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Old 07 October 2011, 08:22   #21
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That's the one!

You obviously have a better memory for names than I do!
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Old 07 October 2011, 10:58   #22
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Best prop guard is the driver!
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Old 07 October 2011, 11:25   #23
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Best prop guard is the driver!
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Old 07 October 2011, 12:11   #24
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Best prop guard is the driver!
Obviously!!

But people make mistakes. keep in mind that these people are PBL2 but not driving the RIBs regularly and are volunteers, rather than RIB enthusiasts with lots of hours under their belts. If there is a device that helps protect people in the water from the propellor that doesn't detract too much from the performance and handling, it is worth considering.
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Old 07 October 2011, 12:47   #25
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Obviously!!

But people make mistakes. keep in mind that these people are PBL2 but not driving the RIBs regularly and are volunteers, rather than RIB enthusiasts with lots of hours under their belts. If there is a device that helps protect people in the water from the propellor that doesn't detract too much from the performance and handling, it is worth considering.
Rokraider, I am interested to know:

- have you had an accident / close call / near miss at the club?
- have you witnessed particular bad practice?
- have you had complaints about driving standards?
- are the problems widespread or "individuals"?
- are you more worried about a high speed incident with a person who hasn't been seen in the water or a low speed incident with people floating round after a capsize etc?
- do you brief them every day before you go afloat? (an opportunity to remind them of good practice of stopping the engine, and for them to highlight worries about "that old suzi not restarting").
- do you have agreed "shouts" between crew and helm to assist in understanding / communication?
- are your sailors generally prop aware?
- are you happy with the competence of people when the leave the training course? (i.e. is this inexperience or bad habits developing?) Some of the "worst" driving regarding prop safety I have seen has been from people who do it every day [so know exactly how quick the boat can turn and also get complacent because this is the 20th person they pulled out this week, and 1000th in their career with no casualties]
- do you do the PB2 in house? Does this strictly follow the "standard PB2 syllabus" or given the role of those involved is extra time spent on approaching casualties in the water?
- do you have any sort of coaching / supervision process where a PBI or similar has an overview of the general standards and can work with individuals, or where individuals a year or two after their course can go back to for a quick refresher on a particular issue?
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Old 08 October 2011, 10:42   #26
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[QUOTE=Polwart;424339]Rokraider, I am interested to know:

- have you had an accident / close call / near miss at the club?

The club has a good safety record, but there have been times where luck has been on our side. Personally I have not had any prop incidents or close calls.
I average around 30 days a year as a safety boat driver, mostly out in the bay at the larger events, although I am quite happy to help out with the everyday stuff as well.

- have you witnessed particular bad practice?

On occasions and the crews have been taken to task over it. Generally the problems are boredom when there is nothing much going on, so the crews start chatting and reduce vigilance. Usually a nudge over the radio is enough.

- have you had complaints about driving standards?

Not usually, but sometimes you might get contact between the RIB and the capsized dinghy, usually in biggish waves and wind. Some of the really fast dinghys are quite delicate and can be easily damaged if clouted by the RIB..

- are the problems widespread or "individuals"?

We do not have that many problems anyway and usually are odd individual incidents.

- are you more worried about a high speed incident with a person who hasn't been seen in the water or a low speed incident with people floating round after a capsize etc?

I would say we don't have high speed problems, The RIBs are usually patrolling around the edge of the course, ready to nip in if needed, so when needed, they are not usually far away and do not need to roar in at high speed. They will often have to weave their way through other competitors to get to the incident, so cannot go at any great speed.
I would say the prop risks are highest at slow speed with multiple capsizes on for example, a Gybe mark. You could have several crews in the water, but we may need to get to one that is not in sight, ie could be trapped under the boat. This means having to manouevre up close and holding station so your crew if needed, can dive in to perform their tasks whilst other people and boats are in the water around you. In this situation I will be yelling at the people in the water to keep clear and making sure that no one is anywhere near the RIB at all. The both crew will be constantly counting heads and comparing our counts to make sure we aren't missing anyone.

- do you brief them every day before you go afloat? (an opportunity to remind them of good practice of stopping the engine, and for them to highlight worries about "that old suzi not restarting").

We hold a safety boat briefing at the start of each days racing, where the crews will be briefed on weather, tides etc, they are issued with a plasticised guidance sheet with all the do's and don'ts and radio channels and distress calls, such as code red etc. They will be verbally reminded of what they should be doing and advised of the fleets they will be supporting and any nuances or quirks on recovering each type.
-
do you have agreed "shouts" between crew and helm to assist in understanding / communication?

I don't believe there are many "shouts" in particular, each situation requires discussion on how best to proceed. It is the crews job to be counting heads and calling out to the driver where any potential missing people are. The driver will also be counting heads, whilst negotiating the best route to the potential casualty.

- are your sailors generally prop aware?

I would say definitely. Probably the most vulnerable would be young kids who can be oblivious to danger. We have a very good Youth Training section in the club that most of the kids go through. They will be trained in all aspects of sailing and racing including what to do when rescue boats are about and how to summon them etc.
The youth fleet is large and we probably have around 200 boats in the fleet, which is very active.

- are you happy with the competence of people when the leave the training course? (i.e. is this inexperience or bad habits developing?) Some of the "worst" driving regarding prop safety I have seen has been from people who do it every day [so know exactly how quick the boat can turn and also get complacent because this is the 20th person they pulled out this week, and 1000th in their career with no casualties]

I think as in every form of transport, some drivers are better than others. Overall we are generally happy.

- do you do the PB2 in house? Does this strictly follow the "standard PB2 syllabus" or given the role of those involved is extra time spent on approaching casualties in the water?
- do you have any sort of coaching / supervision process where a PBI or similar has an overview of the general standards and can work with individuals, or where individuals a year or two after their course can go back to for a quick refresher on a particular issue?

We are a RYA certified club and all of our courses are carried out by RYA instructors to the RYA specifications. Some of our instructors are also RNLI volunteers so we get their experience as well. We run a Safety boat course that is the RYA course with add ons that cover the nuances and quirks of Chichester Harbour and Hayling Bay. It also covers the quirks of the various fleets that we are expected to provide cover for, such as a foiling Moth that will try and fly as soon as you get moving etc.
We are discussing how to implement a refresher course for all drivers, possibly in the spring each season before the racing starts in earnest.

We are also looking at improving crew training as well. It is all very well having a good driver, but your crew has to be well trained as well.

I think I should point out that we have a good safety record and are not really having many problems, but if there is a way to improve the safety standards and reduce the risks effectively, it is worth exploring.
90 percent of the time all we do is stand off chugging about keeping an eye on things and giving re assurance to the competitors.

I think we will probably try out some propguards and see for ourselves whether they are the answer.
Personally, I think I will be pushing to try out an outboard Jet unit and see how well it performs. That could possibly achieve all our goals (but at a cost!)
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Old 10 October 2011, 07:06   #27
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I would say the prop risks are highest at slow speed with multiple capsizes on for example, a Gybe mark. You could have several crews in the water, but we may need to get to one that is not in sight, ie could be trapped under the boat. This means having to manouevre up close and holding station so your crew if needed, can dive in to perform their tasks whilst other people and boats are in the water around you. In this situation I will be yelling at the people in the water to keep clear and making sure that no one is anywhere near the RIB at all. The both crew will be constantly counting heads and comparing our counts to make sure we aren't missing anyone.
Having been there both in a Laser and a rib, for the non dinghy bods reading this that rockraider makes this scenario sound quite tame. I've seen gybe marks with spinnakers wrapped round other boat's bows, three boats in a tangled capsize etc etc. I gained about 12 places one time entirely down to superior capsise drill!

I throw this in as a thought that the bigest issue in that sort of scenario isn't the risk of an "armectomy", but totally disabling yourself as the rouge spinnaker sheet finds the prop and you can't get in to pull out the trapped bod.....

Also to back up Rock's comments about crew tedium & speed, at the last Oppie nationals I rescued at, I had a premix 2 stroke 40 on the transom of an SR4 and drank between 1/2 - 3/4 of a 5 gallon tank per day......
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Old 10 October 2011, 07:54   #28
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My experience with a propguard is it really blunts performance.
There is a an improvement in safety but I'm not sure it's that significant especially in your application.

For example, going astern or with a swimmer approaching from the stern it offers little protection. These are relevant situations to recovering dinghy crews after a wipeout when there may be an element of panic and disorientation and people intent on climbing into the rescue boat from the most accessible end.

The other thing to be aware of is it will trap every thing from weed to plastic bags so you'll find yourself having to stop and lift the engine like never before to clear it.

You're doing the right thing in trying to maximize all safety factors -though I'm not sure this is an improvement plus I agree with others it could encourage complacency.
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Old 10 October 2011, 15:12   #29
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Having been there both in a Laser and a rib, for the non dinghy bods reading this that rockraider makes this scenario sound quite tame. I've seen gybe marks with spinnakers wrapped round other boat's bows, three boats in a tangled capsize etc etc. I gained about 12 places one time entirely down to superior capsise drill!

I throw this in as a thought that the bigest issue in that sort of scenario isn't the risk of an "armectomy", but totally disabling yourself as the rouge spinnaker sheet finds the prop and you can't get in to pull out the trapped bod.....

Also to back up Rock's comments about crew tedium & speed, at the last Oppie nationals I rescued at, I had a premix 2 stroke 40 on the transom of an SR4 and drank between 1/2 - 3/4 of a 5 gallon tank per day......
It can get quite interesting at times!!
That is a good point regarding getting a rope round the prop and feasible in a mass capsize situation. I was looking after the kids group at Fed Week one year and a huge squall came through preceded by a very large gust of wind that flattened around 20 Toppers and Picos about to start as well as roughly 30 Oppies! It was total carnage! One kid was trapped under her mainsail alongside the committee boat and one of the crew on that jumped in adnd got her out. We spent the half hour rounding up cold shivering kids in driving rain and ferrying them ashore whilst tying allthe dinghies on to a mark sowe could go back for them later. It was a long afternoon by the time we had righted, de rigged and towed the boats back to the club. At one point we had kids in the water all around us and couldn't safely start the engine until we had a load of them onboard and clear water behind. These are the times when a propguard could have added extra security.
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Old 10 October 2011, 15:32   #30
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I have one here for sale. orange one actually made by Prop Guard 13 inch diameter for 30-50 horse. paid a one er for it ..take 50
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