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So I am listening to this thread and trying to keep an open mind, but I do object to someone telling me what I can or cannot do with my own boat.

 

I'm the same BP, it ain't easy, and the Inspectors need to be diplomatic. That being said, none of us would want to go with dodgy chainplates or keel bolts! It is in everyone's interest, incl the NZ taxpayer, to be sure about this before departure.

 

I thought a reasonable response to this was the stance taken by the 1st Cat one inspector I used, the late Charlie Genet of Wellington. Charlie was a professional engineer, and had a lifetime of sailing behind him. Even thought the regs do allow an inspector to have a keel bolt drawn, Charlie's approach was;

"Well, on visual inspection, it looks good. There are 14 keel bolts, all appear in good condition, and all sound the same with the hammer test. There are no signs of keel movement. So, what we'll do is re torque the bolts, and if one breaks, THEN we'll have to look further, otherwise you are all good" I did re-torque them, no issues. Charlie understood the costs and the impossibility of meeting the letter of the law.

I think this is the most common type of approach.

BP and I have both seen a little bit of the officious side as well, but I think as Tim said, that is a lot less common. One Inspector doing that can do a hell of a lot of damage!

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TC what would you say to a foreign boat that asked to pay for an inspection, and was prepared to listen to your opinion , and suggestions , but in the end whether he completely followed all the points was up to him, as he was not required to have cat 1. 

If I did buy a boat off shore I would be doing my first trip without cat 1 anyway, unless I wanted to export an inspector!

 

  I wonder if many yachties in say Aussie look at our system and think oh, I wish I had someone telling  me I have  to do this or that  before I can  sail to Noumea for the winter.? 

 

Cat one for Racers ! Skipper responsibility for cruisers! :idea:

To answer that, I have done a couple of Aussie boats leaving back for Australia after competing here. The rules are slightly different, but only slightly. I'm sure they have a Cat 1 equivalent. Much of the reason for NZ Cat 1 was their insurance demanded it. That's quite possibly a reason for NZ owners to have Cat 1 too.

 

But the other reason that hasn't been discussed here is the sheer cost of rescue in the huge chunk of ocean that NZ is responsible for. 

I fully agree with the skipper taking responsibility of the boat, gear and situation. If it goes wrong, and they are happy to take the consequences (likely death) then that's fine. So (personal opinion here only) how about everyone who leaves without Cat 1 signs a contract of not expecting rescue without this basic level of safety gear. And then gets the crew to sign this contract, and all of their Dad's, sisters, brothers, relatives, friends etc. Then ask their Mum to sign it. Face to face.

 

Because what happens is often someone ashore gets worried and demands a search after an extended period of non contact time with the boat. If the boat hasn't got an EPIRB (Or other means of location detection or communication) Just where does the Orion's, Navy, commercial ships start to look in a huge ocean? This search costs way more than the Cat 1 gear cost, or the overseas registration. You can all name extended searches for boats in this predicament I'm sure.

 

Hence why for a while NZ tried to get all boats leaving to Cat 1. The sheer cost of this search, and the real risk to all personnel involved looking in fraught conditions. 

 

Please don't think, oh well I'll carry an EPIRB, but not the other safety equipment. The point of Cat 1 is to get you the destination safely, without needing rescue.

 

So no it's not a personal decision you make. It is one that will effect your family, and all in the Services that provide Search and Rescue services. 

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Tim, the cost of search is why I said " It is in everyone's interest, incl the NZ taxpayer" in my post above. Cost of rescue is certainly an issue.

 

IIRC the Ausy system is basically the same rules - but there is no inspection for a cruising boat, just a Skippers declaration form that says the boat complies....

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Well looks like the Aussies have stolen my idea already , Cat 1 for racing, skippers responsibility for cruising!

Its not really about not taking any precautions. many of the boats that leave NZ every year do not have cat 1 , they are not all death traps, with no safety gear.   They are prepared by the owners / skippers . with the equipment that they feel that they need , rather than forced to have.

I would have , emergency steering , parachute sea anchor , bungs for the sea cocks , storm sails , ideas for a jury rig, fire extinquishers, sat phone, multiple gps, extra water etc etc, and perhaps an inspector could point me in the right direction in some areas.

 

Time for work , but an idea to add to cat 1 requirements. 2 SMOKE ALARMS, early warning will give you the best chance of surviving  a fire at sea.!

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Yes, rescue costs, BUT it is part of NZ's nautical obligations to cover its part of the Pacific / Tasman etc. for such an event. NZ will rescue / attempt rescue of anyone setting of an epirb within this area. Look back over the records and see just how many or how few were actually NZ boats and see what was the cause, if it was apparent before they got into the life raft etc. The last one I saw was fire, definitely justified! Then there are other folk who find they can't hack it are want to bail. Often with the boat being found, still floating, or washed up on a distant shore somewhere months later. It makes sense to me for the airforce to have "live" practice rather than just go through the motions, The air miles are going to be flown whether they are on a rescue or not.

Re insurance, the crazy thing is that you can get cover in NZ out to the 200 mile limit and reasonably easy at extra cost to get cover at the other end out to their nautical limit. IT is the bit in-between that the insurance companies don't seem to want to cover. and that is in reality probably the safest part of the voyage.

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Forgive my ignorance BP but I also find your example odd. So BP was built in NZ, I'm going to assume domiciled in NZ for your example to be relevant, sailing the scout trips in NZ that drew the attention of, presumably, the NZ govt, and in order to legalise said scout trips he got the boat registered in . . . Vanuatu. Why register in Vanuatu and not . . . NZ?

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