Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Different depth measuring requirements for SH Farallons and LongPac

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV and Alameda, CA
    Posts
    111

    Default Different depth measuring requirements for SH Farallons and LongPac

    In reading the requirements for the SH Farallons Race, I note an electronic depth finder is required by the Northern California Offshore Racing Council Minimum Offshore Requirements version 1.06. "22. Fixed mount electronic depth sounder." No lead line option.

    In contrast, for the LongPac, either a depth sounder or lead line is required: "4.28 Depth sounder or lead line."

    I'm confused. Why are we using the minimum requirements of the NCORC for one race, and our own for another? Seems reasonable to expect one set of rules for minimum offshore equipment requirements, and I don't want to make a hasty choice of an electronic depth sounder, which I lack.

    To continue my angst, I believe the requirements should specify function, and not by reference brands. For example, from the NCORC: 25. Horseshoe with a whistle and a floating self igniting light. A Man Overboard Module meets this requirement. OK, but the goal here is to support a POB until help arrives. Why wouldn't a Dan Buoy fill this need?

    Fortunately my new Moore is almost totally prepared (thanks, Ruben), but we shouldn't underestimate the time and expense of preparing a boat for offshore as many others have noted. At the very least, my plea is that we be internally consistent with our racing requirements for similar races.

    Thanks, John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,757

    Default

    The two sets of requirements are aimed at two different kinds of races. NorCalORC's requirements are aimed at the day-long ocean races in the Gulf of the Farallones. They are also intended for fully-crewed boats, which form the majority of boats racing in OYRA for example. There was considerable debate about equipment that makes less sense for a single or double-handed boat. SSS was well-represented in those discussions, with both our current and our former Commodores sitting on the NorCalORC MOR committee.

    The rules for the LongPac, on the other hand, are intended to prepare boats and skippers for SSS's pinnacle event, the biennial Singlehanded TransPac. Since LongPac (or an equivalent sail) is the qualifier for the SH TransPac, we want skippers to have prepared their boats to race to Hawaii, except for the SSB (or satphone) and the emergency steering system. The qualifying aspect of the LongPac is not just to sail the miles, but to test in a real-world situation the equipment that will be necessary for the SH TransPac.

    To take your question about depth measurement as an example, the needs are different. The present focus on water depth as it affects steep/breaking wave formation is relevant for a race around the Farallones. This requires a depth sounder since a lead line is useless to measure depth while racing at speed approaching the Farallones. A lead line is entirely relevant, however, for anchoring in Hanalei Bay at the end of the SH TransPac, especially if you're arriving with flat batteries.

    Much has been said on this topic by many skippers both inside and outside the SSS. In the NorCalORC process, every item received thorough scrutiny. I personally am comfortable with the outcome, both for LongPac/SHTP and for the local GOF races.
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-02-2013 at 03:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV and Alameda, CA
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Bob: Yes I've read the endless pros and cons. While I have great respect for the experience of SSS members in general and you in particular, and have reviewed the US Sailing report and listened to Sally Lindsey Honey and Brian Chu discuss the very unfortunate Low Speed Chase (during the USS and ISAF Safety at Sea courses this year) I'd respectfully submit that the bottom topology around SE Farallon could make relying on a depth sounder (as opposed to position) a risky proposition at best. By the time you see the shoaling, you may also see the breaking wave. As others have noted, equipment is no replacement for seamanship and caution. It might be helpful to add a rationale to the sailing instructions, for questioning folks like me, or I suppose I can just follow the rules. I'll be using position but will be shopping for a depth sounder in the meantime. Maybe I can score one of those faux Raymarine displays and add cheap radar as well! John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,757

    Default

    I completely agree. That's why we are told to not rely on a single method of navigation.

    FWIW, a depth sounder was golden for the RtR Rocks race, especially if you went into Berkeley afterwards (and more so before). I can't imagine sailing around the Bay without one, even on a Moore.

    Alan or 'Zia can confirm an infamous quote from the mouth of this very skipper: "There are only two places to run aground in the Estuary and this isn't one of . . ." SMOOSH!
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-02-2013 at 04:48 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV and Alameda, CA
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Maybe that's why the big chunk came out of my keel! Maybe I can pry the transducer off the hull of my previous boat. I spent most of my hours on the water in the Bahamas where it's either thousands of feet deep or you have to tell the difference between 5 and 8' by eye. Not so used to this soupy stuff. John

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •