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Thread: Liferaft vs. Immersion Suit

  1. #21
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    Per the "who is going" thread, there are quite a few more than three skippers planning for LongPac. It's still early.
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-20-2015 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #22
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    Nov 2007
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    There are 80 individual equipment requirements on the 2015 Longpac MER list. Could there be a relationship between these two numbers?
    The requirements are not much different than they have always been. Are you familiar with the "slight" rule changes the LongPac has had over the years?

    VHF – not good enough. VHF with GPS locator – not good enough. VHF with GPS locator and individual MMSI number– OK we will let you in the club. How many SSS sailors have actually used this equipment in a rescue situation and have found it to have been indispensable (as compared to just using a standard VHF radio without all the bells and whistles)? Probably zero.
    In a rescue..... none that I can think of. Nor any rescues with any type of VHF radio (except for the DH farallones keel loss on the J/80 which used a standard VHF to call in their mayday).

    USCG standard three flare requirement – not good enough. Add SOLAS approved rocket flares – not good enough. Add SOLAS handheld flares – not good enough. Add SOLAS smoke flares – OK, we will let you in the club.
    Actually you need no flares to join the SSS but maybe we can make some more special rules for someone like you! Tell me this..... when were SOLAS flares added to the LongPac requirements? You certainly don't know what your talking about regarding flares. SOLAS flare requirement for the LongPac and SHTP have been around for decades, well at least 15+ years.

    I understand why solosailor needs more space in the liferaft – to provide room for all the unnecessary additional flares.
    Cute. Please tell me why SOLAS flares are unnecessary? Did you attend the Safety at Sea course and see the flare demo? Please explain why every offshore race around the world requires them?

    No one is stopping your from doing the LongPac course, anytime. In fact, it would still count as your Singlehanded Transpac qualifier. You can take nothing with you, just the 3 required hand held flares and PFD required, no radio, no raft, no nothing. Will anything bad happen to you? Not likely.

    Feature bloated safety equipment lists are a poor substitute for these qualities.
    They are not substitutes, they are aids for those that have developed "discretion and judgement".
    Last edited by solosailor; 05-20-2015 at 10:36 AM.

  3. #23
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Except for the handheld DSC-VHF radio requirements (I can never figure out how many you are supposed to have) the gear requirements are actually slightly less for SSS or NCORC than they were in the past. Compare with OYRA requirements from 4 or 5 years ago, or if you are a real masochist, PacCup requirements from a few cycles ago.

  4. #24
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    As to the LongPac, I'm 98% certain I will go, but no need to register and pay the fee so early.

    I do have my 4-man proper liferaft rental booked, and I'm 100% certain I will lose my deposit if I don't go.

  5. #25
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Oh, and just to do the LongPac I have equipped my boat with Class B AIS transmit/receive, so I will be slightly less likely to get hit by a freighter when I'm asleep.

    Any more bitching and we may make that mandatory for everyone.

  6. #26
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    Jan 2010
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    You don't have to do the LongPac to qualify for the SHTP. So you just sail the 400 miles alone, insuring you get the specified distance off shore (100 mi, I think), and provide whatever proof is necessary to have it count as your qualifier. It's what a lot of us did before the LongPac was ever invented. Obviously, when we entered the SHTP, we had to comply with a lot of requirements not needed to qualify as stated. And, believe me, these SHTP requirements changed (increased) as the years went by....no, I'm not sure why!

  7. #27
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    Hi folks,
    I find this discussion very interesting. I thought I would provide my thoughts as someone who has participated in some of the decision making in the past.

    First off, from my experience, there is no one involved in decision making who wants to make these Minimum Equipment Requirements longer or more expensive. This is certainly not a 'nanny state' type of organization. Every discussion around the required safety equipment involves consideration of the number of items required, the costs involved, weight and size as pertains to smaller boats, efficacy of the equipment as pertains to the race (in the bay vs. near shore, vs. offshore), and overly redundant requirements.

    In addition, every pushback, comment or request for exception is taken seriously. These have always been discussed and considered and often times hotly debated. And every year the board gets plenty. From requests to allow dinghy racers to participate in the TBF, to folks wanting to race the HMB race with no lifelines, to pushback on the offshore MER.

    The board also recognizes that every sailor has their own risk thresholds. Some would attempt to race to Hawaii in an open 12 foot boat, while others wouldn't do it on anything less than 40 feet with every available safety system onboard. As single handed sailors we all understand that and no one wants to get in the way of someone else doing what they want to do. However as an entity running organized races there are also certain responsibilities that come with the territory.

    As an organization the board must step back and look at the bigger picture and include other factors into the decision making. What are those other factors? Some of them are: keeping the coast guard satisfied that we are running our races in a reasonably safe manner, making sure that insurance companies will continue to provide insurance to the organization, trying to stay fairly consistent with other race organizations so that racers who race in multiple series don't have to buy separate equipment for each one, making sure that a fairly novice racer who is relying on the SSS to provide an effective requirement list isn't underprepared, keeping races manageable for the race committee, and keeping the rules consistent for all racers.

    I could discuss each one of these at length but for sake of brevity I will just touch upon a few. NorCal ocean racing is under increased scrutiny from the Coast Guard following the well publicized deaths in recent years. Insurance for clubs that run races is becoming difficult to obtain; last year working with 2 separate insurance brokers we were only able to find insurance with 1 company. If deaths in offshore racing continue to happen it will become more difficult and expensive to purchase insurance and the MER will definitely grow. While individual racers may have their own level of risk they are willing to take, the SSS has to set the threshold to reasonably protect the club and its volunteer officers. A single death in a race could wreak havoc on the club and the officers who participate.

    Every sport has their minimum equipment. We as sailors have chosen to participate in an expensive sport and while the SSS does everything they can to keep costs down and participation and fun level high they can't just ignore the factors when making decisions.

    So keep the discussion and push backs happening. If there is a reasonable, cheaper way to do something we all want to know. The discussions are very valuable. Just remember the the SSS has a lot of things to take into consideration when making decisions.

    Tony B.
    Last edited by Now&Zen; 07-11-2015 at 01:39 PM.

  8. #28
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    Well-written Tony. I don't agree with some of it but you already knew that.

  9. #29
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Now&Zen View Post
    Hi folks,
    I find this discussion very interesting. I thought I would provide my thoughts as someone who has participated in some of the decision making in the past.

    First off, from my experience, there is no one involved in decision making who wants to make these Minimum Equipment Requirements longer or more expensive. This is certainly not a 'nanny state' type of organization. Every discussion around the required safety equipment involves consideration of the number of items required, the costs involved, weight and size as pertains to smaller boats, efficacy of the equipment as pertains to the race (in the bay vs. near shore, vs. offshore), and overly redundant requirements.

    In addition, every pushback, comment or request for exception is taken seriously. These have always been discussed and considered and often times hotly debated. And every year the board gets plenty. From requests to allow dinghy racers to participate in the TBF, to folks wanting to race the HMB race with no lifelines, to pushback on the offshore MER.

    The board also recognizes that every sailor has their own risk thresholds. Some would attempt to race to Hawaii in an open 12 foot boat, while others wouldn't do it on anything less than 40 feet with every available safety system onboard. As single handed sailors we all understand that and no one wants to get in the way of someone else doing what they want to do. However as an entity running organized races there are also certain responsibilities that come with the territory.

    As an organization the board must step back and look at the bigger picture and include other factors into the decision making. What are those other factors? Some of them are: keeping the coast guard satisfied that we are running our races in a reasonably safe manner, making sure that insurance companies will continue to provide insurance to the organization, trying to stay fairly consistent with other race organizations so that racers who race in multiple series don't have to buy separate equipment for each one, making sure that a fairly novice racer who is relying on the SSS to provide an effective requirement list isn't underprepared, keeping races manageable for the race committee, and keeping the rules consistent for all racers.

    I could discuss each one of these at length but for sake of brevity I will just touch upon a few. NorCal ocean racing is under increased scrutiny from the Coast Guard following the well publicized deaths in recent years. Insurance for clubs that run races is becoming difficult to obtain; last year working with 2 separate insurance brokers we were only able to find insurance with 1 company. If deaths in offshore racing continue to happen it will become more difficult and expensive to purchase insurance and the MER will definitely grow. While individual racers may have their own level of risk they are willing to take, the SSS has to set the threshold to reasonably protect the club and its volunteer officers. A single death in a race could wreak havoc on the club and the officers who participate.

    Every sport has their minimum equipment. We as sailors have chosen to participate in an expensive sport and while the SSS does everything they can to keep costs down and participation and fun level high they can't just ignore the factors when making decisions.

    So keep the discussion and push backs happening. If there is a reasonable, cheaper way to do something we all want to know. The discussions are very valuable. Just remember the the SSS has a lot of things to take into consideration when making decisions.

    Tony B.
    Thank you for taking the time to write that, Tony. You made an articulate and persuasive case.

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