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Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278577
04/27/15 02:25 PM
04/27/15 02:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,118
Northfield Mn
Karl_Brogger Offline
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Northfield Mn
I don't ever want to be in that situation. Those kinds of winds, for that long would be some scary sh!t, and I'd consider myself lucky to survive it on a beachcat.


I'm boatless.
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Karl_Brogger] #278578
04/27/15 02:37 PM
04/27/15 02:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Jake  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
I don't ever want to be in that situation. Those kinds of winds, for that long would be some scary sh!t, and I'd consider myself lucky to survive it on a beachcat.


I agree. I think the boat is literally going to roll across the top of the water like a tumbleweed in that kind of wind until it starts to break apart...so while abandoning it is less than ideal, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near it when it's in that action.


Jake Kohl
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278579
04/27/15 03:07 PM
04/27/15 03:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,969
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brucat Offline
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I can't think of any situation where intentionally abandoning would be better than staying with the boat (except maybe when it's headed for a seawall or large rocks). Your survival odds are exponentially better with the boat than floating in the water.

The boat will give you a place to stay dry(er), and will help rescuers find you.

If the water isn't deep enough to turtle, let it snap the mast, then turtle. If the boat is inverted, and you sit on the windward side, it should stay inverted. Don't sit on the leeward side, or it will come up.

Shouldn't be a tumbleweed unless it's on its side, then all bets are off.

Mike

Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Jake] #278580
04/27/15 03:07 PM
04/27/15 03:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,118
Northfield Mn
Karl_Brogger Offline
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Posts: 4,118
Northfield Mn
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
I don't ever want to be in that situation. Those kinds of winds, for that long would be some scary sh!t, and I'd consider myself lucky to survive it on a beachcat.


I agree. I think the boat is literally going to roll across the top of the water like a tumbleweed in that kind of wind until it starts to break apart...so while abandoning it is less than ideal, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near it when it's in that action.



True. That's a recipe for getting tangled in something, getting the snot kicked out of you, then drowning.

So, bring some big butt wire cutters, and at the first sign of a storm, cut the rig lose and just float along on the platform? Tough to tell when that point has arrived too. Hindsight again.

btw Jake, If I sound snarky, I'm not trying to.


I'm boatless.
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Jake] #278582
04/27/15 03:13 PM
04/27/15 03:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Portland, Maine
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
I would think riding it out with the boat on it's side would be the best. The likelihood of keeping it upright is slim to none, but I've only ridden out wind like that for ten minutes on a smaller lake. So no big waves. The wind was reported to be 60mph, but I don't believe it was actually that high where I was either.

I do think that no matter how many times you run a scenario through your head, the reality will always be different. Location, severity of the weather, and who you are with, then throw whatever level of exhaustion you've got going on top of all that. Any level of preparedness certainly won't hurt though. What I'm getting at, is there isn't a set answer, just the hindsight of what should've been done differently.


While I have no direct evidence, I would be a little concerned that the boat might self-right if you leave it on it's side. Frankly, I was pretty concerned about it when we flipped in what was gusting to 36knots during a steeplechase several years ago. It only required a slight flinch to right it. Maybe if you can sit on the mast and hold it down? (that is, if you don't lose the boat in the process as it will be flying through the water even on its side)


I've had an N20 self-right in about 20knots, maybe 25knots of wind. (Where it proceeded to run right into the back of the tow vessel - yeah not my proudest moment)

Last edited by ThunderMuffin; 04/27/15 03:14 PM.
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278583
04/27/15 03:29 PM
04/27/15 03:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,121
Eastern NC, USA
T
tshan Offline
old hand
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T

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,121
Eastern NC, USA
Andy got to shore on his C2. Jib is "toast" and has a hole in the window of the main. They could not get the sails down in the wind. Somehow they kept the boat in place.

F18ht from Mississippi, I think:
[Linked Image]


Tom
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278584
04/27/15 07:39 PM
04/27/15 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
Hernando, Florida
M
Mlcreek Offline
member
Mlcreek  Offline
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M

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
Hernando, Florida
Two questions for possible solutions

1-pull the pin on a shroud and drop the mast

2-flip the boat on the side and the skipper stays with the hulls and crew ties off to the top of the mast preventing it from righting

Would either work?

Thanks

Last edited by Mlcreek; 04/27/15 07:46 PM.

Forrest
I-20
USA 645

" There ain't enough rum in the drum!"
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278586
04/27/15 08:16 PM
04/27/15 08:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,044
Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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Posts: 6,044
Sebring, Florida.
Pulling a shroud pin to drop the mast is probably the best/quickest/safest way to drop the stick but I would still want to flip the boat over, just to keep the tramp down low, as in under water, and then just sit between the hulls on the underside of the tramp, using the mast/sails underwater as a sea anchor.

I think the biggest 'problem' in this event was recognition. Nobody knew the winds would turn out to be 80mph. I've been out when 'a storm was coming' and you can usually see them coming from a ways off, you'll certainly hear it if there's lightning in it... but I'm usually thinking, is it going to be 20mph...or 30...or maybe 40? But 80?? I never would have thought it would have been blowing THAT hard!

I think that's probably why so many guys were caught up short of taking the sails down, etc, hindsight is always 20-20.


Blade F16
#777
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Timbo] #278587
04/27/15 08:23 PM
04/27/15 08:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Timbo
Pulling a shroud pin to drop the mast is probably the best/quickest/safest way to drop the stick but I would still want to flip the boat over, just to keep the tramp down low, as in under water, and then just sit between the hulls on the underside of the tramp, using the mast/sails underwater as a sea anchor.

I think the biggest 'problem' in this event was recognition. Nobody knew the winds would turn out to be 80mph. I've been out when 'a storm was coming' and you can usually see them coming from a ways off, you'll certainly hear it if there's lightning in it... but I'm usually thinking, is it going to be 20mph...or 30...or maybe 40? But 80?? I never would have thought it would have been blowing THAT hard!

I think that's probably why so many guys were caught up short of taking the sails down, etc, hindsight is always 20-20.


Indeed - a lot of racers might be inclined to approach that storm with a little more "yee-haw!". I remember a Tybee500 start with a fairly significant storm cell just offshore and to the North. It was cranking on the beach for the start. Mischa and others headed right for the storm cell offshore. I thought they were crazy. I finished about 4 hours behind them that day and re-evaluated my desire to stay away from those storms.

And, BTW, I would never recommend tying yourself to the boat.


Jake Kohl
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Timbo] #278588
04/27/15 09:31 PM
04/27/15 09:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Originally Posted by Timbo
Pulling a shroud pin to drop the mast is probably the best/quickest/safest way to drop the stick but I would still want to flip the boat over, just to keep the tramp down low, as in under water, and then just sit between the hulls on the underside of the tramp, using the mast/sails underwater as a sea anchor.

I think the biggest 'problem' in this event was recognition. Nobody knew the winds would turn out to be 80mph. I've been out when 'a storm was coming' and you can usually see them coming from a ways off, you'll certainly hear it if there's lightning in it... but I'm usually thinking, is it going to be 20mph...or 30...or maybe 40? But 80?? I never would have thought it would have been blowing THAT hard!

I think that's probably why so many guys were caught up short of taking the sails down, etc, hindsight is always 20-20.


So you're going to intentionally destroy your boat so the storm doesn't? Great idea. Apparently those proposing this have never been on a dismasted boat. The rig and sails will destroy a lot besides themselves in conditions way more benign than what they had last weekend. Like was said earlier by Karl the 2nd, you deal with it as it comes with the parameters at that time. The armchair quarterbacking here is almost as bad as SA.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278589
04/27/15 09:40 PM
04/27/15 09:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,044
Sebring, Florida.
Timbo Offline
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Posts: 6,044
Sebring, Florida.
Earlier today we had a 'fast mover' come through with very little lead time, and I had been watching the radar very closely as I put in a 25 mile bike ride and was thinking about going sailing too. Well, the wind died, and I could see some weather building up to the west of my house, moving east, so instead of going sailing, I went to the grocery store.

30 minutes later, I was coming out of the store, and I looked to the west, and it was getting dark (at 4pm), so I knew someone was coming, but the winds were still calm, no far off thunder.

I get home, stow the groceries, and take the 4 dogs out back to pee and feed them...

That's when I heard the first CRACK/BOOM of some far off lightning. Still, no rain, no wind, so I hook the dogs up and get their water and go back in the house to get their food... that's when I hear the next BIG CRASH/BANG of some close in lightning... so I run out back and bring the dogs in, just as the first rain drops are starting to fall.

I get them all in and about 2 minutes later, all hell breaks loose!

I live in FL, we see thunderstorms almost every day in the summer, but this thing was HUGE! NOT your average thunderstorm! I look out back and the trees are laid over, the lake is black, with 5' white caps, the rain is coming down in sheets, sideways. Then a few more BIG lightning strikes, and KABOOM! the power goes out. The wind was HOWLING, like Hurricane noise, and when I looked out front, I could see broken tree branches blowing down the road, in 5" of water.

Well...I was very glad I had chosen to go to the grocery store, instead of out sailing!

Didn't last too long, only about 10 minutes, then it cleared up, I was very glad my boat was tied down in the back yard! Because it was rocking and rolling, even tied down. On the evening news, they were saying the town just to the south of us (Lake Placid) was getting hail.

But this started as just a small bunch of rain, looked pretty lame on the radar, and then it blew up very fast, becoming a HUGE thunderstorm, in the span of 30 minutes, probably what happened to those guys in Alabama.


Blade F16
#777
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #278591
04/28/15 01:38 AM
04/28/15 01:38 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,380
Kingston SE South Australia
JeffS Offline
veteran
JeffS  Offline
veteran

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,380
Kingston SE South Australia
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Originally Posted by Timbo
Pulling a shroud pin to drop the mast is probably the best/quickest/safest way to drop the stick but I would still want to flip the boat over, just to keep the tramp down low, as in under water, and then just sit between the hulls on the underside of the tramp, using the mast/sails underwater as a sea anchor.

I think the biggest 'problem' in this event was recognition. Nobody knew the winds would turn out to be 80mph. I've been out when 'a storm was coming' and you can usually see them coming from a ways off, you'll certainly hear it if there's lightning in it... but I'm usually thinking, is it going to be 20mph...or 30...or maybe 40? But 80?? I never would have thought it would have been blowing THAT hard!

I think that's probably why so many guys were caught up short of taking the sails down, etc, hindsight is always 20-20.


So you're going to intentionally destroy your boat so the storm doesn't? Great idea. Apparently those proposing this have never been on a dismasted boat. The rig and sails will destroy a lot besides themselves in conditions way more benign than what they had last weekend. Like was said earlier by Karl the 2nd, you deal with it as it comes with the parameters at that time. The armchair quarterbacking here is almost as bad as SA.


If you are going to intentionally unpin a sidestay in big waves make sure you somehow unpin the windward side. We had a windward side stay break in breaking waves and the mast kept sliding across the boat to a certain point as each wave swept past then it would slide past the other way after the wave, so we had to keep jumping the mast. The rig worked as a great sea anchor once we got it off the boat still attached but we got in a lot of trouble once we fully jettisoned it.

We watched a Stingray with 28ft mast cartwheel sideways with the top of the mast touching the water and the hulls about 26ft in the air after a huge gust that smashed the fleet

Last edited by JeffS; 04/28/15 01:43 AM.

Jeff Southall
Current boats
Nacra 5.8 1703 Animal Scanning Services
Nacra 5.8 1667 Ram Raider
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Arrow 1576
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278593
04/28/15 03:49 AM
04/28/15 03:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 381
SE MI / NE IN
rehmbo Offline
enthusiast
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Posts: 381
SE MI / NE IN
Is it unreasonable to expect someone on the RC boat to monitor the weather radar and then radio the fleet when things start to get iffy?

I guess RC would need to be in range of cell phone towers or have weather radar on the boat, or have information relayed from onshore. Would also require the competitors have VHF radios on and monitoring.

Being sensitive to changing/deteriorating conditions is something we all have to take responsibility for. But I readily admit a storm front moving at 60-80mph would be tough to avoid if you're several miles from safety.


Jeff R

H18, C2 USA1193
cramsailing.com
crescentsail.com
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #278597
04/28/15 06:35 AM
04/28/15 06:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
Hernando, Florida
M
Mlcreek Offline
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M

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Hernando, Florida
It's a shame we can't all be as brilliant as you! You are truly a legend.


Forrest
I-20
USA 645

" There ain't enough rum in the drum!"
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278599
04/28/15 07:50 AM
04/28/15 07:50 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,658
Florida Suncoast, Dunedin Caus...
catman Offline
Pooh-Bah
catman  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,658
Florida Suncoast, Dunedin Caus...
Couple things I wouldn't do, leave the boat or drop the mast purposely.

I understand (a little) why cats sailing around buoys don't have jib furlers. For distance racing I don't understand it at all. There's knifes, radio's, GPS and on and on yet the most important thing to do (my opinion) first is reduce sail area. Is it because it weighs too much or is it too much drag? Silly.

People practice sailing drills so they can be faster but how many practice dropping the main on the water. I know my main won't release on starboard tack but does on port tack. That's good info to know. Do you know?



Have Fun
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: Jake] #278601
04/28/15 08:05 AM
04/28/15 08:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
T
ThunderMuffin Offline
Carpal Tunnel
ThunderMuffin  Offline
Carpal Tunnel
T

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Timbo
Pulling a shroud pin to drop the mast is probably the best/quickest/safest way to drop the stick but I would still want to flip the boat over, just to keep the tramp down low, as in under water, and then just sit between the hulls on the underside of the tramp, using the mast/sails underwater as a sea anchor.

I think the biggest 'problem' in this event was recognition. Nobody knew the winds would turn out to be 80mph. I've been out when 'a storm was coming' and you can usually see them coming from a ways off, you'll certainly hear it if there's lightning in it... but I'm usually thinking, is it going to be 20mph...or 30...or maybe 40? But 80?? I never would have thought it would have been blowing THAT hard!

I think that's probably why so many guys were caught up short of taking the sails down, etc, hindsight is always 20-20.


Indeed - a lot of racers might be inclined to approach that storm with a little more "yee-haw!". I remember a Tybee500 start with a fairly significant storm cell just offshore and to the North. It was cranking on the beach for the start. Mischa and others headed right for the storm cell offshore. I thought they were crazy. I finished about 4 hours behind them that day and re-evaluated my desire to stay away from those storms.

And, BTW, I would never recommend tying yourself to the boat.


(Turn your speakers down, wind noise)

Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278602
04/28/15 08:05 AM
04/28/15 08:05 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 127
Rock Hill,SC
KevinRejda Offline
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Posts: 127
Rock Hill,SC


Kevin Rejda
Rock Hill, SC

Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278604
04/28/15 08:41 AM
04/28/15 08:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 731
Home is where the harness is.....
Will_R Offline
old hand
Will_R  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 731
Home is where the harness is.....
So, I was in the race; a few details being left out that need to be considered.

- The DI race is an 18 mile long distance race; the more "durable" cats tend to race out on Saturday and back on Sunday. The rest of us sail back after finishing.

- The regatta host rotates between three area clubs with boats attending from all over the region; most of the cats launched from FYC, but a couple left from BYC as well. e.g. there was not a central point where all of the boats and sailors were guaranteed to be at one time.

- VHF radios were not a required item, but they did contact the skippers and request that we had one on the boat for purpose of over early notifications. Even if we had carried one, it would have been turned off and stowed; had it been turned on, I don't know that we would hear it assuming the RC did make some kind of announcement about weather.

- Due to a "hiccup" with race management, the start was postponed by an hour; looking at it now, that extra hour would have made a big difference...

- Historically entries have been as high as 175 boats; this year there were ~120 boats, of which 10 were beach cats. The cats included a N20c, highly modified T, C2 F18, Bim 18HT, H20, N17 with the balance being H16's; quite a broad range of speed there.

- We watched the forecast all week; my primary means are the NOAA marine site and wunderground. As of Saturday morning, the NOAA didn't even give a small craft advisory for Mobile Bay and simply stated, "chance of thunderstorms"; not, "HOLY SH*T, WATCH OUT!!"

We saw the line on the radar, but based on speed and distance expected that it would be there later in the evening.

- Brief synopsis of our day:
Great race conditions, somewhat windy, but nothing crazy (gusts to ~22) with a moderate chop. The boat performed better than expected and we crossed ahead of Kirk on the N20c by ~1/2 a mile with ~8 miles to go. We went for flat water and didn't tack to cover; he got a huge lift up the inside and beat us by ~5 minutes in a now light and dying breeze. We finished, turned around and put the kite up for the ride home.

Breeze came back a bit and we were clocking 15-16 downwind back to FYC; we heard thunder with about 8 miles to go and started looking at the radar. I keep my cell in a dry bag in my vest for just this reason. The storm still looked a ways off, but was closer than expected. As we went, we noticed that it had sped up since that morning and were making sure to get to the beach as quickly as possible.

We passed Kirk and hit the beach about 5 minutes before he did; pulled the boat up and started to drop cloth. He needed help getting his boat up the beach, so we went to assist before getting our own sails down. By this time lightning was CLOSE and we knew it was about to be on us.

Pulled the jib and rolled it, had the main on the deck and were starting to roll it up as well when all hell broke loose. The N20c started making it's way across the yard at the YC and was only saved by the trap wires snagging in a tree. Kirk helped us hold the boat down, but even without sails up, it took all three of us and it was still trying to get up and go. I was sitting on the stbd hull, looking up wind with one hand on the mast rotation and one on the unrolled mainsail.

As the only person with the vantage point to look up wind, I was calling flying boats and debris as stuff came our way to warn Brian and Kirk. I feel certain that we experienced 70+ mph winds and was surprised that we didn't have one of the big trees just windward of us come down. I've been outside and within 1/4 mile of a tornado and that is the closest thing that I can think of to what this was like, but instead of lasting for 60-90 seconds, the insane wind held for 5-6 minutes! We could see that out on the beach the sea state was BAD and that the wave had built to ~5'. Even with the T trying to fly away, we yelled back and forth regarding the whereabouts of the others....

Unfortunately after several minutes, I couldn't keep the mainsail down any longer with one hand, but couldn't even think about letting go of the mast. The deep chord on the Marstrom 20 mast makes it oscillate like mad in that much breeze; it would have destroyed itself and almost certainly flipped the boat had it not stayed under control. Even with it held straight into the wind, it took all three of us to hold the boat down.

The wind finally backed enough to go recover the now thrashed main (this was it's first race) and start removing debris from the boat and finish our tear down. We immediately started trying to contact the other cat sailors, but to no avail; within another 30-45 minutes though, they started to trickle in, driven by good Samaritans from where they had come ashore during the storm. The last of the "fast" boats to be accounted for was Andy and Rundell, they had sailed past the YC and had to feel their way along the shore to find the club again. Lucky for them, they hit the beach just a minute or two before the storm and were able to hold their boat down even with the sails up.

By now emergency vehicles and news crews were showing up at FYC, we decided to eat at the club and ended up talking to a couple of news crews and other sailors to start piecing together what had transpired out on the water.

Got up Sunday and went to pick up pieces of boats strewn up the coat line.

- Regarding best course of action if faced with those conditions:
Having been on the water, ~1 1/2 miles off shore when the storm hit on the last day of the Worrell in '02, I can tell you that flipping and/or turtle isn't a very fun situation. The boat was still doing 4-5 kts on it's side, which resulted in breaking the top 3-4 battens and damaging the main sail. Honestly though, you don't have a choice, there is no keeping them upright in those conditions. The boats that were destroyed were ridden "to the beach" capsized and then pile driven into rock and wood seawalls. They would have never been able to go full turtle and if they had, even more complications could have arisen; imagine now having mast, sails, rigging, loose in the water and having to negotiate that while trying to not get smashed into the shore by 6' waves filled with debris blown/washed off of nearby docks.

Best possible plan, get to shore and ride it out from there if possible.

I don't know the H16 guys, but almost all of the other cat sailors are long time friends and I consider us very lucky to have not had someone seriously injured or worse.

It's my opinion that for the most part, we, the beach cat group, were better prepared than most of the monohull guys. We're forced to deal with the elements and aren't provided with the shelter, comfort and assurance that most mono's bring. For those reasons, we tend to be more appropriately dressed for the conditions and are almost always wearing a life jacket.

The number one thing that I told the news people and we discussed as a group was that, we are our own arbiters of safety and our brain is the #1 piece of equipment we carry. Know your limits/abilities, maintain your equipment, plan within reason for the conditions and at some point, that's the best you can do short of taking up golf...

Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: KevinRejda] #278609
04/28/15 09:11 AM
04/28/15 09:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,906
Clermont, FL, USA
David Ingram Offline
Carpal Tunnel
David Ingram  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,906
Clermont, FL, USA


David Ingram
F18 USA 242
http://www.solarwind.solar

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
"Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent" - Two sista's I overheard in the hall
"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to be a complete idiot, but it helps"
Re: Mobile bay regatta [Re: dave mosley] #278610
04/28/15 09:12 AM
04/28/15 09:12 AM

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MN3
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MN3
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thanks for the write up Will, glad your ok

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