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Thread: SSS and NCORC

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Arnold, CA


    As a fairly new member of SSS I don't have the perspective of having less stringent rules in the past. When I became interested in SSS events and joined, I started looking to prep my boat with the required safety equipment. Yes, the list is long and expensive but I have been picking away at it.

    I am also starting with a new to me boat this year, Nightmare. Many items transferred from the old boat, PFDs and handheld VHF, and many things needed to be addressed and upgraded masthead antenna, securing items, lifelines, secure hatch.

    I accept these things need to be done if I am going to race outside the Gate. Period.

    I want to be as safe as I can, my wife likes that, and be able to render assistance if needed, which is what the MERs are about. Realizing some items are geared towards a crewed boat, they can still be useful if you witness or are near a MOB situation.
    If I fall overboard and forget to push the MOB button on the GPS and grab the DanBouy on the way over, I hope you have yours handy!

    Relaxing the rules for one race, for a few people, is a not a good idea. I think it will only invite further contention in other situations / races. Just look at what happened with the "one design" issue.

    Predicting HMB race to be easy with mild conditions is not a good idea.
    We should never assume to "know" the weather / sea state. This could be the year a freak storm rolls in for HMB.

    Suck it up. Prep your boat. Be safe.
    All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it is vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

    T.E. Lawrence

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    [I]This is a re-post of a comment on the LongPac thread. If requirements are being reconsidered it seemed like this might be added to the list. I have asked for a final decision on whether the smaller rafts will be meet the criteria (according to the posted life raft requirements they will not).
    The raft I have was made by Switlic for the military. The website for information on the raft is:

    The raft has a complete canopy, it self inflates (not not the canopy however), and comes with the usual extras (sea anchor etc.) Some of the required items would need to be carried in the ditch bag (flares, food and water, etc.), but to honest, I kept the reft IN my ditch bag as it was small and light enough. If I need to use it I plan to float the ditch bag attached to the raft in lighter weather, and put in the raft in the heavier stuff. It is a sealed unit and only needs to be repacked every 5 years at a cost of about $90.00. I bought the one-man it after being assured that it would need the life raft requirement for the Transpac, only to have that opinion reversed a few days prior to the start. I ended up taking my large raft that weights close to 100 lbs and costs $400+ each to repack. I am waiting to hear from the race committee as to whether the small raft will be acceptable for the LongPac as I can not afford to repack the large one each year.

    When I view the life raft question I try to define the use it would be required to serve. We carry extensive communication/location equipment and sail in routes that are not all that remote. I thought the odd were overwhelming that a rescue would be affected within two days of the abandonment of the primary vessel in the sailing we do. The small raft I feel can do that task effectively, inexpensively, and more efficiently (I sail a 25' boat with very limited space). I would like to see it as an accepted option to the larger heavier, more cumbersome, and much more costly larger rafts.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I used one of those "way back when" after another competitor in '86 used one. As a result, the powers that be changed the rules to specify that the CANOPY had to be self-erecting. That's how it's been ever since. End of discussion.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Alameda CA


    I sincerely hope so [the "end of discussion"].
    Somehow I doubt it, so I went back and re-read the one year old thread from SHTP 2014 re the Switlik. Following is a cut and paste from Brian Boschma's post referencing Greg Nelsen's conversation with Switlik:

    Brian's Post from 3.27.14:
    Greg Nelsen has followed up with Switlik regarding the use of this raft. In addition to his analysis, the raft is not ISAF compliant. It certainly is a light weight design. Below is his report:

    -------------------- From Greg ---------------------------------------------------

    Did some research on the ISPLR and didn't find all the answers I wanted so I contact Brian Kender @ Switlik, the Marine Products manager. He answered a few questions I had and stressed that they only recommend this raft for aviation use. As much as I wanted to have to product fit the needs of the racers I wouldn't recommend it for several reasons:

    Most of the stability comes from your body sitting below the water line.
    Sitting below the waterline will ensure your body heat is transferred rapidly to the surrounding water = hypothermia much quicker.
    No space for a decent size ditch bag and/or supplies = no possible extended stay in the raft if a EPIRB signal doesn't go out due to a malfunction, etc.
    No room to move around if an extended stay happens.
    The big red flag was that it's a single tube. No 2nd tube like an offshore raft, no inner safety tube (even their basic single tube coastal raft has an inner backup tube).

    OK - so the Switlik is not, and has never been (or even implied to be), ISAF or rule compliant.
    It seems to me that there is some sound reasoning here why it should not be.
    Yes, we travel some relatively populated waters with a lot of fancy communication gear that mostly works most of the time.
    That said, we are not military pilots who can bob around pretty well assured that a full-on SAR team is already in the air to their last known coordinates about the time they hit the water.


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