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TQA

Removing headsails for Irma Duty of Care?

15 posts in this topic

When you look at the pictures of wrecked boats a surprising number still have their roller furling headsail bent on. 
 

 
Quote

In English tort law, an individual may owe a duty of care to another, to ensure that they do not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss. If such a duty is found to be breached, a legal liability is imposed upon the tortfeasor to compensate the victim for any losses they incur. The idea of individuals owing strangers a duty of care – where beforehand such duties were only found from contractual arrangements – developed at common law, throughout the 20th century. The doctrine was significantly developed in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson,[1] where a woman succeeded in establishing a manufacturer of ginger beer owed her a duty of care, where it had been negligently produced. Following this, the duty concept has expanded into a coherent judicial test, which must be satisfied in order to claim in negligence.

Generally, a duty of care arises where one individual or group undertakes an activity which could reasonably harm another, either physically, mentally, or economically. This includes common activities such as driving (where physical injury may occur), as well as specialised activities such as dispensing reliant economic advice (where economic loss may occur). Where an individual has not created a situation which may cause harm, no duty of care exists to warn others of dangerous situations or prevent harm occurring to them; such acts are known as pure omissions, and liability may only arise where a prior special relationship exists to necessitate them.

 

[from Wikipedia]

Every list of things to do to ready a boat for a hurricane or high winds includes and item to remove the roller furling headsail. 

So does leaving your headsail up when a hurricane is forecast constitute a breach of duty of care?

What would you do if you saw a boat adjacent to yours with the headsail still bent on. 

 

headsails.jpg

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It's a rather general question: If they were aboard, certainly suggest they remove them. If they were out of the country perhaps remove them if I could store them below decks and had time to do so. 

Much as what do you do when you see that their mooring/anchor line is chafed? 

 

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If it's not too hard to take down, you have the time, and especially if they're likely to be upwind of you think it's imperative to try to do something about it.  In the two small (Cat 1 & 3) hurricanes I've been through in port went out of my way to make sure that the boats upwind were as safe as possible - a lot of damage is caused when a poorly secured boat breaks loose and then plows through a fleet.

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Looking at that picture I'm not sure headsails on or off really made much difference.

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a member of my YC  kept a boat in Key Largo...he hasn;t been on it in 6 months...he never asked anyone or paid anyone to removed sails/canvas...he just got a pic that the genny is all tore up, boom (help up by main halyard which frayed)  dropped and crushed his dodger and bimini...........he could have paid someone some cash last week to removed that shit...instead it's an insurance claim  for his stupidity.....

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We had a situation years ago in my local yard. A guy left his jib furled in the winter after being requested to remove it by the yard owner. It unfurled in a storm and toppled the boat which then toppled several others like dominoes.

Guess who had to pay? The douchebag owner - or his insurance at least.

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There are plenty of people who are sufficiently rich and sufficiently insured to not really care what happens to their boat and others around them. The boat is just another toy they buy and leave lying around until the odd occasion that they wish to use it assuming it is still there. I am also amazed to see yachts on the hard with masts up in a lost of these hurricane areas. In Scotland most marina's have stopped chocking boats unless the mast is down and only accept full cradles for mast up. We are extremely unlikely to see winds over 60-80mph. If we were seeing 100mph plus winds then no marina would allow you to keep your mast up.  

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11 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

We had a situation years ago in my local yard. A guy left his jib furled in the winter after being requested to remove it by the yard owner. It unfurled in a storm and toppled the boat which then toppled several others like dominoes.

Guess who had to pay? The douchebag owner - or his insurance at least.

Why did they haul it with the RF sail still bent on?  Many marinas here will not pull you for even a short haul with RF sails still up. Reason given is that too many short hauls turn into block and store as problems are discovered so simple rule.  RF sail still on?  Travel lift doesn't come to the boat. 

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In my area of the Eastern Caribbean about half of the yards require all sails to be removed before hauling.

Few yards require the mast to be removed though. However that may change as a close examination of the post Irma pics coming out of St Marten show boats stored mast up are usually on their side often with broken masts. But there is a yard where the masts are out and most boats are still upright. 

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Mast off for hauling is exceedingly rare in Maryland. I am sure there are plenty of boats around here that are 50-60 years old that have never had the mast out once.

For Isabel, the 20 or so people that stayed on their boats throughout the storm at my marina were kept busy adding extra lines to the other boats that had no prep at all. I just about broke my ankle because some dock boards* were pulled out and I couldn't see them underwater in the pitch dark.

* pro tip - that cleat bolted into the dock planking is NOT a hurricane worthy place to tie off to. The high tide will yank it right out. Use a damn piling please! Also make the end that adjusts on the boat so you don't have to climb off 100 times or vice-versa if you are not aboard.

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29 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Mast off for hauling is exceedingly rare in Maryland. I am sure there are plenty of boats around here that are 50-60 years old that have never had the mast out once.

For Isabel, the 20 or so people that stayed on their boats throughout the storm at my marina were kept busy adding extra lines to the other boats that had no prep at all. I just about broke my ankle because some dock boards* were pulled out and I couldn't see them underwater in the pitch dark.

* pro tip - that cleat bolted into the dock planking is NOT a hurricane worthy place to tie off to. The high tide will yank it right out. Use a damn piling please! Also make the end that adjusts on the boat so you don't have to climb off 100 times or vice-versa if you are not aboard.

Given the time it takes to remove and safely store a 60+ foot mast (average 40 footer mast), you would probably be able to haul about 1/2 of the number of boats before a storm.  IN my part of MD, you can't haul during the last 3-4 days before a storm unless you are an existing slipholder in a full service marina/yard.  Simply more demand than time and space.  Start pulling sticks and you'd need to request a haul 6-8 days before the storm is scheduled to hit. 

 

My experience for Isabel was the same.  Spend most of the day of the storm (hit overnight) prepping OPBs once mine was ready.  One absent owner called me from out of state and asked when his flight got cancelled.  The remainder were absent owners who just didn't show up or make arrangements.  About 10 of us and the dock master and his crew prepped a bunch of boats that day. 

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4 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Why did they haul it with the RF sail still bent on?  Many marinas here will not pull you for even a short haul with RF sails still up. Reason given is that too many short hauls turn into block and store as problems are discovered so simple rule.  RF sail still on?  Travel lift doesn't come to the boat. 

Everyone hauls here with the sails furled. For the most part they only come off when they are being replaced. Sticks generally only come out for painting.

We have a year round sailing season so.....

Storms strong enough to even possibly topple a boat are exceedingly rare - like once a decade. That's the only incident of it that I'm aware of. Shredded sails that got loose are not uncommon though.

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Boats fall over here when flooding rains turn the hard ground under the stands to mud. I watched a 38 footer fall over *while the owner and family* were aboard eating lunch down below  and that was in almost no wind at all :o

A storm haul in my area is a near-useless idea anyway unless the yard has a hill to put you on. After Isabel boats that floated off their stands were all over the place.

The weirdest thing about Isabel is I thought the excitement was over around midnight. The dock was ankle-deep and the wind was dying down. I woke up in the morning to the sound of car alarms going off and the dock was CHEST deep. Cars in the marina parking lot were submerged and shorting out. I climbed off the boat into the dinghy and cruised around the parking lot and then tied up to a charcoal grill.

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You can always let the storm take care of the mast like these cats.

jkLzYfA.jpg

NFMy7Ic.jpg

Don't know how these guys kept their mast? 

OyVU1Rn.jpg

All three of these cats are within a 75 yard stretch of the beach in Great Cruz Bay! I'm surprised that they are still right side up actually. They may have let water into the hulls as water ballast. That was a lesson learned in Hurricane Hugo at Salt River. Only downside is that although it increases righting moment it also increases the loads on the ground tackle/mooring if there is surge such as there was sure to be here. Crazy that these boats didn't sail the 35 miles to Salt RIver Lagoon on St Croix for Irma. That would have been like returning to the safety of the cradle since they were all built at Gold Coast Yachts right in Salt River. I guess they will be going back there soon enough for repairs.

Image result for salt river st croix

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