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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Todesfisch

Shroud, Stay, Guy Safety

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The December 2011 issue of the USHPA Hang Gliding & Paragliding Magazine had an article discussing the dangers of impacting hang glider guy wires ("nose wires"). It reported one pilot had her nose removed in an accident. The point of the article was to recommend helmet use.

 

As a kid, I saw the result of a kid impacting a shroud after a Hobie 16 pitchpole, not catastrophic but also not pretty.

 

The only boat I've owned that didn't have shrouds and stays was a Laser. It also seemed immune to pitchpoling, but I liked not having wires to fall into. When I owned a Hobie 16 in my 20's, I was too chicken to bury the leeward bow into a pitchpole because of what I had seen could happen from a wire impact.

 

I was recently thinking about buying my next dinghy, and this issue entered my mind. Subsequently I've inherited a lot of windsurfing equipment, so the concern isn't an issue any longer. However, if I buy a boat in the future, this will be a consideration.

 

Am I overplaying the danger of wires, are the speeds too low?

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I think you are over reacting a bit. I have seen plenty of people including myself get sent around the bow into the forestry or hit the side stay. On do guys it just results in some bad bruises and that is if you even hit the wire. It's really not a common occurance to go slamming into one usually you get swung well clear

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usually when you get pitched (on monohulls, i dont have much cat experience but i got swung wide and clear then too) you're going out pretty far too. I've impacted the side of the boat pretty damn hard - usually intentionally to avoid the jib, but have thus far been safe with the shrouds. I do put my arm in front of my face just in case, though. Also, it is possible to (sort of) pitch pole a laser - and i got the bruise from the mast to prove it (years and years ago). Generally when i get flung i am far more concerned for the safety of my sails and avoiding them, than i am for the shrouds. furthermore, id wager to say its the slow speed capsizes that are going to be more of an issue than a highspeed flick for impacting the shrouds.

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Am I overplaying the danger of wires, are the speeds too low?

 

It hugely depends on the boat you buy. Anything that goes over 15kn and has side stays is a candidate. Trap boats probably escape because if you're doing over 15kn and perform a maneuver that sends you forward (e.g. pitch–pole) you'll probably be swung clear.

 

On hiking boats, heads aren't an issue, legs are. Wetsuits and high boots don't help much, I have scars on my shins to prove it. Clear plastic tube over the lower part of the stays and adjusters works well but it looks ugly.

 

If a trip past the bow is imminent, turn your back to the bow and swing your legs around so they miss the stay as you go by. Don't try to hang on or keep your toes in the toestrap, unless you want a large bruise on the thigh.

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Depends. I remember one windy 49er regatta where the crew made the mistake of wearing a "shortie" wet suit. in a crash he slid along one of the shrouds. Cut 1/4" into his Tibia....

 

.......yuck! :wacko:

.......in skiffs,,it's pretty clear that once you're going fast enough for this to be an issue,,,you should be well committed to the trapeze,,,,,,and -COMMITTED- is the word.....the worst snarls I've seen are when someone get's timid and pull's in,,,destabalizing the boat,,causing a capsize,,,,AND getting involved with the shrouds.......very instant karma :mellow:

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Am I overplaying the danger of wires, are the speeds too low?

Yes

Given your evidence i don't see any fast shrouds in your future, also the present.

I'm assuming you aren't ponying up for a Foiler

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Yep- maybe over-playing it a bit for normal speed dinghies, but we all have our irrational fears, my own dislike for trapezing isn't trapezing per say- it's the gap in the racks on most trapeze boats I've sailed. It just jibs me out, I tense up and sail shit as a result.

 

But one major consideration... stayless masts offer much more tactical dynamics with running-by-the-lee downwind. In an ideal world I would be sailing a stayless masted boat now. Maybe an OK or a Finn, however neither of these are sailed at my club.

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I had a sudden stoppage on my Skiff some time ago now, was belting along and hit a clump of kelp. I was on the trap and got hurled forward and hit my leading leg on the shroud plate. Leg was hurting for a while but not enough to warrant going home.

 

It was a day or so later that I must have twisted the same leg and it hurt pretty bad then, it started to swell on the front of the shin. Later the skin got all yellowy and an infection had set in (i had got cut through the drysuit at the time of impact..drysuit was undamaged though) went to see the Doc and got some antibiotics.

 

Reckon I had a small facture at the time, the swelling must have been a part of this. So yeah, shrouds can hurt you.

 

Its common sense to wear a helmet, though I must admit to not always doing this while sailing. I do wear one for kitesurfing though...always.

 

Hobies can bite pretty hard, almost been pitchpoled by another lad who took a turn on the helm one time...really not keen to find out what thats like. Previous owner got spanked a few times doing this, one of his crew got quite badly hurt as he was still attached to the trap.

 

As for traps? I got snarled up on a capsize once, the wire retainer thing on the hook got jammed up badly...got it torn out now so the hook is open. I dont trust retainers...save maybe for the rubber nipple type.

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Some mothies have gotten cut by shrouds. Seem to recall Bora hit a tuna fish at speed someplace in Florida and found the shroud with his forehead.

 

The key for fast hiking boats is to decide to hang on or bail out. Last time I banged myself was a high-speed bow-plant, held on and got my foot trapped under the strap. Ended up suspended over the port shround as the boat stood on her nose and then rolled over. Got a solid bruise from that one, through my winter-weight skiff suit.

 

When you realize it is all going to hell quickly, let go and pull the rip cord. A polite boat will eventually stop and wait for you anyway. (bow in the direction of Steve Clark, I think, who wrote that line)

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Well the 49er situation being trapped doesn't necessarily solve it since downwind they typically biff nose straight in. And if you are fully trapped on the peninsula, your launch path is towards tha mast. That's one reason you see skips and crews start karate chopping at their trap hooks as the boat goes down the mine. Better to fall backwards even if the risk is to snap your blade off,

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Well the 49er situation being trapped doesn't necessarily solve it since downwind they typically biff nose straight in. And if you are fully trapped on the peninsula, your launch path is towards tha mast. That's one reason you see skips and crews start karate chopping at their trap hooks as the boat goes down the mine. Better to fall backwards even if the risk is to snap your blade off,

 

...yeh,,those blades can hurt too,,,that's why melikes my couch :)

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You are at far greater risk of drowning due to getting knocked out or entangled than being sliced to bits like an egg dicer by the shrouds. Believe me on that.

 

Mothies are taking to suiting up pretty extensively due to the SPEED they are going - hitting anything (especially those foils) at 20-30 IS dangerous - most monohulls just don't go fast enough for that to be much of a danger.

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Its common sense to wear a helmet…

 

Apparently not as common as it should be. Recently a 29er sailor in a large local regatta ended up in a coma and in hospital for 3 months after a bad gybe. She was hit by a windsurfer while swimming back to the boat.

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moths be using carbon rigging, any different to wire in crash mode?

a flashing light on your mast head should be suffisent warning for hang gliders to keep clear,

if they persist you may need some cable ties stategicaly positioned around the boat.

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Am I overplaying the danger of wires, are the speeds too low?

Yes

Given your evidence i don't see any fast shrouds in your future, also the present.

I'm assuming you aren't ponying up for a Foiler

 

If I still lived in Wash DC, I'd stay with the Laser even though the aluminum baseball bat like boom is a familiar and unwelcome hazard. Would consider a Finn if there were any others nearby. I'd also probably start renting Flying Scotts there. The Potomac, near Alexandria / DCA, is probably uncomfortably shallow for a Foiler (wide area, but quite silted up). I asked Gui about his Moth, but it didn't meet my requirements. Currently, decent sailing is on the Gulf, 7 hours away.

 

The joint probability of having a girlfriend who would enjoy sailing on a given day is probability 10^-6, so a double handed skiff or cat wasn't under consideration.

 

It's common sense to wear a helmet, though I must admit to not always doing this while sailing. I do wear one for kitesurfing though...always.

 

What kind of helmet would a dinghy sailor wear?

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thats a positive lifestyle choice

 

I do wonder if you fancy yourself as a sailing Darth Vader tho

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I was commenting on the attitude that you appear to be espousing, whether you meant it that way or not.

I can confirm that is what i am espousing

 

in fact ...

 

Yes, better to risk death than to risk looking like a cock.

 

or one could even do both mr. nutter

 

EVEN whilst risking ones life sans helmet

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re 'Refusing to wear' rather puts it in the same category as life-vests say, in the SIs or NOR

 

Nutter, hard to legislate at this point in time but it could be conditionally mentioned

 

what do you think, i have some ideas, wording

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I dunno, I see more and more people wearing helmets dinghy sailing now, I can understand it for high performance AC stuff where the drop is massive, but for regular dinghies, nah, not for me and if I'm honest, I kind of agree with Gybe Set and resent the pussification of something that really hasn't proved to be that dangerous without helmets- unlike cycling and snow sports, which frankly the only cocks are the ones not in helmets IMHO.

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I was always most concerned about being impaled on my 29er's spreaders... Having said that i've been most hurt sailing keelboats, dinghies are fairly safe.

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re 'Refusing to wear' rather puts it in the same category as life-vests say, in the SIs or NOR

 

Nutter, hard to legislate at this point in time but it could be conditionally mentioned

 

what do you think, i have some ideas, wording

 

I'm not suggesting legislating for the use of helmets. In industry, one of the biggest impediments to the promotion of safety is cultural attitudes that promote risk taking over safe work practices by demeaning people who take safety seriously. Sailing, as much as any sport, has its risks which should be mitigated where possible. The type of comment you made is unhelpful in promoting a culture where safety is valued. It may have been a tongue-in-cheek comment, but that's not the way it came across to me. People should feel free to choose to wear helmets if they wish, without fear of ridicule.

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Nutter

there is no point in Going Off (the shore) Half Cocked

 

if wearing a helmet it should be strongly recommended to wear ones underpants (contrasting colour) on the outside of your wetsuit or harness

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Some moth sailors, myself included, have started wearing kiteboarding helmets (same as the AC guys) in stronger winds, and I / we don't care what anyone else thinks about them.

Brands? Style? Cost? Link? Any breeze you can go +20kn will do, so even 12kn might make it worthwhile.

 

The cheaper helmets are around AUD70 but aren't that comfortable. Gath helmets fit very well and have a range of features the cheapies don't have, but they are closer to AUD200.

 

Maybe this should be in gear anarchy?

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It is interesting to see the psychology at work here.

 

I'm also a student glider pilot. There is an experienced pilot I know who I won't fly with any longer. He takes pleasure in criticizing everyone's flying (his peers), but is very sensitive to having his lapses pointed out (like a driver's license, a pilot certificate can be revoked for violations - after spending thousands in its pursuit).

 

The problem of pilots showing poor judgement has the attention of the FAA, to the extent that they wrote a chapter on its recognition and mitigation. http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aviation/pilot_handbook/media/phak%20-%20chapter%2017.pdf

 

I think skimming this chapter would help anyone contemplating the use of a helmet, as it shows that there are some people who embrace self destructive thinking.

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I wonder if Deadfish is contemplating the use of a helmet whilst sailing dinghies, etc.

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Yeah he is like the laboratory sailors here from boatdesign.net

They too are Pilots, refer moth kite ac72 above, they use the software to "Design for Flight"

they are doin the Buzz Aldrin

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todes

thanks for the heads up on your piloting and your polotics surounding personalities in the air. i am impressed with your observations and vast knoledge on this subject.

rodger roger

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Is it fashionable to polish the helmet?

 

You're free to polish yours as fast and often as you like, don't skimp on elbow grease. Practice makes perfect.

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To be honest I've never felt the need to wear a helmet sailing. I've been hit with the boom (as I'm sure all dinghy sailors have) but never had any other issues that might have warranted a helmet.

 

I can see that they would have their place though - moths etc.

 

I mostly hit my legs in crashes, and I always wear a skiff-suit or at least wetsuit pants - they don't stop a shroud but they are better than hitting it with bare skin.

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A friend here had his ear saved with the aid of 28 stitches after a nose dive in the RS800 this summer. The only other really serious crash I remember ended with my crew spending the night in hospital with a concussion when we were 14/15. There have been many, many minor crashes and injuries over the years, but they were actually quite minor compared to other sports.

 

So accidents can happen and most of the Suisse Musto fleet have taken to wearing helmets once the breeze picks up. Mostly Gath I think, but also some snowboarding ones as well. Personally I don't wear one, but I certainly don't begrudge someone who does.

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Is it fashionable to polish the helmet?

You're free to polish yours as fast and often as you like, don't skimp on elbow grease. Practice makes perfect.

A simple unambiguous question,and YET ....

your reply is deflecting , rather defensive & passive/aggressive

 

So i'll take that as a YES

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We always have a foot of plastic tube over the chainplates to minimise slide-forward impact damage.

With some dinghy crew, I have stuck a patch of blue Sorbathane to each side of the boom just abaft the vang to stop it getting dented during gybes.

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they are the ones you gotta watch out for

good crew is getting harder to find so a good idea to protect the chainplates,

but yeah,

booms are bloody expensive, only a well funded team can afford to be belting them with hard hats looking like some kinda nautical Bob the frickin Builders

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depends

if you're (mr.) Happy with your crew

 

thing is all the helmet proponents here are 'solo' test pilots,

so i guess you're proposing you are at your best beating to windward ?

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The one time I've pitchpoled I hit the shroud wire and it was no issue. You feel a bit of resistance but that's pretty much it, maybe a bit of bruising if you're lucky... I found that the shroudplate in the mast gave way before my skin though!

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Some moth sailors, myself included, have started wearing kiteboarding helmets (same as the AC guys) in stronger winds, and I / we don't care what anyone else thinks about them.

Brands? Style? Cost? Link? Any breeze you can go +20kn will do, so even 12kn might make it worthwhile.

 

The cheaper helmets are around AUD70 but aren't that comfortable. Gath helmets fit very well and have a range of features the cheapies don't have, but they are closer to AUD200.

 

Maybe this should be in gear anarchy?

 

Kitepower.com.au a Pro-Tec Ace Water.

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depends

if you're (mr.) Happy with your crew

 

thing is all the helmet proponents here are 'solo' test pilots,

so i guess you're proposing you are at your best beating to windward ?

To each his own... personally, this woodie prefers a broad reach.

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