes up from below; I want it all on deck, neatly coiled and ready to go! We have used a Danforth 12-T with great success for years. We keep a second identical one below, plus a fifty pount "Yachtsman" type for use in grassy spots where the Danforth just glides over the grass. A 15 or 25 pound COR Plow is also ex- cellent. We know to rig a trip line in areas with cables and crud on the bottom. Each anchor has ten feet of 3/8" chain. We carry a total of 600 feet of 3/4" nylon line; a 100' on deck, and a 200' and a 300' below. Read "Chapman" on sentinels, they work!

Grounding- As the old timer says, "If you haven't been grounded, you haven't been anywhere. While you can sometimes free the boat by shifting crew weight forward in order to slightly lift the after, low point of the keel,most un-grounding is achieved by kedging off. This involves carrying out an anchor, setting it in deeper water and hauling yourself toward it until free. If you grounded on a lee shore, you'll have to take the anchor to windward. Inflatables don't go to windward too well; here is where a good dinghy shines. In twenty years of grounding, I have never suffered more than loss of sleep or dinghy. I don't get my boat into "thinwater" off lee shores in any sort of sea. Watch your chart and your fathometer. I like the idea of a fathometer that sets off an alarm in the event of navigational error!

Here are some ideas from NETA's Frank Alla.

"My solution is to rig the boom vang near the end of the boom and hoist the dinghy on it to give me about 20 degrees of heel and reduced draft. If more weight is needed, throw a few buckets of water in the dinghy and increase the heel.

Remember to rig a preventer forward from the boom to keep it at right angles and secure.

When around, the usual kedge-off technique is to row out the Danforth H.T. 12 and rig a block from the bow cleat leading the anchor rode back from the winch. This, along with the dinghy trick, is usually sufficient to move off the mud. However, once i had to resort to more drastic measures when I ventured into the all-pervasive mud of Bassett's Island. It meant taking the H.T. 12 and its 300' rode out toward clear water and setting it well. I then attached the spare Genoa block to the main halyard with anchor rode through it. Hoist the block and rode to within 6 inches of the top mast. Next, lead the bitter end of the rode down from the mast top to the Genoa block on the side toward which you will both heel the boat and drag it to deeper water. This is a test of the condition of the rig, but should not cause problems if kept within moderation (45-50 degrees).

A much simpler technique reported by Ted Kirchner of NETA involves jumping in the water and lifting the boat off. Don't laugh, it was demonstrated to Ted by a small 75 year old man.

The next time you find yourself aground, put in your swim ladder and jump in. Be careful the water is only four feet deep. Now position yourself so you can apply upward pressure against the hull while at the same time pushing the hull away from the shallow area. It will help to have someone at the tiller and engine controls to apply power when needed, but be sure to·stay clear of the propeller.

Dismasting. The Steet book is good on this subject; read it. He suggests being sure all lines are away from the prop before going to power. The only mast failures I know of in the NETA group come in hard racing, usually at the spreader level. As you add more "go fast" gear to the boat in the forms of stronger vangs and larger spinnakers, remember that the fittings holding the thing together are at least 12 years old unless you have made some good replacements. I had the headstay mast tang crack one day after 19 years of use. The genoa held things up until we could rig a jury stay with the spinnaker halyard. Vigilance, vigilance. Check the rig; recheck the rig. Our boats can be kept as strong as they ever were if we pay attention.

Rigging experts suggest that the usual wire cutters carried aboard just don't have it for cutting rigging away in emergency. Hacksaws takeforever; the expert writers say the best way to clear rigging is to undo the clevis pins and they go on to say that clevis pins should not be opened and wrapped around the pins; they should be opened about 7 or 10 degrees. They will not fall out - yet they can be pulled in emergency .

Lightning. If you are aboard, you obviously don't hold on to metal things. Going below is probably a good idea. Lightning results in very, very few cases of damage - but you can keep the odds low by grounding your standing rigging with large wiring running to one of the keel bolts. You can find one or two in the bilge - you can find the glassed-over end, drill into it and install a good bronze stud for the ground point. It has been suggested that you do not ground the system through the engine for fear of damaging bearings. Motor Boating & Sailing had an excellent article on protection in the April '78 issue. In an article in the June '79 National Fisherman, Robert Kocher points out that the National Fire Code recommends %6 or #4 wire. Kocher also points out the tendency of lightning to be attracted to other grounded points. The safest technique in a Triton might be a #4 wire from the stemplate bolts run down under the water tank and routed through to the keel bolt. This would keep things as far as possible from other possible grounds and the crew.

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CRUISING SEAMANSHIP. This is how I'11 refer to equipment and knowledge needed for long term sailing as opposed to the afternoon zip around the harbor.

Anchoring is as important at the end of the day as it was back in the "Acute Crises" section. Back there, you were anchoring in the face of an immediate, known hazard. At the end of a fine day of sailing, you are anchoring in the face of unknowns that may come in the night. Think about your location with respect to other boats that may arrive after dark, the depth of the water and the expected currents and wind shifts. I've read for years of great sailors like Joshua Slocum who would wake up the instant the wind shifted a quarter point. In my case, when I lie down it is simply all over until the next morning. In extremis, I would probably wake when I floated off the bunk! So if you sleep equally well, pay attention to anchoring. It is not a dark mystery; it is basic seamanship, so important that several of the books I list have discussions on the procedures.

"Standard" anchors for the Triton would be the Danforth 12-H or 13-S. The storm anchor should be the 20-H or 22-S. The CPR 15# and larger are also excellent hooks. Any anchor works better with at least ten feet of heavy chain attached. Chapman prefers a 25 pound lead weight at the rode end of the anchor to the more common sentinel. Danforths can "fly" over grassy bottoms; the "Yachtsman" or CQR is better in grass. In old harbors with cables and pipes on the bottom, a trip line will make it possible to recover an otherwise lost anchor.

Heaving to and Self Tacking. A Triton can tend itself, leaving you free to change headsails or reef. There are common ways in which this is done. You select the technique on the basis of what you want to do. In "heaving to," the boat will reach slowly, the beam will be to the wind and the main will be free for reefing or other handling. In "self tacking," the boat will point up and the headsails will be free for handling, the foredeck will be available for anchor work, etc.

In "heaving to," get the boat on a reach. Back the headsail, sheet it to windward instead of to leeward. Secure the tiller down to leeward. The main is let free. The headsail will drive the boat downwind, the tiller will push it upwind. The two forces should even out, leaving you free to do whatever you want with the main.  

In self-tacking, you take in the main all the way, let the tiller go free and let the headsail sheets go free. There will be awful flapping as the boat comes to the wind - falls off on one tack, drives up into the wind and falls off on the other tack. Get the headsail down as fast as possible. The boat will move about in a relatively small area. You can change headsails, haul an anchor or prepare to set it.

These techniques have been discussed as helps in boat handling. They are also useful in the event of an accident, occasions where the boat must tend itself while you administer essential first aid. Practice these techniques so that you will know how to do them and what to expect when the time canes that you need to have your boat tend herself.

Sails and Maintenance. Do you have snap hanks, slides, thread, needles and sail cloth? Spare battens? Glass ones won't break - but pockets can rip in a blow and let the battens fly away. Are your spreader ends well covered?

Lifelines and Stanchions. Stanchions must be bolted securely with sturdy backing blocks. The holes through the deck should be lined with epoxy or brass tubing. Neoprene washers will minimize the potential for leak. In "The Ocean Sailing Yacht" by Street, the author suggests that a sturdy 220-pounder should be able to place his feet on the rail, grasp the top of the stanchion and lean way out without bending the stanchion. 3/4 inch stock seems to be the minimum acceptable. The stanchion should bend before the base canes loose. The lifelines should be 7 x 19 plastic covered stainless.

Life Jackets and Lifelines. You are supposed to know about jackets; do you have personal lifelines - the ones that tie you to the boat? Do check your jackets for rot in the straps and dampness (leaks) into the fiotation material. When you throw out an old lifejacket, please be sure to make it unwearable. Kids have drowned in jackets they picked up in dumps. Cut off all the straps and cut the pouches open to dump out the flotation materials.

Compasss and Spares. Compasses get broken. They get stepped on, they get hit, they get dropped. With three days to go in pea soup fog, a spare is handy to have. I like a "hand bearing compass"; it is a good spare and it is useful in its own right.

Pumps: One respected writer objects to the popular automatic bilge pump In that it is too quiet, that you don't know when it has run, that you may not become aware of a serious leak in the boat, the answer is to wire an "engine hour meter" into the bilge pump circuit. That way you enjoy the simplicity of the automatic action and still know what happened and how much. Note the hours in your log just as you note the engine hours. The classical approach to more serious leaks is a scared man with a bucket. I prefer a Henderson, Gusher or Whale type pump, cockpit mounted so that a lone sailor can cope.

Radar Reflector. Just the mention should be enough. Read the books and buy one, it will last forever. Hang it so that it will neither bang the mast or cause chafe.  

Light. We have found that a quartz-iodine spotlight running off ship's batteries and a pair of binoculars make a perfect combination for finding buoys at night; that bit of reflective tape pops right out at you. Remember, the binoculars are "light amplifiers" - you can see detail with them that you simply lose with the naked eye. Invaluable for seeing unlit breakwaters, shorelines and cans. Does the navigator have a good working light that won't blind the helmsman? Remember that you lose some colored chart detail under red light if that's your choice. Candles are good emergency lights and offer the romantic aspect of kerosene lamps without the hazard of glass chimneys.

Heat. Good, dry heat is a must in damp, cold cruising. You can take a real beating during the day if you have a warm, dry cabin to retire to! The alcohol stove gives off water as a by-product of burning - you need something better. A proper heating system calls for external exhausting of the combustion by-products of the stove. Owners have reported success with "Tiny Tot," "Ratelco" and "1Y9 Hibachi" heaters. They are usually installed permanently in either the hanging locker or at the forward end of the main cabin starboard berth. There have been articles in "The Trumpet" about these installations and manufacturers are helpful.

Portable heaters can be used with great care in handling the fuel and the ventilation. My choice is "Coleman Catalytic Heater" because it is small, odor free and reliable. It runs on white gas which can be used in the engine in emergency. You light a Coleman off in the dinghy as a pillar of flame is produced when it starts up. This soon dies down and there is no visible flame at all nor any smell until the moment it runs out. A gallon will run the medium sized one more than all night long! The thing really works. When it is out, put it in the hanging locker. It is about 14" in diameter and the same in height. Stable, I frequently run it under way if I've had a chance to start it up in late afternoon. A warm, dry bunk is a happy bunk!

Bunks. If you sleep on your side with your knees drawn up and the boards at the edge of the bunk cut into your legs, cut the bunk boards down. Mine are at original height for six inches or so from each end - then they drop down to a height of about 3/4 inch above the actual bunk board surface - enough to keep the cushion in place. Sleeping bags seem the way to go for bedding. If you sleep better with a favorite pillow, bring it - in a plastic bag. Use large garbage bags for the sleeping gear during the day in case you ship a wave in the forward hatch.

Peace and Quiet and The Mast. Noises from the mast can ruin a night's sleep. If nothing is hitting the mast from inside or outside, there will be no noise. Tie off all halyards at the rail, to the lifelines and the pulpit. Spinnaker halyards are taken forward, flag halyards are tied at the lifelines. Take up on the boom downhaul if it can possibly rattle or vibrate in the night. Noises from inside the mast must be cured before stepping the mast.

We have made a quiet mast by filling it with the little bits of styrofoam used for packing delicate items. We rigged a vacuum cleaner so as to suck at one end of the mast while we introduced the plastic bits at the other end until it appeared full. Then we switched ends and found we could get another several cubic feet of plastic bits into the mast. Now we have a quiet mast and one inside which various wires are not moving and chafing and wearing.  

Ice Box. Food will be better if it keeps colder longer. Consider aluminum foil down the engine side of the ice box; it will reflect heat away from the box. If you can add insulation, do so. I pulled out my box and was able to add a good 3" of styrofoam all around.

It made a tremendous difference. Be sure to put some ice in the locker the day before you start a trip, you seem to lose the most ice when it is being used to draw the temperature down from ambient to operating temperature. Editors of the TRUMPET will be interested in reporting experiences you may have with the electrical coolers coming on the market.

Clothes. Have spare everything! Any of it can get soaked. Warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes. Four weather gear that works, not the $2.98 plastic stuff. Boots, sweaters, gloves, hats, sunglasses and spares. Extra shoes, more socks. Plus a towel, toothbrush and paste.

Radio Communication. VHF - FM puts you in touch with the Coast Guard, the weatherman, the telephone company and many other boats. Cheap insurance. In remote areas, many fishermen use CB radio, having sets in their homes as well as aboard. If your antenna(s) are at the top of the mast, consider buying a small, spare antenna to use in case of dis- masting. These are gadgets similar to metal tape measures. They screw into the antenna fitting on the back of the set, you pull up the "tape" which is designed to work as an antenna - and you are on the air. I have a little $20 gadget called a "Field Strength Meter" which gives an indication by meter of the transmitter's operation. No sense bellowing your head off if you really aren't putting anything into the air! And serious folks look into EPIRBs - Emergency Position Indicator Rescue Beacons. Self powered, you turn them on when the boat has sunk and you are floating around in the dinghy. Passing. airplanes are legally required to monitor the EPIRB frequencies. These are not two- way radios, you can't talk with anyone - but your chances of being found are improved. Do not bury your EPIRB in a locker, take it with you when you abandon ship.

Climbing the Mast Paul Merry (NETA) I get to the top of my mast with the aid of a three part tackle made up easily of gear aboard my Triton, two-genoa snatch blocks and 150 feet of anchor line. One block is secured to your bosn's chair; call it the "bottom block." The "upper block" will be taken to the masthead via the main halyard. The bitter end of the anchor line will also go aloft via the main halyard. The balance of the anchor line reeves through the "bottom block," up and through the "top block" and down to your hands. The resulting "block and tackle" gives me a three part purchase with which to heave my not inconsiderable frame up the spar. The friction of line against line as well as the inertia of the line itself gives me an added feeling of safety from the "brake" they provide if my hands slip. It is also possible for me to tie off at various points to rest, enjoy the view, gather my courage, etc. Going up the spar was a challenge but this system made it easier. I'm not sure I could have done it otherwise, being alone. The system might actually help where the crew is available to man the halyard winch. It would put much less strain on both the nerves of the winch grinder and the gear itself!  

Self-Steering Aids Self-steering methods increase the safety and enjoyment of cruising because they enable the helmsman to keep a better lookout, navigate more continually, and get more rest. However, one should guard against impatience or charging about the decks when things do not balance. This is not only dangerous if nobody else is on deck (since the boat won't come back) -- it is also needless. Always re- member that the boat can stand an accidental gibe, catching aback, and a lot of other crises, and come to equilibrium by herself, even if no human being were aboard. In setting up these self-steering aids, be slow, easy, and philosophical, and trust the boat -- not the wind or yourself. The Triton can stand far more than a human being can.

In a good breeze, your Triton can be tuned and trimmed to self-steer magnificently. This is because of the inherent balance of her Alberg hull design as well as the skipper's capability to trim sails to create a balanced state.

When beating upwind, over-trim the jib and under-trim the main, so there's a slight backwind or luff, until the helm has no more than 5 degrees weather helm -- preferably a little less. For best results, set the vang hard; the stronger the breeze, the harder, as it makes the mainsail almost a weather-vane instead of a bag.

When reaching, trim the jib normally, but let the main out excessively. Until the helm is in virtual zero degree balance. Do not concern your- self over the deep back-winding and luffing of the main in this balance.

When running downwind, no yacht self-steers without special gear. However, Tritons will run quite true for good distances if you wing out two jibs on two poles and set no mainsail. Leave one jib hanked and led as usual on one side, except that the pole-end's eye guys out the sheet. The other jib is set flying, with tack shackled to the stemhead fitting, the head on the spinnaker halyard, and the clew guyed out. Set up this way, should an emergency maneuver be needed, the free jib can be quickly doused and the boat controlled with the remaining jib rigged normally.

For both motoring and cruising to windward in reasonably steady conditions, there's no sense being a slave to the tiller. A handy, safe, and cheap system solves this. Buy six feet of the stiff 5/16" shock cord. Saw two little blocks of oak about 3 1/2" x 1 li2" x 3/4". Bore a 5/16" hole in each side of the cockpit well up high opposite the tiller neck. Drill two more 5/16" holes in each wood block. Put a knot in one end of cord after inserting it through hole in cockpit; lead other end thru a hole in one of the wood blocks, around tiller neck and thru other hole in block, and knot end, after adjusting for light tension with tiller centered. Same rig on other side. Voila. Easy to adjust and safe, because you can overpower it to avoid a wild stinkpot or to make a temporary course correction without upsetting the balance you've established.

A Triton should balance with no more than 4-50 of helm. The vang and traveler assist in attainment of this ideal. If you can't get the stiff type shock cord, you'll have to go to the more stretchy type in 3/8", or the above rig may not be stiff enough to self-steer in rough conditions.  

On a reach or run no type boat will self-steer with a lashed helm for more than 10 to 60 seconds. However, even here, the rig can enable you to run forward or below for some needed item. It will also relieve the strain of steering. You are "monitoring" the helm instead of being chained to it.

Improvement on Model just described:

The updated model consists of extending the standing ends around cheek- blocks mounted under the cockpit seat (as shown on the right hand side of the sketch) and forward into the cabin to cam cleats mounted upside down under the bridge deck either side of the companion way. (Plate 5)

This set-up permits adjustment of tiller tension from the cockpit with the wood slides or from below or sitting in the companionway using the cam cleats. Do not use rope on the tiller loops themselves, for with shock cord you can (1) over power to steer clear in an emergency, (2) use the shock cords "memory" by correcting for a lull without altering trim and release again to take up the original setting, (3) use the give in the lines to help trim in a seaway.

Lee Moore's SOBRAON traveled many, many miles on self-steering lines. "The new addition really works and it is great, in wet or cold weather, or while cooking, navigating, or resting, to be able to tweak the trim from below once in awhile.

 

 

 

 

OFF-SHORE NAVIGATION K. L. Bosworth, navigator on Kailoa.

To sail a Triton and not get off-shore with it would deprive you of some of the best pleasure sailing has to offer. Certainly the boat can handle this sort of work, and you can too. By "off-shore," I mean out of sight of land and visual aids for two or three days. You don't have to know exactly where you are all that time; you must, however, get into a position to react appropriately to a landfall. That's the problem. I offer here some thoughts on planning, navigation procedures, safety, and landfalls to deal with that problem.

The fact that you will have to rely on yourself absolutely for longer periods than in coast-wise sailing merely intensifies the need for   careful planning. The necessity for thoughtful selection of charts and publications, checking of equipment and stores, and careful crew selection applies here as well as anywhere else. But for off-shore cruising, you must select an appropriate landfall, one with a radio beacon, a light, a horn, and a secure harbor close by. Plan to arrive in a dense fog with a following sea on a lee shore. Don't plan to arrive at night. Choose your departure time so that you will have daylight for your landfall even if you arrive hours early or hours late. Plan on alternative destinations from all points along your route. Plot your course from a departure fix to your planned landfall; put it right on the chart and mark a dead reckoning position for each hour along the line. This will tell you exactly where you are at all times while off-shore. You won't really be there, but who's to dispute your word out there?

The problem of off-shore navigation does not involve moving along that line you plotted at your planned rate, but you should take sane steps to determine what track you are making good; DR, Loran, Celestial and Radio Direction Finding all serve. Only one of these depends neither on the weather nor on electronic gadgets. Use all you have available but count on DR. If you plot celestial fixes like Magellan and have the newest and best Loran along with a reliable DR unit on board, count on DR. If it bothers you that a simple calculation of course and speed that a third grader could do well is more reliable than sophisticated astronomical or electronic miracles, count on DR. Diligently plot course and speed variations from your pre-sail plan, crank in your estimates of currents, and cautiously up-grade your position with fixes you feel sure you can rely on. But count on DR; it will get you close enough to make a landfall.

Even DR requires some equipment. Nothing should have a higher priority than your compass. You must have absolute faith in its accuracy. It should be BIG, securely mounted where the helmsman can easily see it, and it must be lighted. If you have a bright star to steer by with only occasional checks with the compass, you have it about as good as it gets; but plan on seeing nothing but the compass for two or three days and nights. I rate the fathometer next. You won't need to use it much, but it makes the difference between a confident and a hairy landfall in the fog. A close third comes the chart table. You need a dry, comfortable, well lighted, flat place to handle a large expense of chart, say one half of a 1200 series chart. Unless you have gotten very, very good at estimating your speed through the water, you need some type of log.

Beyond the equipment required for DR, I recommend a manual radio direct- ion finder. Sometimes speed lines from stations abeam may prove com- forting, but homing on a strong station - frequent course lines as you approach your landfall - is the only way to go. Not knowing when I'm going to arrive does not bother me so long as I am sure that I am going to arrive.

Off-shore cruising is safe, far safer than dodging rocks and power boats along a coast. But again you will be totally on your own for long periods. Tying yourself to the boat when you are on deck alone is not debatable; it is essential. If you untie to go forward to handle the jib, you miss the point. You should upgrade your first-aid equipment and skill for off-shore work, but the most critical health consideration should be crew rest and meals. Some dangerous things can happen at sea, but I think they all involve some degree of bad judgment.

And fatigue corrodes judgment. Regular rest and regular meals - whether you want them or not - will go a long way toward protecting your good judgment. Off-shore navigation shares some of the characteristics of falling out of an airplane. The critical part comes at the very end of the trip. Nothing's going to hurt you many miles from shore in many fathoms of water, and after you are in contact with the shoreline, you can rely on familiar inshore procedures. The moment of transition, the landfall, matters a lot. If you see a prominent headland from fifteen miles out, you're home free, but plan on fog. Home on the beacon until you hear the horn. With the fathometer going run toward the horn until you hear the surf or until the fathometer indicates your minimum depth. Turn parallel to the shore and periodically force contact by running obliquely in until the surf or the fathometer turns you back. You will eventually gather enough information from topography, landmarks, bottom contours, buoys, sounds from shore, etc., to fix your position and proceed to your anchorage.

Rowing ashore from a Triton anchored in Monhegan Harbor is always good. If you have come direct from Cape Ann or Cape God, if the surf is smashing on the rocks outside, and if the fog is settling down over Manana, then you can't ask for much more out of cruising.

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EMERGENCY BILL FOR NEW CREW

The conscientious skipper of a Triton owes himself the security and any new crew the courtesy of a well conceived emergency bill for use without the assistance of the skipper. The emergency bill suggested here might be handed to any new crew members soon after they come aboard. It would provide some valuable information if something unfortunate did happen, and it would suggest an attitude toward sailing that underlies the practice of all good seamen but which is often casually disguised for the neophyte.

If this bill does not fit your boat or situation, you could rewrite it to suit. If you adopt this one, you ought to fill in the radio information, if appropriate. Ouestions generated by your new crew after examining this bill while getting under way ought to lead to some valuable discussion.  

If you find yourself in charge of this boat in an emergency:

A. Take care of the boat.  

B. Take care of me

C. Call for help.  

A. To get the boat under control:

1. Let go the sheets and turn into the wind.

2. Get the sails down.

3. Start the engine.

4. Proceed in a safe direction or turn to pick me up.  

 

If I have fallen off my boat, you should:

1. Throw something toward me immediately - something visible that floats.

2. When you have the boat under power, turn back toward the objects in the water and search for me.

3. Periodically shut the engine off and listen for me.

4. if you can't find me, radio for help and stay close to the last place you saw me while you continue to search. Don't give up.

5. When you find me, approach slowly and get a line to me.

C. If I am aboard but can't help myself:

1. Give me the following medication: _________________________

2. Get me into a bunk and keep me warm.

3. Follow first aid procedures with which you are familiar using the first aid kit found _________________________________

4. Radio for help and proceed under power toward harbor.

5. Check on my condition continuously.

D. When you have the boat under control and have done what you can for me, call for help:

1. Turn the radio power switch on and turn the volume up.

2. Turn the frequency/channel selector to __________________

3. Hold the microphone close to your mouth, press the mike button, and say: EMERGENCY - EMERGENCY - EMERGENCY. this is the yacht _____________

I have an emergency, over. Release the mike button and listen.

4. Repeat procedure #3 three times or until a station answers. If no answer, attend to other duties while listening and repeat the call periodically.

5. When a station answers, press the mike button, explain your problem, and ask for assistance. Release the mike button and listen for further information.    

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