Ontario Sailing Annual General Meeting
Ontario Sailing Annual General Meeting
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Direct Energy Centre, Salon 101 - Toronto
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will begin at 10:00 am and will cover business of the Association including:
The President and Executive Director's Report
The Treasurer's Report
The Nomination Committee's Report and Nomination Slate
Voting of New Members of the Board of Directors
Ontario Sailing Awards and Ontario Sailing Grand Prix Awards will also be presented during the AGM.
If you plan on attending the AGM please RSVP to Shauna Cartlidge at 1-888-672-7245 ext. 221 or email@example.com. Please indicate if you will also be the voting representative for your organization.
If a representative from your organization cannot attend to vote on your behalf you may assign your vote to someone else via proxy. Download the proxy below and return to the Ontario Sailing office by Thursday, January 19, 2012.
In addition, at the end of the AGM, Allen Doppelt will be speaking. Mr. Doppelt is the legal counsel who drafted the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act and will be giving our members information on the new Act that will be coming into force.
Nominate Today for the Ontario Sailing Annual Awards
Ontario Sailing is now accepting nominations for the Ontario Sailing Annual Awards.
Did your club run an exceptional regatta this year? (Nominate for Regatta of the Year)
Did you have a fabulous coach/instructor? (Nominate for Angus (Bud) Roulstone Leadership Award)
These are just 2 of the award categories of the Ontario Sailing Annual Awards. If you have someone you'd like to nominate for one of these Awards now is the time to submit the nomination.
The deadline for nominations is Wed, Dec. 14, 2011.
Click below for a list of awards criteria and the nomination form. Awards will be presented to recipients at the Ontario Sailing AGM, Sunday January 22, 2012.
Get yours in today! How many awards will your club go home with?
Make Plans Now - Ontario Sailing 'Mad Men' Gala
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - The Boulevard Club
6pm until the dancing stops!
Be sure to make plans now to attend THE party of the year, Ontario Sailing's Annual Celebration of Sailing Gala! All proceeds go towards the development of sailing in Ontario. It's a great way to kick off the 2012 sailing season and support a good cause all at the same time!
Tickets - $150/person or $85/athlete
Ontario Sailing is pleased to once again have Tectona Inc. as a Star Sponsor for the Gala. Relatively speaking, Tectona is a senior citizen in the youthful world of electronics. Other technology companies emerge virtually overnight, claiming global status. Tectona was established in 1985 ans has worked diligently since then to achieve true global respect as provider of electronic manufacturing and design services. Tectona is a highly versatile electronics industry supplier. They can provide everything from basic cables to finished electronic appliances, all accompanied by a range of convenient services, backed by customer service that is second to none. Tectona Inc. has been a long time supporter of Ontario Sailing and we are happy to be working with them again!
Returning this Year:
*Exotic Wine Tasting - donated by Pierre Gagnon
*Live & Silent Auctions, Fabulous Food & Dancing the Night Away!
Live Auction Preview
Michael & Sheena Vollmer
Trip for 4 to Henry's in Georgian Bay Aboard the Chippewa
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc.
Ski & Stay Trip for Two in Fernie
- 5 Night stay at Lizard Creek Lodge, Fernie Alpine Resort's premier ski in, ski out lodge
- 5 days lift tickets to Fernie Alpine Resort
- One night dinner for 2
- One "Fresh Tracks Program" for two
- 2 Hour Free Guided Tour of the ski resort
Official Media Sponsor:
Book a spring trip to the mountains by February 15, 2012 and get your 3rd Night lodging FREE! Plus families save even more since kids ski FREE!*
Click the link below to view all March Break Vacation Specials. All can be booked online or by calling 1-800-258-7669.
*Packages are valid for stays from March 12 - Resort Closing 2012 and subject to availability. Some conditions may apply.
Some packages available for stays until April 2012. All packages subject to availability. Other conditions may apply.
CYA New CANSail Program for Learn To Sail Programs
In 2012 the Canadian Yachting Association is launching CAN
s updated sailor training standards. The CAN
dinghy programming was developed under the framework of Long Term
or Development, and has been designed with the sailors age and developmental stage in mind. CAN
programming is designed to be a set of progressive Learn-to-
standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. The CAN
system allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidate key skills before adding more complex skills.
delivery will begin in 2012 in partnership with the Provincial
ing Associations and CYA member sailing clubs, schools and camps across the country. While we do expect that some clubs, schools and camps will continue to use the CYA traditional standards for 2012, it is expected that CAN
will be the standard in
Existing CYA Instructors will not lose their Certifications. They will be required to complete the CANSail Instructor training module at http://www.sailing.ca/ as it becomes available in early 2012. Successful completion of this module will allow them to deliver the new CAN
standards and access the new CAN
instructor tools. Instructors who successfully complete an Instructor Course in 2012 will be trained in CAN
and will be able to teach and certify the new CAN
ing is committed to working with our clubs and sailing schools to assist with the transition to the CAN
Benefits of the new CAN
Club & School Packs
- Recognition as a CAN
- Access to Checklick.com: a web-based program designed to relieve the paperwork hassles that come with running a sailing program. Checklick.com will include digitized CAN
checklists that allow you track the progression of each of your sailors through the CAN
If you are planning on delivering CAN
in 2012 please complete the Registration Form. The fee for registering as a
is $295 +HST (and a reduced fee each year thereafter). You will be billed $10 for every student registered in your program per year. This includes the cost for the first seal and certificate per student. Any additional seals for that student will be charged a nominal fee that will be billed by Ontario
ing to the club/school/camp.
If you have any questions regarding CAN
or the Ontario
ing School Audit Program, please contact:
Special Preview Night - Toronto International Boat Show
Attend The Premiere Night Of Canada's Largest Boat Show!
Friday, January 13, 2012
4pm - 9pm
$100 per person (advance sales only)
Online tickets at TorontoBoatShow.com or call 905-951-0009
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place
- Come experience the Toronto International Boat Show in a truly unique & magical way
- Celebrate the boating lifestyle while visiting over 550 marine exhibits
- Surpass your expectations with an amazing way to shop the show
- Support charities with 100% of the evening's proceeds being donated
- Incredible value! $100 ticket price includes:
- Preview of the entire show without large weekend crowds
- Food and bar stations throughout the show floor (delicious cuisine, three drink tickets per person for beer and wine)
- Live musical entertainment
- Live auction
- Over 200 silent auction items
- Free General Admission ticket to return to the show any other day (January 14 - 22, 2012)
Since 2000, the Special Preview Night has raised more than $560,000 in the past 10 years for boating-affiliated charities.
To date, The 2012 Charity Recipients are:
Courses Available Through Ontario Sailing
Did you know that there are number of courses/workshops available to your organization through Ontario Sailing? Read on for more information and then contact us to arrange a course/workshop at your club.
Youth Oriented Workshops
This workshop is intended for your club's youth sailors and will focus on:
The workshop can be run on a weeknight or a 1/2 day on a weekend and is $20 + HST per person. The day will be run by the Ontario Sailing Development Coach, Chris Hewson. To set up a workshop contact Chris Hewson.
Race Officer Seminars
The Ontario Sailing Race Management Committee runs both Assistant Race Officer & Club Race Officer Theory seminars. You can run a 2 day seminar with both Level 1 & Level 2 or you may run a 1 day seminar with just one of the levels.
Assistant Race Officer (Level 1) Theory
- Duties and responsibilities of:
- Recorder; Timer; Flag Officer; Sound Signaler; Line Judge
- Basic compass skills
- Setting and maintaining start/finish lines
Club Race Officer (Level 2) Theory
- Duties and responsibilities of leading a Race Management Team
- Regatta Organization
- Compass Skills - Calculating race course
Prerequisites: Assistant Race Officer seminar
If you are interested in hosting one or both of the above seminars be sure to contact Shauna Cartlidge today to arrange dates for the 2012 winter/spring.
North U Course - Coming in 2012
Thomas Fogh, member of the Ontario Sailing Board of Directors, will be offering a North U course coming in 2012. The details of the course are still be finalized and will be posted once all details are available. Course topics could include:
Navigational Charts Direct from Google Earth - And It's Free
If you have ever had a problem with inaccurate charting where you sail, you'll want to know about something that seems so simple in concept that it should have been done years ago, and wasn't - a program that can create navigation charts directly from Google Earth, avoiding any inaccuracy. Retired Canadian HP programmer Paul Higgins tells the story of how he came to create the program, AND explains how to do it, free!
'Chart Corrected Using Google Earth' - Paul Higgins
In the fall of 2009 I took a 6 month sabbatical from my Systems programming job at Hewlett Packard and took my sailboat G'DAY II to the Caribbean from Toronto Canada. My sailing buddy was Bill. Our first stop from the Keys in Florida was Cuba. From there we sailed to Isla Mujeres Mexico. While there we heard about about a sailor who had run aground on a reef near Puerto Morelos about 30Km south of Isla. He had been aground for nearly a week and was getting desperate. The sailors at the marina we were in decided to send a few boats with supplies and see if there was anyway to help. I volunteered to go go with another boat.
Bill and I sailed down with the supplies. When we got there I found the Navionics chart on my chart plotter that I was using didn't seem to be correct. The paper chart for the area, 28201 Puerto Morelos also seem to be somehow incorrect. We had to be be very careful we didn't get in the same situation as the boat we came to help.
We tried for nearly a week to get the stranded boat off the reef but finally it was decided to abandon it to the sea. It was starting to breakup from the pounding surf. Just before I left the boat, I noticed that he had the same chart 28201 on his navigation table.
After I returned to Canada I decided to compare chart 28201 with the Google earth. I was shocked to see the difference was over 2nm. I couldn't help wonder if our unlucky friend had been using it when he ran aground. I verified that Google earth was correct because I had kept my track data. I thought wouldn't it be nice to be able to create a chart from Google earth for these areas of the world where the official chart was not correct.
I then discovered that Google earth had an interface that allowed programs to access it. So I wrote a simple program that allowed you to display an area on Google earth and push one button to create a chart. GE2KAP was born.
Since that time GE2KAP has been enhanced many times from requests from sailors around the world. First we enhanced it so you could overlay an official chart on the Google earth display and have both the GE picture and the chart. Then I allowed you to recreate an incorrect chart by aligning a bad chart with GE and extracting the datum correction for a corrected chart.
The interface and messages have been translated into 4 languages so far: French, Spanish, German as well as English. The new version has help files in both English and French.
I am sixty seven years old and now retired. I sometimes sail with my dog Whitey a Chihuahua, Jack Russell mix who thinks he owns the world. I still love programming and computers. It keeps my mind active.
Paul Higgins and his dog, Whitey, who helps with programming
Now, Here is the program that will convert a Google earth picture directly to a BSB/KAP chart without you having to enter any calibration data. I get the necessary calibration data directly from Google earth using its ActiveX API.
This comes in very handy creating charts where the official charts are not great or don't exist. (I will leave it up to you on how to interpret the Google earth license.)
It only supports Windows operating systems: XP, Vista and Win7.
Download the program from my website: http://www.gdayii.ca/ and unzip to a directory on your system.
Install the prereqs: :
1. This program is written in REXX programming language and uses the oorexx interpreter.
The lastest version of oorexx can be down loaded from:
Open Object Rexx
Please install V4.0.1 or higher: ooRexx4.0.1.i586.exe (32bit).
Note: Install the 32bit version even if you are on a 64bit system.
2. You must have Google earth V5.1 or higher which can be download from:
Download Google Earth
Start GE2KAP by double clicking on it from Windows explorer. Then click the Help button and read the instructions on setting up Google earth. Be sure you turn off 'Terrain' as it can cause GE2KAP to create inaccurate charts.
New ADC Initiative - Regatta Nutrition
The Athlete Development Committee is working towards new guidelines for Athlete Nutrition for the Ontario Grand Prix Regattas . This initiative was first presented by ADC Chair, Evan Lewis, at the Ontario Sailing Club Conference at Mimico Cruising Club in November. The presentation was met with excellent questions and a terrific reception from those in attendence.
The summary of the initiative is as follows: As athletes compete in multiple races per day, they require continued access to nutrition including carbohydrate based snacks and fluids. The traditional regatta lunch of a sandwich and other goodies provides athletes with only one point to consume food between races which can be at an unknown time for racers. Additionally, this is a large amount of food to consume at once between races and can cause a significant delay in racing.
The proposed Guidelines will have regatta organizers move towards having a food boat stationed just outside of the race course area to allow athletes to access snacks such as bars and fruit and water after every race.
This system has been used at several major North American level regattas in the US with great response from both sailors and regatta organizers. Below is a slide taken from the presentation, of how a food boat could be positioned on a race course with separate start and finish lines.
Stay tuned for more information.
Click on image for larger view
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Miami Training Report
Submitted by Murray McCullough, High Performance Coach:
Venue US Sailing Center, Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida - Nov. 9th - 13th, 2011
Athletes Emily McIlquham & Meredith Megarry (2012 Youth World Female 420 team), Hugh McRae (2012 Youth World Male Radial), Violet Stafford (2012 Youth World Female Radial), Mitchell McDonald (OST Laser) and Bronwyn Richardson (OST Radial).
Coaches Chris Hewson (Ontario Sailing Development Coach) & Murray McCullough (Ontario High Performance Coach Sailing)
Conditions 8-15 knots varying in direction from West to Northeast. Flat and mixed chop days, waves maxing at 1.5feet.
The group met at 9am each day for morning fitness, which included a warm-up, crossfit workout, and a cool-down. The warm-up included footwork exercises to increase heart rates and improve foot and leg coordination. The main workout targeted major muscle groups including, arms, chest, torso and legs. The cool-down consisted of a series of dynamic stretches targeting the major muscle groups used during exercise.
The primary focus of this training block was dedicated to boat-handling, while a secondary focus was leeward mark roundings. As the majority of these athletes havent spent consistent time training since mid October, boat-handling was without a doubt an area that required attention. Short course drills enforced boat-handling for two reasons:
1. It forced the athletes to engage in a variety of manoeuvres over a short distance and in a short period of time.
2. It forced the athletes to execute basic manoeuvres repetitively, allowing them several opportunities to improve their skills.
Following short course drills, the athletes were given an opportunity to focus entirely on leeward mark roundings. To end each day, a series of starts and short-races were conducted to incorporate the skills practiced during training in a race setting.
As Henry Ford once stated,
Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a process, working together is a success.
In the past, this fundamental principal has been distant to the Ontario Sailing Team. To re-establish this concept, the team engaged in several team activities including, dinner at a local restaurant, visiting the MacDonald family who kindly hosted the group for a homemade pizza night, and finally we topped things off with a trip to the Bank Atlantic Center to watch the Florida Panthers play the Philadelphia Flyers. Might I add that the tickets were $10.00 each and that seasons tickets were advertised for $410.00!!! Thats right, season tickets equal to two nosebleed tickets at the ACC followed by a soft drink and popcorn
On behalf of Ontario Sailing, the athletes and coaches, I would like to extend a special thank you to all of the parents who made this training block a success. Without your dedication, support and generosity, the athletes would have been stuck back in the frozen north, dreaming about sailing in the sunny South!
Thanks again everyone! Looking forward to seeing you all again in December!
"Life Of A Cruising Sailor"
By Wally Moran
Late December, at anchor on the ICW in Georgia. Its chilly, but not as cold as the last week has been. Im beginning to believe that I may not freeze to death before getting to the Bahamas, and I promise myself - once again - to start south sooner next fall. Id like to keep a promise to myself to celebrate New Years Eve in the Bahamas one day, its supposed to be an amazing night.
Im sewing up the puppys chew toy, a red fuzzy lobster bought for her in Eau Gallie FL after I brought her back from Cuba, where she adopted me at a dock in Varadero. Theres a story there, but not for now.
Aduana (Spanish for customs - I told you, theres a story there) sits patiently as I work - this is her favourite toy - but her quiet muttering tells me she is more than ready to pounce and take it back. I, on the other hand, want this job to last, so Im using sail thread and what few sewing skills I inherited from my mother to get this done right this time.
Karen Carpenter plays on my speakers - something quiet, since most of the music tonight has been calypso, soca or other island music. Not by choice but by chance - the iPod is on shuffle.
Dinner tonight was basmati rice and a porkloin with portabello mushrooms and spices. Hot and tasty, and to accompany it, a hot rum and honey toddy. I had one last night when I was feeling a cold coming on and it was so good, I decided to have one tonight, even though I feel fine. Life is good, or would be if the dishes werent there to be washed. Maybe later and if not then, in the morning.
The beat of the music changes to a fast island tune - and Aduana has rediscovered the squeaker in her toy. Shes actually squeaking to the beat of the music. What a talented pup!
So passes another night in the life of a cruising sailor. Nothing dramatic, but theres a quiet satisfaction in all of this: were I back home in Canada, Id be preparing for bed, with another workday ahead of me, a painful trudge through snow and slush to meet someone elses schedule, achieve someone elses goals.
Instead, I anticipate doing exactly what I want to in the morning. Not what someone else wants me to do, or what I must do, but what I want to do. Or not do. Life is about choices, and Ive made mine. I have no intention of dying of stress induced heart failure.
I already know that the toughest part of my day tomorrow will be getting the pup ashore in the morning, because the dock on the nearby island is falling down and isnt safe. We explored there earlier tonight on our walk, finding a cottage that was long abandoned hidden back in the sabal palms. It looks like it was once a nice place, but its now clearly derelict - probably lost to the state for back taxes.
I ponder the wisdom of purchasing it. Theres deep water not even one hundred feet from the shore and its only a few hours sail to the nearest Atlantic inlet at Jekylls Island. But why? For what it would probably cost me and the use Id get from it, I could spend a lot of nights like tonight.
Still, it would make a great location for a cruisers hangout - put in some mooring balls, fix up a little pub and restaurant, run it for the fall and spring migrations....nah, maybe when I retire from sailing.
Aduana jumps into my lap, thrusting her toy in my face, squeaking like mad. She wants to play and wont take no for an answer when I push her aside.
I should have fixed this toy for her a week ago; Id forgotten how much she enjoys it. Still, this way it should last until I can replace it with a new one from the same store.
The night is calm - no wind, no other boats for miles in any direction - the moon is nearly full and, were it not cold, it would be a great night to sit outside and sip, and ponder the mysteries of this world.
Ive had people say to me that theyd love to live as I do, but when I tell them to go for it, they quickly say oh no, I couldnt. Theres the Jaguar to pay for, the house, the job.....theres every excuse in the world. People simply dont understand: life involves making choices.
I dont have a Jaguar - I have endless nights under a full moon like tonights, and no worry about paying for an expensive car that will only depreciate. If I really have to drive a sports car, I have my classic Datsun 280, paid for years ago, sitting in a garage back home.
I only have myself to please, not a boss or fussy clients, and while I understand that these things are important to some people and once were to me, I now wonder why.
What on earth does it matter if one more widget gets sold, or one more lawsuit filed, if youre not happy doing it? Is it the sense of being important in this world?
If so, who is more important than the person you look at in the mirror when you shave or put on makeup? What about his opinion, what about her happiness? Dont they matter?
Sure they do. Or so you say. Go back to dreaming my friend. Its not your time.
Wally has still not kept his promise and as he writes this in mid-November, hes docked at the south end of Chesapeake Bay, about to begin his 18th transit of the ICW. You can follow his progress down the ICW this year at LiveBloggin the ICW, http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/, and meet him at the upcoming Toronto International Boat Show as he speaks about the ICW, and his new seminar, Paws on Board, about cruising with pets.
High Performance Day Report
Submitted by Murray McCullough, High Performance Coach
This years Ontario Sailing High Performance Day was hosted by the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club and Crossfit North Burlington on November 19th. The day attracted 29 athletes ranging in ages from 14-50 and from various classes including; Laser, Laser Radial, 29er, 420 and Boards (windsurfers). The day was split into two sections, in-class seminars and in-gym fitness.
The morning consisted of 3 valuable seminars targeting:
2. Hydration and
The nutrition component was addressed by Trionne Moore, the lead nutritionist for the Canadian Sports Center Ontario. Trionne is a registered nutritionist and has extensive experience working with National and Provincial level sport, including cycling, figure skating, rowing, sailing, and volleyball to be brief. Trionne spoke about the importance of proper pre-, during and post-exercise nutrition. She also outlined the importance of a well balanced diet for a high performance athlete, one which incorporates protein, carbohydrates and fats. Her knowledge and expertise in nutrition were greatly appreciated by the coaches and athletes present.
The hydration section was tackled by Evan Lewis, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto who completed his thesis in the general area of hydration and its effects on performance. As a former member of the National and Provincial sailing teams and with his base of knowledge, Evan can personally attest to the importance of being well hydrated during training and competition. Evan revealed that a mere 2% loss of body weight due to hydration can significantly impair performance.
A 2% reduction in weight equates to 3.5LBs for a 150LB athlete, a fluctuation both coaches and athletes note on a regular basis during training and competition. Furthermore, Evan explained and provided a hydration matrix to the group. This outlines different conditions and the corresponding fluid intake suggested for the particular temperature and wind velocities present for sailing. Remember, unless youre the Grinch, if your peeing green youre in serious trouble, so get drinking some fluid!
The third and final section covered was Recovery by Rob Ruff, the lead Physiologist for the Canadian Sports Center Ontario. Rob has an extensive background in Kinesiology and Physiology and thoroughly understands how the body functions under different stressors. At the Sports Center, Rob frequently works alongside several National and Provincial teams, including rowing, cycling, volleyball, basketball, sailing, and figure skating, just to name a few. Rob highlighted the importance of flushing the system following training and competition to reduce/eliminate the harmful by-product known to many as lactic acid. The general message to the group was that sailors should be engaging in an aerobic recovery exercise (biking, running) for approximately 15minutes at a heart rate of 130-140 immediately following the on-water session. This short exercise will promote recovery and increase muscle performance in the days to follow.
Fitness and Analysis
Following an hour break for lunch, the athletes reconvened at Crossfit North Burlington where they were greeted by Dr. Paul Ziemer and Batman. This dynamic duo lead the group through an exercise technique component which taught the basic Crossfit exercises and enforced proper form for each skill. Once the group was comfortable with the designated exercises, Batman led the group though a warm-up, two Crossfit workouts finished off with a cool-down. The significance of Crossfit for sailors in particular is that Crossfit is a high intensity circuit of exercises that does not require any additional pieces of equipment. As sailors frequently change training and competition venues, the elimination of equipment during fitness is highly desirable.
In between workouts, select athletes were placed on a machine which passes an electrical impulse up through the left leg and arm then across the torso and back down the opposite arm and leg. This impulse provided several pieces of information including, a body composition analysis, segmental lean development analysis, body mass index diagnosis, and each individuals basal metabolic rate (BMR). In summary, this analysis is used to identify muscle imbalances between upper and lower limbs for injury prevention, the percentage of lean muscle mass and percentage of body fat, and it outlines the recommended caloric intake to maintain each athletes current weight. As sailors are constantly striving to be at the optimal weight for their specific class of boat sailed, this BMR reading is a valuable tool to help athletes gauge the amount of calories they should be consuming.
The day was packed with valuable bits of information that the athletes could immediately apply to their training programs. For instance, in addition to the information conveyed during the presentations, the athletes walked away with several handouts including:
- Snacks for Training and Competition (Trionne Moore)
- The Clean Snack Bar List (Trionne Moore)
- Sailing Hydration & Nutrition Guidelines (Evan Lewis)
- In Body Analysis (Dr. Paul Ziemer)
On behalf of Ontario Sailing and myself, I would like to thank Trionne Moore, Evan Lewis, Rob Ruff, Paul Zeimer, Batman, the Canadian Sports Center Ontario, the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club and the athletes and coaches for making this day a great success!
Club Conference & LTS Symposium Report
The Ontario Sailing Club Conference and Learn To Sail Symposium took place on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at Mimico Cruising Club. Approximately 60 representatives, from over 30 member organizations, were in attendance. Topics included:
Click on those that are in blue above to view the presentation from that session.
Ontario Sailing would like to thank Fogh Marine for sponsoring the Club Conference and Learn to Sail Symposium.
Seven Golden Rules For Docking Your Boat
"It's Your Call, Skipper!"
Imagine that you are coming back from sailing...
entering a narrow canal, waterway or marina channel.
Shoals to the left--shoals to the right...
plus a nice stiff cross wind blows onto your beam.
All of a sudden--out of nowhere...
Pop! Bang! Sputter! Your engine just died!
Make This Recipe for Good Seamanship
When reading about sailing or power boat seamanship, you'll run across one word time after time--preparation. The formula might be simple, but the followers often seem to be fewer these days. Look at this as a two part recipe for docking success...
What does this mean? Preparations include defensive measures above and beyond the ordinary. For example, go down to any marina on a busy Saturday or Sunday and watch boat after boat as they return to their slips or come alongside a dock--unprepared for the unexpected!
Make sure your small sailboat gets prepared for the unexpected ahead of time--every time. Make this a habit when you know you will enter any narrow, restricted waters. And that always includes your own familiar marina. Why?
Engines fail when you least expect them to fail. Boats might block your path when and where you intend to tie up. An unusual current or wind may convince you to change from a port-side-to docking to a starboard-side-to docking (or vice versa).
Mad last minute scrambles to shift lines and fenders can result in confusion, lines that lead the wrong way, and accidents or injury. Follow these seven golden rules and you'll be ready for action in any tight quarters situation:
1. Rig fenders on Each Side.
Lose power and you will not know which side you will tie up on. Your objective will be to get the boat alongside an open spot along a pier or seawall, slide into an empty slip, or drift up to a stationary piling.
2. Attach Docking Lines Port and Starboard.
Use extra lines or join two lines together (with a becket or double becket bend) to cover both sides of the boat in case of emergency. One extra bow and stern line on the opposite side will be enough to hold you alongside. Lead each docking line under the lifelines or pulpit and back aboard, coiled and ready to use in an instant.
3. Pass the Eye Ashore Always!
End the debate right now ("Do we use the eye on our boat or pass it to the folks on the pier?"). If you need to use a large eye in one end of a line when docking, pass the eye ashore. That allows your crew to work the boat cleat with the bitter end.
If possible, avoid using eyes in a line altogether unless you have no other choice (i.e. when tying up inside a slip). That gives you more options for docking line adjustment or springing alongside or off a pier.
4. Hold a Crew Pow-Wow Now
Gather the crew in the cockpit and assign docking duties. Pick the most experienced crew to handle lines. Remember that line handling skills often make or break any docking approach. Lesser skilled crew might work the roving fender (a single loose fender, carried to cushion contact points). Encourage quiet communications to keep stress levels low and concentration levels high.
5. Make Up a Roving Fender
Not many pieces of equipment get forgotten or ignored more often than a single, loose fender carried by a crew. Pre-hung fenders can be next to useless when docking. Their duties start when you get tied up. The roving fender does 90% of the work when docking or undocking.
The crew walks with the fender (roves) to cushion any point where the boat might make contact with the pier or another boat. Use a roving fender even with short-handed crews as your first line of defense against costly hull damage.
6. Use Headsets or Hand Signals
When I crewed aboard "SHIBUMI" this past summer--a big 65' New Zealand ketch with an enclosed pilothouse--we used headsets for docking maneuvers. These wireless wonders keep communications quiet and clear as a bell. No yelling necessary. As an alternative, develop easy hand signals that all hands can understand. Keep communications quiet to keep stress levels low and confidence high.
7. Step Ashore and Work the Docking Line
Caution the crew that they need to step to the dock and never jump. Get the boat close enough before your crew goes ashore. This will help prevent serious injury. Go over the basic procedure and terminology for working a docking line. Again, line handling will make or break a great docking approach.
Keep your line handling crew or partner safe. Imagine that you are docking with giant rubber bands--which you are! Nylon can stretch up to 40%. If it breaks under tension, it will snap back at 700 feet per second. Keep that in mind whenever you place a docking line under tension.
Line handlers should take a turn onto the dock cleat right away. Work the docking line (see below) from the side of the dock cleat opposite that of the tensioned line. This prevents serious injury should the line fail.
Go over the basic line handling terms that you use aboard your boat with your crew. Never assume that new or experienced crew know how you communicate in tight quarters docking situations.
For example, newer crew might think that the docking term "ease" means to "cast off". There's a huge difference in docking when you "ease the after bow springline" as opposed to "cast off the after bow springline". Once your crew understands how to work with docking lines, your dockings will go smoother and you'll gain an envious reputation among the dockside lawyers!
Use these seven steps to dock your boat like a pro--even when the unexpected crosses your path. You will soon gain the skills you need to cruise with confidence--wherever in the world you choose to go sailing!
Captain John with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need beyond sailing school. Visit his website at http://www.skippertips.com/ for a free sailing tips newsletter. Become a member to get instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, eBooks, and live discussion forums.
Dell Member Pricing Program
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