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Old 17 March 2006, 13:46   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes
Ed thanks for the reply.
The sea anchor idea seems ok in theory but still rasies some questions . with it velcro strapped to your BA you could still get caut up in the line and there are loops to get an arm or leg through.
Agreed, a snag hazard still exists. Hopefully it's mitigated by the short length of rope (12ft)- if you fall astern of the boat then you are definately clear of the rope. You could get an arm through the loops of the sea anchor, but you would have to be very unlucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes
I can't see a sea anchor holding a boat head to sea in surf , surely the breaking waves would pull the sea anchor around towards the shore and turn the boat stern to the waves . Al least the boat would end up on the beach in surf a sea anchor would be better deployed over the stern
A sea anchor settles a couple of feet under the surface. As the boat is picked up by a wave and starts starts to slide backwards down the face, enough drag is caused by the anchor to ensure that the bow is dragged around to face directly into the breaking sea. The longer your anchor line is, then the better the chance is of the anchor remaining in clean (static) water underneath the waves.

From experience, a sea anchor used in this way can help if drifting in surf.

Last year I was flung from the boat following a heavy landing just outside of the surfline, about 400m from the beach. I was able to clamber back in and dragged my friend onboard. We were outside the surf zone and although in no danger of capsize, an onshore wind was causing us to drift back towards the surf and so we deployed the sea anchor. The engine restarted and we made to recover the anchor. Unfortunately, I failed to notice that we had severed the fuel line at the primer bulb whilst clambering in. Water had been drawn into the carb and the engine soon stopped.

We radioed the CG and let them know what was going on. The sea anchor held well as we drifted into the surf. As each wave passed, the boat became completley awash and only drained whilst rising up to meet the next wave. I had been concerned by the lack of open transom on the GRX, but found that the weight of water actually softened the ride and seemed to stablise the boat.

The waves were messy due to the onshore wind and the boat finally capsised when about 25m off the beach. There is a steep shelf at this point which causes a large dumping wave. The bow was lifted to such an extent that the anchor was snatched from the water, allowing a bow over stern capsize.

We waded to the beach and waited for the boat to drift up. Although pretty shaken by the ride, only injury suffered was a black eye.


A few lessons I learnt that day.

Only play in surf near a soft sandy beach.

Have a sea anchor that can self deploy. Had we not made it back to the boat within seconds then the wind ww would have been stuffed.

Keep a throwline ready. Had only one of us made it back to the boat, then a throwline woiuld have been esential to have had any chance of recovering the other.

Keep the fuel line cable tied out of the way! We would never have had to test the sea anchor had the engine kept running.

Lengthen the anchor line to at least 1/2 a wavelength whilst you can. Had we done this before entering the surf, I feel that we wouldn't have capsized. I now tie a small loop into anchor line about a 30cm from the bow eye. I can then clip in a throwline between the boweye and the loop and cut the anchor line- rapidly giving me another 15m.

Radio the coastguard in good time. Once in the surf, there was no way we could have let them know what was going on. Consider a fist mike. I

Consider how to summon help
. When in surf, people on the beach have no visibility of you. I now carry miniflares and red smoke. I dont think red pinpoint would help much.

Ian,
Hope it helps develop your thoughts. It's been worthwhile considering the way I do things and I agree with you about the lifelines. I think I'll now leave one permantly rigged on each side of the boat. That way I wont run the risk of being flailed by the carabiners! If I need to stay with the boat and cant get get back onboard (injured?) then I can still clip on. Wouldn't like to do it in surf though.

Phew, don't think I've typed this much before...

Ed

A better day's surf
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Old 17 March 2006, 14:51   #22
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This is good ED
as you say developing thinking on a safety subject . i can now see your point with the sea anchor , that actually occured to me after posting .

I have done lots of this stuff in the Kayaking world and am now trying to apply my experience to using the sib.

All this talk of rope and lines has made me think of something else .

I used to be very serious surfing a kayak and the lifeguards at a North cornish beach used to divide the surf and bathing area with a long line anchored on the sea bed at low tide . It was lethal to a surfer so we all used to carry safety rope cutters on our bouyancy aids . They were like a larger version of the seatbelt cutter used in cars a blade in a slot .
I have just searched the net but can't find a suitable version . Would be a good safety item to have especially on an inflatable . Do you know of one available.

Good surf pics

I had a scary swim in some winter surf last year , I swam from a kayak for the first time in 10 years , and for the first time ever thaught my end had come . A shelf like you talked about made a wave throw me onto the beach ,I realised then that Iam not as young and fit as i once was , very scary , and my wife was watching from the beach and thought I was a gonner . The waves were so close together that I could only get one breath between being tumbled , luckily I was taken to the shore quite fast .
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Old 18 March 2006, 05:05   #23
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Rescue Knives

Ian
I havn't got a seat belt cutter style knife (i know the type you mean), have one of these (Gerber E-Z out) - http://www.shop4gerber.co.uk/ltr.html. Just got to be careful near the tubes!

Ed
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Old 18 March 2006, 13:42   #24
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Well just had a trip to the chandlers . New VHF sea anchor / drogue and a 20m throwline .
I asked about a seat belt cutter and the chandlers gave me one , they come fitted as standard to the sailing harneses they sell .

I intend using your drogue method Ed but iam going to try out the leash idea in the summer when I can jump out of the boat with someone there to help me .

The idea is to have velcro wrist strap used as a paddle retainer for kayaking , it has a quick release tab, and a short coiled plastic line atatched to the wrist strap by thin line.
The throw bag I will try clipped to the transom, so its just behind me as I sit driving the boat .
The top of the bag has a velcro strap which allows the rope to pay out if its pulled .The motor kill will also be atached to the wrist leash .

If Iam thrown out of the boat the line should follow with my left hand as it leaves the throttle pulling the kill wire as I go . I feel i would have to turn summersaults in the air for the line to wrap around me as there would be no slack line .
All i can think is that surfers use quite long leashes and sailers also use lifelines so there has to be some sense in it . maybe in a big rib the idea would be flawed but in a little sib I feel its different .

there are a few sib owners around here who like to play in surf etc , it would be interesting to read their accounts of when its gone a bit wrong .

Its winter time that is my main concern . in the summer you probably have little clothes on a swim in the surf is ok , but when its as cold as it has been lately you are wrapped up in lots of gear and boots , swimming is not possible for more than a few metres and the cold is going to get you very quickly .
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Old 19 March 2006, 04:58   #25
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Some excellent information in this thread. Thanks all!
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Old 19 March 2006, 06:09   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes
The idea is to have velcro wrist strap used as a paddle retainer for kayaking , it has a quick release tab, and a short coiled plastic line atatched to the wrist strap by thin line.
The throw bag I will try clipped to the transom, so its just behind me as I sit driving the boat .
The top of the bag has a velcro strap which allows the rope to pay out if its pulled .The motor kill will also be atached to the wrist leash.
Sounds good, once you have it set up please let me know how it goes. Haven't felt the need to be tied to the boat so far, but youve got me thinking...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes
Its winter time that is my main concern . in the summer you probably have little clothes on a swim in the surf is ok , but when its as cold as it has been lately you are wrapped up in lots of gear and boots , swimming is not possible for more than a few metres and the cold is going to get you very quickly .
.

Go for the noeprene gloves, helmet, BA and wear a thick wetsuit or drysuit- as you say if you aren't back with the boat in a few seconds it's going to be a long time getting trashed by surf as you drift back in/wait for rescue! SIBing in surf means you will be going for a swim at some point... Not one for the non-swimmer!


Quote:
Originally Posted by prairie tuber
Some excellent information in this thread. Thanks all!
Will try and post a full list of my lessons learnt the hard/expensive way in surf if people are interested.

Ed
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Old 19 March 2006, 12:38   #27
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Ed
My worry is the family . the last time out we had a lot of fun and it all felt very safe to me . We were outside Plymouth sound playing in the waves , and then began playing on the wake of a dive boat .

It felt so safe and that was my worry there was quite a swell and I got to thinking afterwards that if I had got something wrong and we ended up in the water I would probably have had 10 mins at best to get the wife and daughter out of the water due to the cold .
Ok I hear people saying that I shouldn't have been doin what I was doing , with Kids in the boat and we should have all had drysuits etc on . That is a fair comment but things happen , and as I said the boat just felt so safe and stable to me that it was nothing like near its limits , but one mistake and I could easily just fall out
I spent a whole afternoon teachin my wife and daughter how to opererate the boat , My daughter is just too small to start the engine and be in full controll but she did very well driving . My wife would probably just forget to breath let alone sort out the kill switch start the engine and then ????, no i would rather swim to the boat!!

What I need is to find some other sibers with similar boats and go out together like you ribers do . I can see some motorcycles being sold here soon .
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Old 20 March 2006, 08:23   #28
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Sib in Surf

Have a look at www.symages.co.uk (then click on special events, then beach trg) for an insight into what your boat can do.
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Old 20 March 2006, 10:05   #29
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Wow thanks for the link fantastic pics and what good photographer

There was a time when that would have been right up my street , not any more ,no thank you

There are no shots of the boat getting trashed there , do I presume it didn't happen that day , hard to believe there is some horrible dumping hollow waves there .

Where is it
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Old 20 March 2006, 15:09   #30
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Nothing Broken

Thanks.
Pleased to say nothing broken, kit or human, that day anyway. The pics are a bit false in the sense they make it look like the waves were "charged" when actually little more than tickover was used until the boats were committed onto the wave. The location was Bude last week with these pics taken on the Wed when the surf had settled a little. The less glamourous shots would have been on Monday in the bigger waves and sleet.
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