I have read through the safety regulations a number of times over the years and more so recently, I would like to make a few comments for consideration, a couple of technical considerations and a few comments on perceived ambiguity, inconsistency or lack of clear definition.
cat 3 bilge pump, nowhere does it say the pump must be operable from on deck, the current inspectors check list says it does, I believe the location should be able to be above or below deck while complying with 13.14 – not really a regulation problem, more an implementation issue.
Sails, I believe 15.15 is a bit inconsistent, the initial introduction says:
“These specifications give maximum areas......It is imperative that all vessels have sufficient storm sails to work off a leeshore in severe conditions”
It is immediately followed by
“Skippers should consult their sailmaker and designer to arrive at the best sizes. The sizes given below are maximum suggested sizes only and should be followed only after due consultation”
Then we proceed to a number of size recommendations ( or rules, its really not that clear) and to top it off we get 15.16:
“A storm trysail or mainsail reefing to reduce the luff to at least 35%”
I have recently commissioned a new Main Sail, I may wish to sail Cat 3 races in the future. I had an extensive consultation with my sail maker over the reef points I wanted. My existing sail was used on an extended windward journey in winds averaging 40 knots with gusts well over 50 and seas averaging 3 to 4 meters, with a relatively baggy main 2nd reef we still managed to make 5 – 6 knots to windward and were pleasantly surprised at the yachts performance. My new sail will have its second reef approximately 1m higher, I believe this will cope with any condition I wish to continue, or even start, sailing in at cat 3 and then some.
It is nowhere near reducing the luff to 35%
So whats the answer, where did 35% suddenly be deemed necessary, and can I or not consult my sailmaker and proceed with what works for my boat?
Gas, 16.19 is a bit of a double up with 16.09 as the regulations dictate the locker requirements and is not correct regarding drain size (19mm) but the regs are a bit vague here too as the don’t say if this is a nominal pipe size an ID or an OD. There is a huge practical problem with the whole gas regulations as there isn’t enough gas fitters in the country to certify boats to the level required by the regulations, even if you can find a licensed fitter,when you mention boat thats the last you will see of them,maybe different in Auckland but most of them busy enough doing houses and business jobs.
SR APPENDIX 7 CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS
“A monohull yacht with the earliest of Age or Series Date before 1 January 2010 shall comply with the requirements of(a) through (e) above or with Appendix M to the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (available from www.sailing.org).”
Call me stupid but I couldn’t find appendix M
There is more on my mind but this will be a start, I believe some rationalisation around liferafts and grab bags is in order, as commented already. I also have concerns over the increasing level of regulation and the implications on the costs of voyaging offshore, on land we now have the concept of reasonably practical as opposed to all practical steps, going too far starts to encourage people to circumvent rules and regulation, the discussions regarding offshore registration have an element of this indicated. I’m also concerned we are going to be hit with a whole lot of new training qualifications required and hence course fees etc. I have yet to do a course that actually made me competent, despite what the certificate said, it was experience that led to competence. Maybe like the Australians we need to distinguish between racing and cruising, a lot of those really great books of inspiring voyages of the past would not have happened nor some of our greatest sailors emerged if our current regulators had their say.