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Thread: NCORC posts draft Minimum Equipment Requirements

  1. #1

    NCORC posts draft Minimum Equipment Requirements

    After a few months of preparation and procrastination the Northern California Offshore Racing Council Safety Committee has come up with a draft of the Minimum Equipment Requirements to be used starting with the 2013 season.

    It is our hope that these MER are adopted by all organizing authorities that conduct ocean races within the Gulf of the Farallones. We think it is a pretty basic list.

    The current members of the NCORC Safety Committee are:

    Michael Andrews, Vice Commodore of Encinal YC, ran the Coastal Cup in 2012
    Jim Antrim, Naval Architect, Pacific Cup YC
    Max Crittenden, newly former Commodore of SSS
    Chuck Hawley, US Sailing (and West Marine)
    Andy Newell, OYRA President (and committee cat herder)
    Jim Quanci, New SSS Commodore, OYRA board member

    We think this is a good list, but we decided to publish this draft prior to calling it final because although we all sail here, you do too. We want your input and constructive criticism. Please use this forum to begin that discussion.

    The second file on the page is a draft of our inspection policy. Yes, there will be inspections.

    Thanks,
    Andy

    http://norcalorc.org/safety-draft

  2. #2
    1. Boat
    2. Sandwiches
    3. Beer

    0. Overreaction

  3. #3
    1. Virtually any boat can ask for a waiver of the lifeline requirements based upon the language herein. I know you were making allowances for CoW, and that's fine, but you might want to tighten up the language. I could strip my Baltic and still qualify by requiring my crew to hang out in the cockpit except during sail changes (and they'd be happy to do so).
    2. Pre-inspections should NOT automatically exempt skippers and boats from post race inspections, certainly NOT for two years. Pre-inspections should be a courtesy extended to the ocean racing fleet by more experienced "mentors" to pass along best practices. I also think that I'd require pre-inspections for boats that haven't raced on the ocean within the previous two years.
    3. IMHO each boat should have a documented tether policy posted on board. My crew understood EXACTLY what was expected on the Pac Cup...they couldn't get on deck without reading it.
    4. If using a MOM, it should be within the inspection period (IOW, annually).
    5. Not all of our ocean races are as condensed as the Farallones or Duxship. I wouldn't trade an EPIRB for a DSC enabled VHF radio. It's not trivial connecting a GPS to your VHF...90% of boats that have the capability don't have it hooked up because of the cabling (including mine).
    6. Not all safety harnesses are created equal. Your requirement doesn't specify that the tether SHALL be equipped with the strain relief stitching. Is that an intentional omission?
    7. You require the crew to be aware of alternate methods of steering the boat in case of steering system failure, but you don't require a back up steering system. Is this intentional?
    8. I'd recommend that a strobe be attached to the lifesling so you can see where it is at night.
    9. Other than the PFD and tether requirements, this MEL ignores the personal safety equipment (flashlights/strobes, knife, whistle, etc.)
    10. Finally, I think I could enter a Wabbitt if these are the MEL specs. All you specify is adequately ballasted...no minimums as exist presently. There are no cabin requirements...at all...an Etchells with a 5 hp outboard and jacklines would qualify. Is that intentional?

    I realize that the NCORC is attempting to herd cats, and to be as inclusive as possible. I'm not for writing rules that will leave people on the beach unnecessarily, but I think you should perhaps narrow things a bit so that we're not putting people and boats at sea that have no business being out there...like Daisy. BTW, if you're accepting names for the inspector list, feel free to put mine on the list.

  4. #4
    J/92 Ragtime!
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    Are you sure that's the latest draft? If so, some e-mails from other members of your committee were ignored.

  5. #5
    Thanks Nick,

    You made a lot of good points and asked some questions. Let me try and fill in some blanks. I'll follow your numbers and just put answers...

    1. No, it was not just CO'W but others with some version of non-ISAF lifelines, thus no length requirement. The debate has raged and will continue. We only let the lifelines be waived if all crew are tethered at all times while on deck and don't hike out (legs over). The goal is to keep people on the boat. We probably spent as much time on this as the rest of the list combined.
    2. We already rely on ocean race committees for a lot. We don't see a way to get an army of volunteer inspectors to hang out at the finish line so we are going to rely on the RC. We want to reduce the number of inspections needed. The RC can always inspect any boat they want if they suspect it being out of compliance or frankly if they just feel like it. We want to give racers the option of being proactive and avoiding a late, time consuming spot inspection by doing a full inspection prior to the race.
    3. I agree, but beyond the scope of our MER.
    4. Absolutely, see section B about "properly maintained". We did not see a need to repeat it.
    5. This list is intended for the Gulf of the Farallones only, minimal night sailing. Rescue 21 covers all of the GOF and DSC aids in fleet rescue. EPIRB only alerts the CG who might then issue a Pan Pan, but DSC is quicker. We are awaiting guidance from the CG on this one. If you have both, all the better, but not our intent to require it.
    6. Yes, an ISAF tether is a good idea, but not required. Next time you buy one you should upgrade.
    7. Yes, this is intended for near-shore races where the likelihood of assistance is good. Not going to Hawaii.
    8. Good recommendation. We are working on a separate list of recommendations and wanted to leave them out of the requirements.
    9. We are trying to keep it simple. These are also good recommendations.
    10. It is not our intent to attract boats that are clearly not meant to be on the ocean. The OA still has the right to refuse any entry.

    Please understand that this is a compromise between the SSS which had a good, yet lesser list, BAMA and IYC that had even less than that and OYRA and other OA's that used OYRA's list which was mostly OSR based. We started with the SSS list and compared it item by item with the OSR's. If the group thought it significantly added to safety it was added to the list.

    In any true compromise nobody gets everything they want. I think that is the case here.

  6. #6
    Please let me know what you are referring to here or in a PM. This is the latest draft and was approved by all members of the committee and given to the entire NCORC for review before being posted here.

    It is possible that what you refer to is still in the pipeline. We decided to release a draft rather than a truly finished product since we thought there might be further changes based on all the good input we hope to get from the sailing community.

  7. #7
    J/92 Ragtime!
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    "We started with the SSS list and compared it item by item with the OSR's. If the group thought it significantly added to safety it was added to the list."

    I'll step back first and add that I'm very happy with this approach, and most grateful for the effort and "listening ears." I guess I'm still in analysis mode . . .
    _____________________________________________

    A couple of clues are the anchor rode length and the OSR references, which lead a reader to believe those OSR sections might still be required. Also, it sounded to me from the e-mails that some of the ineffective quagmire on the stern pulpit was going to be eliminated.

    Did you understand my point about the 18" wide lifeline gap, how easy it is to fall through, yet how easy it is to rectify it?

  8. #8
    Regarding safety harnesses, “31. Safety harness and tether with quick release device at user’s end, for each crewmember.
    (5.02.1)“ I would propose that PFDs with built in D-rings be allowed as well (like these: http://www.mustangsurvival.com/recre...ion=recreation).
    Or maybe the definition of "safety harness" is broad enough to allow these as is?

    ACA

  9. #9
    COO of Unauthorized Sailing Divisions! war dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caca Cabeza View Post
    1. Boat
    2. Sandwiches
    3. Beer

    0. Overreaction

    That was good enough for us on the boats we raced on for years brother, and we thought nothing about having a drinking contest before a South Tower,Farrlones or a race to Mexico and it was fun......times have changed!!

  10. #10
    Would expect the quick release is meant to be able to jettison oneself from your tether under load, the D-rings really don't play into the equation. THink being towed by the boat while clipped in.

    spinlock sells a hook knife to satisfy the rule with their hitched on tethers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACA View Post
    Regarding safety harnesses, “31. Safety harness and tether with quick release device at user’s end, for each crewmember.
    (5.02.1)“ I would propose that PFDs with built in D-rings be allowed as well (like these: http://www.mustangsurvival.com/recre...ion=recreation).
    Or maybe the definition of "safety harness" is broad enough to allow these as is?

    ACA

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