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YNZ Race Regulations Cat1-Cat5; Anomalies and concerns


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#31 Black Panther

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 05:53 PM

Heres a serious suggestion. Drop cat one for cruising boats leaving NZ. Instead a single requirement that the crew have total accumulated experience of x ocean miles. Id suggest around 15,000 but happy to hear it discussed.
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#32 Fish

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 06:34 PM

Heres a serious suggestion. Drop cat one for cruising boats leaving NZ. Instead a single requirement that the crew have total accumulated experience of x ocean miles. Id suggest around 15,000 but happy to hear it discussed.

My concern is that your are replacing one set or arbitrary requirements with a new set of arbitrary requirements. And these ones are likely to have a number of unintended consequences (more so than the current lot). Firstly the obvious question around a pathway for gaining experience. Then, the likelihood of taking large numbers of semi competent crew just to meet the criteria, as opposed to crew who work well together and can actually deal with problems. And the obvious disadvantage of solo and short handed crew (i.e. the majority of cruisers, going as couples etc).

 

I believe the fundamental problem is a prescriptive list of requirements. If you applied modern risk management protocols to it, the regs and outcomes would be entirely different. People have commented that the inspection itself is of value (i.e. an independent separate set of eyes). The complaints are around costs, the arbitrary nature of the requirements, and often the lack of relevance to a particular situation.

 

An effective risk based approach would look something like the following -

YNZ outline topic headings that must be addressed. The skipper can address them in any way they see fit. The overall boat / skipper / crew combo has an assessment via the current inspector arrangements.

 

Example risk topics are:

Fire

Lost comms

Damaged rudder

Sudden ingress of water

Lost mast

MoB

Navigation competency 

etc.

 

The onus is put on the skipper to determine what is required, and then demonstrate that. I initially envisaged a written type document (similar to a Standard operating procedures manual or an H&S risk assessment) but to be honest, it is probably more value with the inspector doing it verbally, on the basis that topic headings are known beforehand, and there is a clearly identified outcomes. This way better solutions can be arrived at by interaction with the inspector and skipper.

 

Examples of this could be "skipper has considered night nav, including with boat wide power outage", instead of "thou shall carry a hand held compass"...This option gives the viking in you the opportunity to state that you will just steer by the Pole Star, as you do anyway, or your tablet based digital accelerometer compass unit on your smart phone, if your a tech geek kind of guy. i.e. solutions that suit the type of skipper and type of boat, and closely match the specific situation.

 

The key advantage here is it forces the skipper to consider their own set up, what they would do, and take ownership of it. It allows for situation specific outcomes, and allows for innovation and accommodates advancing tech. It will probably scare the crap out of bureaucrats, because it doesn't give a nice prescriptive arse covering but invisible protective coat.

 

In short, YNZ prescribe the outcomes required, not the gear carried etc. The trick will be in avoiding too much paperwork to make the system work. Ideally, YNZ's topic headings wouldn't be more than 1 page or risk areas on a boat.


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#33 mcp

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:10 PM

My concern is that your are replacing one set or arbitrary requirements with a new set of arbitrary requirements. And these ones are likely to have a number of unintended consequences (more so than the current lot). Firstly the obvious question around a pathway for gaining experience. Then, the likelihood of taking large numbers of semi competent crew just to meet the criteria, as opposed to crew who work well together and can actually deal with problems. And the obvious disadvantage of solo and short handed crew (i.e. the majority of cruisers, going as couples etc).

 

I believe the fundamental problem is a prescriptive list of requirements. If you applied modern risk management protocols to it, the regs and outcomes would be entirely different. People have commented that the inspection itself is of value (i.e. an independent separate set of eyes). The complaints are around costs, the arbitrary nature of the requirements, and often the lack of relevance to a particular situation.

 

An effective risk based approach would look something like the following -

YNZ outline topic headings that must be addressed. The skipper can address them in any way they see fit. The overall boat / skipper / crew combo has an assessment via the current inspector arrangements.

 

Example risk topics are:

Fire

Lost comms

Damaged rudder

Sudden ingress of water

Lost mast

MoB

Navigation competency 

etc.

 

The onus is put on the skipper to determine what is required, and then demonstrate that. I initially envisaged a written type document (similar to a Standard operating procedures manual or an H&S risk assessment) but to be honest, it is probably more value with the inspector doing it verbally, on the basis that topic headings are known beforehand, and there is a clearly identified outcomes. This way better solutions can be arrived at by interaction with the inspector and skipper.

 

Examples of this could be "skipper has considered night nav, including with boat wide power outage", instead of "thou shall carry a hand held compass"...This option gives the viking in you the opportunity to state that you will just steer by the Pole Star, as you do anyway, or your tablet based digital accelerometer compass unit on your smart phone, if your a tech geek kind of guy. i.e. solutions that suit the type of skipper and type of boat, and closely match the specific situation.

 

The key advantage here is it forces the skipper to consider their own set up, what they would do, and take ownership of it. It allows for situation specific outcomes, and allows for innovation and accommodates advancing tech. It will probably scare the crap out of bureaucrats, because it doesn't give a nice prescriptive arse covering but invisible protective coat.

 

In short, YNZ prescribe the outcomes required, not the gear carried etc. The trick will be in avoiding too much paperwork to make the system work. Ideally, YNZ's topic headings wouldn't be more than 1 page or risk areas on a boat.

 

I find it very hard to fault this post.   So.... +1


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#34 Black Panther

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:21 PM

First let's answer the concerns over my suggestion:

My concern is that your are replacing one set or arbitrary requirements with a new set of arbitrary requirements.

Not quite. I suggest replacing a raft of arbitrary requirements wa single arbitrary requirement.

And these ones are likely to have a number of unintended consequences (more so than the current lot).
Firstly the obvious question around a pathway for gaining experience.

Easy, you go with someone else first or find a crew to come with you until you have reached the requirement for going unassisted.

Then, the likelihood of taking large numbers of semi competent crew just to meet the criteria, as opposed to crew who work well together and can actually deal with problems.

Dont really see that becoming an issue, most cruisers want as small a crew as possible.
And the obvious disadvantage of solo and short handed crew (i.e. the majority of cruisers, going as couples etc).
The mileage requirement suggested would mean a couple would achieve it after two round trips north. A single hander four.



Having said that your approach is well worth consideration and almost certainly an improvement. (I like mine coz it is simpler, but thats ok).
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  Two figures sat side by side, staring at the Sea. One said to the other, “You know that one day we will die.” And the other friend replied, “But all of the other days WE WILL LIVE!”

 


#35 Fish

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:55 PM

I think the main issue with a certain number of miles is that it, in itself, doesn't make a skipper competent, or a boat safe. I believe there is an expectation that if someone has considerable miles they are both experienced and competent. Some people sail around in the tropics and go the whole way around the world without every going to windward, let alone encountering a storm. In the US there are places where the prevailing wind is very light. They think anything over 15 knots is windy, and 20 knts is a full on gale. So miles doesn't necessarily equate to experince.

 

Then there are other aspects like temperament and judgement. There is a certain personality type that is well suited to solo sailing, but would be a complete abomination when having to lead and communicate with crew, and / or would find the responsibility of other people onboard as extremely stressful (not all solo sailors).

 

I think there is also the type of person that is a very capable, logical and forward thinking type, has no mileage, but is able to set up, plan very well and equip a yacht for a safe ocean passage. I'm thinking of an adventurer type here, who perhaps has successfully completed other dangerous challenges (climbed an 8,000m mountain perhaps) and would be perfectly capable sailing offshore with minimal direct experience, on the basis they have no shortage of the necessary skills (planning, risk assessment, perseverance, resourcefulness etc). A common demographic that fits this example would be a successful business owner who retires and wants to sail the world. Plenty of money, but ample experience (from running the business) in risk management, planning, leadership etc.

 

Some of the advantages of the risk based approach is it sits the ownership with the risk owner, and also gives flexibility for solutions to fit the situation. The basic model of a risk assessment approach is well establish across many industries, including building and construction etc, so there is a reasonable knowledge within the community already. And that brings an interesting anecdote. Under no circumstances will Worksafe sign off anyones H&S plan. They wont take liability for it. They regularly require one be submitted, but they will never sign it off (including in high risk industries such as Tunnelling and Mining). Where as YNZ effectively certify something is 'safe' - however - the liability still sits with the skipper. This is not logical.

 

Under a risk based system, the decision making and risk mitigation sit with the skipper, the person that has the liability for it.

 

It would be interesting to understand the insurance aspects of all of this. I understand offshore insurance is becoming a much bigger issue than CAT 1. The same principals of risk management can be applied to mitigate insurance losses as to personal safety. There is a risk of excessive paperwork in all this, but there could be advantages with the approach to insurance.

 

I am sure, with the way cruisers swap info, that good well written risk management templates will start doing the rounds, and the work to produce one from scratch will be minimal. But the skipper still gets to plan and shape what he needs for his situation. YNZ could even take the lead and produce a document template, and example risk management for common situations, i.e. modern cruiser fully crewed, modern multihull, solo sailor on a monohull, vaka moana etc.


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#36 Black Panther

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 10:05 PM

Well put fish. Let me think on it some more.

Offshore insurance is becoming impossible so lots of boats simply dont.
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#37 marinheiro

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 11:15 PM

Fish - I am sure, with the way cruisers swap info, that good well written risk management templates will start doing the rounds, and the work to produce one from scratch will be minimal. But the skipper still gets to plan and shape what he needs for his situation. YNZ could even take the lead and produce a document template, and example risk management for common situations, i.e. modern cruiser fully crewed, modern multihull, solo sailor on a monohull, vaka moana etc.

 

it is requirement of cat 1, following the Platino investigation, to produce a set of procedures. I had a discussion with Angus about how far to take these - being an engineer,  mine were heading for War and Peace proportions - eventually distilled down to about 20 pages including addressing all issues Fish previously listed.

 

I had no trouble getting insurance for my 30yr old GRP yacht, had to jump through a couple of hoops - boat builders report, riggers report and crew CV's but not difficult.

My biggest issue, like many other cruisers, is crew for the long passages. Finding people available these days, let alone with offshore experience, is a real challenge. I am due to return from New Caledonia late October and have already started the search. If anyone is interested please send me PM. 


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#38 Jon

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:26 AM

Fish - I am sure, with the way cruisers swap info, that good well written risk management templates will start doing the rounds, and the work to produce one from scratch will be minimal. But the skipper still gets to plan and shape what he needs for his situation. YNZ could even take the lead and produce a document template, and example risk management for common situations, i.e. modern cruiser fully crewed, modern multihull, solo sailor on a monohull, vaka moana etc.
 
it is requirement of cat 1, following the Platino investigation, to produce a set of procedures. I had a discussion with Angus about how far to take these - being an engineer,  mine were heading for War and Peace proportions - eventually distilled down to about 20 pages including addressing all issues Fish previously listed.
 
I had no trouble getting insurance for my 30yr old GRP yacht, had to jump through a couple of hoops - boat builders report, riggers report and crew CV's but not difficult.
My biggest issue, like many other cruisers, is crew for the long passages. Finding people available these days, let alone with offshore experience, is a real challenge. I am due to return from New Caledonia late October and have already started the search. If anyone is interested please send me PM. 


As stated above this is now a reality
People get hung up on needing something that doesn’t fit their situation but is in the regs
If you have a valid reason why you don’t need something and you have the experience to back this up then this will be accepted
Experience is a big one for me, I don’t give a fart if they have dived with sharks, done ten coastal or run Fletchers Building, you never know how people will react until your out of sight of land and the sea state and wind gets up. In my experience about half at this point no longer want to be there.
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#39 Island Time

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:42 AM

Sounds about right Jon. I've said before on this site, my opinion of the cat one regs is that they are more flexible in practice than they look in writing, the inspectors are normally reasonable, and there is little in the regs that I wouldn't comply with if left to my own devices.
I think the ongoing, sometimes heated discussion complaining about them are mostly just people don't like being dictated to. Some parts are outdated, and updates are very slow, again IMO, because no officials or organizations want to be first to accept new stuff, and therefore potentially have some liability.
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#40 marinheiro

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:17 AM

Sounds about right Jon. I've said before on this site, my opinion of the cat one regs is that they are more flexible in practice than they look in writing, the inspectors are normally reasonable, and there is little in the regs that I wouldn't comply with if left to my own devices.
I think the ongoing, sometimes heated discussion complaining about them are mostly just people don't like being dictated to. Some parts are outdated, and updates are very slow, again IMO, because no officials or organizations want to be first to accept new stuff, and therefore potentially have some liability.

Looking around at the international cruising fleet I would say better than 95% of yachts from other countries are voluntarily carrying the same gear Cat 1 requires, give or take the odd horsehoe or extra bucket with a lanyard.

The reality for NZ boats is Cat 1 is here to stay and better we support the current system of "voluntary" inspectors who have the knowledge to make a practical and qualitative judgement of a boat and its crew's capability to make the voyage. Rather that than some bureaucrat with a clip board carrying a full check list of the regulations - it would be like dealing with the current building inspectorate from Auckland Council, zero flexibility and just keep clipping the ticket. 


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